Do R8’s and R9’s sound the same?

Six6String6

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So I know there are other threads devoted to the physical/aesthetic differences between an R8 and R9, but how about tone?
The reason I ask is I have a craving for a R9 to go with the R8 I already have. This would involve trading in a 2021 Classic and a 2019
50’s Standard and I am wondering if there is enough of a tonal difference to make the trade in sacrifice worth it.
I also understand that one R9 can sound different to another R9, which makes the decision even more difficult.
The loss of the Classic is not that much of an issue but the 50’s Standard is actually a very sweet sounding guitar and I would hate to give that one up only to find the new R9 sounds exactly like my R8.
I don’t really want a fourth guitar (ignoring collective gasp I heard) nor can I afford to buy one at full price. So the idea of trading in came to mind.
What say you?
 

v-man

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I don’t have an R-anything. All I have is the personal experience having multiple copies of a specific Gibson (Flying Vs) and the info we all have provided on the web.

Some believe the individual nuances of the construction/material make a pronounced difference in the overall sound and tone of the instrument, whereas others contend it’s negligible. However you choose to align your beliefs it should more or less screw you on having expectations of satisfying a “quintessential R8 and R9 tone”.

If you believe the little things matter, then as you pointed out, variation between individual builds makes your gamble completely unpredictable as there is no reliable or consistent build/wood density, etc. that is done today that makes the “unmistakeable R9 tone.” If you believe the point is negligible, then out of the gate you understand there is no magic tone build that separates 1958 from 1959.

Of course, the discussion rests on the bedrock that both guitars have the same pickups, wiring, strings, and setup (to include pup height). Any of these can have a significant difference from one guitar to the next. Were I to consider an R-type, I’d go for the specs and profile that best suit my specific hands and play style. Others may have more “versatile hands” or collect, but I think it completely unreasonable to expect a pronounced and predictable difference in the “tone” of the two examples. Feel and playability would be an entirely different matter.
 

Six6String6

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So realistically, having a slightly lighter body would probably be the only benefit. As far as the figured top goes I was lucky to get a R8 with a nice quilted top, which I do like.
 

Thundermtn

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Neck size! Find one that feels like it was made for your hand, for me I'll probably never buy a '59.

8's and 9's aren't like a car where they're all within a narrow range of each other. They're more like a singer in a choir, yes they're all singing the same song but each will have it's own voice and your setup in it's totality colors that voice.
 

efstop

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I have two ES-235s and have yet to A/B them.
One is from Memphis, ebony with an ABR-1. It has a pick guard
One is from Nashville, cherry with an ABR-1 with a bushing. No pick guard.
The guard probably makes the biggest difference :laugh2:
 

Thundermtn

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I forgot to say, don't sell guitars you like, save longer.

If you're going to end up with a R9 regardless, play a bunch of them. Eventually you'll find one that you can't walk away from.
 

Six6String6

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I forgot to say, don't sell guitars you like, save longer.

If you're going to end up with a R9 regardless, play a bunch of them. Eventually you'll find one that you can't walk away from.
Sage advice, I do like the Standard
 

searswashere

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Will you actually pick up the trade bait once you have an R9 and R8, or will they sit unused?
 

Six6String6

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Nothing sits unused now, why should that change? On half the amount of guitars each ones use will actually double.
 

Yamaco

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So I know there are other threads devoted to the physical/aesthetic differences between an R8 and R9, but how about tone?
The reason I ask is I have a craving for a R9 to go with the R8 I already have. This would involve trading in a 2021 Classic and a 2019
50’s Standard and I am wondering if there is enough of a tonal difference to make the trade in sacrifice worth it.
I also understand that one R9 can sound different to another R9, which makes the decision even more difficult.
The loss of the Classic is not that much of an issue but the 50’s Standard is actually a very sweet sounding guitar and I would hate to give that one up only to find the new R9 sounds exactly like my R8.
I don’t really want a fourth guitar (ignoring collective gasp I heard) nor can I afford to buy one at full price. So the idea of trading in came to mind.
What say you?
R8s and R9s are pretty similar as i heard but R9s have a slight tendency to be a little more bity on bridge pickups. I dont really know maybe its a placebo effect or something. i like R9’s better but i am pretty much R7 fanboy :D
 

Cinegoat

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Two R8's don't sound the same. That being said, but something that's either aesthetically different or functionally different so that you have variety. A R9 and R8 are different enough. But if they serve the same niche then get something more dramatic of a difference.
 

Six6String6

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I guess I have consumed a lot of the cool aid and have the belief that the 9 is the Holy Grail. An underlying element of my desire to own one. Hopefully not without merit.
I’ve always been a Les Paul fan and as cool as other Gibsons are I still have the R9 itch.
 

searswashere

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They are, if “holy grail” is your thing. I lucked into mine, knew it would be an easy resale if I didnt like it. Turns out I love it.

You wont scratch that itch with something else. Sell your standard and classic, find a killer R9 and enjoy. If you decide to sell it later, standards and classics abound.
 

dc007

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If you want a good R9 to go with that R8 then you should. I shopped all humbucker historics and found the best one I had access to. It happened to be an R9. If sounding different is what you're after then go for a P90 equipped historic
 

edro

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No two guitars sound exactly the same.
Boom go da dynamite....

Finite, definitive, all encompassing answer with no possibility of misinterpreting...




If two identical twins each ate a big go box of Taco Bell tacos, would they both start blowing chunks at the exact same time.... No. They are not identical.

Same as it never was....
 

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