Historic Changes '93-'07


Senior Member
Jun 9, 2008
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Here's some good info that I found.


* Historic Collection introduced. Models include; '54 Black Beauty, '56 Goldtop, '57 Custom Black Beauty/3 Pickup, '57 Goldtop, '57 Custom Black Beauty/2 Pickup, '57 Custom Black Beauty with optional Bigsby Tailpiece, '59 Flametop, '60 Flametop
* First 25 Sunburst and first 15 Goldtops were painted by Tom Murphy.
* Deep neck joint.
* Thin Holly head veneer.
* Silk screened les paul logo.
* Correct pickup routing.
* Les Paul classic aged inlay.
* 57 Classic pickups.
* Kluson replica tuners.
* Vintage letter styled serial#.
*"Historic collection" decal on the back of the headstock.
* Indian rosewood fingerboard.
*"AAAA" grade soft maple top.
* Regular gibson usa brown case.
* Regular early 90s style cherry sunburst.
* Cherry sunburst and heritage darkburst"
* Some models lack pickguard


* Historic parts; only pickguard, pickup rings, trussrod cover.
* Regular gibson usa white pearloid inlay.
* "AAAA" grade soft maple top.
* Darker transparent orangy cherry sunburst. (1994-1996)
* First year for the R8
* First 200 of 1994 painted By Tom Murphy
*"Historic collection" decal still on the back of the headstock.
* 1995-2002 both Eastern and Western Maple used for tops


* "Flametop" R8 introduced in Buttersctch and Vintage Red finishes
* R4 1996 up


* ID micro chip in the neck joint.
* Brass bridge saddles instead of steel bridge saddles.
* "AAAAA" grade soft maple top.
* Brighter transparent orangy cherry sunburst. (1997-199
* Pickguard blueprinted and caused a gap, revealing improper placement of the bridge pickup
* Brighter back cherry color.
* Junior 57 1997 up
* Junior 58 1997 up
* Special 58 1997-2000?
* Special 60 1997-up (when they discontinued the Special 58, they incoporated the SC into the Special 60)


* R2 1998-2003
* No pointers on knobs?


* 40th Anniversary '59 RI - Painted and aged by Murphy (100 made?)
* No R8 this year
* COA began.
* Thin body binding.
* Thin lacquer finish.
* "AAA" hard maple top.
* new vintage taste cherry and darkburst.
* Vintage style back red filler color.
* Refined parts positions and neck shape.
* Bridge pickup moved to its proper place
* R9 Plaintop 1999-2000
* Gibson Stops flame enhancing
* Limited quantity of "Killer Top" R9s, "AAAAA" tops, stamped R9K in cavity


* No R8 this year
* Vintage lifton style brown case for R9/R0.
* Lemon Burst, Tri Burst.
* Black Custom Art Historic case. (TKL)
* No COA.
* No tortoise side markers.
* Rounded fretboard inlays.
* Heavyweight tailpiece.
* '57 Classic PUP's.
* Thick jack plate.
* Thick switch plate/washer.
* Fine-knurl switch nut.
* Amber knobs.
* Gibson label potentiometers.
* Orange drop capacitors


* R9 production limited to 500 units US, 1000 worldwide due to "parts constraints"
* Custom Authentic models introduced (broken-in finish, aged hardware, Grovers)
* Dickie Betts '57 Goldtop introduced (limited edition of 114)
* R8 returns with a flametop
* Thin neck binding.
* New round edged pearloid inlay. (2001-2002 only)
* Vintage style mid jumbo size frets.
* New thick jack plate. (2001-2002 only)
* Aluminum tailpiece.
* Tortoise side markers
* Very bright red sunburst.
* Faded Tabacco, Iced Tea, Washed Cherry.
* Lifton case is standard for R9/R0
* COA standard
* Limited run of Brazilian board R9's given to award dealers. About 50 guitars in the 9 1203 to 9 1250 range all but 6 of them aged by Tom Murphy
* 38 Official Brazilian R9's


* Genuine Kluson tuners for the early units.
* Improved tuner bushings
* More accurately shaped fingerboard inlays
* Non-wire ABR-1 bridge for the early units.
* Amber tophat knobs
* CTS pots
* Owners Card (listing name, serial number and the dealership), Certificate of Authenticity, Reissue Strap, an Embroidered Les Paul Swatch and a Custom Care Kit.
* Burstbucker type 2 & 3.
* Inlay material changed to swirly plastic, corners sharpened. (only R9/R0, later for all models)
* Vintage style thin jack plate. (only R9/0, later for all models)
* Vintage style thin toggle switch washer. (only R9/0, later for all models)
* Vintage color toggle switch knob. (only R9/0, later for all models)
* Vintage style CTS pots and oil caps. not bumblebee. (only R9/0, later all models)
* Dark deep cherry sunburst.
* R7 gets Bursrtbuckers
* Left handed Historics get side dots added to the underside of the neck
* Custom Authentic loses Grovers
* 8 Official Brazilian R9's
* 5 Guitar Center R0 models built (listed as "LPR0PTKBNH1 LP 60 Plaintop")


* Brazilian boards installed from January through May as follows:
** of 4 3001-4 3150 35 of these were R4 Custom Black Beauties = 115 BRW R4s
** of 7 3001-7 3707 220 of these were R7 Customs, 4 GTs were 02 specs, 28 were Juniors = 455 BRW R7s
** of 8 3001-8 3256 31 of these were Juniors = 225 BRW R8s
** of 0 3001-0 3163 50 were G0s, 20 were Specials = 93 BRW R0s
** R6s and R9s Do not share with other models, so all 148 R6s and all 674 R9s are BRW.
* Price drop on R8s and R9s
* Truss rod cover moved away from nut
* Headstock shape changed
* Tuners arranged to be inline
* Vintage style CTS pots
* Bumblebee Caps
* Return to wired ABR
* Madagascar rosewood fingerboard.
* Eastern hard maple top
* "AA" grade eastern hard maple top.
* R9 flametop becomes less flashy due to increased use of Eastern Maple
* R8 returns with a plain top
* Burstbucker type 1 & 2.
* Gold knobs instead of previous vintage amber knobs.
* Corrected tuner positions. "V" intead of "l l" way.
* Transparent orange to regular red cherry sunburst.
* "i"dot on gibson logo moved to the correct position.
* Refined parts positions and neck shape.
* Inlays changed to swirly plastic, sharp corners on remaining models
* Special run of "Stinger Series" guitars. Music Machine "Stingers" have Brazilian Rosewood fretboards
* 50 Guitar Center R0 models built


* Cloud 9 chambered models introduced in limited quantities
* Jimmy Page signature model introduced; 25 Murphy aged guitars signed by JP, 150 Murphy aged unsigned models, 870 Custom Authentic non-Murphy aged guitars produced, run complete in 2007
* New custom shop black case.
* "AAA" eastern hard maple top.
* Silk screened logo moved to the correct location.
* Short Truss Rod Screws the right size


* TR screws return to the wrong size


* VOS finish with aged hardware introduced
* CS begins using Plek machine used for dressing frets and cutting nut slots
* Real vintage looking maple top grains/figures.


* Brighter back red filler color.
* Real honduran mahogany.............
* 50th Anniversary Goldtop 157 to be built

2001: there was a run of Brazilian R9s in the range 91203-91250 (91201 and 91202 only come up as Les Paul Classics for me). within this range, the following numbers do NOT have Brazilian Rosewood according to my info: 91236, 91230, 91220, 91217, 91215, 91214, 91210, 91209, 91207, 91206.

Also, 911007 comes up as an R9 with brazilian.

2002: 8 R9s, in the range 92038-92045


1954 Reissue, ranging from 43001-43150
-within this range of numbers, 37 are '54 Black Beautys
-43001-43006 are 1-pickup '54 Goldtops that went to Dave's Guitar in WI. i am assuming these got BR

1956 Reissue, ranging from 63001-63148
-the only exception here is that number 63126 does not exist as far as i can tell

1957 Reissue, ranging from 73010-73707
-numbers below 73010 either have 2002 specs (73001, 73005, 73006, 73007), are prototypes (R7:73004; LP Junior: 73002, 73003) or do not exist
-within this range, 231 are 2 or 3 pickup '57 Black Beautys
-26 are LP Juniors
-73431-73438 do not exist

1958 Reissue, ranging from 83001-83256
-83001-83008 are prototypes (83001-83004, 83007, 83008), and 2 of these are LP Juniors (83005, 83006). 83009 is a quilt top R8 that went to Guitar Center
-within this range 29 are LP Juniors
-1 is a korina explorer
-83046, 83047, and 83087 do not exist

1959 Reissue, ranging from 93001-93674
-93001-93006 are prototypes
-93008 has 2002 specs
-3 are korina Flying Vs

1960 Reissue, ranging from 03001-03163
-03001-03010 are prototypes (except for 03007 (not a proto) and 03002 (2002 specs)), and 2 of these are LP Specials
-it appears that 03007 DOES have BR
-within this range, 21 are LP Specials
-48 are non-Historic GC '60 LPs, none of which have BR

Gary Rossington SG
-13001-13075 have Brazilian Rosewood


Senior Member
Feb 16, 2010
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Great collection of info! Thanks :thumb:


Senior Member
Mar 30, 2007
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There are a good number of details that are WRONG in the list of details above. I think it may be the same as what was listed on the Gibson Forum and it was wrong then.

Tim Plains

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2008
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Right or wrong, 2009 info. :)
1959 LP Specs


Without question, 2009 has been one of the most exciting years in Gibson production history. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Les Paul, Gibson has retooled many of their production processes in an unprecedented effort to tweak the specs of the historic Les Paul line even tighter to replicate the original guitars.

With over 30 spec changes, a few specific changes really stand out to me:

1. Neck shape.
New drafting technology allowed for the development of new 59 neck profile by digitally mapping original examples of this “holy grail” guitar. The neck retains the same thickness as previous years but there is now less “cheek” or “shoulder” on the necks. The result is a neck that really fits well in your hand. It is a substantial, yet graceful neck that gives has a slight hint of a soft V, especially when playing in first position.

2. Nylon 6/6 nut. This is a change the vintage purists have requested for years. Gibson used different material for nuts over the years ranging from bone to nylon, plastic, and most recently, Corian. While Corian is an excellent nut material, nylon 6/6 was the material used in the 1950s and provides both a visual and mechanical difference. The blue/white color of nylon 6/6 is something that sends a thrill down the spine of the vintage guitar freak, (count me in). It also provides a natural lubrication factor which helps guard against strings binding up in the nut slots.

3. Mahogany to rosewood and maple ratio. Close examination of vintage examples reveal that while the overall dimensions of recent historic Les Pauls have been correct, the fingerboards and maple tops have been slightly too thick and the mahogany backs and necks slightly too thin. Fingerboards and maple tops are now thinner and the mahogany has been beefed up to make up the difference. We are not talking huge numbers here, maybe just the thickness of a couple of business cards. But when you think of the amount of surface area on a maple top, that is a lot of real estate!

4. Wireless abr-1 bridge. The return to the wireless abr-1 is further improved by a complete retooling of the bridge to much tighter tolerances. The saddles sit tight in the slots. This, coupled with the absence of the retaining wire, means there is less sympathetic vibration of these parts when the guitar is played and that results in better tone transference.

The list

2009 R9 Changed Features:
Nylon 6/6 nut
Improved ABR-1 bridge (no-wire, tighter tolerances)
Historically correct nickel-plated brass bridge saddles
Correct alloy saddle adjustment screws
Bridge height-adjusting thumbwheels are now thinner
Neck profile changed - now has less "shoulders"
Audio taper CTS pots
50s wiring
Pickup routes adjusted so that pickups will be parallel to the strings
Top carve changed to be closer to several original '59s that were scanned
Body perimeter change - slightly tighter in waist, cutaway area refined to be more like originals
The maple cap is very slightly thinner, the mahogany body is very slightly thicker
The fingerboard is slightly thinner
The step from neck heel to back of body is taller and more correct
The taper of the "maple window" under the binding in cutaway is more accurate
The maple spline (filler strip) in the tenon is more accurate
The edge radius on the backside of the body is tighter (less rounded)
The "mustache curve" of the headstock top has been flattened slightly
The control cavity plate has been relocated, has the correct side taper, and now uses the correct ABS plastic
The pickguard shape has changed slightly
The pickguard bracket and screw have been changed
The truss rod cover has been reshaped to be more accurate
The serial number location is slightly lower and more correct
Dial pointers are less sharp
The strap button screws are longer
The jack hole is now the correct 1" diameter
The toggle switch nut has more correct knurled pattern


May 13, 2008
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May 13, 2008
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:cool: hello mr.tonebone, pickin happy on burny everyday? joe.


Senior Member
Mar 21, 2009
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Now that's interesting. I just bought a 2000 R8 from Grinning Elk. Surely they existed in 2000. :hmm:


MLP Vendor
Feb 12, 2009
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Here's the back of the headstock- will call Gibson to confirm.



Senior Member
Mar 21, 2009
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Thanks, Ray! I know you guys are the real deal!


Transducer Producer
Mar 11, 2009
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Can anyone fill in the gaps between 2007 and now? I read about the 2009 changes, but what about 2008 and 2010? It would be good to have this all in one place.

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