2018 LP R9: First Impressions

stormyLP42

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I picked up a brand new 2018 R9 this past week and wanted to share my initial impressions of the guitar.

First, the sound. This guitar sounds fantastic. Nice low end, rich mids, and a nice little bite in the highs. Sustain is fantastic as notes ring out for several seconds. The custombuckers are great. The neck pickup is great for rich clean tones and the bridge is straight up rock and roll when a little gain is added. One of the best sounding LPs I have ever played. (10/10)

Playability. The weight is 8 lbs 8 oz which is a nice comfortable weight. Not the lightest LP but not the heaviest either. It's noticeably lighter than my R7 Custom. The new "more accurate" 59 neck profile suits me well. Its right in between your typical R0 and R9 in terms of thickness. 0.867 at the first fret. Very similar to an SG I used to own. The size is perfect for my hands and my playing style. I knew from the second I grabbed it that it was a match made in heaven. The frets are a little smaller but I'm used to my R7 custom so no big deal for me. (10/10)

Look and Appointments: The vintage cherry sunburst looks stunning. The flame is consistent across the guitar. No dead spots. The two-piece top isn’t perfectly book-matched, but from the real 59s I've seen, that actually more period accurate. The VOS finish looks great (I prefer it over the gloss) and the aging of the hardware is tastefully done. Maybe just a bit much on the rust. The new lighter back also looks very nice. This particular guitar has a very dark rosewood fretboard with subtle streaks of lighter color. The guitar also has some True Historic appointments which is a nice upgrade for no additional cost. (9.5/10)

Craftsmanship and QC: I suppose this is where the R9 comes up a little short. The guitar is well built, but the devil is in the details. First, there is a finish flaw in which a white speck (dust maybe) got under the finish coat. Not a huge deal, but noticeable from close up. Second, the binding job on part of the neck is a little sloppy up towards the higher frets. It looks like they shaved off some of the binding to get the rolled binding feel and didn't do a great job. That's my guess...It is noticeable, but I can't really feel a difference, which is probably why it passed Gibson inspection. Lastly, the inlay at the third fret is slight off from parallel with the fret wire. It’s just off by a bit, but due to the confined space, its noticeable. None of these things affect the sound or playability and are purely cosmetic. In some ways, these "flaws" are probably period accurate. I'd bet you'd notice similar flaws on actual 59s. To err is human and these guitars are made by people. My guess is that all three flaws were within Gibson set tolerance levels. However, this is a very expensive guitar and the only reissue I've owned (out of 3) that have had these issues. (6.5/10)

Overall, I'll give it a 9/10. It’s a great guitar with just a few cosmetic flaws. This is shaping up to be a very good year for historic reissues. I'd highly recommend.

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DanD

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Great entrance! :cool2:

Welcome! :cheers:

HNGD :cheers2:
 

mudface

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:welcome:To MLP,.....truly stunning color.
Enjoy your new awesome Historic. I know I would.:D
 

Natural1

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Congrats, enjoy!

Good review and pretty much dead in line with all the historics I've owned and played... plays nice, sounds great, slightly crappy fit & finish. The truly messed up thing is that I'm actually starting to enjoy working out the flaws, at least the little ones in terms of playability. You go buy a PRS and there's absolutely NOTHING to work on. In a stupid & weird way it's just not nearly as much fun, and probably why I don't own any PRS guitars right now.

There's a tradition in Japanese knife making that is of a very similar vein... basically the idea is that the blacksmith has the responsibility of making a truly incredible blade, perfectly heat treated and capable of taking an insane edge. But, it's up to the end user to make it his or her own and to finish the edge to the spec they want. For better or worse this is exactly like buying a ridiculously expensive Gibson Les Paul :)
 

wildhawk1

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Craftsmanship and QC a 6.5 out of 10

Out of curiosity at what point on the scale does it warrant a return?

Congrats, enjoy!

Good review and pretty much dead in line with all the historics I've owned and played... plays nice, sounds great, slightly crappy fit & finish. The truly messed up thing is that I'm actually starting to enjoy working out the flaws, at least the little ones in terms of playability. You go buy a PRS and there's absolutely NOTHING to work on. In a stupid & weird way it's just not nearly as much fun, and probably why I don't own any PRS guitars right now.

There's a tradition in Japanese knife making that is of a very similar vein... basically the idea is that the blacksmith has the responsibility of making a truly incredible blade, perfectly heat treated and capable of taking an insane edge. But, it's up to the end user to make it his or her own and to finish the edge to the spec they want. For better or worse this is exactly like buying a ridiculously expensive Gibson Les Paul :)
What??? Sorry but that makes no sense.

If I want slightly crappy fit and finish I'll buy a $169 guitar.

I'm sure PRS loves the support.
 

lpthomas

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Congrats! Great burst. I think it would be ridiculous to return it because of these flaws.

If people do — would they have played it anyway? I doubt it.
 

Natural1

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Craftsmanship and QC a 6.5 out of 10

Out of curiosity at what point on the scale does it warrant a return?



What??? Sorry but that makes no sense.

If I want slightly crappy fit and finish I'll buy a $169 guitar.

I'm sure PRS loves the support.
I agree, I never said it made any sense :)
 

stormyLP42

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Craftsmanship and QC a 6.5 out of 10

Out of curiosity at what point on the scale does it warrant a return?



What??? Sorry but that makes no sense.

If I want slightly crappy fit and finish I'll buy a $169 guitar.

I'm sure PRS loves the support.
It's tough to say what warrants a return. Probably if I thought any of the flaws were going to cause more problems down the road. Sound and playability carry far more weight with me. The 6.5 may be a little harsh but its a reflection of what I expect from the Custom Shop. I wouldn't even think twice about the same flaws on a USA shop guitar. In the end, its a dynamic determination. A 6.5 on QC combined with a 7 or 8 on playability and sound and I might have shipped it right back. But this thing is 10's in pretty much every other way imaginable.

BTW, I have a Artist Grade PRS Tremonti and it also has something white stuck under the finish coat. And that is a blackish finish so its far more noticable.
 

dc007

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Thank you for sharing....beautiful guitar!!!
 

Jabberwocky

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Congrats! Stonking!!! Looks like the HoG 25th Anniversary I got from HoG in 2014.

If you go looking for flaws you will find them. Enjoy the LP. Make great music with it. The rolled binding will soon be forgotten when you put some miles on it.
 

stormyLP42

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One question... that black streak on top of the binding (see pic)... that's just dirt from the machining or something along those lines, right? Not a crack in the binding? Anyone else have that on their LPs? I can't feel it when I run my fingers over it. I'm 90% sure its nothing to be concerned about but I figured I'd ask given all the LP expertise on this forum. Thanks.

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bossaddict

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Congrats and welcome to the forum!

Thanks for the detailed review.
 

JeffH66

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What a beautiful burst, and a great review. Welcome!
 

MikeyV

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That's a killer guitar man. Those things you point out are normal for many these Gibson CS Les Pauls.
It's weird to say that, but it's just the truth. They've got that hand finished look/feel for sure, especially in the fretboard finishing area (that guy needs re-training).

I've come to believe (coerced) that the originals had these small issues when new too, lol.

Don't let it prevent you from loving the guitar otherwise, if you do love it.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Just gorgeous, congrats. As far as those "flaws" go, I'll quote one of rock's most esteemed Burst players:

"Well that's just nitpicking, idnit?" - NT
 




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