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Old May 8th, 2012, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1985 Gibson Invader

First, the pics:





This is kind of an orphan guitar, not many people have ever heard of them, including me until I happened across this one.

It's apparently the successor to the Sonex models, except these had solid wood bodies (mahogany I believe) rather than the "resonwood" bodies used on the Sonex models.

It's the same body shape as a Les Paul body, but flat with no carved top. It does have SG-like bevels, front and back, on the bass side only.

It's not really in the "mint" condition that it appears in the pics, up close it does in fact show it's age with lots of small scuffs and chips and the frets are getting worn too.

In spite of that, it does play well with the action set low, and it holds it's tune well with the original tuners.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with it, especially since I was able to pick up a true Made In Usa vintage Gibson at a decidedly non-vintage price.

Now, a couple of questions -

I've never had a guitar with an ebony fretboard. Does it need oiling like rosewood, or do I just let it be? It doesn't look dry at all, it's solid and no signs of cracking.

Second, this is one of the few Gibsons that was made with a bolt-on maple neck.
I was surprised to notice that the headstock has the usual angle to it, but there is no scarf joint - that is, it was apparently carved at that angle from one solid piece of maple. Any insights into this?

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Old May 8th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't answer any of your questions, but I really like the guitar. Congratulations.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 08:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a 1983 Challenger which is basically the same guitar, exact same bolt neck and headstock.

The neck is one piece like yours and what make it look a little strange is the angle of the cut at the top edge of the headstock, it's not 90 degrees to the face, it's actually 90 degrees to the finger board.

Mine also has an Ebony board, I just use the same oil I use for Rosewood, no issues.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks.

Yes, mine has that strange angle at the top of the headstock too.

But what I meant was the lack of the scarf joint at the bottom of the headstock, by the nut.

All the regular glued-in neck Epiphones I've seen had a scarf joint at the bottom (by the nut) where the angled headstock was glued onto the neck at that point.

But this guitar doesn't have one, at least I can't see it if it does.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Gibson doesn't use scarf joints.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dirty Finger pickups?
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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Both pickups were Sonex 180 Deluxe.

One or both may have been replaced, the wiring on the neck pickup had been spliced as if it wasn't long enough to reach the controls.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No scarf joint on mine either, but look at yours and you'll see the heel is much thicker than say a Fender type neck and the headstock angle is much less than a typical Gibby LP, so it all comes out of one piece of lumber much less thick than usual.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Very nice Gibson there, from what many regard as the nadir of Gibson production, yet those in the know, appreciate that these were very playable, affordable and gig-able guitars

I have a real affinity for the lower end/obscure Gibsons.

When they were originally sold, they ended up being very cheap at the time over here in the UK and along with the odd-ball Fenders they were the staple of many indie bands in the 1980s along with Westones/Westburys/Washburns/Ibanez.

I used a borrowed Challenger as a spare guitar around that time, and I'd love to find one again, it was a great rocky guitar.

Sonex/Firebrand/The Paul/Invaders/Corvus these obscure Gibbys fascinate me as much as the obscure Fenders like Leads/Musicmaster/Broncos

I guess my two Melody Makers fulfill that space in my collection for the Gibsons I like.

You can keep your flame tops, bindings and inlays IMO, the Gibson planks rock....

As much as the Fender planks do.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I posted this below, but thought I would add it here. What do you think? Real Gibson? Invader Copy? Partscaster? Nice looking invader in your picture. I hear good things about them.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm no expert, mine is actually the only one I've ever seen in person.

But from the pictures, it certainly seems to match up closely to mine.

It's been refinished of course, and the pickguard didn't come with it.

The only thing that looks different to me is the amount of space on the headstock above the tuners - but that could be the angle of the picture.

Thee serial number should be stamped into the headstock in the space above the top tuners - is it still visible?

Mine also has

"MADE IN"
"U. S. A."

stamped between the top tuners.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here’s my 1983 Gibson Challenger One – maple neck and what appears to be an Ebony board with jumbo frets, stock Gibson branded Schaller bridge and tuners, stock single hot humbucker, plays like a dream.

It's a little odd to have a gibby shaped neck that's as rock solid as you can imagine, zero flex compared to the Mahogany version.









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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-Bob View Post
Gibson doesn't use scarf joints.
In the vast majority of the cases out there, they don't.

However, there are some lower end ones with that joint (I think my Gibson Sonex was that way but hard to tell with metallic red finish but it was bolt on though), and other Gibsons have unusual things like volutes, maple fretboards, and single coil pickups.

Now with baked maple to add to the feast, there are some more things for collectors to snatch up because, well, they are there.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I had an Invader, it was my first electric guitar. However mine did not have any bevels or contours like yours, and I believe it had the regular Gibson headstock.

Honestly though, I sold it about 18 years ago or so, so I don't remember too much.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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here's our '85 Gibson Invader with the super rare Schaller tremolo tail-piece

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Old December 28th, 2013, 06:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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nice, really nice!
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Old December 28th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Interesting guitars. I've never had one of those, but I've owned some unusual Gibsons, like the L6S (set neck) and 335S (solidbody) and the Spirit II. For some reason, I never buy a bolt-on Gibson or a set-neck Fender. Guess I'm too traditional.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 11:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I owned a Gibson Invader for a few years during the 1980s, like yours except black. It was a well-made and good sounding guitar. Gigged and toured with it, until 1989 when it was stolen from my car in Stratford, Ontario after a gig.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 01:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm really interested in any info on this particular set up with the Tremolo tail-piece. I read on another forum that very few were made this way.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I wonder why they don't......

have the traditional Gibson shape on the end of the headstock with that little "V" cut into the wood. It looks like those guitars just have a "hump" in the end of the headstock.........JH in va.
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