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NGD - 1997 R7/R8 Les Paul with quilt top in lemonburst


hi13ts
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Hi friends, I recently found what was described as a 1997 R7 from the Manchester Music Mill in NH. On their description, they stated that the idea of this guitar was that it was an R7 that was a Goldtop that somebody stripped and found beautiful quilted patterns underneath and refinished in Lemonburst. I was taken aback at how gorgeous that quilt top was and it was truly at a great price for a custom shop reissue. When I received it, I checked the control cavity and found a handwritten "58" in it. This leads me to believe that perhaps this was actually an R8, however, from my limited understanding of Gibson serial numbers, it indicates that it's indeed an R7. Would anyone be able to help me confirm? Serial number is on the photos.

Also, anyone knowledgeable about the reissues in 1997, will you also please provide me the specs that came stock on this guitar? The pickups sound very much like 57 Classics. Throaty, powerful, and warm. I'm trying to decipher what nut material it uses. It doesn't look like corian to me, more like bone, but it's quite white, whiter than most bone nuts I've come across. It's indeed the stock nut as there's still lacquer over.

It's so far been an incredible guitar, the ultimate Standard I've been looking for. Back in 2013, a local music shop near me had an R8 on sale. I was in college at the time and didn't have the funds to get it and I just remembered it was one of the sweetest guitars I've played and heard. I'm happy to say this one sincerely fits the bill and makes up for that lost love. I played it recently at a gig and it was easy to play and its tone was massive. 2020 has been overall a pretty crap year, but I've been blessed to be employed and to have stumbled across great deals on two Les Pauls so far. Little diamonds in the s pile of a year.

Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Wgkh67EkqFBFYNCM8

Thanks for looking and thanks in advance for the info.

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I've called Gibson directly in the past and they have been pretty helpful with serial numbers and such to identify guitars.  Maybe this is something you should do.  You're right about the S/N indicating an R7.  I take it you don't have a COA with this?  I believe that the bodies of R7s and R8s are similar when we talk about the Standards, so nothing to worry about there.  Maybe get a little flame on the R8 as the R7's are either goldtops or the ebony Custom, so you don't see what's underneath.  And the R7 Custom is all mahogany anyhow.  Either way, give them a call.  It doesn't take too long to hear it from the horse's mouth. 

Nice guitar BTW! 

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Incredible find.  I always guessed that the gold tops, and ebony LPs had fairly plain maple tops, but it didn't matter because they were being painted over.  Hard to fathom why they would take such a nicely figured top and paint over it.

Can't help you with the 57/58 dilemma - the serial number would certainly indicate a '57. 

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I think I've finally reached the end of this origin journey. The merchant was able to have his Gibson rep track down several guitars with the serial number. Using the product description and notes of the guitar that seemed to match mine the best in regards to date and specs, I called up Gibson again and fortunately got a hold of someone who was knowledgeable and invested in digging into this with me.

According to him, he pulled up this serial number specific to 1997 and found two guitars that match it (which we both thought was weird, but the list the merchant sent me indeed showed two guitars that year with this s/n). They were both listed as CST 58, one in heritage cherry sunburst and one in lemonburst. Mine is indeed the one in lemonburst. Before he concluded it was an R8, he did say the product description on the invoice stated that it was indeed a one-off custom order made by Guitar Resurrection in Austin, TX. So we concluded that this was a special order based on the build and concept of an R8. Quite an intriguing conclusion!

Truly, though, regardless of what this was, R7, R8 or Custom Standard, it's a hell of a guitar and I'm grateful to have been the recipient of such a great deal. As I mentioned on my first post, it so far feels like the ultimate LP Standard I've been yearning for since i played that R8 in 2013. I'm very much looking forward to the future playing this guitar. Hopefully we'll be in a better place in 2021 and that it will offer me plenty of opportunities to test this guitar's mettle.

Thanks to all for the compliments.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was finally able to get a quick sound demo down on Halloween. Very dynamic and responsive guitar. There’s a certain brightness, very slight scoop in the mids with this guitar. A lot of power on tap. Certain lighting really brings out the stunning quilt top, but this video doesn’t do it justice. 

 

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