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I'm betting my '19 R8 started life as a '20 R9.

SoK66

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Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
216
Last year I scored the absolute best new Les Paul I've ever pulled out of a shipping box, a 2019 R8 in Bourbon Burst. Bought it from a reputable Gibson dealer. First thing that struck me as odd, but a pleasant surprise, the neck profile was smaller than I'd expected, even smaller than the one on my '06 R9. Serial number is 8910XX, with no space between the 9 and the 1. Upon further inspection the 8 and the 1 don't align perfectly with the 9 0XX. A closer look reveals the finish on the back of the headstock is duller than anywhere else on the guitar, as if it had been refinished. Hmmmm. The guitar has some serious aniline bleed on the neck binding. My hunch is somone said it wouldn't make the cut at R9 pricing, so they stripped the headstock finish and added the 8 and 1.

I'm not complaining, I got it at a righteous price, it plays wonderfully and sings like an angel. Your thoughts?
 

axeman565758

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Jan 23, 2007
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1,136
Highly doubtful. Regarding serial # alignment, I've seen them appear "off". Definitely not always perfect.
The time and effort to re-number a guitar, especially since that number is in the "books" and assigned before production starts would make that completely counter productive.
They would not change it because of the neck shape. They would simply sell it as is and a buyer who wants a smaller-necked R9 would buy it.
 

ej.

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Apr 2, 2019
Messages
61
Is there a stamp in the control cavity?
There were a few R8's a few years ago that were repurposed R9's as they had R9 stamped in the control cavity but were rebranded, numbered and sold as an R8
 

axeman565758

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Jan 23, 2007
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1,136
Is there a stamp in the control cavity?
There were a few R8's a few years ago that were repurposed R9's as they had R9 stamped in the control cavity but were rebranded, numbered and sold as an R8
really? and why would they "repurpose" them?
Ive heard this story a few times. No one is ever able to show a photo of an R9 control cavity stamp with an R8 headstock serial number.
it doesn't make sense
 

DutchRay

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Mar 15, 2015
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556
really? and why would they "repurpose" them?
Ive heard this story a few times. No one is ever able to show a photo of an R9 control cavity stamp with an R8 headstock serial number.
it doesn't make sense
I've heard stories about unsold Glen Frey and Collectors Choice models getting a stinger and a new serial. Nowadays there's the Mod and Demo shop to get rid of unsold stock. But restamping an R9 to an R8 is just silly, the serial is stamped pretty late in production so any flaws or disappointing figuring in the maple top would have been seen early on. Off course pic's would help!

Edit: off course I meant Felder instead of Frey :)
 
Last edited:

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,194
Highly doubtful. Regarding serial # alignment, I've seen them appear "off". Definitely not always perfect.
The time and effort to re-number a guitar, especially since that number is in the "books" and assigned before production starts would make that completely counter productive.
They would not change it because of the neck shape. They would simply sell it as is and a buyer who wants a smaller-necked R9 would buy it.
You know your stuff !
 

axeman565758

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Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,136
I've heard stories about unsold Glen Frey and Collectors Choice models getting a stinger and a new serial. Nowadays there's the Mod and Demo shop to get rid of unsold stock. But restamping an R9 to an R8 is just silly, the serial is stamped pretty late in production so any flaws or disappointing figuring in the maple top would have been seen early on. Off course pic's would help!
Everyone's heard stories and everyone has a "friend" who works at the Custom Shop...!!!!! loll
And any top issues are known before the maple top is even glued to the body. How else would they choose specific tops for CC's and other pattern-specific tops?
For example, when i picked my top, a pencil tracing of the body was done, then simply a spray bottle of water was used to bring out the grain. I knew what my top would look like. Sounds crazy that Gibson would pick a top build it and then suddenly say "its not R9 worthy", meantime that body/control cavity stamp is already on there.
IMG_2625.jpg
Any issues are known beforehand.
I'm curious why Gibson would take a Felder (R9) and resell as an R8??? .....An R8 with an R9 control cavity stamp???
I don't know, something seems weird about that.
 

SoK66

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
216
Is there a stamp in the control cavity?
There were a few R8's a few years ago that were repurposed R9's as they had R9 stamped in the control cavity but were rebranded, numbered and sold as an R8
Hmm, I dunno. I'll check it out and report.
 

SoK66

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
216
Highly doubtful. Regarding serial # alignment, I've seen them appear "off". Definitely not always perfect.
The time and effort to re-number a guitar, especially since that number is in the "books" and assigned before production starts would make that completely counter productive.
They would not change it because of the neck shape. They would simply sell it as is and a buyer who wants a smaller-necked R9 would buy it.
I was referring to excessive aniline bleed into the neck binding being perhaps why they had re-numbered it as a '19 R8.

BTW, I was trying to post a couple photos but they got punted due to file size. I'll have to see if I can rez them down.
 

axeman565758

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Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,136
I was referring to excessive aniline bleed into the neck binding being perhaps why they had re-numbered it as a '19 R8.

BTW, I was trying to post a couple photos but they got punted due to file size. I'll have to see if I can rez them down.
they wouldnt change it because of dye bleed, as they all bleed. Those types of changes mentioned above aren't just simply some dude with a Sharpie making a change. (I'm not implying that you're stating that). Production totals, production goals, available serial numbers, work/order changes, production schedules etc all come into play. A lot more behind the scenes than one would think
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
Messages
9,901
A lot of awesomely figured maple blanks look completely different after top carve. The CS designates them after carving.

I know for a fact the unsold Felders were converted to a limited run R8 with stingers.
 

AA00475Bassman

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Apr 26, 2016
Messages
3,460
My R8's started out as R8's sold as R8's with their chubby necks .

Cant my guitar be something special something other than it was slated , something someone pulled off the line and said this won't do for you your special !!
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,194
Everyone's heard stories and everyone has a "friend" who works at the Custom Shop...!!!!! loll
And any top issues are known before the maple top is even glued to the body. How else would they choose specific tops for CC's and other pattern-specific tops?
For example, when i picked my top, a pencil tracing of the body was done, then simply a spray bottle of water was used to bring out the grain. I knew what my top would look like. Sounds crazy that Gibson would pick a top build it and then suddenly say "its not R9 worthy", meantime that body/control cavity stamp is already on there.
View attachment 16063
Any issues are known beforehand.
I'm curious why Gibson would take a Felder (R9) and resell as an R8??? .....An R8 with an R9 control cavity stamp???
I don't know, something seems weird about that.
I agree , as the way it works is if they are doing a run for a example a CC run or a signature model the tops are chosen before hand .
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,194
Everyone's heard stories and everyone has a "friend" who works at the Custom Shop...!!!!! loll
And any top issues are known before the maple top is even glued to the body. How else would they choose specific tops for CC's and other pattern-specific tops?
For example, when i picked my top, a pencil tracing of the body was done, then simply a spray bottle of water was used to bring out the grain. I knew what my top would look like. Sounds crazy that Gibson would pick a top build it and then suddenly say "its not R9 worthy", meantime that body/control cavity stamp is already on there.
View attachment 16063
Any issues are known beforehand.
I'm curious why Gibson would take a Felder (R9) and resell as an R8??? .....An R8 with an R9 control cavity stamp???
I don't know, something seems weird about that.
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,421
A lot of awesomely figured maple blanks look completely different after top carve. The CS designates them after carving.

I know for a fact the unsold Felders were converted to a limited run R8 with stingers.
This is true as grain is different in layers in the wood.

Honest to Pete. These are the blanks used for my 55 Black Widow.

35484935484_ca68f04b69_b.jpg


Look how it changed after the top carve.

35925243910_7d7a7eed71_3k.jpg


Grain looks COMPLETELY different.
 

SoK66

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
216
Ok, thanks all for your replies. I pulled off the control cavity cover and sure enough it is stamped R8 inside. So, that mystery is solved. Best regards all.
 
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