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Martins3325

Estimate on number of 2008 Koa Top Korina R9s?

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So I know in 2008 the Custom Shop did some really cool exotic wood guitars, including some Korina body Les Pauls.  They also did a few (I suspect VERY few) Korina body with Koa Top R9s ...what a dream mating of woods! For clarity... I’m talking 1959 Reissues with Korina body and a Koa top!!! ...not a LP Custom or some other variation. Hearsay, but I was told there were maybe only around 5 or so made of this particular wood mating.  I have seen 3 of them for sale at different times over the years, and bought 2 of them! 😁 Just KILLER guitars! 

So my question is...does anyone here have more definitive info on how many of these rare beauties were actually made?

ADCCCE1D-78BA-4F14-A9EB-9BCF5452C1DF.jpeg

Edited by Martins3325
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That is a beautiful guitar.  I hadn't seen one of these before.

The question "how many of these guitars (Gibson model XYZ) were made?" is asked often on this forum. 

Unfortunately Gibson don't usually say how many of a particular model were produced.

You might try emailing Customer Support but I am pretty certain you will get "sorry but we don't give out that info" in answer.

As you say, the number made must be very few.  I would not be surprised if your rough guess/estimate of 5 is correct.  Rare indeed - and you have 2?   Very nice!

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Edited by jdgm

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Thanks! Kinda interesting anecdote...i have always like exotic woods..and always thought Korina and Koa were a great match aestetically and tonally. So much so that I had acquired  a crazy nice stash of Korina and Koa lumber  with the intent of a  LP replica being made from it ....thinking Gibson would never have made one ..then I came across a guy who had a legit Gibson R9 made of Korina & Koa ...i HAD to have it.. I made a big cash & gear trade to get it...was not cheap! After I knew of their existence I always kept an eye out for them ...and came across two others both in the UK though! One popped up for considerably less than I paid for mine, so I bought it basically for investment purpose knowing how cool they are and them very rare! The second hasnt yet arrived, but im always excited about a new guitar. I have a lot of guitars, but pretty much play them all, but as I have one already the 2nd will probably be a case queen mostly. Ive had boatloads of various years R7s, R8s, and R9s ....some pretty rare for reissues...like the Music Machine Stinger that I had but there is no modern RI LP I would rather have than the Koa &Korina R9!!

I was kinda hoping the Custom Shop Admin might weigh in ...Im not sure why Gibson has become anal about production information ....I understand them not giving serial number info, or replacing COAs, but treating production numbers as top secret info is a bit much! They had historically been pretty open about production totals in the golden years... but I guess its their company they can do what they want in regard to transparency.  Maybe ill try to email anyway

Another pic of the inbound one

8-A350-AB3-4338-414-F-8315-108-C2-ACFAAF

 

Edited by Martins3325

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It may even be that they simply don't keep an accurate tally of all the different editions, special orders/runs etc of all the models...but do try emailing Customer Support as things may have changed :-k  Perhaps they are/were limited special orders for a UK dealer?

I've always thought these are nice, though not in the same league of course -

http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Epiphone-Ltd-Ed-Les-Paul-Custom-PRO-KOA.aspx

However - special order LPs - you will probably recoil at some of these - originally there was a very limited run around 2009 (with ebony boards) for a Canadian dealer - possibly Long and McQuade.

http://images.gibson.com.s3.amazonaws.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2017/Custom/Les-Paul-Custom-Figured-Top-Widow/Press/Documents/LesPaulCustomFiguredTop-One-Sheet.pdf

Edited by jdgm

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For an EPI that is really nice...wonder if it is a super thin veneer or a 3/4in top...thin veneer Im sure....Good raw Koa lumber has gotten VERY expensive...FAR more than good figured maple ...Ive seen a couple REALLY nice  Orville’s with Koa ...I think Orvilles are far superior to EPIs.

I dont HATE those color guitars...but the binding color is what I recoil from..thats just a bridge too far! Lol Funny though, you never know what will be the next megabuck collectible ... in hindsight most had the same reaction to Vee and Explorer back in 1958! ...though the pricey bowlingball strats from the 90s is probably a better equivalent.

interestingly, i tracked down another Koa &Korina ‘59RI owner today...he is in Italy....he said he believes there was 6 made...I have only found pics of 5 so far...so he might be right..or maybe a couple more than that...id be shocked if there were more than 10 though.

 

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Really cool looking combination of Korina and Koa - I had never seen one before.

Do you notice a difference in the tones as opposed to the usual mahogany/maple woods?

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58 minutes ago, Twang Gang said:

Really cool looking combination of Korina and Koa - I had never seen one before.

Do you notice a difference in the tones as opposed to the usual mahogany/maple woods?

 

Thanks...yeah I hadn't ever seen one before I bought mine...not 100% sure of production number...but I know there weren't many! 

Up front, tone is SOO subjective really... I happen to be one that believes pickup variations are probably just as significant than wood variation, if not more ...and variations in even the same species of wood can be greater than the variation between two different species of wood. That said, to "my ears" it seems to have more upper mids than other LPs i've had. It also has a bit more "chirp" on the string attack ...but I really think that is more likely from this particular wind of this set of pickups. After having had over 10 Historic LPs ...my #1 has been my '97 Yamano R8 ...as what I consider the best ive had ...which is why I still have it ...the Korina/Koa R9 has actually displaced that R8 as my favorite sounding that i've owned. I hope the inbound one sounds just as good...that will be an interesting compare/contrast.

 

 

Edited by Martins3325

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