2012 R9 Murphy Aged...laminated fretboard?

Bigjacko

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Hi....first off sorry if this has been covered to death.

I'm looking at a 2012 R9 Tom Murphy aged. My concern and it's holding me back from pulling the trigger on it is whether it would 100% have a laminated fretboard. It's a fair chunk of cash to pay out if it later becomes a noose around my neck and worth nothing.

What is the likelihood of thie board being laminated?
 

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Tim Plains

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Find out when it was made roughly. A good indication is the inlays. Old acrylic inlays likely means single piece of rosewood.

I gotta say, though, the laminated fretboard issue is really not an issue. The guitar is EIGHT YEARS OLD already and it clearly hasn't fallen apart.
 

mjross

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Please! Someone show proof of this lamination issue. I hear a lot about it but have yet to see proof of an ACTUAL issue. Not just speculation of what could happen years later. I have to agree with Tim. 8 years and nada! My 2012 “59” shows zero signs of any issue at all. One of my favorites and that’s saying a lot. I’d go for it if the guitar works for you.

Edit, just looked at the pics. I’d buy it!
 

Thunder Dump

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In 2012 Gibson stated that the two-piece laminated boards were being used on Gibson USA models (Standards and Traditionals mostly) and they were saving the one-piece blanks for the Historic line. To the best of my knowledge most, if not all, of the 2012s have one-piece boards.
 

Tim Plains

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@Thunder Dump, that is not correct. They did it for legal reasons. It's not like Gibson Custom got an exemption but Gibson USA didn't.
 

ARandall

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Think of it this way......the whole guitar is held together by glue. And thats been the method of contruction since the spanish guitar was invented.....and before that with all of the orchestra instruments.
The glue interface is stronger than the wood fibres. So lamination makes for a stronger construction, not a weaker one. Its why the 335 semihollows and Archtops are all made from laminations.
You have to protect solid fretboards from chipping during re-frets too. So its not like they are immune to damage down the line in a 'maintenance' scenario.
 

MikeyV

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For me, being built before all the great 2013 changes to the Reissues would hold me back from buying it.
But I'm a total cork sniffer, so what do I know?
 

RAG7890

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Funny how the focus is that a Lamination is fine & won’t fall apart.

Of course it won’t fall apart.

The whole issue is getting it on an expensive Guitar like a Historic Les Paul.

Nothing wrong with it all all, but nothing right with it either.

My 2c FWIW.

:cheers2:
 

Thunder Dump

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@Thunder Dump, that is not correct. They did it for legal reasons. It's not like Gibson Custom got an exemption but Gibson USA didn't.
They were able to keep quite a few of the blanks and they reserved those for the Custom Shop guitars. Because they couldn't source any more that thickness they had to do the laminates going forward. However, they had enough to do most Custom Shop guitars as one-piece. There may have been a few at the end of the production year but not many.
 

ARandall

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The whole issue is getting it on an expensive Guitar like a Historic Les Paul.

Nothing wrong with it all all, but nothing right with it either.
Well, yes. Needs must as the devil drives and all that. And thats just what had to happen that year.
I mean getting Indian or Madagascar on a RI of a guitar that originally came with Braz sort of fits into the same boat lets face it. But thats just what has to happen with practically all RI models anyhow.

Its a cheaper way of getting into the RI area due to the stigma, rather than necessarily any quality problem.......knowing its not specifically going to affect important things like tone.
 

Thunder Dump

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They were able to keep quite a few of the blanks and they reserved those for the Custom Shop guitars. Because they couldn't source any more that thickness they had to do the laminates going forward. However, they had enough to do most Custom Shop guitars as one-piece. There may have been a few at the end of the production year but not many.
Actually I do need to correct that statement: they were able to start the year with one-piece boards and towards the end of the year they resumed the one-piece boards in 2012. The ones in the middle of the year were two-piece. I remember one specifically that Mark from Mark's Guitar Loft had sent to Dave Johnson and it was a two-piece. He was pretty good at getting the one-piece boards during that time.
 

Clint

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I remember hearing that except for the early ones that came out in 2012, the rest were assumed to have two-piece laminated boards. Mark at MGL would be the final word but I think the vast majority in 2012 were two-piece due to the "raid."
 

simon connor

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My 2012 R9 has a one piece board. I had that verified by a luthier. I read somewhere that they made 1600 R9s that year, and if that's true, mine was one of the last 50 made, so maybe that is why it is a one-piece. But as someone said, if it plays good and sounds good, then it IS good. I suppose if it was me I would want to know though, especially with the more expensive end of the line, ie, the Murphy aged ones. Maybe you could ask the guy? It's not that big a deal to pop the nut off and look, as I understand it. I would be interested to know if 2012 models sell for less out in the world. My sense is that here on MLP people assign them lower values, but is that true on, say, Ebay or Reverb?
 
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Sct13

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Its the simple fact that its no longer a re-issue ...in the sense that its as close as it can get....

There is no real "Issue" except maybe when you re-fret it, the laminate could show up...

A member here (I think... it was a long time ago) attempted a re-fret and destroyed the board...

it needed replacement....he posted pics......
 

Tim Plains

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Actually I do need to correct that statement: they were able to start the year with one-piece boards and towards the end of the year they resumed the one-piece boards in 2012. The ones in the middle of the year were two-piece. I remember one specifically that Mark from Mark's Guitar Loft had sent to Dave Johnson and it was a two-piece. He was pretty good at getting the one-piece boards during that time.
I think it was more like the majority of the year, like eight or nine months, not just middle. 2012 Collector's Choice guitars had laminated fretboards, so the were not selective in what models got it.
 

ARandall

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Its the simple fact that its no longer a re-issue ...in the sense that its as close as it can get....

There is no real "Issue" except maybe when you re-fret it, the laminate could show up...

A member here (I think... it was a long time ago) attempted a re-fret and destroyed the board...

it needed replacement....he posted pics......
No reissue even now get close to the 'as close as it gets' mentality......even if we take the braz out of the equation. Certainly the 2012 era had WAY bigger discrepancies than just the fretboard. Such that even a 1 piece boarded 2012 would fail your test.

It would be interesting to know the full situation of that re-fret. Being a builder myself....having refretted myself, and knowing the strength and limitations of glue....all through personal experience with these matters, I know that there is more to this anecdote than 'laminates are bad for fretboards'.
All I can say is that it would be a 1 in a million shot for the laminate to be the sole reason why the board was ruined.

And unless you are doing the SRV frequency of fretboard refretting and re-radius sanding you won't get close to seeing the lamination - From just now looking at pics of 2012 laminated boards the top laminate is the thicker one. You'd be re-radiusing to the side dots before you hit the second laminate
 
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mjross

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My 2012 R9 has a one piece board. I had that verified by a luthier. I read somewhere that they made 1600 R9s that year, and if that's true, mine was one of the last 50 made, so maybe that is why it is a one-piece. But as someone said, if it plays good and sounds good, then it IS good. I suppose if it was me I would want to know though, especially with the more expensive end of the line, ie, the Murphy aged ones. Maybe you could ask the guy? It's not that big a deal to pop the nut off and look, as I understand it. I would be interested to know if 2012 models sell for less out in the world. My sense is that here on MLP people assign them lower values, but is that true on, say, Ebay or Reverb?
You can assign all the lower values you want. However, if and when I sell my 2012 if you do not like the price, move along. I’m not going to listen to any of this laminated board cork sniffer BS!

In fact, I would not respond to the question. This all appears to be an attempt to get the guitar at a reduced price only later to see the person flipping the guitar for a higher price. This discussion still needs to show some proof that this is a real issue and I’m not talking about one luthier that screwed up a laminated board. Bottom line, how does it play?
 
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Pappy58

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All I can tell you is I agree with @ARandall on the lamination thing. It indeed makes a stronger plank. I mean think about, Headstocks with a clean break and repair are typically stronger than original.

I bought my 2012 R8 PT from a dealer NOS late Jan 2015. I practically stole it. I knew about the fretboard "issue" and never cared about. The guitar is the best Lester I've ever had or played. I subsequently bought a 2016 R8 and sold it within a year. My current 2018 R9 takes a back seat to it. The fretboard is beautiful and slick and the binding is tight. So I dont care about the fretboard. I would buy another 2012 RI in a heartbeat. But use the fretboard allegation to get the best price I would! :cheers2:
 

mjross

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All I can tell you is I agree with @ARandall on the lamination thing. It indeed makes a stronger plank. I mean think about, Headstocks with a clean break and repair are typically stronger than original.

I bought my 2012 R8 PT from a dealer NOS late Jan 2015. I practically stole it. I knew about the fretboard "issue" and never cared about. The guitar is the best Lester I've ever had or played. I subsequently bought a 2016 R8 and sold it within a year. My current 2018 R9 takes a back seat to it. The fretboard is beautiful and slick and the binding is tight. So I dont care about the fretboard. I would buy another 2012 RI in a heartbeat. But use the fretboard allegation to get the best price I would! :cheers2:
That might work with some! Either give me a fair price or it’s time for you to look elsewhere!
 
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