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2002 Custom Shop Historic Les Paul R8 Flame Top

2002 Custom Shop Historic Les Paul R8 Flame Top


“The 1958 Les Paul Standard Reissue features all the painstaking historic construction methods of the famous '59 Reissues with a few historically-accurate spec differences that allow it to stand on its own. Like the 1958 originals, it has narrow frets which help more of the fingerboard wood to be heard in the tone profile. It also has a round, chunky neck profile for a full feel and maximum bending leverage. And finally it has a beautiful plain maple top; each is unique and full of character. Available in a variety of classic sunburst shades.” – From the Gibson Website

Confidently populating a spot in the golden era of Gibson Les Pauls, the ’58 kicked off the three year span with features that would change guitar playing forever. 1958 was the year that Gibson first employed the sunburst finish on these Les Paul models. This finish has become so ubiquitous with the Les Paul that we often refer to the guitars from this era simply as “bursts.” The’58 Les Paul also featured a thinner neck than its counterpart from the year prior. The thinned neck carve improved playability while the new burst finish stole the eyes and hearts of electric guitar players around the world. This guitar would then go on to be one of the most coveted electric guitars in history.

The Gibson Les Paul Historic ’58 model pays respectable tribute to this legendary instrument. One of the more notable features would be the ’57 Classic humbuckers. The immediate nature of these pickups present a clarity and articulation not found in some other PAF style pickups. Upon sitting down with this guitar, I instantly noticed that even the slightest bit of dynamics was picked up. The volume pot is also very responsive to any slight change, making it more than easy to roll back from a screaming lead into a mellow clean tone. Even without engaging change in the volume, they still respond very clearly to pick attack. If you want a cleaner tone without turning your volume down, these pickups can translate that provided a softer strike of the pick. On top of responsive volume pots, the tone pots breathe even more creativity into your playing. These pickups are capable of getting quite bright, especially in the bridge pickup. However, this brightness lends itself well to the tone and doesn’t feel like an icepick in your ear. Regardless, if bright pickups aren’t your cup of tea, there is plenty of room to roll back and get the “woman” tone that we all love so much. Both the bridge and neck pickups have a wide array of sounds that make you want to take all of the pedals out of your chain and go straight into an amp. This guitar has a way of complimenting that setup nicely. Not only does this guitar have enough attitude to do so, but it provides the player with a wonderfully open canvas on which to play while still maintaining the character traits that we love about a classic Les Paul.

In addition to having a great set of electronics, this guitar also feels amazing to hold and play. The weight relieved body breaks the mold of what we assume a Les Paul would weigh. At 8.8 lbs, this guitar is lighter than some other models but still stout. This strikes a great balance between ease of play and sustain. On the note of ease of play, the neck of this instrument is incredibly comfortable. The aforementioned adjustment in neck size from ’57 to ’58 fills up the players palm nicely and provides a sturdy anchor point to fret chords on. Keeping true to spec, the 22 narrow tall frets make playing all over the fingerboard a breeze.

With all of these features taken into consideration, it’s incredibly difficult not to lust after this Les Paul. It looks great, feels great, and most importantly, sounds great. The combination of superb electronics and a rare R8 flamed maple top creates an instrument that will leave you consistently inspired. Getting the biting rock tones of your heroes is no longer a pipe dream with this beautiful piece from the Gibson custom shop.

This guitar was kept in wonderful condition by its previous owner. Aside from some slight wear on the hardware, this instrument remains in great playing shape and has no notable signs of wear. As such we would rate it in excellent condition.  

  • Les Paul Body Shape
  • Lightweight Mahogany Body
  • 2-Piece Flamed Maple Top
  • 1-Ply Royalite Binding
  • Nitrocellulose VOS Body Finish in Butterscotch
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Aged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid Inlays
  • Black Headstock Veneer
  • 50s Rounded Medium C Neck Carve
  • Nitrocellulose VOS Neck Finish
  • ’57 Classics PAF Style Pickups
  • No Wire ABR-1 Bridge
  • Kluson Single Line Tuning Machines
  • Single-Ply Cream Pickguard
  • Nylon Nut
  • 1.678” Nut Width
  • 24.75” Scale Length
  • 22 Historic Gibson Narrow/Tall Frets
  • 8 lbs
  • Gibson Historic Hardshell Case
Model LPR8-F
Serial Number(s) 821162