Reader Guitar of the Month: 1982 Gibson Victory MVX

How one guitarist modified his “master-of-none” HSH guitar into a sonically pleasing machine.


Name: Marc Hunter

Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Guitar: 1982 Gibson Victory MVX

Here’s my baby: a heavily modified 1982 Gibson Victory MVX. Originally it had a cherry red finish with a black pickguard and an HSH pickup configuration. It was one of Gibson’s short-lived “super strats” that was billed as a jack-of-all-trades guitar, but, in my opinion, it was really a master-of-none.

So I stripped the finish, routed out a bit more of the dense eastern hard rock maple body, and did a burst with natural dyes and a thin nitrocellulose finish. The back of the neck was finished with gun stock products for a satin-smooth feel. Hardware was updated with a set of locking tuners, roller bridge, and Bigsby tailpiece—the Chet Atkins arm can be turned so it sits comfortably in reach without getting in the way.

I play primarily rock and blues but have enjoyed exploring some new styles with this guitar.

This guitar has been rewired several times, but the latest incarnation is likely to stay. It has a Steven Kersting S-90 pickup in the neck, which is a P-90 with alnico pole pieces for Strat-like clarity with the usual P-90 girth. In the bridge position is a DiMarzio Tone Zone humbucker made in a P-90-sized route. The mini toggle switches the bridge humbucker between series and parallel, and the master volume, master tone, and 3-way toggle switch operate as expected. I play primarily rock and blues but have enjoyed exploring some new styles with this guitar. All together it makes for an incredibly flexible yet simple guitar that can cover all of the sonic ground I need to. I hope you enjoy it!

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