Is a 70's or 80s or even a 90s les paul better than a newer r9

TimeTraveler

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I got the les paul bug thats been going around. Caught it from a custom. Now i am craving more. Maybe a r9 will satisfy my hunger. Some of these vintage pauls look nice. But am concerned about needing maintenance on them. Should i go vintage or modern.

For the price of a used modern r9 What could i get in the vintage department that is equal or better?? ..

Not a huge fan of the flame top with my ocd it has to match perfectly. And i feel like i would be afraid to play it out anywhere. Like it would draw too much attention or get dented., Bumped, Stolen etc.. but lets be realistic i aint gonna be taking this thing out of the house ever lol have a hesrt attack if anyone breaths on it.
 

filtersweep

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What could you get? For the price of a used R8, I could buy an abused, 25 year old guitar needing a refret. You might do better for a used R9 price-- or find a used one with a broken headstock-- but seriously, what do you consider 'vintage?' I'd go modern, and buy a used Tribute that you can take anywhere.
 

TimeTraveler

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What could you get? For the price of a used R8, I could buy an abused, 25 year old guitar needing a refret. You might do better for a used R9 price-- or find a used one with a broken headstock-- but seriously, what do you consider 'vintage?' I'd go modern, and buy a used Tribute that you can take anywhere.
well for example there is a 1978 tobacco burst Les paul on rverb here https://reverb.com/item/3355744-gibson-les-paul-standard-1978-tobacco-sunburst that is in a similar price range as a used r9. Myabe i am falling for the hype that the older models used better wood argument. my question is would this 78 standard compare to a r9 or would it get blown out of the water.
 

Crusader

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In 1977 I bought a Custom and when I got it home I wasn't impressed. Nobody told me what it was supposed to sound like, I just knew I didn't like it. I sold it after ten years and another ten years later I found it again and thought it sounded just the same

My next guitar was a '61 reissue SG and it didn't do it for me. Next was a 2008 Les Paul Studio which wasn't bad. Next was a Traditional which had a sweeter tone in the high notes but too soft in the bass. Next was an ES-137 ("a big ol' Les Paul") This was a great guitar but prefer LPs. Next was a Les Paul Axcess (A. Lifeson with Floyd) - another great guitar but I never got the hang of the Floyd

Then I got an R9

My conclusion out of all this is, the other guitars may sound good to someone else but they didn't to me. In the end I got a guitar that I really like but in hindsight if I wanted to save a ton of money I would have just kept the Studio. It had a chunky neck (one of the drawbacks of the Custom and SG) It sounded okay, it was light and as filtersweep said about the Tribute, you can take it anywhere (my R9 rarely leaves the cupboard)

So I say there are three main concerns. Playability, Tone, Price
 

David Garner

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I have a 90s Standard and a 2016 Traditional, and honestly, in terms of quality, there isn't a lot of difference. The inlays are nicer on the 93 Standard. The 2016 Trad is about a pound lighter. I swapped pickups in both, but I'd probably do that with an R8 or R9 too.

My guess is there is a difference. At least some of the historics have the long tenon, they are sometimes lighter, etc. I've heard the neck angles are better. None of that matters much to me. I wouldn't sell both of these to fund an R9, so to me, the extra cost isn't worth it. If you have the funds, springing for an R8 or an R9 will, if nothing else, give you better resale value if you keep it stock and give you some pride in ownership knowing you have a Custom Shop model. For me, the added expense isn't really worth it.
 

Ermghoti

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Meh. Anything from the early 90s on will be specced a little better than anything other than the earliest Norlins. That said, all Gibsons are individuals. Everyone knows a story about some unassuming Studio that is otherworldly, and a R9 that is a dud. You can pry my 78 Custom from my cold, dead hands.
 

gball

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Just find the right kind of shop where you can play a bunch of different ones from different vintages and decide for yourself and don't worry about what the internet says is best - no, hide glue does not make a guitar sound better and no a pancake body does not make it sound worse - some are good and some are not, some will suit you and some won't. Just gotta play to decide.

My absolute favorite guitars from any era are the Norlin-era Customs, particularly those built between 1977 and 1981. They have something unique and very special about them, from the way they feel to the way the sound. You could throw 3 R9's my way and I wouldn't give up my '79.
 

filtersweep

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well for example there is a 1978 tobacco burst Les paul on rverb here https://reverb.com/item/3355744-gibson-les-paul-standard-1978-tobacco-sunburst that is in a similar price range as a used r9. Myabe i am falling for the hype that the older models used better wood argument. my question is would this 78 standard compare to a r9 or would it get blown out of the water.
It depends. In my mind, old does not mean ‘vintage.’ I find that price to be crazy. I would consider it if I could play it. But that reverb listing is PITIFUL for a guitar of that price. Too few details. If it is all original, why?

I bet a nice R9 moves much more quickly at that price point.
 

questionman

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well for example there is a 1978 tobacco burst Les paul on rverb here https://reverb.com/item/3355744-gibson-les-paul-standard-1978-tobacco-sunburst that is in a similar price range as a used r9. Myabe i am falling for the hype that the older models used better wood argument. my question is would this 78 standard compare to a r9 or would it get blown out of the water.
Holy crap thats expensive

I like my 82 Standard a lot, but my 60th Anniversary 59 wins it out. Its lighter (the 82 is an anchor) it has a bigger neck which I like and its a lot more articulate

But if I had to only have one, I would keep the 82
 

mudface

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As far as Les Pauls go i have a mix,... Norlin to Historics. Every one is unique. Hard to say which is better. All i know is they all have a place in my heart and do the job i bought them for. I am a picky buyer,... and my standard is a bit high in regard to tone and playability,... they all need complex overtones and harmonics that satisfy my needs... otherwise a dead piece of wood is a dead piece of wood.....My point is,... to get what will meet your requirements verses what someone's opinion is of what you should get. Like me, I have no business telling you what would be good for you.

IMG_0039.jpg
 
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Christosterone

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As far as Les Pauls go i have a mix,... Norlin to Historics. Every one is unique. Hard to say which is better. All i know is they all have a place in my heart and do the job i bought them for. I am a picky buyer,... and my standard is a bit high in regard to tone and playability,... they all need complex overtones and harmonics that satisfy my needs... otherwise a dead piece of wood is a dead piece of wood.....My point is,... to get what will meet your requirements verses what someone's opinion is of what you should get. Like me.

View attachment 503309
@mudface = American hero
 

judson

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i have posted this way too often but its a simple solution maybe to what you are wondering, hope it helps..

i was always buying as far back as i could afford with vintage Gibsons...a few brand spanking new ones i sent back.

was skeptical of Reissues , thinking its alot of hype also thinking that nuts at that price i can buy 3 nice early 90's studios which i did and they play great, still have them.

i stumbled onto a 2006 R8 at a great price thinking well i will try it , see if the hype is true and can always sell it if sucks........

well i gotta admit, they are nice, its a keeper and i am very glad i grabbed it, it will be with me a long time.....there is a difference at least with mine, i still have multiple year LPs but the 2006 R8 is the youngster of the group.

i still gravitate towards vintage stuff and i will bet you will buy more than just one Gibson over the course of time, like potato chips , for most it almost impossible to only buy one guitar.....

if you can handle the cash, go test drive a few Reissues and others...see what cools the GAS for you :dunno:

btw...it never goes away, just ebbs and flows like the ocean
 

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