Of the R7's I only know what was made 2018 and prior. I own an early built 2018 left-handed version. Even if you're not going for a perfectly accurate replication this guitar is excellent for display or regular play. Probably 95% close to a true 1957. I'm not the "cork sniff type" of Les Paul's I simply like what I like regardless of the builder or what is on the head stock. How they built these guitar in the year of 1957 is just the perfect fit for me. One of the underappreciated aspects of the Custom Shop guitars is the finish they use, also how they smell. These guitars are a radically different experience compared to modern guitars. I don't recommend buying this guitars used since the nitro is highly sensitive to everything that touches it. With extended periods of play you feel the finish wearing away. These guitars are very imperfect for a for a reason and are an experience unto themselves. I've already needed to file out the saddles to reduce string breakage. These guitars are great for those who want a great place to start and customize to you spec as needed; just like they did back in the day. They are really built to be played on a regular basis. Custom Shop guitars are made to be no heavier than 8.50 pounds. Great for gigging. I've played 10+ pound Les Paul's and they are too heavy to gig; most people would agree. This guitar's only weakness is the ABR-1's inherent weakness for being sharp and breaking strings (also the price is very high for an imperfect instrument). I've not had any tuning stability issues at all. Since these guitars use a nylon nut it works just as well as a graphite nut. I don't recommend guitar strings larger than mediums. The problem arises with the limited spacing of the post. You can use larger strings but you may run into issues with the low 6th tuner. The tuners are alright not the most accurate but good enough for a professional standard and recording. If you know how to properly tune your instrument you'll have no trouble. The greatest strengths is the guitars feel and sound. The Gibson Custom Bucker alnico III's have proven to be best set I've used. The neck hum-bucker is actually great for rhythm playing! They have a sound that just cuts in the mix. If you dislike how muddy some neck hum-buckers sound on modern Les Paul's this is a great departure form that sound. Pickups sound perfect for clean and getting that Jazz sound. Some people have described these pickups as sounding like P90's. I agree to a degree. They are a hum-bucker sound that is just its own sound. These pickups have a slightly higher noise floor that modern Gibson pickups. Overall great guitar to experience the past or for those like myself who like to tinker. These guitars are very personal; and you should be able to work on your own instruments to appreciate this kind of functional art.