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When I acquire any used guitar, I like to take my time whilst I check it over, set it up, play it and then evaluate it (as per below) for my web site – It is always a case of do I commence any such evaluation by talking about the age, condition, tonal character, playing performance, product history, or even a rant or rave – Maybe I should also consider that Gibson have carried out many tweaks to the R9/1959 Reissues over the last 20 odd years or so, each with a claim to be the best and most accurate replica ever !! – On that basis, does that mean we should all wait another 5 or 10 years, to buy the  next ‘best ever’ variation, or do we treat each model for what it is, regardless of its age ? – Hence pick it up, play it and accept a good one is a good ‘un and a bad one is a bad ‘un then buy accordingly – I dare say that both the colour and the character of the figured maple top will instantly tempt, or deter, many potential buyers, as will the condition + originality – Maybe this 2008 model will appeal more to a player, as against a player/collector looking for an all original example case queen example – Sometime in the past, a previous owner has fitted a pair of signed Seymour Duncan Antiquity ‘paf’ replicas, with aged covers – Furthermore the original Kluson deluxe tuners have been replaced with a set of Grover Imperial tuners – Granted not original to such a guitar, yet probably the most common change/upgrade carried out, by players, to original vintage examples, during the 60’s and 70’s – So much so that it is now considered to be a ‘standard option’ – I’m surprised that Gibson have not released the odd ‘players grade 59’ model from time to time  – Read below a number of bullet points and attributes in no particular order regarding this Gibson Custom Shop R9 59 Les Paul Reissue – 2008 model with a ‘washed’ cherry burst finish 

Gibson Custom Shop R9 1959 Reissue from 2008 – additional product info :- 

So how do all the above details and features equate  when we get round to the all important playing performance :- The one piece mahogany neck has that unmistakable full flavour to it, but with the shoulders slimmed down a touch, so it feels comfortable and somewhat easier to handle – To me it is not just a case of how big or slim the neck is, it is the balance and set-up of the playing action and it is this factor that will help to determine if it is more comfortable and easy to handle, or unforgiving and somewhat of a handful – Thanks to 22 medium jumbo frets and a well adjusted set-up, along with a new set of 10’s, then there are no problems to be encountered when playing this LP – Dig in for slow moody blues licks, or rip into a few Moore/Bonamassa speed licks and this LP is user friendly – Undoubtedly the chunky necks aids the tone and sustain, so when you get those grains of mahogany in the neck vibrating, it will transform in to a big tone, with no shortage of sustain  – It only takes  a few minutes of playing this LP to realise what the great attributes of  ’59’ are all about – They don’t suit everyone, but if you can handle them the rewards are there for you to exploit

Tonal character :- Do you start of with a cleaner amp setting, that is on the edge of overdrive, aka that Pete Green character, or add more overdrive for that sultry Kossoff character, or add even more gain to take you in the direction of the Moore/Bonamassa house hold ? – These tend to be well known reference points that many of us judge LP’s by, or certainly the tonal characteristics we strive for when playing a ’59’ LP – The pots are fully interactive, so leaving them on 10  will seriously limit the subtle, yet effective, variations that you can obtain by rolling them on/off as required – Use these correctly and you can almost leave the amp alone, allowing you to control the emotion, soul and gain levels from the guitar itself – Therefore just utilise an additional gain switch or pedal when you require that ‘turbo’ boost – On hi gain amp settings, pinched harmonics are easy to find, whilst scorching lead licks possess bite and edge yet retain a musical vintage character, whilst a softer voice can be found just by rolling off the volume pot a touch  – From succulent warmth and soul, to a throaty musical bite this LP is packed with expression – The neck pick-up is sultry, whilst the bridge pick up has that throaty bite and bark, with focussed lows and smooth highs that sizzle, whilst possessing just enough mids to thicken up the overall voice – At all times you’ll find and LP with a big open voice, mids that do not overpower, yet still thicken up the overall character, excellent articulation and above all, warmth and soul – Further more it blossom and blooms when you play those moody blues licks – It is hard not to judge a 59 LP by playing a few Kossoff, Green or Moore style licks and when you do, you instantly know you are somewhat in the right direction – Yet try a few Robben Ford style licks and chords and it is equally jazz/blues flavoured with clarity, warmth and excellent note separation – It certainly captures all the key attributes that 59 LP fans desire and should offer years of satisfaction to any potential buyer

You can play many R9 replicas and whilst there is a kind of standard format that applies to all guitars – Subtle variations can favour one player or another – Be it, feel, playability, tonal character, let alone aesthetics – The same applies to any original, genuine vintage example as well as any R9 Historic Replica – But I enjoyed my time with this R9 – It delivered what I wanted it to do with plenty of soul and emotion in it when I played around with the volume pots and different gain levels, trying to find my ‘sweet spot’ – So no complaints from me about this R9 delivering the goods

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.