Analysis Paralysis: I Can't Decide Which R8 to Keep

pgfitzgerald

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O.K., I'll bite. I can't stand it when people get so ANALytical on shit like this. First off, you are asking a subjective question. Only you can decide what you like, so why are you asking us? Second, if you play in a band setting like you say, by the time you hear it with drums, bass, and whatever else in the mix, it will greatly diminish what your anal ears are hearing anyway. Just me though, lol. Hey, you asked!
LOL I hear ya. Part of me says to myself "just pick the prettiest, play it and enjoy it, and don't worry about the details."

But I just can't help myself. I've always been into the details. I want to know the how and why. It's just me wanting to know how things tick. I'm a life long learner so I get a kick out of this stuff.

I appreciate all opinions, which is why I often ask others what they think. It helps my decision making process. Sometimes I need a good kick in the pants too!
 
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pgfitzgerald

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It appears there is no keeper here. I’d return both if neither speaks to you.
I buy and sell guitars all the time. It's just how I am. I often hear folks talk about keepers. I've heard folks say they've had a guitar for 30 years and will never sell it.

I guess I've never found a keeper. Or everything speaks to me. Or nothing speaks to me.

I like both of these. For different reasons. Neither is clearly better than the other. If that was the case, I wouldn't have posted asking for opinions. I'm keeping one for sure. Even if it means I'll trade up later. Just gotta make up my mind which.

Yeah, I'm a bit loony I guess. LOL :)
 

freebyrd 69

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LOL I hear ya. Part of me says to myself "just pick the prettiest, play it and enjoy it, and don't worry about the details."

But I just can't help myself. I've always been into the details. I want to know the how and why. It's just me wanting to know how things tick. I'm a life long learner so I get a kick out of this stuff.

I appreciate all opinions, which is why I often ask others what they think. It helps my decision making process. Sometimes I need a good kick in the pants too!
Yep, we are polar opposites. LOL. Couldn't care less about how the watch is built, just tell me the time. For my #1 guitar, it is just outstanding. Don't know why, don't care why, but it stands out from the others in both feel and tone. I've owned well over 100 Custom Shop Les Paul's over the years, and this one has killed them all. The rest were all nice in their own way. Good luck!
 

GitFiddle

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Put on a blindfold. Have a third party mix the two. Keep playing both until you decide on the one that makes you happy.
 

Thundermtn

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How would you define fat? One is 0.916" at the 1st fret. The other is 0.913" at the 1st fret.

Pretty much anything in normal R8 range, .88-.90 and up, horseshoe's and hand-grenades. Those two are a full tenth above current 60 range. Plenty of 60's necks will still pass but R8's will usually go stiffer through the bell curve. My pencil neck Classic is nearly as stiff as my carefully selected R8 that's ballpark with those two .91+ guitars. All wood is different.

How would you define very little? We talking no more than 5 cents or 25 cents or what? Just making sure we're speaking the same language. :)

It something that's easy audible to tell there was a lower tone shift with bare ears, I've not measured it precisely but with my tuner it would probably be in the 10 cents + area. I wouldn't sweat going up to 5 cents. A really floppy neck will almost go toe-to-toe with a floyd rose.
 

Thundermtn

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If you're a guitar flipper, and they're both REALLY close, go with the better top, it just makes sense at trade in time.

All-time keepers don't even get close to a person thinking they'll ever sell it. Those guitars are more like "from my cold dead hands", you'll know in under five minutes what you have. The idea of it being stolen is such that you'll not be able to find another as good without working your butt off to find it.
 

mudface

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If you're a guitar flipper, and they're both REALLY close, go with the better top, it just makes sense at trade in time.

All-time keepers don't even get close to a person thinking they'll ever sell it. Those guitars are more like "from my cold dead hands", you'll know in under five minutes what you have. The idea of it being stolen is such that you'll not be able to find another as good without working your butt off to find it.
This is true,..... “keepers” don’t just speak to you...... they scream it...... with a bitch slap.

I have never gave up my money for nothing less..... I have not owned a bunch of Historics or CCs..... but I put my hands on a crap load of them to find the ones I have.... and those I took home didn’t take days or weeks to realize they were right.

Learning to put the guitars that come up short down and walk away can be tricky when they are beautiful and beg for attention. Though the older and more experienced I got, the easier it became. Just my experience anyways.

Good luck amigo.:cheers:
 

pgfitzgerald

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Thanks everyone for your input and advice!

I had my wife randomly hand me my Traditional and each of these two R8s while my eyes were closed. She tried to trick me a couple times. I could pretty easily tell my Traditional apart. It was tougher to pick out which R8 was which, but she said I always got them right. It did take a little effort to tell them apart. That tells me that they're closer than I thought.

At first, she thought the first R8 sounded better. She said it was brighter. And she liked the more subdued top. But later said that the second sounded better. That it sounded more even and balanced. And that she liked the more pronounced flame. She also added she thought others would dig the top on the second better if I wanted to sell later.

I recorded both guitars acoustically, mic'd cab, and DI with amp sims. It was fairly easy to tell the difference acoustically. DI with amp sims was very close and telling them apart was completely dependent on the performance. Mic'd cab was easier I think because of the room and the cab resonance. All in all, they're damn close.
 

Tomee2

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Return both and find one that hit all the right spots. Or you will have sleepless nights doubting your choice.
You have to do this. Then buy and keep the next one that comes along that is better than both of these.

It's actually a classic math problem actually, selecting the best person for a job from an endless source.
 

pgfitzgerald

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You have to do this. Then buy and keep the next one that comes along that is better than both of these.

It's actually a classic math problem actually, selecting the best person for a job from an endless source.
Holy crap! As a nerd, that totally resonates with me! Fascinating article! Thank you for that perspective!

...

So... I've made my decision. I'm keeping the second one (at least for the time being). While it lacks a tiny bit of clarity that the first has, it makes up for it with a more balanced tonal spectrum.

I ran through an initial setup last night. Didn't do anything with the nut or saddles, so I'm not 100% finished yet. But so far so good. Plays good. Sounds good. Looks good.

I'll take some glamour shots some time soon and post 'em up.

Thanks again everyone!
 

1all's Pub

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I vote for the second. A good bottom end is tough to get through amp/pedal adjustments without getting mud if it’s not inherent to the guitar to start with, whereas top ends are easier to dial in (IMO/IME).

Plus when 2 guitars are this close (as you say they are) go with the best looking of the two... which is clearly the second one.

In the end, if you still can’t decide, take a coin (assign the first guitar to heads, the second one to tails)… flip it… and then, pay *close* attention to your initial reaction when you see what comes up. If you feel any sense of being “let-down” by the result, it means you really want the other guitar. :) The key to this exercise is honestly gauging your initial reaction. That will tell you what you really want.
 

LarryC

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i would definitely have to play them with a band first,it usually then becomes very easy to decide, for me anyway.if they do really sound that different.
 

zamdrang

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I'm just like you as far as analysis paralysis goes. I like the blind fold suggestion. I have bought many.. Some at the same time some not. But for me guitars are pretty easy if you quit obsessing on details.. Marketing.. Looks.. Year.. What your favorite players play etc.. All nothing more than distractions. Which one makes YOU want to play it, which one speaks to YOUR soul. For me this question is best answered unplugged in a quiet room. If both do you are a lucky man, u cant go wrong. If neither do return both and keep looking.
 

Thundermtn

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You can probably make up the small difference in clarity by VERY slightly lowering your p/ups and VERY slightly raising your poll pieces.
 

HJR

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On looks, the second one for me. But since you said you feel their looks are similar, I say play them as much as possible for 29 days, and I bet a favorite emerges. Whichever one you want to play more in the last week is the keeper.
 

ramsajam

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If EVER there was a first world problem, THIS is it...
Keep the second and enjoy without looking back.
 
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rmh

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Well do you play more rhythm or lead?

For me, it'd be the second with no question as I play rhythm. You can turn up the treble on the amp to get more clarity in the high end but better low-end clarity is harder to come by.

Either way there isn't a bad choice - what you need to do is pick one and not look back. Which I'm guessing you will; you'll probably spend the next couple of months worrying you picked the wrong one either way ;)
 

ManicPete

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I'd keep the second.

But really I'd return both and start the search over again with the same vendor if you have any worries about letting him down by returning both.
 




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