Gibson Victory MVII
Dual pickup "multi-voice" electric guitar
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Have a closer look at this 1981 Gibson Victory MVII in Candy Apple red, one of the earliest examples from the summer of 1981.
The Gibson Victory MV-2 was the product of Gibsons research and development department in Kalamazoo, Michigan. First shipped in late summer of 1981 with a launch price of $790, it was part of the Gibson Victory series of guitars and basses; a second model to the Victory MVX, and companion to the Victory basses available since mid 1981. It was described in early publicity material as follows...
The Victory guitar bodies and neck/headstocks are crafted entirely of eastern hard rock maple
This produces an incredibly brilliant sustaining tone, because of that material's superior mass and density characteristics.
The whole Victory range gave a deliberate nod to Fenders classic solid bodies. The control layouts are a good example, having blade-style switches with typical Stratocaster placement. The pickups are coil tapped, allowing either single coil, or humbucking configurations. Marketing the MV-2 as a country guitar was Gibson's way of introducing a serious competitor for the Fender Telecaster; indeed it took the elements of Gibson tradition that Fenders lacked, such as a set neck, and applied them to a more Fenderish body. But ultimately the Victory was it's own guitar. Different from anything produced by Gibson or Fender before or since.
The Gibson Victory series was one of the very last innovative designs to originate from the Gibson Kalamazoo plant before it's closure in 1984, and ultimate move to Nashville. They are very good guitars, but often overlooked for not really being of classic design, and neither being quite old enough to count as 'vintage'. Being all-maple one could suggest a comparison with the Gibson RD a few of which even had a Victory style headstock. They are good playing guitars, and construction is every bit as good as you'd expect from Gibson; certainly worth trying if you can find one.
The image below is an early promotional image of the Victory, most likely of one of the early demo models built by Gibson R&D team member Chuck Burge. It is also the image used (in black and white) in the 1981 pre-owners publicity sheet and owners manual. Key differences between this guitar and production models are the un-scripted truss rod cover (which would normally read MVII), the headstock marking of 'Gibson' rather than 'Gibson Victory' and the black (rather than contrasting black and white) Magna II bridge pickup.
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