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Lefty R4

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  1. 1. Was advertised as 2009, but Gibson says 1999 model.

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Got a lefty R4:  https://reverb.com/item/19357204-used-2009-gibson-les-paul-goldtop-1954-reissue-r4-lefty-very-good-condition

But Gibson tells me it's a 1999 due to the Orange Drop caps.

Thoughts on it being the wrong year?

It has no case candy or back cover, so the price is low, but I had thought 2009 were a bit better made and wondered if I should accept it seeing how it wasn't advertised as right,

or am I being too paranoid and picky?  

Always wanted a lefty goldtop P90 LP, so I guess nothing changed there.  Just don't want to buy a fake.  Gibson didn't say it WAS theirs, but they didn't say it wasn't, just said the year.

I was hoping they would verify a left-handed model of that S.N. 4 9031

Thoughts?

Edited by db9091

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It's in the mail.  Will arrive Wed. or Thur.

It's just unsettling that I had to find out info the seller don't know after having it on the auction block for 7 months.

Lefty is a hard market to sell in and a historic w/o papers I'm sure isn't a high demand for a lefty who can just buy new easier than lurk for a "might be" hassled.

Me?  I want an R4 and I don't want it to be fake.  I doubt anyone would go through the trouble for a reissue, so I'm not too skeptical.

So far, Gibson just said it's a 1999 and gave me the 2009 specs and said they're the same except for the caps.  Bumblebee in the 2009 (the fake Gibson ones)

Is that true?  I thought there were changed in the 2000s?

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As jdgm touches on above many folks consider the re-issues from the '90s as being more desirable than those from the first decade of the noughties. As far as the COA goes I believe (but I might be wrong) that Gibson only started the practice in 2001 so if it is - as I'm sure it will be - a 1999 it wouldn't have had one in the first place.

I certainly wouldn't let the year of manufacture put me off in the slightest. Personally I couldn't care less in which year a reissue was made as long as it sounds and plays superbly.

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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Agree with Pip. My only thought would be is there a price difference between a 2009 and a 1999??

Meaning that if you overpaid by the fact that it was supposed to be a 2009, then you should ask for the difference back. If this is not the case (which i think it isnt) then go with what Pip said

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I can't match the blue book info to 1999 or 2009 as of yet, and certainly they won't have info on lefties (which cost more)  This was possibly a custom shop request.  I read on the other forum that 1999 was when they started COA's, but who knows about internet facts.  Point is, sunk cost, cause it ain't got one, and ain't getting one, haha.  The Orange Cap inside is dated:  9802, so Feb 1998, which the other forum said was what they put in the 1999.  They put in Bumblebee's in the 2009.  Which is weird since the original 1954 had Grey Tiger Sprauge 0.2 caps with red lettering.  I found a guy who makes replicas, set for $65 in the USA so thats a "I'm soooo bored I'm gonna solder useless **** on my guitar" option, haha.

The missing plastic cover is not replaceable as a historic part since Gibson doesn't make lefty plates, or make them in brown.  I did ask, we'll see what they say.  A Gibson parts maker CAN make a set for me.  He said "set" b/c he can't match the specific Brown Gibson used.  His are darker.  Or I could buy a righty, drill counter holes on the other side, and see if the screw heads hold it in.  But that's a $50-80+ option (ie 1970s+ used part, or find a historic cover IF they make them.  Not seeing them yet)

As a guitar store, he prob knew he couldn't replace this compartment cover, and failed to tell me.  Didn't do fundamental research to know it was a different decade. I do better for my sales, so I expect better of professionals.  I find his ethics or effort lacking.

Review:

PROS:

* over the top bridge really does give such bending control as to be the most expressive guitar I've ever played

* Intonation isn't perfect, but it's reasonable, and assuagable by the great bend ability.  An intonation fixing bridge can be had, but need to request custom shop lefty for me.

* the tone on every pickup setting and tone knob selection is in every case usable.  Never had a guitar that did this.  Usually there was a sweet spot, or clearly too-muddy, or too-ice-pick settings.  These P90s and pots really give 100% sweet spots for whatever occasion you need the tone for (within reason, see CONS)  The tone goes from something akin to a Tele to all the P90 glory but stops short of Humbucker ballz.  As ppl say, definitely Blues and to my ears, easily Rockabilly, and for modern, rhythm to leads in a soft->slightly edgy breakup if desired.  On my Kemper it eats up any clean to edgy amp.

* Weight 9 lb 2 oz

* Neck thickness feels entirely normal.  No different than my 2012 Standard.  Thinner than 50s RI Strats I've played (the ones that fret-out)  Totally comfortably neck!

* Action is fantastic.  Low, plays and chord frets with ease.  Not the easiest (ie Axis Sport) but in no way a struggle like some Fenders I've owned.   Feels substantial but flows.

 

CONS

* lack of TOM means intonation suffers but isn't ear-noticable to me, only by checking the pitch gauge

* The tone cannot do Humbucker ballz-to-the-wallz.  But that's why you get that style of guitar if you want it.  On my Kemper it doesn't seem to like high distortion amp settings at all.

* Low E buzzes along entire length.  Only that string.  So either it's a Bad String, My Heavy Hand, or the Bridge needs a slight raise.  My luthier says likely an old String married to my Thumper Thumb.  I do not hear it when amplified, only when playing dry and even then, not one that bothers me (which is good and unusual)

* The case is crazy used, stickers, missing plate, but all the straps are perfect, handle great shape, inside good.  No case candy at all, just some weird electronics for an amp?!?  The guitar has nicks and scratches on the back and ends but the goldtop is in great shape and all those mars are normal-wear from a working man's guitar.  No real prob with them, except it's worthless as a collectors guitar, haha (I knew this buying it of course, not my intention)

Bottom line, one of the best guitars I've ever owned, both my LPs actually.  I used to think I hated them, now that I've owned real ones (not knockoffs or Epis) I see why the buzz.  It's spot on.

 

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