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R8, R9?


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The R stands for Re-issue and the number represents the model-year of the original guitar, specification-wise, being re-issued.


In terms of the Les Paul Standards, for instance, an R4 would be the McCarty-bridge version of the P-90 Gold-Top (no separate bridge / stop-bar); an R6 would be a P-90 equipped Gold-Top with separate ABR-1 bridge and stop-bar; an R7 would be a re-issue of the 1957 Gold-Top which was the first year to feature PAF-style humbuckers; an R8 would be a '58 in sunburst (Gibson changed from G-T finish to sunburst in '58), usually with a 'plain-top'; an R9 is a sunburst 1959 re-issue, usually with a flame-maple top; R0 a 1960 re-issue (not to be confused with the '1960 Classic') and so on.


Regarding the Les Paul Customs, an R4 would be a re-issue of the 1954 'Black Beauty' with two P-90s, the neck having the oblong pole-pieces as per the original. The R7 Custom would be a 'B-B' with three humbuckers as per the 1957 model.


VOS is the acronym for a treatment used by the Custom Shop (I think it stands for Vintage Original Specification or something of that ilk) where the metal parts are dulled-down and the finish is less hi-gloss than usual; both processes are meant to give the instrument a 'patina' of age when, in fact, the instrument is brand new.


Not all re-issues have received the VOS treatment.



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