2013/2014 Traditional vs. Pre-2012 Les Paul Custom vs. R9?

crazytrain513

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If you had to pick one, which one would you pick?

I recently picked up a brand new Traditional, but I'm considering these other two that have decided to wildly pop up all over the used market.

How do the Traditionals compare to the R9's in terms of quality and sound? I understand the neck on the Historic will be thicker, but with the new 1959 Tribute Humbuckers and orange drop caps in the Traditional, and from what I've seen, great attention to detail, which one would you guys pick? Keep in mind the R9 will be about $300 more. And needless to say, they'll both handle 38 Special, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and the like perfectly.

Then theres the Custom. These are different animals, but in terms of looks, sheer winner. The necks I've tried were usually thinner, but what I worry is the sound. Customs tend to be brighter and can't say I'm the fondest of the 490r/498t. However these will definitely kill it in the fields of Ozzy, Scorpions, Maiden, etc. Will these guitars be warm enough for things such as UFO, Boston, etc though? Also, I want one with ebony so used is the only option here but these will still go for about $300 more than the Traditional. The Traditional is new though...

I'm fine with most neck sizes, weight usually isn't a problem since all three models are on the heavier side. Mostly just sound and versitality. Which would be best for me? Please provide reasoning with your answers. Thank you.
 

Farquad

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The R9 would hold its value longer over time.
The new trads are quite good (if not a bit hot (I have to drop mine to 2 to get a jazz tone)). If you've already purchased the trad, I'm going to assume you are still within your return window since you are saying the R9 and Custom are only $300 more. If you are outside the return window for the trad, those other guitars are more than $300 since 2014 trads are going for about $1800-2000 on ebay.

Assuming they are all the same looks wise I'd probably go for the custom, but thats me, I love a good custom. Pups can always be swapped, so that shouldnt be a stop from purchasing a guitar (with the exception being if its an older guitar and doesnt have the stock pups, then pass or get a serious discount).
 

paco1976

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The Custom can be warm too, mine has the T-Top pups and it is great for blues, jazz, classic rock... You choose the pups you choose the sound. Same for the Trad and the R9.
The R9 is of course good stuff, but IMO it is too expensive, a $5k guitar just pulls me down. If you can get it go ahead. Be sure of liking the thick neck before.
My choice would be to keep your Trad, change whatever you don't like. With the orange drops and the pups you mention (I don't know them personally) I am pretty sure it sounds like heaven, no one has ever needed more guitar than this. You can upgrade a bit more changing the stop tail and the bridge... if you get bored.

I'd keep the trad.
 

jason_mazzy

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I think the trad with its pure solid body is a great guitar. The R9 for around the same price may hold value better and I would compare the fit and finish. A dog of an R9 won't be as nice as a gem of a traditional. Gotta compare them apples to apples style.
 

crazytrain513

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Thanks for the replies so far everyone!

Let me just add one thing: I plan to buy to keep. So resale is NOT important.

Thanks!

From what I hear, people love the Customs, and people seem to say the R9's are only better due to attention to detail physically? Traditionals sound like excellent value then I would say.
 

93LPStudio

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The R9 would hold its value longer over time.
The new trads are quite good (if not a bit hot (I have to drop mine to 2 to get a jazz tone)). If you've already purchased the trad, I'm going to assume you are still within your return window since you are saying the R9 and Custom are only $300 more. If you are outside the return window for the trad, those other guitars are more than $300 since 2014 trads are going for about $1800-2000 on ebay.

Assuming they are all the same looks wise I'd probably go for the custom, but thats me, I love a good custom. Pups can always be swapped, so that shouldnt be a stop from purchasing a guitar (with the exception being if its an older guitar and doesnt have the stock pups, then pass or get a serious discount).

The Custom can be warm too, mine has the T-Top pups and it is great for blues, jazz, classic rock... You choose the pups you choose the sound. Same for the Trad and the R9.
The R9 is of course good stuff, but IMO it is too expensive, a $5k guitar just pulls me down. If you can get it go ahead. Be sure of liking the thick neck before.
My choice would be to keep your Trad, change whatever you don't like. With the orange drops and the pups you mention (I don't know them personally) I am pretty sure it sounds like heaven, no one has ever needed more guitar than this. You can upgrade a bit more changing the stop tail and the bridge... if you get bored.

I'd keep the trad.

I think the trad with its pure solid body is a great guitar. The R9 for around the same price may hold value better and I would compare the fit and finish. A dog of an R9 won't be as nice as a gem of a traditional. Gotta compare them apples to apples style.

I agree with these three replies totally. Granted I love a Custom, but just because it is a Custom doesn't mean it's going to be better necessarily, especially the chambered Customs IMO. Same with the historical like the R9 mentioned. The 2013/2014 Traditional's are spectacular instrument 's and in my view the best Gibson USA Lester one can get new the last few years. Some of them have amazing maple tops that in looks alone one would swear it was a reissue if not for the truss rod cover. Besides long tenon versus short, quality, fit and finish on them are spectacular, at least from what I have seen, and sure there are dogs in any line. Sound is great for either year as well, personally I like the 59's, but pups and such can be easily changed out in any line. It all comes down to bang for the buck. If I were going to buy a Custom it would be an older used of course yet pristine condition one, solid body and ebony fretboard. That eliminates newer Customs altogether for me. Finding a good deal is the key. An historic reissue new or used is gonna cost at least twice as much as a 2014 Traditional if not more. That leaves the 13/14 Traditional's, and for me I missed out on the 13's but when the 14's were introduced and even with the big price hike from Gibson there was no way that I was gonna miss the boat, especially once I found the "one"! For me I wanted a new Lester not used and I think I got the best bang for the buck bar none.
 

jc2000

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You can get an R9 for 300. more than a Traditional???? I would take the R9...No question about it..
 

logen99999

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If you had to pick one, which one would you pick?

I recently picked up a brand new Traditional, but I'm considering these other two that have decided to wildly pop up all over the used market.

How do the Traditionals compare to the R9's in terms of quality and sound? I understand the neck on the Historic will be thicker, but with the new 1959 Tribute Humbuckers and orange drop caps in the Traditional, and from what I've seen, great attention to detail, which one would you guys pick? Keep in mind the R9 will be about $300 more. And needless to say, they'll both handle 38 Special, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and the like perfectly.

Then theres the Custom. These are different animals, but in terms of looks, sheer winner. The necks I've tried were usually thinner, but what I worry is the sound. Customs tend to be brighter and can't say I'm the fondest of the 490r/498t. However these will definitely kill it in the fields of Ozzy, Scorpions, Maiden, etc. Will these guitars be warm enough for things such as UFO, Boston, etc though? Also, I want one with ebony so used is the only option here but these will still go for about $300 more than the Traditional. The Traditional is new though...

I'm fine with most neck sizes, weight usually isn't a problem since all three models are on the heavier side. Mostly just sound and versitality. Which would be best for me? Please provide reasoning with your answers. Thank you.

first off, you can get an R9 for only $300 more then a trad? where? R9s tend to sell used for around $3500 used simply because of their name.

My advice is go Custom Shop. get the R9. all day every day. Despite what some may say, the CS les pauls get a lot of extra attention in production, and use the best woods Gibson has. You CAN feel and hear the difference. Gibson reputation rides on that guitar and they wouldn't let it be anything less then awesome. today's R9s sound fantastic and can easily hold up with vintage les pauls. Just be aware that an R9 has an R9 neck. they were big. the trad has a more manageable modern neck thats smaller. A lot of people find that more playable.

The Les Paul Custom is an awesome guitar. I have one from 2006. it has a Custom Shop stamp on it which means it was built in the CS, but i cant say much beyond that, not sure if it receives any more love then a regular Gibson USA. it certainly feels and sounds amazing. Dont let the 490 and 498 pickups fool you. they sound absolutely amazing in my Custom. A lot of people like them more then the BBs and classic 57s because they're hotter and girthier. I am totally satisfied with my Custom, and I played a couple of late 50s les pauls and a bunch of Custom Shop Reissues. My Custom stands up to them all. In fact just last night I compared it to my friend 1980 les paul standard and 1981 les paul Custom. My 2006 Custom inched them both out in terms of tone and ballsyness. and those guitars have Shaw Pickups in them.

The traditional will likely be the most affordable, but if I had to buy sight unseen, i'd rely on a CS model les paul over a Gibsons USA. You're much less likely to get a sour apple if you go CS. i've never played a CS les paul that sucked, i've played a lot of Gibsons USA LPs that did (most of them studios honestly) Gibson just churns those out without much attention to detail I think. If you get an R9 you will never miss a trad. If you get a trad, you may have a little voice in your head saying (this is great, but I bet an R9 would be even better). then the search starts over :D
 

DanL

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If the R9 is only $300 more it's a no brainer to me.
 

93LPStudio

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first off, you can get an R9 for only $300 more then a trad? where? R9s tend to sell used for around $3500 used simply because of their name.

My advice is go Custom Shop. get the R9. all day every day. Despite what some may say, the CS les pauls get a lot of extra attention in production, and use the best woods Gibson has. You CAN feel and hear the difference. Gibson reputation rides on that guitar and they wouldn't let it be anything less then awesome. today's R9s sound fantastic and can easily hold up with vintage les pauls. Just be aware that an R9 has an R9 neck. they were big. the trad has a more manageable modern neck thats smaller. A lot of people find that more playable.

The Les Paul Custom is an awesome guitar. I have one from 2006. it has a Custom Shop stamp on it which means it was built in the CS, but i cant say much beyond that, not sure if it receives any more love then a regular Gibson USA. it certainly feels and sounds amazing. Dont let the 490 and 498 pickups fool you. they sound absolutely amazing in my Custom. A lot of people like them more then the BBs and classic 57s because they're hotter and girthier. I am totally satisfied with my Custom, and I played a couple of late 50s les pauls and a bunch of Custom Shop Reissues. My Custom stands up to them all. In fact just last night I compared it to my friend 1980 les paul standard and 1981 les paul Custom. My 2006 Custom inched them both out in terms of tone and ballsyness. and those guitars have Shaw Pickups in them.

The traditional will likely be the most affordable, but if I had to buy sight unseen, i'd rely on a CS model les paul over a Gibsons USA. You're much less likely to get a sour apple if you go CS. i've never played a CS les paul that sucked, i've played a lot of Gibsons USA LPs that did (most of them studios honestly) Gibson just churns those out without much attention to detail I think. If you get an R9 you will never miss a trad. If you get a trad, you may have a little voice in your head saying (this is great, but I bet an R9 would be even better). then the search starts over :D

As much as I love my 14 Traditional if I was in the position to have gotten an Historic I would have no questions asked. I agree with your post totally! I did however luck out on an excellent Traditional, but I did my homework too. Bottom line you get what you pay for most of the time.
 

jason_mazzy

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yeah but what if the R9 is a dog? gotta play it and know why its so cheap.
 

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