2019 Reissues vs The Real Deal

Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
80
Reaction score
137
I was lucky enough to buy a late 2019 R7 Goldtop recently and I'm very, very happy with it. I've had a couple of reissues before - a 2009 R9, a 2011 R8 and 2013 R8 Bigsby. The R7 is my best historic experience so far and it seems like Gibson have done an amazing job on these 2019 releases.The proper PIO caps, improved audio taper pots and unpotted buckers are fantastic improvements towards replica level.

Question for those in the know. How far off are these 2019's from the real deal? Ignore the wood - that's obvious. What are your thoughts on the accuracy of the these builds? What does Gibson need to do to make the next "most historically accurate reissue ever" marketing claim?

Here are some of the photos of my R7 from the dealers website when I bought it.....

8300294 (1).jpg


8300294 (3).jpg


8300294 (5).jpg


I haven't changed anything except switch the toggle switch cavity plate back to the plastic one. Would you upgrade anything? Convince me!
 

Attachments

Duane_the_tub

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
3,728
Reaction score
7,663
You're probably going to get some interesting opinions with that question. Here are some of the things I've read or been told: The nitro Gibson uses contains plasticizers for durability that weren't in the original formula. Some of the hardware is different; the bridge posts and wheels are steel (old ones are brass), and the tops of the saddles are narrower so there is less surface area for string contact. The rest of the differences are more about aesthetic details.
 

dc007

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
3,166
Reaction score
8,233
They were very good. 2020 is better. 2021 will be ever more better. But your guitar is beautiful. Love some gold.. As for upgrades that is for you to decide. There are a lot of folks content with these newer reissues bone stock.
 

KBMelb

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
937
Reaction score
814
I've seen it argued that Gibson didn't use A3 magents at any point in the original PAFs.
The Custombuckers in my 2019 (built in January '20) B7 sounds great as is, but my 2015 TH8 sounded very shrill, changing the magnets to A2s has mellowed and sweetend the tone substantilly.
 

MCT

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
517
Reaction score
669
I've seen it argued that Gibson didn't use A3 magents at any point in the original PAFs.
The Custombuckers in my 2019 (built in January '20) B7 sounds great as is, but my 2015 TH8 sounded very shrill, changing the magnets to A2s has mellowed and sweetend the tone substantilly.
The version of that account I heard was that Alnico 3 was heavily used in the early '50's Gibson P-90s due to Alnico 3 having the least amount of cobalt, which was deemed necessary for the Korean War effort. Once the war was over, Gibson acquired more of the other Alnico alloys, and Alnico 3 became less and less common, until it was basically extinct by the time the '58 Bursts came around. But I believe there have been some reports of Alnico 3 PAF's in '57 goldtops, from what I recall...
 

goldenugly57

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
130
I've seen it argued that Gibson didn't use A3 magents at any point in the original PAFs.
The Custombuckers in my 2019 (built in January '20) B7 sounds great as is, but my 2015 TH8 sounded very shrill, changing the magnets to A2s has mellowed and sweetend the tone substantilly.
Here is an interesting article on that topic - unfortunately in German:


For those of you who don't speak German: basically the author states that Gibson never used A3s and only in the 60ies used A2s and A5s. According to the artcle they analysed several original Humbuckers and P90s from 1952 - 60 and all of the magnets turned out to be closest to a specific type of A4s.

That is some new information for sure to me, since I thought Gibson mainly used A2s and A5s in their PAFs - well, you never stop learning, I guess...

Cheers
 

Clint

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
210
Reaction score
238
Since pickups vary widely and there are plenty of great aftermarket options, probably a more accurate nitro finish and brazilian r/w board would be the two big changes to get the recipe even closer to the originals.
Frankly I wouldn't sweat it. I'd just spend time playing it and it will continue to sound better over time.
 

Duane_the_tub

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
3,728
Reaction score
7,663
For those of you who don't speak German: basically the author states that Gibson never used A3s and only in the 60ies used A2s and A5s. According to the article they analysed several original Humbuckers and P90s from 1952 - 60 and all of the magnets turned out to be closest to a specific type of A4s.
That is some new information for sure to me, since I thought Gibson mainly used A2s and A5s in their PAFs - well, you never stop learning, I guess...
I owned a pair of PAFs from 1960 and they had an A5 in the bridge and an A2 in the neck, and they were definitely stock. I've heard of the same configuration in several other sets from the Burst era. I'm not sure the information in that video is accurate.
 

goldenugly57

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
130
I owned a pair of PAFs from 1960 and they had an A5 in the bridge and an A2 in the neck, and they were definitely stock. I've heard of the same configuration in several other sets from the Burst era. I'm not sure the information in that video is accurate.
Yeah, I know what you mean - especially since I have never heard about Gibson using A4s before I read this article. However, the author, Wolfgang Damm, has a pretty good reputation being the founder of Amber Pickups and inventor of Gibson's P94 Pickups, so I'd guess he knows what he is talking about. Here is another article about his former career as Gibson Product Manager at M&T and his work on the P94s:


I'm not saying that all of this A4-stuff has to be correct, but it's definitely from a reliable source. Probably the truth is to be found somewhere in between...

Keep on rockin'!
 

Brek

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
1,630
Reaction score
1,451
I cannot really say as never played a genuine ‘59, I have an opinion, I have played a conversion, 50’s goldtop into ‘59 burst with real pafs. So, What I read and what I find believable is that there are certain things they can no longer do, (voc’s, nasty chems, etc) which means that route to a replica is just not available, and the work they have done is about how to engineer in the sound using modern process’s and I believe that’s what’s they have done, tuned the components to get the sound right. I read a quote from the guy running the custom shop when the true historic was launched, they had one of the guys whose real 59 was used as part of the research process play one and the word used was ‘flabbergasted’ at how close it was. For example they use a less plasticiser in the reissues, and it is now pretty damn thin. The steel bridge pins may have been picked because they helped the sound, compared to brass, (remembering they cannot replicate certain elements) that been said I have just ordered a set of soft brass saddles, screws, posts and whirly screw, and a set of correct metal formulation, thickness and shape pickup covers from area 59. So I think they are as close as can be now, marketing is going to have to really earn their keep now. Or they could just fire them and pay the custom shop guys more.
 

mdubya

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
21,601
Reaction score
37,149
I am pretty sure the neck joint is not historically correct.

But, really, who cares?

A great guitar is a great guitar, no matter the construction.

I would buy a replica before a Gibson if I was searching for "closest to the real thing."

Or buy a vintage Special or Junior or SG for real vintage tone at Historic RI prices.
 

Sct13

Platinum Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
20,293
Reaction score
25,806
Plasticizers - shcmasticizers ....my 19 is showing signs of natural checking.....

I took it to band practice, and the lighting at band practice is from above (as usual) mostly fluorescent....but it caught the light a certain way I guess and one of the guys said ..."oh you got another aged one....nice" ....I said ,,,,no... its VOS
and he pointed to the "crack"

So I had to look and there is more than one or two.....if you hold a cell phone light to it at an angle they show up rather nicely....From straight on you really have to look pretty hard to see it.

So not quite sure how that happened.....We have been having alternating very dry and then very humid days, and its generally pretty cold in here in my house....

Not sure if I should say hey "Gibson WTF?"

but then again..... all we do is bitch about the wrong nitro....

Maybe they reduced the plasticizer content for the Anniversary run?

I have no Idea ......it s probably just a fluke....and the wood moved....

I'll bet they seal up ....
 

Sct13

Platinum Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
20,293
Reaction score
25,806
regarding the Pickups I think they are a bit on the quacky side ....I might change a magnet or two....hey.... they aren't wax potted
 
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
80
Reaction score
137
Some really helpful comments and advice in all of this. The bridge saddles, thumb wheels and posts are a great, reversible quick win for historical accuracy. I really like the pickups so I can't see them being swapped out - it's also pretty cool to know that there might have been some 57's that actually had A3 mags.

Re the overall tone. I build LP's for my own fun and at the moment I have 5 sitting here that all have one piece Mahogany necks and bodies, Indian Rosewood FB's with maple tops with either thin as possible nitro coats (as in literally 2-3 rattle can coats) or oil finishes. Amazing thing? Every one of my guitars sounds brighter/spankier than the R7. All mine have A2 pup PAF's. The R7 is the only one where I keep checking to make sure I have the tones on 10! Not a complaint or fault in any way. I love the tones, just interesting that I am experiencing such warm tones when most speak of bright "tele on steroids" tones from these reissues.

My R7 also has the narrow tall frets and my builds have wide tall stainless steel frets so that could be a major factor at play. The resident Gibson guitar geek in this video states this about the narrow tall frets "it's a different sound profile so you hear a bit more of the rosewood fingerboard" = 1hr 16mins approx. This could be the warmth I'm hearing in my R7.

 
Last edited:

themollusk79

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
Messages
164
Reaction score
301
My 2019 CME R8 has a little somethin that makes it stand out over other historics I have owned - starting in 2008. Never had a reissue that wasn’t excellent, but this one is special. Whatever they’re doing, kudos.
I second this. I also have a 2019 CME R8 and it is the best sounding, and playing LP I've ever owned. Love it. :cool:
 


Latest Threads



Top