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The Historic term?


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Excuse me if I bring up a topic that's clear to everyone else and/or has been discussed to lenght... I just can't seem to find a clear answer when searching on the subject.


I've been wondering about the "historic" term. It pops up in a lot of listings of guitars online, but not anywhere in the product listings on Gibson website...

I know what VOS is and seen lists of guitars that are historic. But I still wonder:


Is all VOS also Historic?

Or what's the definition of a Historic?


Thanks for anyone clearing out this subject for me!

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Historic Reissues

R2 = reissue of the 1952 Gibson Les Paul

R9 = reissue of the 1959 Gibson Les Paul

CR8 = chambered reissue of the '58 Gibson Les Paul

There is no R3 or R5. (Well, there is the R5 now)


Historic Customs are often referred to as B4, B7, R4BB or R7BB. BB meaning Black Beauty.


Gibson's VOS - Vintage Original Spec line. The terms VOS, historic, reissue & historic reissue all refer to the same guitar. There is only one difference, VOS refers to the aged finish on the top and hardware. The ones that do not have the VOS finish are referred to as "gloss" or "high gloss" reissues because (obviously) they have a high gloss finish. Websites like Guitar Center list the two guitars as VOS and "reissue." Reissue refers to the high gloss. I think this has caused some confusion with some people but rest assured, they are all the same guitar. Again, one looks brand new and the other does not look brand new - that's the only difference. VOS costs $300 less.

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  • 1 month later...

VOS refers to the finish, like gloss, high gloss, matte, etc. A VOS guitar does not have to a "historic". There are other Custom Shop guitars that have a VOS finish to replicate a dull or vintage vibe. The VOS generally costs less but some dealers price the gloss and VOS the same for their convenience


Historic refers to the product line. General production, Historic, one-off, custom (or special) run all have different meanings within the shop. Historic uses a higher grade or "more picky" wood selection than the "general" production grade. In the general production, they would just grab the next top and back in the stack to make the next guitar. In the historic line, the stack is sorted and some tops and backs are not used for a historic. In the case of a back, it could just be the weight that puts it into a different stack. One-offs and special runs are a very special pick of woods for one reason or another. A special run or a one-off could be nothing more than just a color and have nothing to do with woods though.

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Guest Farnsbarns Wunterslausche

VOS= a way for gibson to charge you more money for buffing the finish. Pure genius. [biggrin]


No, other way around, VOS guitars are cheaper and the final buffing stage is omitted.

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