Difference between a 2013 R9 and a 2019 60th Anniversary R9?

Jared Purdy

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The title pretty well sums it up. Any observations would be appreciated.
 

bridger

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Many others with more specific knowledge will chime in. However, one difference I know for sure is that the 60th anniversary (2019) R-9's have the "carmelita" neck profile. Which , (for me) is quite a bit smaller than any previous year R-9. Many people love it, I hate it. I tried a new one at a store and my fretting hand felt really "congested" playing open chords around the nut. I have a friend that has a 2014 R-9 and the neck is a bit beefier and super comfortable (for my taste)
 

Jared Purdy

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Many others with more specific knowledge will chime in. However, one difference I know for sure is that the 60th anniversary (2019) R-9's have the "carmelita" neck profile. Which , (for me) is quite a bit smaller than any previous year R-9. Many people love it, I hate it. I tried a new one at a store and my fretting hand felt really "congested" playing open chords around the nut. I have a friend that has a 2014 R-9 and the neck is a bit beefier and super comfortable (for my taste)
Thanks, I knew there was something about the neck that felt different than the 2013 that I use to have.
 

Sct13

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Aesthetically the Gibson logo is moved slightly and so is the silk screen "Les Paul Model"

There is supposed to be a tad more green in the clear coat on the headstock, instead of the loudish yellow/ amber the used in the past. Inlays look less sharp in their streaking as well ….these seem more milky....which I don't like, Frets on the R8 are defiantly smaller
 

VictorB

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The plastics may be different on the newer LPs, someone will chime in with more info.
 

Jared Purdy

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The plastics may be different on the newer LPs, someone will chime in with more info.
Well, on a VOS, which is what I have, they are yellowed. Nothing untoward seems off with them though. I was more concerned about the neck and any other significant profiles (body). Thanks, though.
 

VictorB

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Well, on a VOS, which is what I have, they are yellowed. Nothing untoward seems off with them though. I was more concerned about the neck and any other significant profiles (body). Thanks, though.
Ah I see. The necks are definitely slimmer on the newer R9s.
 

Thundermtn

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I'm pretty sure the '13 only had hide glue for the neck pocket and the '19 in addition has it for the cap too. Even though hide glue for the cap may no be historically accurate.

The '19 will have a gold colored Gibson logo on the headstock the '13 should be pearly
 

Jared Purdy

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Ah I see. The necks are definitely slimmer on the newer R9s.
Ya, So i've noticed. Not sure I like it. It makes no sense that one of the defining characteristic that sets the R9 apart and they mess with it. I'm contemplating taking it back. The more I play it, the less i like the neck. I have a CS Strat, and the neck is like a baseball bat, exactly how I like it.

When I was trying the R9 at the store I was trying to put my finger on what was different about it. I was told that they won't be getting any more R9's in for the foreseeable future - unless it's a custom order. The next batch that they'r getting from Gibson are going to be R0's, coming in the three different batches, the first one's being spec'ed off early production 1960 issues, were the neck is supposedly more like the R9.

This is where it starts getting confusing: If the R9 is supposed to have a bigger neck than a R0, then what does that say about the 2019 R9's that have a slimmer neck than earlier R9's? This is messed up, and makes it needlessly complicated for consumers. I have a couple of days to think about. Trying to get up to speed on all of these modifications. I thought the whole purpose behind the R9 was to keep it to period spec, which I thought they had started to get right in 2013?
 
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Thundermtn

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There are a more than a couple Burst owners that will tell you the 50's guitars had more slender necks than what was being released a few years ago. Like was said earlier the Carmelita neck they use now IS a real '59 profile, the fretboard is thicker now than it used to be though so it's pretty debatable that they can claim that, but the back of it supposedly is a scanned perfect copy.

The fat, medium, and skinny necks that they used to do on the C.S. 8,9,and 0 was to help the huge number of guys shopping the tops or that lived in a place where there aren't any dealers. They can just reliably pick one of the three and it would be close enough for them.

The other thing I suspect is going on is that most of the Boomer generation already has all the top end LP's they want and they're conforming to the Gen X'ers that grew up with Ibanez Wizard-esque necks or other similar thin shredders. Sort of like what they did by introducing the LP Classic in the 90's with it's 60's neck trying to get people to cross over, only they're shooting for seriously large $ now.

Above all they have to keep messing with the spec's to try to entice the guy that only has one or two into buying a current production that is "better" or "less wrong" than the earlier stuff.

For me the neck is the number one thing a LP must have, it had better be like the lord himself built it for your hand. At the prices they charge it's crazy to not have one that's perfect for you.

I'd send it back.
 

Jared Purdy

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There are a more than a couple Burst owners that will tell you the 50's guitars had more slender necks than what was being released a few years ago. Like was said earlier the Carmelita neck they use now IS a real '59 profile, the fretboard is thicker now than it used to be though so it's pretty debatable that they can claim that, but the back of it supposedly is a scanned perfect copy.

The fat, medium, and skinny necks that they used to do on the C.S. 8,9,and 0 was to help the huge number of guys shopping the tops or that lived in a place where there aren't any dealers. They can just reliably pick one of the three and it would be close enough for them.

The other thing I suspect is going on is that most of the Boomer generation already has all the top end LP's they want and they're conforming to the Gen X'ers that grew up with Ibanez Wizard-esque necks or other similar thin shredders. Sort of like what they did by introducing the LP Classic in the 90's with it's 60's neck trying to get people to cross over, only they're shooting for seriously large $ now.

Above all they have to keep messing with the spec's to try to entice the guy that only has one or two into buying a current production that is "better" or "less wrong" than the earlier stuff.

For me the neck is the number one thing a LP must have, it had better be like the lord himself built it for your hand. At the prices they charge it's crazy to not have one that's perfect for you.

I'd send it back.
Right you are. There's another store in the area that has a new, 2014 Murphy painted R9. I'm going to take a look at it, and compare it to the one I bought. I suspect the neck profile will be quite different.
 

Jared Purdy

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There are a more than a couple Burst owners that will tell you the 50's guitars had more slender necks than what was being released a few years ago. Like was said earlier the Carmelita neck they use now IS a real '59 profile, the fretboard is thicker now than it used to be though so it's pretty debatable that they can claim that, but the back of it supposedly is a scanned perfect copy.

The fat, medium, and skinny necks that they used to do on the C.S. 8,9,and 0 was to help the huge number of guys shopping the tops or that lived in a place where there aren't any dealers. They can just reliably pick one of the three and it would be close enough for them.

The other thing I suspect is going on is that most of the Boomer generation already has all the top end LP's they want and they're conforming to the Gen X'ers that grew up with Ibanez Wizard-esque necks or other similar thin shredders. Sort of like what they did by introducing the LP Classic in the 90's with it's 60's neck trying to get people to cross over, only they're shooting for seriously large $ now.

Above all they have to keep messing with the spec's to try to entice the guy that only has one or two into buying a current production that is "better" or "less wrong" than the earlier stuff.

For me the neck is the number one thing a LP must have, it had better be like the lord himself built it for your hand. At the prices they charge it's crazy to not have one that's perfect for you.

I'd send it back.
I had a very informative discussion with Mark, the owner of Mark's Guitar Loft in New Hampshire. He echoed many of the same things that you said, and went a little further. He said that the current R9's are based off of scans of "Carmelita", which from what I gather is an original 1959 Les Paul owned by Joe Bonamasa. He loaned it to Gibson a while back so they could make scans of it. And yes, the body and the neck on the 60th Anniversary R9's are as accurate as they have ever been.

The necks over the years have varied in thickness, and from 2017 or 2018 they started to take on the current, slightly thinner profile in keeping with the Carmelita profile. That being said, if a person wants a thicker neck, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. He's had many customers on both sides of the fence, so to speak. I think that I'm just use to slightly beefier necks. The 2013 R9 I had certainly had a thicker neck, which Mark characterized as "D" snapped, with more pronounced "shoulders". The current neck shape is more" C" shaped, with more relaxed shoulders. The Custom Shop Strat that I have has a large C shaped profile. The Martin OM28 Marquis that I have also has a characteristically beefy neck, in keeping with the period of that instrument. It's what I got use to. I may try to get use to this R9. I need to bond with this guitar though, they're too expensive to have a fickle relationship with.
 

Thundermtn

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The greatest guitars I've ever held I knew in under five minutes I was buying it regardless of the cost, or, it cost as much as my house and was completely out of the question.

Even if a guitar is pretty pricey, if it's good enough you shouldn't have buyers remorse or be thinking what if there's something better or this thing could be better here and here.

A great one will have you worried it'll get away somehow. Whether it gets bought before you can do the deal or get stolen or be in a fire after you get it b/c you know that you couldn't replace it, or at least be VERY difficult to replace.

Most people tend to have another problem, they have a so-so guitar that initially struck their fancy for one reason or another and put it on a pedestal during the honeymoon phase, eventually that wears off and they accept what they have, a guitar that's only 5 or 10% better than a carefully chosen and set-up Gibson USA LP. From how you're writing I don't think you're experiencing that. It's sort of seems like doubt/regret right out the gate.

Say you get past the neck shape/size. How does the guitar stack up otherwise? Where does it sit in the bell curve of other historics or custom shop guitars you've played. If it's all A+'s on resonance, sustain, playability, and tone and isn't too heavy, maybe see if it grows on you, but I still think the neck is #1 and has to be perfect to be long term happy with it.
 

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Surprised nobody mentioned it yet but the pickups and electronics are different. Unpotted Custombuckers on the 2019's definitely sound different. New CTS 500K audio taper pots and Luxe paper-in-oil reissue BumbleBee caps. Neck size and shape changed over to Carmelita specs starting in 2018.
 

Jared Purdy

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The greatest guitars I've ever held I knew in under five minutes I was buying it regardless of the cost, or, it cost as much as my house and was completely out of the question.

Even if a guitar is pretty pricey, if it's good enough you shouldn't have buyers remorse or be thinking what if there's something better or this thing could be better here and here.

A great one will have you worried it'll get away somehow. Whether it gets bought before you can do the deal or get stolen or be in a fire after you get it b/c you know that you couldn't replace it, or at least be VERY difficult to replace.

Most people tend to have another problem, they have a so-so guitar that initially struck their fancy for one reason or another and put it on a pedestal during the honeymoon phase, eventually that wears off and they accept what they have, a guitar that's only 5 or 10% better than a carefully chosen and set-up Gibson USA LP. From how you're writing I don't think you're experiencing that. It's sort of seems like doubt/regret right out the gate.

Say you get past the neck shape/size. How does the guitar stack up otherwise? Where does it sit in the bell curve of other historics or custom shop guitars you've played. If it's all A+'s on resonance, sustain, playability, and tone and isn't too heavy, maybe see if it grows on you, but I still think the neck is #1 and has to be perfect to be long term happy with it.
I have no problem with the sustain, and the tone is lovely. The top is decent enough, though that's a perennial issue here in Canada: we seldom if ever see the quality of tops that Mark, for instance, has on his web page. They are few and far between.

There's another poster who recently posted a shot of his R9, it's glossy, not VOS. That's a killer top, IMHO. I've never seen anything like it in any shop in Toronto, and we're a big city with a lot of guitar shops, and with the Canadian national distributor for Gibson right here (Yorkville, the owner of Traynor amps). Why on earth we can't get more variety, I have no idea.

The last R9 I had was perfect in every way. The top was not my idea of the ideal LP flame, but it was still very nice. Everything else on it was perfect. So, why did I sell it? Million dollar question. I posted a want ad on Kijiji hoping the buyer would see it and offer to sell it back to me. Fat chance!!

I digress. I'm going to go look at and compare two other R9's this week. One is a 2014, so it'll have the bigger neck, and the other is another 2019 60th R9. After that, I'm going to let it rest. I may yet buy one from Mark's Guitar Loft. They're killer tops, and he seems like a great guy to deal with. What could go wrong with having two R9's?
 

Thundermtn

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Good luck out there, sound like a fun time. Remember your guitar tests and if you switch it up be sure to show us the new champ.
 

Jared Purdy

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Good luck out there, sound like a fun time. Remember your guitar tests and if you switch it up be sure to show us the new champ.
Haha! Thanks. The worst part of it will be the traffic! I'll definitely take pics of the contenders.
 




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