25 Sep 2010 Gibson R8 Les Paul Standard
So much for vintage (this is the phrase I say every time when trying or hearing a new instrument that plays and sounds wonderful).
This is a brand new guitar I just bought recently, at Mark’s Guitar Loft. The guitar is almost stock, in the sense that Mark himself picks these at the factory, ads some aged, probably better hardware parts (bridge, stopbar, knobs, ring, … ) and sells them. I wanted to try another chambered as – frankly speaking – I think chambered Les Pauls are simply terrific.
As you may remember or not, I have another chambered R8, played here in the Metro session. Initially, I had listened to the much debated (and heated) arguments against chambered Les Pauls. When I read – at the Les Paul Forum – that Ed A (ex Lynyrd Skynyrd original formation guitarist) was in love with chambered Les Pauls – as he said, “they do remind him of late ’50s Les Paul more than current reissues”, I was very interested and tried one.
I was un-impressed with it at first (talking about my older chambered). Then, when the guitar was professionally set up at Cloe’s Guitar and I have swapped the original burstbuckers with TimBuckers bought at RS Guitar Works, my perception changed dramatically and now it is one of those guitars that I can’t put down (well, most of my guitars fall in the “can’t put it down” category now!).
Simply put, I love chambered Les Pauls for the following reasons:
– light. Light guitars. Say again, they’re light weight (6 lbs and something)!
– The chambering inside adds a LOT of resonance to otherwise solid body bodies. I can (I say again, I CAN) hear such resonance once the guitar is amplified. And I love it. To me, it really reminds of older instruments resonance.
– look good. They do look good. All of them – it seems – are R8s (1958 Les Paul Standard reissues) as they probably want to install the chunkier necks that came in 1958, instead of the progressively thinner necks of 1959 and 1960. Maybe – just maybe – since the body is hollow for a good portion of the body, they had to add a fatter neck to compensate for sound/tone. It is a widely known fact that necks add a lot to the tone of an instrument.
– subtle flame: these have more commonly subtle, non exaggerated flames on their tops. A quite wise choice of good taste. Have a look at the pictures below and see how the flame changes with different lighting!
– great ’58 profile “chunky” necks. Easy to play, bend, vibrate, whatever. A pleasure to the hands.
This guitar has burstbuckers – stock burstbuckers – in her. I am liking them so much in this body that probably I won’t swap them out. So much for boutique pickups? (laughs).
I don’t have any audio clips of this one yet, but I may put out some in the following hours after the publication of this. This guitar, sings right out of the box.
Some history of the chambered Les Paul here: http://www.chambered-reissue.org/history.htm
Chambered prototype: http://www.chambered-reissue.org/owners/prototype/proto.html
On this one, I personally aged a bit more the hardware, especially the burstbuckers, since I can not bear anymore flashy hardware. I simply put on them some acid especially made for this purpose for me by Cloe Guitars.