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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Sometimes you're wrong.

Contributing Member

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Apr 30th, 2017 12:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just had a '70s Gibson Marauder come into my shop. To make the story short. I found the trussrod nut totally loose. It has the widest and lowest frets known to mankind and the maple neck had a backbow with the straightedge indicating over 3/16" of an elevation above fret#1 if I had contact at the the last fret -- that is a banana. Verdict: the guitar is done and needs to be classified as Wall Art -- Finished and I'm not going to charge the customer.

So I called the client and gave them the bad news. The client tells me that the main problem is tuning instability. Could I just make the guitar tuning stable. String action is not really important. Oh, and by the way, I like to use heavy strings -- I'd like 14s...

I have never had a client ask for 14 gauge strings on an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. We don't stock 14s. Even with a back bowed neck it is possible to get most guitars to play cowboy chords so I told him I'd do what I could do. I'd try a set of 13s and let him know the result.

I found the neck bolts loose. Removed the neck. I put the neck in my tension jig and stressed it to be level and did a non-technical leveling using a diamond block, recrowned and polished the frets. I'm doing this work in economy mode because I don't hold out any hope that this guitar is going to have any mojo worth taking money from the client. Reinstalled the neck and put on a set of GHS 13-56 Boomers replacing the wound .026 G-string with a .024 plain string.

I currently don't have any clients who use 13s. I had one try a setup with 13s on a Gibson LP and ended up going back to 10s. Its just not common in my experience or at this shop. I'm sure there are players using them but they're not here so my experience with them is almost nil.

The result on this Gibson Marauder totally surprised me. The tension of the 13s pulled the neck straight and although the trussrod nut is still loose, the neck is perfectly straight. There is no relief but the guitar plays quite well. The tuning instability was a no brainer because when I installed the strings, it was clear that they weren't even going to the bottom of the nut slots. After I adjusted the slots for these strings, the action was quite good. Its a decent guitar and the 13s don't feel evil at all because the action is quite low.

I had almost condemned this 40 year-old vintage guitar to being wall art and that would have been a terrible shame.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 30th, 2017 02:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

GREAT save, brother.

In another universe--the Marauder would make a *great* glide guitar. That clear-bobbin pickup Gibson used on the Marauders makes an almost P90 tone. Stick a high nut on it, slap on some lap steel strings (they are heavy gauge) and return it to the customer with a 2" section of 3/4" copper pipe for a slide. Problem solved!

Contributing Member

Memphis, TN

May 1st, 2017 01:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Marauders and the S1 were Gibson Sleepers.

I gave $150 for an S1 back in the early 70's, sanded the heck out of the banged up and chipped paint body and had it painted Jet black.

Like above, it had crazy low Fretless Wonder type frets, but awfully wide.

The tones out of the three large single coil pickups give it a not a Gibson, not a Fender type tone. Different, but very usable.

I dig 'm !

The S1 is on the right. As if you didnt know..


The Free World

The New World Order is DOOMED...
May 3rd, 2017 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Stratmanx; You may send those guitars to me free of shipping and handling-----I'll take care of that.... :):):) I need those guitars.... They would look far too cool next to the three I have...

:):) ----I'll take the Marshall stack too!!! HA HA HA HA!!!

Contributing Member

Hemet, SoCal

Let's do the Funky Alphonzo
May 6th, 2017 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I once had a Marauder in a natural finish. It played and sounded good, although it weighed a ton. If Keef swung that one on stage he'd have killed the guy.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Sometimes you're wrong.

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