Do R8’s and R9’s sound the same?

DEMENTED

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The R8 and R9 really are the same guitar other than a R8 typically having a slightly larger neck. They will sound the same as much as any Les Paul sounds like another Les Paul. Every guitar sounds slightly different than the next of the same exact model. I recently owned 3 R9’s at the same time and they all had their own characteristics. Just tiny nuances that were different.
 

Beastie28

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Maybe the more significant differences were use of different AlNiCo magnet compositions (II, III, IV, and V) and lengths. No absolute systematic consistency there but in general expect going from III to IV or V for a '58 to '59. That is an impact on sound for sure, beyond individual guitar variance.

As far as I know Gibson custom Buckers are all III.
 

GermHerm

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Here are my 2 cents. I have several Custom shop LPs R9 and R8. They sound all(!) different. However, there are some general differences. The R9s are all around 3.7 kgs and have a typical '59-Neck. The R8s are approx. 4 kgs and have much fatter necks. The effect is that the sound of the R8s are more warm-ish and round. Therefore, my recommendation is: test, test, test, …and decide afterwards.
 

Guru Meditation

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Your approach is totally off. An R8 & an R9 are -theoretically at least- the exact same guitar with different neck thickness and potentially different frets if we're talking about post '18 R8s. Any differences in sound -if noticeable at all- are of the specific examples you're comparing and mainly depend on the "operational hours" of each example imo.

For example, I have in front of me a '15 TH R8 and a '05 JPP which is basically an R9 with the thinnest neck ever on a Les Paul. Both have custombuckers but sound different because one has thousands of hours of play, whereas the other has a few hundreds of hours.
 

Luboy

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they are mostly the same. i would not say that R9s are lighter on average, all reissues are all over the place in terms of weight. which is normal. if you like your R8 or R7, there's no need for an R9. a B7 sounds slightly different due to the ebony board and hog body, but even those are close in sound and feel to the rest of the 50s reissues.
 

Six6String6

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Well cheers everyone for your valued input.
At this point in time I will hold off on the R9. The consensus here does reaffirm what I was actually thinking deep down (but was trying to ignore!) that the two are more or less the same animal. It was good to hear from those of you who own both.
Knowing that my R8, Standard, and Classic all do differ more than the R9 might, I will put things on hold for now.

However, if I ever bring it up again I expect you all to push me towards getting one!
 

scottwgl

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If you’re comparing the new R8’s to the New R9’s. The R9’s have a thinner neck giving them a thinner and brighter tone in my opinion. A little more of that Telecaster on Steroids tone. Personally I like the warmer fuller sound of the R8’s. Oddly enough I prefer the tone of my Standard 50’s over a new R9 because I like a warmer tone. However I have an old R9 with a really big neck and it’s got a ton of low end. I love it.
 

Six6String6

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If you’re comparing the new R8’s to the New R9’s. The R9’s have a thinner neck giving them a thinner and brighter tone in my opinion. A little more of that Telecaster on Steroids tone. Personally I like the warmer fuller sound of the R8’s. Oddly enough I prefer the tone of my Standard 50’s over a new R9 because I like a warmer tone. However I have an old R9 with a really big neck and it’s got a ton of low end. I love it.
Yes I think I made mention of that elsewhere. The 50’s Standard does have that warm edge to it. Those Burstbuckers are nice pups.
That’s why I don’t really want to part with it.
 

scottwgl

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Yes I think I made mention of that elsewhere. The 50’s Standard does have that warm edge to it. Those Burstbuckers are nice pups.
That’s why I don’t really want to part with it.
Yah I think it’s more so because of the big neck on the Standard 50’s. If you really want 2 different sounds I’d get a R9 and sell the R8
 

golfnut

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Yes I think I made mention of that elsewhere. The 50’s Standard does have that warm edge to it. Those Burstbuckers are nice pups.
That’s why I don’t really want to part with it.
I agree. I've taken my Standard 50 in to Long and McQuade several times to compare them. The R9's definitely have a brighter sound. I thought I might sell my standard 50 once I buy an R9 but financially I don't need to and I think there enough different its worth keeping both.
 

mjross

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Yes I think I made mention of that elsewhere. The 50’s Standard does have that warm edge to it. Those Burstbuckers are nice pups.
That’s why I don’t really want to part with it.
Hear that, the Burstbuskers in the Standard Gold Top I purchased recently are killer! Kinda wondered if they got them mixed up with Custombuckers!
 

mjross

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I agree. I've taken my Standard 50 in to Long and McQuade several times to compare them. The R9's definitely have a brighter sound. I thought I might sell my standard 50 once I buy an R9 but financially I don't need to and I think there enough different its worth keeping both.
That’s the spirit!
 

ezra1

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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.....when I got my R9 I chose between 5..... eventually narrowed it down to 2.
One suited me a little better and I went with it.
 

efstop

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Hear that, the Burstbuskers in the Standard Gold Top I purchased recently are killer! Kinda wondered if they got them mixed up with Custombuckers!
I've also heard that BB 1 & 2 are a great pickup set.
 

Davjon

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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?
for me the biggest difference between the 2 are the pups.
 

jimmer_5

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I think this has been answered, but I'll add this: If you're happy with your R8, keep it. An R8 and an R9 are essentially the same guitar, but obviously all guitars sound different to some extent.

That being said, we wouldn't have a whole forum dedicated to Les Paul collecting if people didn't own multiple similar guitars. I can understand the minimalist philosophy, but I have multiple Les Pauls that look different, sound different, and even play different (as much as I'd prefer they be totally consistent in playability). I have a black 90's Standard with hot Wolfetone pickups that is a high-gain monster with "breath on it" low action, a '14 Traditional Bareknuckle Mule/Riff Raff that has a bright, open sound, and a Lou Pallo Signature with a P90 Neck and a humbucker bridge for the best of both worlds. I have a lovely R6 that does the P90 thing, and sounds surprisingly different than the Lou Pallo. In spite of all these, my R8 is my number one, and the stock Burstbucker #1 and #2 sound incredible in that specific guitar. It just does everything well - clean, mean, and in-between.

I guess I could pare it down a bit, but each one has it's own character, and I enjoy them all for different reasons. If you seek out another Les Paul, you will eventually find one that just screams.

To answer your original question: I'm more inclined to say, if you find another good one, buy it. If you don't, you already have your R8, and no harm done.
 

searswashere

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OP a) doesnt sound hell bent on keeping his standard b) doesnt sound hell bent on buying an R9.

I give it 3 months.
 

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