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

Jared Purdy

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BTW here's a 2013 R9 darkburst I've managed to hang onto over the years. It's perfect in every way:
View attachment 440742
Lovely looking guitar. Gorgeous colour.

And out of the blue, the guy I sold my 2013 R9 to six years ago just contacted me. He saw my ad on Kijiji. He said it was the best Les Paul he'd ever played, but that he was more of a Strat guy, and in the six years he's had it, he played it maybe 25 times. It's in the same condition that I sold it to him in, and he'll sell it back to me for the same price, which was $4500. I'm shocked. Totally blown away. This is serendipity. I'm going to meet with him on Wednesday, and it will be very interesting to see which way the pendulum swings. He's bringing it to my house where I'll be able to A/B it to my recently purchased 2019, 60th R9. Pics to follow. I said in an earlier post, what could go wrong with two R9's?
 
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ONEHERO

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^ paying the same price after 6 years of someone else owning/playing it? :hmm: Your money, man
 

amorrow

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Agreed, if it takes what you sold it for to get it back, it sounds like it’s worth it to you! It’s not like the difference over typical current market is astronomical...buyers take hits like that upon resale, especially purchasing new, all the time and think nothing of it.

Regarding differences between 2019s and 2013s, my ‘13 R8 with “R9” neck and my 60th 2019 seem a lot more similar than what I read here. I can barely tell a difference in neck shape even going from one to the other. If I had to guess I’d say the thickness is nearly identical and maybe the 2019 has just very slightly less shoulder to it. The binding and overall feel is nearly identical too...neither rolled as much as the True Historics.

Sound wise they’re very similar, maybe the 2019 being just a tad more open sounding even despite its newness. I do notice the taper differences and really like the 2019 in that regard.

Cosmetically the three things I notice most (aside from the revised plastics and logo), is the smoother finish on the 2019, the appearance of the dye/filler on the backs, and the very different top carve. The finish is nearly as smooth as my TH and noticeably smoother than the 2013.

My opinion though...both are awesome and feel very similar.
 
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Jared Purdy

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^ paying the same price after 6 years of someone else owning/playing it? :hmm: Your money, man
Not sure if you've checked the price of Custom Shop Les Pauls lately, but they aren't going down. Take a look on Mark's Guitar Loft at the prices for LP's from the 90's and they're up to $8K US. 2013, the same year as my old one is $5K-6KUS, nearly the same price as a new one (in the US). US price for a current 2019 R9 VOS is $6500. Canadian price is $7500. There's a 30% exchange rate up charge here in We The North. :)
 
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Jared Purdy

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Agreed, if it takes what you sold it for to get it back, it sounds like it’s worth it to you! It’s not like the difference over typical current market is astronomical...buyers take hits like that upon resale, especially purchasing new, all the time and think nothing of it.

Regarding differences between 2019s and 2013s, my ‘13 R8 with “R9” neck and my 60th 2019 seem a lot more similar than what I read here. I can barely tell a difference in neck shape even going from one to the other. If I had to guess I’d say the thickness is nearly identical and maybe the 2019 has just very slightly less shoulder to it. The binding and overall feel is nearly identical too...neither rolled as much as the True Historics.

Sound wise they’re very similar, maybe the 2019 being just a tad more open sounding even despite its newness. I do notice the taper differences and really like the 2019 in that regard.

Cosmetically the three things I notice most (aside from the revised plastics and logo), is the smoother finish on the 2019, the appearance of the dye/filler on the backs, and the very different top carve. The finish is nearly as smooth as my TH and noticeably smoother than the 2013.

My opinion though...both are awesome and feel very similar.
Thanks for that comparison. I'm going to look at it tonight. I'm not going to keep both of them as I am not worthy of two CS Les Pauls! I'll keep one, though at this point I can't say for certain which it'll be. There's a good chance that a lot of my reaction to having found my first one is purely sentimental, though I do remember it being quite an exceptional guitar. It's got a striking top of pin stripe flame in washed cherry burst. The top is featured in The Beauty of the Burst book. I tried to find the photos of it that I posed here back in 2014 but couldn't find them.

I like the idea that the Custom Shop has finally gotten it right, at least according to the owner of Mark's Guitar Loft, who told me the other day that the current R9's are the most accurate that Gibson has ever gotten them. I was playing it last night, and it's quite a fine instrument. However, I've already called the store to inquire about returns and it's not a problem as long it's in the same shape as what I bought it in. There's a thirty day return policy, which is quite decent.

When I bought the 2013 R9 in 2013 I paid $6500CDN and I sold it for $4500. The current owner is going to sell it back to me for $4500, and that is actually a really good price from what I've seen. If I return the new R9, I'll re-pocket $3600. As long as I like the 2013 R9 one as much or more than the 2019 R9, I see it as a win win all around.
 
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ezra1

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I am interested in how this plays out.
I have a 2013 R9 and it is one of the few Guitars that I have kept stock.
I have 6 Les Paul type guitars .
The other one that gets play time is a 78 Tokai LS-80 with good pots and WCR Darkburst pickups. I got it first and it fanned the flames leading to the purchase of the R9.
They don't sound just alike but sound good all the same.
 

Jared Purdy

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I think what amorrow said is pretty spot on. I just came back from checking out my old, 2013 R9, and I left without it. To be sure, the top is nicer than what I just bought with my 2019, 60th Anniversary R9. It is rich, and nuanced, holographic, fiddle back or pin strip type of flame. It's gorgeous. It's also really sticky, as is the rest of the guitar. amorrow mentioned that the finish on his 2013 R9 is not as smooth as that which is on his 2019 R9. That would definitely be my assessment as well. I asked the current owner of my old 2013 to run his hand across my new, 2019, and then across the 2013 and he was definitely a bit shocked.

amorrow also said he thought the PU's on the 2019 R9 were more open sounding, I would also agree with that. The neck profiles between the two guitars could not have been more different. I'd describe the profile on the 2013 R9 as being somewhat similar to my Martin OM28 Marquis, which is described as a modified V, though not as hefyt as that on the Martin. The profile of the neck on the 2019 R9 has been described as a soft C, with gentle shoulders. I guess that description works. I found neither one of them preferable over the other. Both fit my hand well.

The PU covers are definitely different on the 2013 R9, though I could see no discernible difference with the Gibson or Les Paul logo on the head stock. The action on the 2019 was a tad better as well.

All in all, i cannot justify keeping both. It's money that I'd rather spend elsewhere, or put into savings, and besides, I can only play one Les Paul at a time. When all things are considered, the 2019, 60th Anniversary R9 feels and sounds like a better guitar to me, and I could have saved $3600 if I had returned it, and bought my old 2013. I guess at this point, I'll keep the 2019 R9, though I might keep looking for the ultimate top from Mark's Guitar Loft, but it'll be attached to a 2019 R9.

Lastly, I have one photo of the 2013 R9, but it's on my Samsung cell phone. How can I upload it here for you guys to look at? Cheers.
 

THDNUT

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Everyone before me has covered the nuances. Just buy the one with the nicest top and the greatest tone and forget about minuscule differences between the two.

IMO too many people are hung up about specs. Just play your guitar. Most of the tone is in your fingers and the amp/amp settings than in the guitar.
 

Jared Purdy

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Everyone before me has covered the nuances. Just buy the one with the nicest top and the greatest tone and forget about minuscule differences between the two.

IMO too many people are hung up about specs. Just play your guitar. Most of the tone is in your fingers and the amp/amp settings than in the guitar.
I'd agree that people can get hung up on specs, but they can also get hung up on the top. The specs, in specific examples translate into how the guitar feels and sounds. I'm not sure what the specs were in the nitro mix that was used on 2013 gloss R9's, but after several years, it appears to take on a very sticky feeling, and I've read that elsewhere. I don't recall that guitar feeling sticky when I bought it new in 2013.

The PU's, or how they are mounted on the body of the 2019 R9's has a more open sound, and that translates into something more desirable, for my ears at least. That is also something that another owner and forum member here mentioned.

I wouldn't be happy with a guitar that looked amazing, but was lacking in other areas. Ultimately, we play them more than we look at them, at least that's what's supposed to happen. I settled, for now at least, on a guitar that has a decent, though not a phenomenal top, but excels everywhere else. In a perfect world, the top would be a show stopper, and everything else would be in place as well. Seems that for us here in Canada, due to the lack of availability, the only way to get the mother load is to buy off the Internet from places like Mark's Guitar Loft or other on-line sellers.
 

DanD

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Not sure what "Wilson era guitar" is? Presumably a guy named Wilson who worked in the Custom Shop?
Edwin Wilson ran the Custom Shop from the start until 2017.

He traveled the world to hand pick the wood.

He was fanatical about the details.

There wouldn't be long tenons, hide glue, tubeless truss rods, and the proper plastics without Edwin.

He was a life long Gibson employee and one of, if not the, best ambassador Gibson had.

He is a true guitar geek at heart and his goal was always to bring us the best LP made since '59.
 

Jared Purdy

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Edwin Wilson ran the Custom Shop from the start until 2017.

He traveled the world to hand pick the wood.

He was fanatical about the details.

There wouldn't be long tenons, hide glue, tubeless truss rods, and the proper plastics without Edwin.

He was a life long Gibson employee and one of, if not the, best ambassador Gibson had.

He is a true guitar geek at heart and his goal was always to bring us the best LP made since '59.
Thanks for that bit of history!
 

simon connor

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It sounds like you have already made your decision, but here is my two cents anyway. I have a 2012 R9 and a 2017 R0. The necks are very different, and although the thickness is part of it (R9, 1s fret : .90." R0, 1st fret, .84." That's roughly 3mm difference,) the other, and perhaps more noticeable difference is the shape of the back of the neck. I think it's what people refer to as shoulders. The R9 has much more pronounced "shoulders" than the R0 does. To me, that seems to affect the playability as much, or possibly more than the absolute thickness.
 

Jared Purdy

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It sounds like you have already made your decision, but here is my two cents anyway. I have a 2012 R9 and a 2017 R0. The necks are very different, and although the thickness is part of it (R9, 1s fret : .90." R0, 1st fret, .84." That's roughly 3mm difference,) the other, and perhaps more noticeable difference is the shape of the back of the neck. I think it's what people refer to as shoulders. The R9 has much more pronounced "shoulders" than the R0 does. To me, that seems to affect the playability as much, or possibly more than the absolute thickness.
Thanks for that explanation. I've never played a R0. The profile of the neck on the 2013 R9 that I had, sold, and was looking at again, was totally different than the profile on the 60th Anniversary R9 that I bought. The 2019 R9's are apparently all based off the Carmelita profile. Obviously, as the necks are done by hand, there will be slight variations. However, I liked both of them. My hands are big enough that I can play a range of neck sizes without feeling uncomfortable, though I do tend to prefer necks on the slightly larger size of the standard. What ever that is..
 

simon connor

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Thanks for that explanation. I've never played a R0. The profile of the neck on the 2013 R9 that I had, sold, and was looking at again, was totally different than the profile on the 60th Anniversary R9 that I bought. The 2019 R9's are apparently all based off the Carmelita profile. Obviously, as the necks are done by hand, there will be slight variations. However, I liked both of them. My hands are big enough that I can play a range of neck sizes without feeling uncomfortable, though I do tend to prefer necks on the slightly larger size of the standard. What ever that is..
From what I can gather, the pre 2014 (?) necks had more shoulders (R7, 8, 9, 0 - all of them) and after that Gibson started reducing the shoulders. I can't really state that from direct experience because an R0 always has a smaller neck than an R9 anyway, but that's what people seem to be saying here on MLP. It's all pretty confusing, but if you hang around here long enough you start to gain some clariity...

I have large hands too, and both necks seem to work fine for me. I actually thought I would get rid of the R9 after I got the R0, because ultimately I like the slimmer neck better, but then I couldn't do it. I like the thicker neck too!
 




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