FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Jensen Loudspeakers

Amplified Parts

WD Music


Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Apex Tube Matching

Antique Electronics Supply


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Gibson Sonex - the more Paul!

Shlock the monster


Aug 23rd, 2018 04:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

Recently I got three of the obscure Gibson models fomr teh 1970ies early 80ies at once.
You guess?
Yes! the S-1, the Marauder and a Sonex Deluxe. The Sonex is from 1981 while the formers are from 1975.
The S-1 was a disappointment. Very narrow tone even played with highest distortion didn't make it.
The Marauder was pretty well, though this useless blender should be replaced by a common three way switch. But you know would reduce its value.
But the Sonex was a revelation!
It started with a very high output, neaarly like a Steinberger, but even in highest distortion the guitar was in controll and was shown in a remarkabel versatility.
Obviously this multi-phonmic body (a tonewood core surrounded by a resonwood frame) didn't swallow overtones like a common entire wooden body.
Though actually totally un-Paul, it showed me something I missed within regular Les Pauls.
Nearly useless to mention the dirty finger zebras HB are one of the best pickups Gibson ever made. They are the cream on the cake
If you find a Sonex at a pawn shop or so- don't hesitate. Get one!

Contributing Member


England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Aug 23rd, 2018 04:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I remember those. Never played one though.

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Aug 23rd, 2018 07:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

I enjoy my 339 no-f hole with a Dirty Fingers reissue for sure, that and the 490r/498t combo are the only ones I ever want a Gibson!

Shlock the monster


Aug 23rd, 2018 10:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

if you find a Sonex for the low buck you wont be disapppointed!

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Aug 24th, 2018 06:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

I almost bought one in a pawn shop 20+ years ago. It had good tone but it was soooo heavy!


Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Aug 26th, 2018 02:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

I remember when Gibson brought those out.

No one wanted them.

Contributing Member


Aug 26th, 2018 03:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I remember when Gibson brought those out.

No one wanted them."

Nor the aluminium necked Kramers.

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Aug 26th, 2018 06:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

After looking up the prices, it appears that...they're still ...not exactly wanted.

I hadn't realized they were bolt-on.

Contributing Member


England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Aug 26th, 2018 03:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Our other guitarist had an aluminium neck Kramer back in the late '70's / early '80's. Decent guitar, but ugly as can be, and the neck was absolutely freezing in our sub-zero practice rooms. Haven't seen one for decades, but I heard they were crazy prices now.

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

You DESERVE an Ibanez Iceman!
Aug 29th, 2018 06:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Haven't seen one for decades, but I heard they were crazy prices now." The basses from that era are going for between $800 to $1200 on Ebay which isn't too bad, considering they are American made and used first class parts. But even I'm not sure I could handle the metal all the way up and down the neck.

Kramer bass

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Aug 30th, 2018 09:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Kramer guitars (and the aluminum neck stuff that there's modern boutiquey stuff for) has a cult following that drove the prices up.

They're neat and all..but...

Shlock the monster


Sep 10th, 2018 03:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

Quote: "No one wanted them."
Leo Fender never saw himself as the "Stradivari of e guitars", he always thought he was the Henry Ford of them.
His intention was until his death to introduce a new model every year or so, that the musicians would litter their old Strads & Teles like scrapping their old Fords or GMs and buy his new top models (BTW: Jimmy Bryant donated his early Teles and Esquires to his son for sandbox playing!).
He could never deal with the fact that his early models would become such icons.
Dick Dale told in an interview, he met him on his last NAMM show in the early 1990ies.
Leo told him: "You must come to my shop in Fullerton! There are plenty fine guitars waiting for you to be tested!"
Dick replied "Thanks Leo. But why fix what ain't broke? You've already made me the best out there is!".
It's an irony that G&L today is nothing but another Fender copier. With exception of the MMs Stingray no other idea of Leo succeeded after his departure from "Fender"! No matter how good they were.

Contributing Member

Head down, ears back

Headed for the bar
Sep 10th, 2018 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Sonex was introduced by Gibson with the intent of having it replace the Marauder and S1 in the catalog. These were mid-grade guitars, between the Juniors/Specials and the Les Pauls/SGs.

The material they used for the body of the Sonex was a wood/plastic composite, similar to modern composites like Luthite and Richlite.

They didn't sell well and no standout players adopted them, so they didn't last long in production.

Despite that, these three guitars are odd ducks so serious Gibson aficionados like to have 'em in their collections.

Contributing Member

Memphis, TN

Sep 12th, 2018 01:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've got an S1.

It is a very different beast altogether.

Its somewhere between a Strat and a Tele, but neither, if that makes sense. Its got its own voice, and really needs to be judged on that.

Much like an original Danelectro, you cant expect it to be a Les Paul or a Strat, even though its got the body and wood of an LP and the single coils similar to a Fender.

The frets are jumbo, but awfully low, Fretless Wonder low.

I bought this somewhere around 1979 from Freedom Brothers Guitars in San Diego for $150.

The original paint was all chipped off and gouged, to the point it was beyond relic. God knows what the previous owner did to it.

I spent the better part of a month off and on sanding it to remove the remaining traces of paint and gouges and had Zolla Guitars of San Diego (Actually Bill Zolla's shop was on Coronado Island at the time) shoot it jet black, which was one of the original colors.

Gibson S1

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Gibson Sonex - the more Paul!

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2019 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved