The Marauder was a mid 70's attempt by Gibson to compete with the cheap Japanese copies which were flooding the west at that time. Although it was never particularly cheap (around £300 in the UK, which was quite a wedge in those days) they were considerably cheaper than a Les Paul.
Mine is the original '75 production with the natural finish (there was also a wine-red finish available), maple or alder body and rosewood fingerboard. It also sports the original three-way pick-up selector switch (much better than those horrible chicken headed pots on the later models).
As befits a 40-year-old veteran the finish is not perfect and there are a few dings in the bodywork, but they always say you should never refinish a vintage guitar as it ruins the value and they don't affect the sound.
It has the original Bill Lawrence pick-ups. The neck is a standard double-coil humbucker. The bridge is not, as many people think, a single coil but is actually a specially designed double-blade humbucker.
The action has never been altered since I got it and has always been low and fast. It's a dream to play and it weighs a lot less than a Les Paul.
Sound wise I've played it through Marshall and Fender amps and always been happy with the sound. I don't play heavy rock or metal but I find it perfect for blues (especially swamp blues), country (using the bridge pick-up gives a fair imitation of a Tele) and rock and roll.
All in all I'd recommend this guitar to anyone who wants the Gibson name without the Gibson price tag.
American made electric guitar. Flat Les Paul kind of body (natural mahogany, three pieces), bolt-on maple neck (three pieces), maple fretboard, arrow-like headstock (as with the Flying V), black. Two pickups: neck-pu is a humbucker, bridge-pu has the size of a single-coil (slanted position, like the bridge-pu of a tele- or stratocaster), but could be a humbucker also. The pu's are embedded in transparant epoxy, I like that. It is a Bill Lawrence design. One volume control and one tone control. In between these controls is a blend control (introduced in this year of production), instead of a toggle switch. Harmonica -bridge (made in Germany), stop tail.
It is kind of heavy, but I don't mind about that. Balance is alright, as well as the action and the fretwork. Good enough for me.
I use a Fender Hotrod Theluxe and a Fender Princeton Reverb. A Ibanez Tubescreamer for overdrive. The Marauder has a very clear sound, kinda like a Telecaster but not the same, less harsh. The blend control is really inventive, don't understand you can find it only on these guitars. The combinated pickups sound sweet, distinctive, full and solid enough for country and rock. The overdriven sound rocks at the bridge and howls at the neck.
The Gibson Marauder sounds like no other guitar. Maybe they are a little too light for heavy metal (the pu's would squeel), but for all other styles it would do the job in its own distinctive manner. The looks might be a little cheap (a lot of plastics), but I don't mind about that. With a 1975 Gibson Deluxe and a 1967 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville it is one of my favorite electrics. You can still find them around 500-700 dollars (400-600 euro's), and that is good price for a vintage Gibson. I would buy one myself again, but with another wood-combination for a change, if I can find one.
This was my first electric guitar back in 1980. I paid around $300 for it. I was 16 years old. That was a lot for me, as I was in high school. I had a summer job that got me $200 and my mother gave me the rest. I bought it at Villa Piano in Santurce city, Puerto Rico. I got into the store. There were so many guitars beautiful guitars in there, and suddenly, my eyes catched this beauty. I asked to plug it in and played a few notes. It sounded different than a Les Paul, way different, but I decided to buy it on the spot. I knew what to spect from the other best know guitars, but this one sparked my curiousity.
First, the looks. It is a classy looking guitar. It is made of Mahogany body and a maple neck. At first, it resembles an LP, but closer examination reveal the obvious differences; The Pick ups are plexiglass enclosed, both of them. I like the sound of this guitar. It talks Country, it talks blues, but it also talks hard rock. Even if it only has 3 switch positions, the three cover the range of this guitar. It is easy to set up, stays in tune and easy to work on stage. This guitar likes finger picking. The sound is full and lush. The pick up outputs are relativelly low when compared to other guitars, but it give it more sustain by the lighter magnetic field
This guitar is heavy. When I was younger, the weight always left me a sore neck. But, in a way, it helped me in getting stronger!
This guitar is solid. It can kill a bear with one blow
This guitar has a sound of its own. If you think it is a Les Paul, well, it is not!! Maybe this is why some people don't like it. Once you get to know it, you will love it to death. I do, for more than 20 years, it is still my main guitar.
I bought this guitar off a shelf in a music store simply because I was curious enough to plug it in. It was just sitting there in the middle of this store full of fenders, and a bunch of low-end guitars. So, when I plugged it in, I knew I'd found the perfect blues guitar. I talked the dealer from $460 to $420, and took it home.
Probably the best thing about this guitar is how unique it is. You will never find a guitar quite like this. It has the Gibson name, so that means value, but the problem is; almost everybody mistakes it for a Les Paul. This is not a Les Paul, it is a Marauder. If I were to use one word to describe the LP, I would use hot. Whereas the one word for the Marauder would be cool. When you try to play metal, you might get some resistence, but if you're a good player, you can master any style of music on this. Mine has a wine red finish, Gibson deluxe tuners, and Lawrence pickups, and they all came that way from the factory. The unique feel of a humbucker at the neck and a single coil at the bridge is wonderous. I get dark dirty rhythms and wailing screaming leads. And when you put them together, you're in blues city. Just try playing some chops in this mode and you'll agree.
Anything on this guitar that I wouldn't like and therefore would change, would take away from the uniqueness that I love. Sure I could put in Seymour Duncan pickups, but then it would sound just like all the other guitars out there that do. This guitar has a very wide, fat bridge that is spaced farther from the stopbar than usual. I could put in a tune-o-matic, but the big bridge has a fat sound, and the spacing helps me bend the open strings. (Pushing on them between the bridge and bar.) Actually the only thing I don't like about this guitar are the controls. I like having two volume and two tone for two pickups (makes sense, doesn't it?) but this guitar has one of each. Also, there is a slight wiring problem, (on my individual instrument), if I turn the volume below 7, I get no sound. But this is at no fault to the guitar.
Have you ever dropped a $2000 guitar? I haven 't. Wonder what profanity you'd scream out if you did? That is probably because you would damage it. I sleep tight with my Marauder, because it is indestructible. If I drop it on a concrete floor (hypothetically), it would get a ding, and throw it out of tune. They best thing about this guitar is it's so solid. It's quality... it's great for the fact that these instruments never costed more than $500. But there are some problems. Like a maple (vs. mahogany) neck, a bolted on (vs. set in) neck, and the controls which I've mentioned. But I'd still rate it above any Fender that was made in Mexico. This is a U.S. guitar, no less.
The most important thing about this guitar (if you should ever come across it) is to respect it. It will be a very old instrument (late twenties maybe?), and not super versatile like say, a stratocaster. But you wouldn't play an ES (electric spanish) like an explorer, and you wouldn't play an SG like a telecaster. So don't play this like a Les Paul. Get used to the feel of your instrument, and don't force it to do what you want. And if you play any blues, all I have to say to you is- Get Carried AWAY!