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This whole R system: R7,R8,R9,R0,etc.. How does this work????


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MY FIRST POST! =D>/ (so i have a lot to learn!)


I've read about many Les Paul specs.. and they seem to be divided into an R-classification..

The basic question here is: How does this system work??


Can anybody tell me how this works by using a few examples?

For instance where would an '97 Nashville made 1960 Les Paul Classic be "R-wise" compared to a Custom Shop made 1960 VOS Les Paul??


- The numberrange: R0 upto R10...or 'does it go to eleven' ??

- What does R stand for?


It's very confusing to me since there's also an A-system that divideds these guitars in the quality of wood being used. I hope anybody can clarify this for me and others...

Thanx a LOT!!

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R9=1959 "R"eissue R=reissue' date=' 9=1959,0=1960,7=1957, you get the jist.[/quote']


Right!.. That seems logical.. Thanx Guitarandfeather..


But wait!: So an R0 would be a Customshop 1960 reissue..

Would that make my non-customshop Gibson Les Paul Classic also a R0???


I guess these R numbers are only for Customshopguitars??.. #-o

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VOS has nothing to do with it. The reissues made from day one are often referred to as R8's, R2's etc. It saves typing out Historic Reissue. Your Classic is not a reissue at all, although some dealers do suggest that they are. The Historic Reissues are all made in the Custom Shop. You will often see things like GT or BB used to differentiate between Les Paul reissues and Les Paul Custom Reissues i.e. an R7GT is a 1957 Les Paul reissue Gold Top, and an R7BB is a 1957 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty reissue. As Zaphod says, the special runs that GC orders each year usually have a G in front of them. The chambered reissues that they have been making in limited numbers are referred to as CRs, i.e. CR8 would be a chambered R8.

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There's a '58 VOS and a '58 Reissue at my local music store. The VOS looks aged' date=' the '58 RI does not. From what I was told, these are the only differences between the two. The VOS looks like an aged guitar.[/quote']

OK, I guess that makes sense.


The Custom Shop web site is a bit confusing in that regard. When you open a product page for, for example, an R8, just below "1958 Les Paul Standard" it says "Vintage Original Spec", with the latter linking to a page that describes the VOS line as having a "gently aged patina."


So if I understand it correctly, an R8 can be a VOS, or not, but either one is a historic reissue.


I think.

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  • 11 years later...

Happy to finally learn about the Custom Shop R8 R9 meanings. Well defined, thank you. Having owned many lovely Gibsons, I am a Gibson lover.  I could not afford a Custom Shop but wanted a Les Paul "8 or '9. I bought a 2003 Bacchus BLS 59. The person who sold it to me, sent me a complete birth certificate including every type of wood used, and all sorts of exacting specs. After I beeswaxed the fretboard & restrung her I had total recall as to the magic of The Gibson. I'll never afford the real Gibson 8 or 9, but this is close enough for my soul.  I almost never discuss brands other than the home brand of the forum. This particular guitar brought me here to understand such labels as R8 R9 classics. Gibson has made so many marvelous guitars. I hope this gets posted. I need to sign up for the Gibson Forum. 🥃

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My understanding is that VOS stands for vintage old spec, but I think vintage old stock would make more sense. A guitar with VOS finish is mimicking the looks, both in the actual finish and hardware, of a guitar from the 50s and early 60s that do not have any play wear whatsoever, but has some aging due to the elapsed time. In other words, the finish is not as shiny and hardware comes with a aged patina. Another finish option is Gloss, which tries to mimic how a guitar would have looked like coming out of the factory back then. 

R2, R4, R6, R7, R8, R9 and R0 are available/were in both VOS and Gloss finishes. Though I have not seen any new guitar with a Gloss finish since 2017. 

Regarding G0s, they are, as others pointed out, Guitar Center Exclusive R0 (1960s reissues). The differences are,

1) Price. They are priced about USD$2,000 lower than a “regular” R0;

2) The top. Usually they have plainer tops akin to R8, hence priced similarly to an R8. This means lightly figured or with peekaboo flamed, not necessarily full on plain;

3) No pointers/thumb bleeders;

4) Only one finish option, Gloss. Not available in VOS. 

The rest is identical to a “regular” R0. Some will even have the R0 stamp inside the control cavity. Long neck tenon, fake bumblebee capacitor, double ring Kluson Deluxe tuners, reflector knobs, everything is there from the “regular” R0. Some finishes received names such as Pg129, instead of your traditional something burst, like my absolute favorite, bourbon burst. That is because the finishes were based on the guitars on Beauty of the Burst. So Pg129 refers to a finish similar to the one found on page 129 of beauty of the burst. This is referring only to the finish, not the year. For instance, page 129 refers to a 1959 burst, the G0/R0 Pg129 is a 1960 reissue (thiner neck) with a finish that mimics that 1959 burst on page 129. 

I have a R0/G0 and I find it absolutely amazing. Mine is from 2017 and I believe it has a Pg129 like in my example. Here it is next to my R9. 


And here is the finish it is based on:




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  • 1 year later...
10 hours ago, Emgeesea said:

VOS = Vintage Original Spec. It is intended to signify a new guitar that has been built to the original specifications of an older guitar. 



Thank you for that trip down memory lane. If you had read the thread you wouldn't have needed to provide this answer.

Welcome to the forum.

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  • 5 months later...
On 1/25/2021 at 1:08 PM, merciful-evans said:


Thank you for that trip down memory lane. If you had read the thread you wouldn't have needed to provide this answer.

Welcome to the forum.

I'm literally only posting this to say you are an absolute prick for saying that! shame on you, be kind!

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