Traded my 2012 R9 VOS for a "new" 2018 R9 VOS.

axeplyr

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I'm not sure I've ever posted here, so greeting all. :)

I've had a 2012 R9, bought used in 2013, which I never bonded with. I've tried to sell it a couple times with no luck. I guess the stigma of the 2012s lingers on.

Anyway, I've been eying a couple "new" R9s at the local GC (OKC) for awhile, finally decided to haul my 2012 R9 for an A/B and possible trade.

This GC had two brand new Murphy Lab R9s - one was the $10,999 heavier relic, and one was the $7,999 lighter relic. Additionally they had a couple R9s (one VOS and a "Beauty of the Burst") and a couple R0s (1960).

So thanks to a very patient GC salesman there, I asked him to let me pull them all down and give them a go. Luckily they happened to have an SV20H and a 1960A cab sitting there.

I tried them all - the clear winner was the VOS R9. The Murphys were close, but that one R9 just had a lower mid push in in the tone and a ballsy attack that two salesman and a couple customers all agreed just had "it". The $7999 Murphy was good, but it lacked the balls of the VOS R9. That VOS R9 is super percussive and articulate, and it just had that lower mid push that was absent in that Murphy R9.

Oh yeah - NIGHT AND DAY difference between the 2012 and every single newer R9... the CustomBuckers and all the other improvements dramatically improved the tone compared to my stock 2012 R9. I did not expect it to be so dramatic a difference. But honestly, even playing the new R9s - they just resonated; you could feel it through the guitars. My 2012 never had that, so maybe mine isn't a great example.

Here's the strange part... the best sounding R9 - VOS - is a 2018! Mike (GC sales dude) looked it up and said they got it it in late 2019... so strange it's a 2018, and took so long for them to get it.

No matter, it sounded and looked better than any other R9 LP in the store, so I took it home with me.

Thanks to a 15% coupon and Mike being a little flexible on the trade for the 2012, I didn't get beat up too terribly bad. :dude:

EDIT: Pics.

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axeplyr

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What I find really interesting about this guitar is the subtlety of the flame maple. It's 3D in the fact that flames come and go as you rotate the guitar and change the viewing angle. I actually really dig that - I'm not a big fan of the extreme flame that almost resembles photoflame. It's proving hard to get good pics though.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Congratulations! Any idea when in 2018 it was built? Mine is from Nov/Dec based on serial #, I believe right after JC took control of the company, and the build quality is just off the charts. It's almost as if they had something to prove...

Great job on the upgrade, and yes - let's see some pics!
 

axeplyr

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Congratulations! Any idea when in 2018 it was built? Mine is from Nov/Dec based on serial #, I believe right after JC took control of the company, and the build quality is just off the charts. It's almost as if they had something to prove...

Great job on the upgrade, and yes - let's see some pics!
I'm not sure. Serial number is 983157. Where does that put it?
 

Duane_the_tub

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Yup, another late one (mine is 982***). I think we got to benefit somehow from the change of command. Every late '18 I've played has been superb.
 

axeplyr

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Yup, another late one (mine is 982***). I think we got to benefit somehow from the change of command. Every late '18 I've played has been superb.
That's possible. 2018s are supposed to have potted Custombuckers, but playing this guitar against three newer ones (ostensibly with unpotted CustomBuckers) - I didn't notice a difference regarding articulation. This one was every bit as bright, chimy, and articulate. So I am not sure if that means anything.
 

axeplyr

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Not the best pics, but I'm having a hard time getting the photos some of you guys get. There must be some lighting trick people use to get the flame to pop out.
 

DanD

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That's a great looking axe!

My guess is that if you can't tell a difference it probably has the newer pups.

I note a huge difference between the unpotted CBs and the older potted versions.

Your guitar was the 3157th R9 made in '18. That has to be right near the end of the '18 run. It may have even been completed in '19. I don't think I've seen a higher serial for R9s in '18.

My '17 CR7 wasn't completed until well into '18.

It's not uncommon for Gibsons to start production in one year and finish in the next.
 

axeplyr

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That's a great looking axe!

My guess is that if you can't tell a difference it probably has the newer pups.

I note a huge difference between the unpotted CBs and the older potted versions.

Your guitar was the 3157th R9 made in '18. That has to be right near the end of the '18 run. It may have even been completed in '19. I don't think I've seen a higher serial for R9s in '18.

My '17 CR7 wasn't completed until well into '18.

It's not uncommon for Gibsons to start production in one year and finish in the next.
Interesting, thanks. Is it possible it has unpotted pups and the PIO caps? Any way I can tell about the caps? Guess I'll pop in and take a look.

Edit: definitely non-PIO caps in mine.
 
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Duane_the_tub

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Gibson did start incorporating some of the 2019 improvements into the late '18s. For example, mine has the Carmelita neck and top carves that didn't officially debut on R9s until '19 (though I believe some CCs had them before then).
 

axeplyr

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Yeah, this I wonder about. Apparently the only differences between a 2018 and 2019 are the unpotted (vs potted) pickups, knobs on the V1 (bell vs reflector), 60th Anniversary toggle switch cover plate, and burst colors (two each for V1/V2/V3, none of which were offered in 2018). And no changes to the R9s since.

Do you think this impacts value or collectability?

I picked this guitar because it appeared to sound the best, but the 2019 Beauty of the Burst model was close. I'm wondering if it's worth exchanging for the 2019 from a collectibility/value standpoint.
 
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Sct13

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Hands down.... i would have jumped all over it....Nice score
 

DanD

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It appears that the PIO caps have brown insulation between the caps and pots. The older non PIO 'bees' have yellow insulation between the pots and caps.

There are a few pics here in another thread of the differences between the old and new caps.

Maybe someone will link those pics for you!

It could also be that the pups are newer unpotted CBs but the caps are the older style.

Anything is possible with Gibson...
 

axeplyr

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Thanks. I confirmed it is the old bumblebee caps. I have to assume it’s got the potted Custombuckers.

Are the 2019+ years more desirable, more valuable, or more collectible? Or is it a waste of time to chase the spec changes? I’m just thinking I bought this as a brand new guitar, maybe I should be sure to get the most current.
 


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