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'09 R9 VOS vs. '08 R8 VOS - Need some help deciding


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I've come up against a tough decision as to which one of the above to buy. I recognize that there is a $2,000 and a flame top difference between the two guitars, but is there anything else I should know? I'm relatively sure I'll get a good one as I've made darn sure that if I get a stinker it gets sent back, so no worries there.


I guess in a nutshell - would you spend the extra dough? Feedback from those that have both would really be appreciated.


Thanks in advance.

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I hear you...

I was in the same pickle before I bought my R9. I tried to justify the $1500+ difference in a plain top vs a fancy flame


I cant help it, I love gorgeous flame. So I thought if im going to green light the purchase it had better be a real eye catching flame. I had seen some that were very plain, and I thought no way im dropping that kind of coin on one of those. So in the end Yorkville ( they distribute Gibsons in Canada ) took photos of every R9 they had in stock. They sent me the pictures in an e-mail, and let me take the pick of the litter.


In the end I got the guitar of my dreams that sounds as good as it looks. I couldnt be happier.

If youre a flame junkie like I am...take the plunge my friend, itll be worth it in the end.


Sidenote...Tim (are nine) helped me out alot, and opened some doors for me.

Hes the best.

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Get this now... to only make it harder for you to decide, Gibson puts out a 50th anniversary 1959 paul. Which is every bit amazing, and beautiful... I have pictures of both 59 vos and the 50th 59, let me know and I'll send them your way.

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I guess in a nutshell - would you spend the extra dough?

I did. Here's how I look at it...


If you're only buying locally and are willing to spend the extra money on a flame top' date=' head out to every possible music store, play every reissue you can get your hands on and buy the one you like most. This way you're buying the best reissue out there. If the best guitar you find happens to be an R9 and the guitar itself justifies the extra $2,000, then go for it. If you feel the the flame top isn't worth the extra dough, then just play a bunch of R8s and pick the R8 you like best.


If you're buying on-line, then, really, regardless of what which one you choose you're making a blind purchase. Chances are you won't be disappointed with whatever lands on your doorstep.


Personally, I don't think the flame top is worth the extra $2,000. It's a necessity for some people, though...and if you're already spending a huge amount of money on a guitar, you might as well go that extra mile and buy the one you truly want. I like flame tops, they're great...but I'm a plain top guy at heart, myself. If I don't buy Custom next I'll be buying an R8.


Sounds like you need some pictures! :-







...don't forget the old gold top!


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R9's should have better wood (lighter) than the R8s, too. Ultimately, I would need a lot more expendable income to justify that R9. (I got an R8, and I love it. Just wish I could have had the color I preferred. Oh, well, it was the best one in town at the time.)


The other thing is.... play them! Even at this price, quality still varies, and maybe the best sounding/feeling guitar available in your area might be that one R8 or R9. When I was in the market, there was a 1999 R9 available. It was about $800 more than my R8. Honestly, I should have bought it. It was the best LP I had played. (I kept playing R9s to make sure that R8 was just as good.) The point is, the differences in the average R8 and R9 are all looks. However, you'll still find a superior guitar in either line.



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