Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
Have you tried looking at the MyLesPaul forums? Some gems pop up there for sale a lot. It is essentially the Style Forum of Les Pauls.
I did. I've spent a lot of time reading threads there over the past few weeks, actually.
Seems R9s are slim pickings now. That is confirmed by chats with Wildwood, Vic Dapra at Guitar Gallery, Dave's Guitars, Mark's Guitar Loft, House of Guitars, etc. For whatever reason, not a lot of strong tops are coming out of the factory. In fact, one vendor gave me a link to view all of the Custom Reissues ready to be shipped out from Gibson (the selection that dealers pick from) and it seems that a ton of mediocre-looking R8/R9/R0 Les Pauls are just sitting at the factory because the dealers don't want them.
The first hundred or so of the year were much stronger, including both the 1960 I originally got from Wildwood and the 1959 I was considering from Mark's. Maybe the good tops are going to soon-to-be-released limited edition guitars?
I put in a request for a Masterbuilt Stratocaster. Three year wait for Todd Krause. WTF.