Excellent condition featuring single cutaway mahogany body with cherry red stain finish, two piece highly figured maple top with cherry sunburst finish and cream binding, two nickel covered humbucking pickups with cream pickup surrounds, two volume controls and two tone controls with gold bonnet knobs, three way pickup selector switch with cream Rhythm and Treble selector plate and aged tip, elevated single ply plastic pickguard with metal bracket, Gibson tune-o-matic fully adjustable wired ABR bridge, stop tailpiece, one piece mahogany neck with cherry red stain finish, bound East Indian rosewood fingerboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays starting at the third fret, original bone nut, Gibson 1950s style open book peghead, black peghead face with pearl inlaid Gibson logo and gold silk screened Les Paul Model logo, black and white multi-ply bell shaped truss rod cover, Gibson Kluson vintage style tuning machines with green keystone buttons, ink stamped serial number on the back of the peghead, single ply black plastic electronics control plate cover and switch cover, two metal strap buttons, and brown hard shell case (this is a later brown replacement case that fits and suits the guitar very well).
This 1996 Gibson Custom Shop R9 is in fantastic cosmetic and playing condition. This guitar has been set up superbly and the chunky '59 style neck profile feels incredible. This Les Paul plays fantastic up and down the fingerboard and has great intonation. There are some signs of play wear throughout including wear on the corner of the open book headstock (see photos), but all in all this guitar is in fantastic shape for being a 25 year old Les Paul. The pickups are Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbuckers and absolutely suit this guitar perfectly. The guitar sounds outstanding when plugged in and is very resonant unplugged. The visible pot code dates this pot to late 1995.
These early Custom Shop built R9s are commonly referred to as "the good wood years" and I have to say that I do believe that it rings true with this Les Paul. The top on this guitar is on fire. It has tons of motion in light. It is very unique and superbly figured. I've not personally seen any recent R9s that look anywhere near as good as this one. The guitar weighs in at 8lbs 7oz and is an absolute monster Les Paul. If you're looking for a dynamite collectable player with a flamethrower top, this may be the Lester for you.