- May 18, 2015
- Reaction score
2013s had some 2-14 features, carve, color, neck slightly smaller, but what I remember was a metal tag on the back,switch cover as opposed to the whole metal medalion of 2014. Also both 2013s I had had better binding rollin than the 2 2014s. But the 2014s had more correct looking plastics. I think the Custombuckers were a bit brighter in 2014 but it could be just my guitars. My 2013 had better quality mahogany and prettier western maple than the more swirly grained mahogany and eastern maple of 2014.I don't know much about them prior to 2013. I don't want to spread anything wrong, so any of you find that any of my info is inaccurate, please correct what I've written.
I don't know when the Vintage Old Stock (VOS) finish was first introduced. It is an aging of the finish to give it an old patina, but it's not a relic job, as there are no nicks and dings added to it. VOS generally also comes with aged hardware, but I don't know if that was always the case.
- As I understand, in 2013 Gibson introduced the CustomBucker pickups to historic reissues from 1957 to 1960.
- In late 2013 there were the transition models. Those were transitions from 2013 to 2014. I don't really know what were the actual difference if any. I've seen some people try get higher prices on these 2013 transition models, but I don't know what benefits there were to the 2013 transition models.
im pretty sure 2014 models started sometime late in 2013 and continued well into 2015. I have a “2014” model R8 according to gibson that was shipped to the dealer in DEC 2015 and the tags confirm it.
Finally, and this is very anecdotal, I found the necks to R9, and possibly R6s, R7s and R8s as well, to have slimmed down over the years. I haven't measured the necks on the R9s that I've tried over the years, but that was my general impression of them. I haven't played original bursts before, but I've heard their necks weren't that fat compared to some of the earlier R8s and R9s, according to some vintage guitar retailers. I'm just taking their word for it. Maybe, and this is pure speculation, Gibson have redesign their neck profiles.
- 2014 seems to be a really sought after year, which I believe is due to the mess that was created in 2015. There are some minor differences imposed later on, but many would argue that the additional historically accurate features you get from later years don't make a whole lot of difference. Others, think the minor changes over the years do actually add to the comfort and sound of the instrument. In that regard, I think you have to play the actual guitar and arrive at your own conclusion.
- 2015 was confusing because Gibson had two Reissue Lines, the True Historic (TH) and the CS.
- CS had serial numbers starting with CS, for instance CS8, CS9 and CS0 for 1958, 1959 and 1960 respectively. Whereas, the serial numbers of the TS were period correct, both in length and starting with 8, 9, 0 for 1958, 1959 and 1960 respectively.
- TS came with molecular level correct plastics and hide glue (please someone confirm the glue)
- TS had long neck tenon, while CS has short neck tenon (please someone confirm the tenon on the CS)
- Different COA and control switch medallion.
- 2016 scratched the CS and introduced the Standard Historic (SH), which was similar to to 2014 reissue. However, Gibson kept the TS line in 2016.
- SH had long neck tenon.
- Serial number on SH started with R8, R9, R0 for 1958, 1959 and 1960.
- In 2017, I don't believe there were any changes from 2016 (please confirm). The one thing I noticed, is that serial numbers stopped carrying the R. Thus 8, 9, 0 for 1958, 1959 and 1960 respectively.
- 2018, no more TH.
- 2019, although the same Alnico III are used in the CustomBucker pickups, they are now unpotted. Another difference is the use of Paper in Oil (PIO) bumblebee capacitors. From, my experience with 2016/2017 models, they used bumblebee capacitors before, but they were according to some not real bumblebee capacitors because they were supposedly not PIO. Another feature of 2019 are the CTS audio taper pots, but I'm not sure if that is trully different from 2018. Whereas 2018 theoretically had the option of VOS finish and gloss finish, although I never saw a 2018 gloss finish in any store online or otherwise, in 2019 all the finishes for r8s to R0s are, as far as I know, only available in VOS. 2019 also have the, in my opinion inferior, but more vintage correct lifton 5 latches cases. I've also noticed that the edge in the cutaway where the back meets the body is a bit more rounded compared to previous models for added comfort. It's not a carve like they did with the fast access heel joint on the HPs and LP Modern, but just that edge of the back of the body is less pointy.