Gibson Marauder

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Gibson Marauder
Mid-production Gibson Marauder with rotary pickup selector on the treble side of the upper bout
Manufacturer Gibson
Period 1974—1979
Body type Solid
Neck joint Bolt-on
Scale 24.75 in (629 mm)
Body Alder, Mahogany, Maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple, Rosewood, Ebony
Bridge Tune-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 1,368 were made between 1975 and ’79, with a handful more built until 1982.[1] 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.[2]

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 1,400 were ever made.[2]


The Marauder sports a contoured single cutaway Les Paul-shaped body, and a bolt on 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 the more Fender-like maple, with twenty-two frets. Most had dot markers, "though some may have had trapezoid."[2]

The 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 (Telecaster-style). This arrangement resembles the Fender Telecaster Custom. The resulting sound was closer to the Fender sound than that of most Gibson guitars, with more higher frequencies than regular Gibsons.[2]

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 turn on 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 (now a chickenhead knob) was positioned between the volume and tone knobs.

Marauders all had Schaller made "Harmonica" ("tune-o-matic" style) bridges and the standard Gibson stopbar tailpiece. They had enclosed "Gibson Deluxe" tuners, and typical Gibson strap buttons.


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