NGD: My first R8

Duane_the_tub

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After 14 Les Pauls (six Historics), I just acquired my first R8.

1620488185868.jpg


It's a '97 that some of you probably recognize; it's been passed around like a joint at a reggae concert and been through at least four other forum members (@eric ernest , @asapmaz , @jenton70 , @J50315 ) and probably more. I guess it's my turn now.

Just about every part on it has been swapped out over its 24 years of life. It's now got OTPG pickups, some DMC parts, a few vintage ones. Overall it's a pretty killer guitar. Quite different from my R9, which is my gold standard for vintage LP tone. This one is louder, stronger, more in-your-face. Hotter pickups for sure, and they have that bright, percussive sound that would cut really well through a live mix. This would be a phenomenal stage guitar.

Reading back through some of the older threads about this guitar, I've seen a few members - guys who go through a lot of Les Pauls - say this is the best Historic they've owned. So why does it keep getting passed along? I guess I'm about to find out. In the meantime, I'm pretty psyched.

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1620500635441.jpg
 

burstone

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That's a fabulous one.
Curiosity and chase are the main reasons why I go through the cycle. :cool2:
 

asapmaz

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It was originally owned by Eric Ernest, who had the inlays done, and Mat Koehler (Gibson’s head of product) before she landed in my hands. Those guys know their LP’s.
Certain parts were already changed on her. So, I decided to go all out and replace every part (I couldn’t identify or that wasn’t the best) with the best repro or vintage equivalent I got my hands on. I put about $3k more into her. The guitar was already magic to start with but the mods, including the OTPG’s, took her to another level.
I’ve owned over 30 Historics and this was by far the best one tone-wise I’ve ever had. In fact, I kept her for a good two years, which was unheard of for me.
Absolutely nothing wrong with her. The only reason I sold her was because I was transitioning into vintage guitars. I got into a 1957 single-cut Junior, a 1960 double-cut Junior, a 1962 SG, and eventually a 1959 Gibson ES-345. My latest piece that has remained is a pristine 1953 Goldtop. So, if I hadn’t transitioned to vintage only guitars, I’m sure GWB would still be with me. But, when buying expensive vintage pieces, I needed all the financial room I could get so I had to move her. If I wasn’t a collector and more of a player, she’d still be with me. I would put GWB’s tone up against any 50’s LP. She gets passed around because she’s easy to move given her looks. It’s as simple as that. Nothing more. And, no matter how good a guitar is, we all get that itch for something different after a while. Then, we end up regretting it. If I needed a modern LP for playing out, I’d be the first one to call up Adam and ask to buy her back. Because the chances of landing on another modern LP that sounds as good is slim. Dead serious.
 

Socrates

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That is a beautiful LP...and those pickups surely sound fantastic. Congrats and enjoy!
 

Duane_the_tub

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It was originally owned by Eric Ernest, who had the inlays done, and Mat Koehler (Gibson’s head of product) before she landed in my hands. Those guys know their LP’s.
Certain parts were already changed on her. So, I decided to go all out and replace every part (I couldn’t identify or that wasn’t the best) with the best repro or vintage equivalent I got my hands on. I put about $3k more into her. The guitar was already magic to start with but the mods, including the OTPG’s, took her to another level.
I’ve owned over 30 Historics and this was by far the best one tone-wise I’ve ever had. In fact, I kept her for a good two years, which was unheard of for me.
Absolutely nothing wrong with her. The only reason I sold her was because I was transitioning into vintage guitars. I got into a 1957 single-cut Junior, a 1960 double-cut Junior, a 1962 SG, and eventually a 1959 Gibson ES-345. My latest piece that has remained is a pristine 1953 Goldtop. So, if I hadn’t transitioned to vintage only guitars, I’m sure GWB would still be with me. But, when buying expensive vintage pieces, I needed all the financial room I could get so I had to move her. If I wasn’t a collector and more of a player, she’d still be with me. I would put GWB’s tone up against any 50’s LP. She gets passed around because she’s easy to move given her looks. It’s as simple as that. Nothing more. And, no matter how good a guitar is, we all get that itch for something different after a while. Then, we end up regretting it. If I needed a modern LP for playing out, I’d be the first one to call up Adam and ask to buy her back. Because the chances of landing on another modern LP that sounds as good is slim. Dead serious.
Thanks, Al. I definitely appreciate the amazing upgrades you put into this guitar. You did indeed take it to another level.

BTW, what kind of bridge is on it? Joe said the original would have a wire, and this one doesn't. I didn't see a note about a replacement bridge in any of the old threads - just the saddles.
 

mjross

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After 14 Les Pauls (six Historics), I just acquired my first R8.

View attachment 536542

It's a '97 that some of you probably recognize; it's been passed around like a joint at a reggae concert and been through at least four other forum members (@eric ernest , @asapmaz , @jenton70 , @J50315 ) and probably more. I guess it's my turn now.

Just about every part on it has been swapped out over its 24 years of life. It's now got OTPG pickups, some DMC parts, a few vintage ones. Overall it's a pretty killer guitar. Quite different from my R9, which is my gold standard for vintage LP tone. This one is louder, stronger, more in-your-face. Hotter pickups for sure, and they have that bright, percussive sound that would cut really well through a live mix. This would be a phenomenal stage guitar.

Reading back through some of the older threads about this guitar, I've seen a few members - guys who go through a lot of Les Pauls - say this is the best Historic they've owned. So why does it keep getting passed along? I guess I'm about to find out. In the meantime, I'm pretty psyched.

View attachment 536547

View attachment 536548
I’m diggin it, congrats!
 

asapmaz

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Thanks, Al. I definitely appreciate the amazing upgrades you put into this guitar. You did indeed take it to another level.

BTW, what kind of bridge is on it? Joe said the original would have a wire, and this one doesn't. I didn't see a note about a replacement bridge in any of the old threads - just the saddles.
The bridge is a later year historic bridge that doesn’t have the wire.
Btw, the tailpiece studs are the Retrospec “Offset” studs. Those help provide a vintage angle to the tailpiece. As I see in the pics, you might want to turn the treble side post a little to take advantage of the offset. Right now, it’s not sitting very parallel to the bridge as it should (as in the vintage LP’s).
 
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tototo

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Congrats on your new one!
It took me a while to wrap my head around an R8 neck.
Now that my fingers have followed, I wondered why so long.
Sounds like you may have been in the same kinda boat too.
Sure looks like a beauty. Good luck with the bonding process!
 


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