Gibson Marauder

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Gibson Marauder
Mid-production Gibson Marauder with rotary pickup selector on the treble side of the upper bout
Body typeSolid
Neck jointBolt-on
Scale24.75 in (629 mm)
BodyAlder, mahogany, maple
FretboardMaple, rosewood, ebony
BridgeTune-o-matic, and "Short Lyre Vibrola" used on some models
Pickup(s)H-SC: Bill Lawrence Humbucker (neck), Bill Lawrence Blade Noiseless Single-coil (bridge)
Colors available
Classic White, Cherry, Ebony, Natural

The Gibson Marauder was an electric guitar model produced by Gibson. Around 7,111 were made between 1975 and 1979, and a prototype in 1974. Most common was the natural satin finish on 4,758 of the Marauders. 1,368 were finished in the colour wine-red, 460 were finished in Ebony, and 240 in tobacco sunburst. 202 Marauders without specified finish were mentioned in Gibson's shipping lists, and 83 Marauder Customs were made only in the tobacco sunburst finish.[1] A handful more were built until 1982.[2] Designed to compete with guitars made by Fender, it had limited success and was discontinued.


The Marauder came at a difficult time for American guitar makers: sales in the early 1970s were down, and there was significant competition from Japanese competitors. It was Gibson's attempt to break into the single coil pickup, bolt-on neck guitar market dominated by Fender. In cooperation with Bill Lawrence, who had joined Gibson in 1972 and had already produced the L6-S, the Marauder was developed to compete with Fender, and had a pickup layout reminiscent of the Fender Telecaster, though in fact it had two humbucker pickups.[3]

The guitar, though officially introduced in 1974, began shipping in 1975 and was endorsed by Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley. Minor modifications were made in 1976 and in 1978; it was cancelled in 1979 though some were still made until 1982. In all, fewer than 7,200 were ever made.[3]


The Marauder sports a contoured single cutaway Les Paul-shaped body, and a bolt on a maple neck with a headstock similar to the Flying V's. Marauders were made with alder, maple, or mahogany bodies. The fretboard was produced both in the traditional Gibson rosewood, or a more Fender-like maple, both with 22 frets. Most had dot markers, "though some may have had trapezoid."[3]

Every Marauder featured custom-designed Bill Lawrence pickups sealed in clear epoxy. The guitar had a regular-sized humbucker pickup in the neck position and a small humbucker, in a blade style resembling a single coil, was mounted at an angle by the bridge (similar to a Telecaster or Stratocaster). This arrangement resembled the Fender Telecaster Custom and the resulting tone was closer to the Fender sound than that of most Gibson guitars, with more higher frequencies than regular Gibsons.[3]

Early Marauders had a three-way toggle switch on the treble side of the upper bout of the body (opposite the location on Les Pauls and ES-175s, similar to a Gibson Byrdland), to select either one or both pickups. In 1976, a rotary potentiometer was introduced which allowed a range of blends between the two pickups. In still later Marauders, the potentiometer was positioned between the volume and tone knobs, now with a "chickenhead" knob to avoid confusion with the "speed" knobs used for the volume and tone.

All Marauders had a Schaller-made "Harmonica" tune-o-matic" style bridge and the standard Gibson "stopbar" tailpiece. They had enclosed "Gibson Deluxe" tuners and typical Gibson strap buttons.

Sum 41 lead vocalist and guitarist Deryck Whibley's first guitar was a walnut Marauder and he famously can be seen playing it in the music videos for "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep".


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Living in the '70s: The Gibson Marauder". Archived from the original on 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  3. ^ a b c d Wright, Michael (November 2009). "The Gibson Marauder M-1". Vintage Guitar. pp. 52, 114.