Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: New Guitar!! Gibson Les Paul - 2007 '59 Reissue!

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Guitar!! Gibson Les Paul - 2007 '59 Reissue!

Wow! I just made my biggest guitar purchase yet... a V.O.S. (Vintage Original Spec) 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, Cherry Burst (a.k.a., the "R9") with a beautiful flamed top! This guitar is absolutely ridiculous in every way. The tone is unreal, the top is gorgeous, the neck feels awesome and the weight is just a touch heavy at 9.12 lbs., but I don't mind heavier guitars.

I went to Guitar Center just to check this guitar out because I have been reading a lot about the R9 Les Paul lately and I had remembered seeing one at GC the last few times I was there. So I plug it in and start playing and find that I really like the bigger 50's style neck, and the fret work (which is done with a Plek system) is superb. This must be the smoothest, most accurate fretwork I've ever had on a guitar (thanks to the Plek)... and it is a really pleasure to play. Unplugged this thing is loud and resonant, and plugged-in the tone is very well balanced. It has a round, warm tone overall with plenty of mids and a nice spike of upper mids that really help to keep the sound even keeled. I simply haven't stopped playing it since I got it.

The overall fit and finish is good. There are some flaws, but that is to be expected. The R9s come with a slightly distressed finish and aged hardware (pickup covers and bridge). It looks and feels like a well worn, played-in guitar. The Gibson V.O.S. series is very similar to the Fender Time Machine relic collection with the main exception being that Gibson only offers one level of lightly aged guitars instead of the several levels of aging that Fender offers. I cannot stress enough how much better these Custom Shop instruments are than the regular production stuff. That goes for Fender as well as Gibson. It is well worth the extra cash for these guitars.

The R9s come with wider, more modern-like frets which were actually standard equipment, and first introduced, on the real guitars in 1959 (a real innovation at the time). The Burstbucker pickups are very cool sounding, vintage-style Pus that have plenty of warmth and just enough "bite" to keep the tone hot and allow you to cut through the mix. In addition, this guitar is wired 50's style with bumble bee capacitors! For the first time in a long time we are now able to buy Les Pauls that are as close to the original year models as have been made since the 50's and 60's. Plus, there is no doubt in my mind that with current production techniques and modern technology, these guitars are more reliable, better constructed and can hold a tune throughout an entire set instead of just one song. ;)

So far this might just be my favorite guitar, ever. It looks hot, plays great and sounds unreal. Those are the ingredients for "mojo", my friends.... when a guitar has the look, the feel and the tone that just draws you to it over any of your other guitars, you know it is special.

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