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MickRohman

Victory Guitars

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Has anyone here ever played a Victory guitar? The Vic basses were well known but the guitars seem to be almost unknown! Back in 1982 I bought a MVII, brand new! I loved that guitar! Due to some self-inflicted difficulties I ended up selling it. In the last year I have acquired two in hopes of replacing the one that got away..... HAHAHA One of each model and style of finish offered! A MVX in midnight blue and a MVII in tobacco burst. I love the lok, feel and sound of these guitars! Solid hardrock maple, so they do weight a bit. 10 pounds to be precise but my 2001 LP Standard weighs the same, maybe just a wee bit more. They both have some nice humbucking pick-ups and also a coil tap switch to get a true single coil sound! The pick-ups were also a new design just for the Victorys at the time. I don't know if they used them in any other Gibsons..... But 5 new designs! On the MVX it gives you 10 different pick-up configurations! That's a lot of potential voices. Then they used a bridge that has changable saddles so you could have either a brass or nylon saddle to give move variety to it's sound! It's too bad it didn't sell good enough to continue..... I was told by a customer service rep at Gibson that only 2000 were made and they were distributed world wide. I'd love to hear from any other Vic owner/player!

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I have a couple of the MVX and they are one of my favourite guitars ever made. I think the headstock shape didn't help their cause, and a smart designer would have given them a tremolo option. Heavy, yes, but nothing like a 70s Les Paul Recording!

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Specs from the Gruhns Guide to Vintage Guitars:

 

Victory MV-10 or MV-X: 2 zebra-coil humbucking pickups and 1 stacked-coil humbucking pickup (middle position), 2 knobs, master coil-tap switch, 5-position slide switch, bound ebony fingerboard, antique cherry sunburst, candy apple red or twilight blue finish.

 

Available: Aug. 1981-84

 

 

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Heres mine, I really like it an aweful lot.

 

God I hate ignorant people like you... "a concrete block sounds just like a $5000 Martin", "there's no difference between poly and nitro", "the type of wood doesn't make a difference once it's plugged in".

 

Yeah, I guess 90% of guitarists are idiots, huh?

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God I hate ignorant people like you... "a concrete block sounds just like a $5000 Martin", "there's no difference between poly and nitro", "the type of wood doesn't make a difference once it's plugged in".

 

Yeah, I guess 90% of guitarists are idiots, huh?

Yes, at least 90% are idiots. How does it feel to be in the majority? You'll grow up some day.....probably not.

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Yes, at least 90% are idiots. How does it feel to be in the majority? You'll grow up some day.....probably not.

 

You're obviously in the 10% who are completely braindead. Have your opinion, but don't force it on others. Wood vibrates. Pickups are affected by vibrations. Thicker poly finishes hinder vibrations, while thinner nitro finishes hinder them less so. Remember, it's those "idiots" who Built the guitars you don't deserve to play. Maybe You'll finally grow up some day...bitter old man.

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You two need to dial it down a few knotches. [-X

 

The finish on a solid body guitar makes no difference at all in it's sound. It's there to protect the wood and make it look pretty. Nothing more. But I wouldn't call those who buy into the nitro myth idiots. Just eager to be misguided. [thumbup]

 

Very cool video by the way. The coil tap - coil split - series - parallel comments arn't all that accurate. Ok it's not accurate at all and adding a coil tap to a pickup dosn't change its sound at all when not activated. All you're doing is changing the ground point on the pickup from one point of the coil to another. When not engaged the electrons don't know it's there. Oh, and those Planet Waves tuners are not from 1982 but I can live with that.

 

I didn't know there was a Victory guitar. Knew about the basses.

 

Sounds awsome. Great playing and great sounding guitar. [thumbup]

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You two need to dial it down a few knotches. [-X

 

The finish on a solid body guitar makes no difference at all in it's sound. It's there to protect the wood and make it look pretty. Nothing more. But I wouldn't call those who buy into the nitro myth idiots. Just eager to be misguided. [thumbup]

 

Very cool video by the way. The coil tap - coil split - series - parallel comments arn't all that accurate. Ok it's not accurate at all and adding a coil tap to a pickup dosn't change its sound at all when not activated. All you're doing is changing the ground point on the pickup from one point of the coil to another. When not engaged the electrons don't know it's there. Oh, and those Planet Waves tuners are not from 1982 but I can live with that.

 

I didn't know there was a Victory guitar. Knew about the basses.

 

Sounds awsome. Great playing and great sounding guitar. [thumbup]

 

 

I think that a heavily applied finish can definitely affect the tone (ie, dipped in paint Strats of the 80's) of a solid body guitar. It affects how the wood would resonate so it has an effect. As far as type then I would say not so much. The argument for Nitro is that it allows the wood to "Breathe" (read, dry out more evenly over time affecting tone).

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I think that a heavily applied finish can definitely affect the tone (ie, dipped in paint Strats of the 80's) of a solid body guitar. It affects how the wood would resonate so it has an effect. As far as type then I would say not so much. The argument for Nitro is that it allows the wood to "Breathe" (read, dry out more evenly over time affecting tone).

 

I'm sorry, but your guitar didn't breathe when it was a tree, and it doesn't breathe now. It should have been dried to the correct relative moisture content before it was painted, not painted so it could continue to dry. It doesn't work that way. It's a myth. I cringed first time I saw the whole "breathe" thing.

 

rct

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Here is a rather long blog post I wrote in the subject a little while ago.

 

http://searcysw.blogspot.com/2012/05/why-nitro-finishes-suck-part-2.html

 

So last Monday we went over a very particular problem with Nitro finishes and mosquito repellant. I got a few more comments from folks saying that some types of suntan lotion and deodorant and some peoples sweat can also cause a nitrocellulose finish to go all sticky.

 

 

Further proof that nitro finishes suck.

 

There are also some rather ridiculous claims about nitro that have become part of the dogma of tone called "Mojo".

 

Photobucket

But doesn't nitro let the wood breath better as opposed to poly that seals everything up, locking in moisture, creating rubbery necks, and heavier bodies ?

 

Great question! Now this is one of the claims of Nitro that I'm talking about. Properly hardened Nitro doesn't have any magic ability to allow just the proper amount of moisture to leave the wood yet none to come back in. In fact it doesn't allow moisture to pass through it at all. When it comes to sealing the wood it is in no way different than poly.

 

The other claim is that Poly feels all plasticy and cold under your fingers. I agree with that one. But compared to oil or wax based finished like french polish, Tru Oil or danish oil, nitro feels plasticy and cold.

 

Then there is the claim that Polyurethane finished instrument don't sound as good because the thick finish damps the vibration of the wood. If that were true than wouldn't it make sense to go with the thinnest finish possible? Which brings us back to the wax and oil based finishes.

 

For every advantage nitro is supposed to give us as an instrument finish there is at least one other product out there that does the job faster, better, cheaper and with less toxic pollution and better resistance to color fade, checking and crazing.

 

So why do Gibson and Gretsch and Fender and Martin still use it?

 

Cause Nitro Finish is now part of the dogma baby. It's magic tone mojo. That's why! Guitar players are a picky bunch that hold on to their myths and superstitions like it was the holy word of Robert Johnson. A good solid technical explanation of physics will never hold up against a good tale of MoJo and magic in the guitar world.

 

 

But I was told nitro is porous in nature, and will allow moisture through if given time. Poly does not.

 

Nitrocellulose lacquer paints were developed by DuPont in the 1920's specifically NOT to breathe, but to be a sealant against the forces of nature for automotive applications. If Nitro produced a porous finish then water would be able to not only pass out of it but also into it. If Nitro produced a porous finish then the cars painted with it would have rusted up like crazy. If Nitro produced a porous finish then someone could prove it by putting it under a microscope and measuring the pours and recording them. But it doesn't and you can't so no one has.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The finish on an electric, solid body guitar has absolutely zero effect on its tone. You can take 6 identical guitars and finish them all with different types of finishes and you couldn't find a single person who could tell you which one was nitro by listening to them being played. Feel? Yea there's some difference in feel for some but there is no change in tone at all. If there was it could be measured and proven. But there isn't and you can't so no one has.

 

It's not unlike religious followers trying to keep the faith. The faithful love their superstitions and protect them against the heresy of the nonbelievers. They hold sacred the holy relics that can only render righteous "tone". Words like Nitrocellulose, Forbon, Aged Alnico Magnets , True Bypass, Patent Applied For, Paper In Oil and PreCBS are spoken with a clear understanding that all listening will know the holy power of these words or be cast aside as Philistines who do not walk the true path to glorious "tone".

 

The blind faith gets a little hard to believe at times. Stick with me here... Eric Johnson removes the center screw that holds the bottom cover on his Fuzz Face pedal because.... get this.... he claims he can hear it and it hurts his tone! Isn't that great? God we love that sort of ****! Guitar players just eat it up like candy and it's total hogwash. They will even start to make up some sort of bogus pseudo scientific explanation as to why this moronic notion makes perfect sense. I honestly think Eric is just yanking our collective chain just like Eddie did back in the early VanHalen days.

 

Some folks claim that that Nitro allows moisture to leave the body of the guitar but doesn't allow it to come back in. Acting as a magic check valve that makes it possible for the wood to cure forever. Or that it allows the wood to "vibrate more" imparting a more wood like tone to the guitars signal. No one ever seems to wonder why sucking the moisture out of a hunk of wood forever would make it sound better. They seem to have forgotten that the entire point of the solid body guitar was to make the body vibrate less and reduce feed back. Don't ask why, just believe...

 

Wanna try something fun? Ask a Bluegrass mandolin player what they think of Nitrocellulose and why. You'll find that most of them think the same way about Nitro that guitar players do about Poly. Why? Well they, like guitar players, believe that the methods and materials that were used in the golden age of instrument making are just better than anything else. The difference is that the mandolins golden age was in the 20's where as the guitar was in the 50's. Ask a violin player about Nitro finishes... See my point?

 

 

The only real advantage nitro has over poly finishes is that it's easier to cover up repairs because of nitros ability to melt into itself producing one finish layer instead of layer upon layer. This is important when trying to cover up a snapped Gibson head stock repair.

 

 

Now, all that being said. I have a number of guitars finished in Nitro and have no plans to start scraping it off in favor of something else. Why not? Because it looks good. And that's it's job...

 

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Wow! Didn't expect to start a war! HA HA HA As for me, I have no idea what chemical finish is on my guitars! That's the luthier's job and not mine. I just play the damn things! At the time I started this forum I only had the one Victory, an MVX. Well, since then I have acquired 2 more, another MVX and a MVII. The MVX has a Gibson tremolo system on it and I am now trying to see if that was the way the factory made it. Funny, I now have owned .2% of all Victorys ever made! HA HA HA HA Never did I think that would happen! Anyway, as for sound quality and such, I feel the Victorys have an extremely wide range of voices due to the coil tap and type of pick-ups used. As much as I love them though they have more of a treble tone than my Les Pauls do and I believe that is due to them being made from hardrock maple verses the Les Paul's mohagony and maple construction. As to which is better, DON'T ASK! It depends on the song being played as to which guitar I would use. Also on my mood! My personal favorite is my 2001 Les Paul Standard, but that is strictly my personal choice. I love all 8 of my gibsons along with all 6 of my Fenders. If I didn't love them I would not have bought them! Now, on to Victory guitars! I love the way they fit my body while playing and their weight gives them some pretty impressive sustain. I love the feel of the neck and the speed I am able to obtain when playing. I just got the MVX with the tremolo 2 weeks back so I really haven't got to know it as of yet. I have to put new strings on it, my choice that is..... Then I'll see what she can do! I'm hoping for some Van Halenish sounds! By the way, I plug straight into my Marshall Dual Super Lead and use no other effects. I want to play guitar not an effect machine.....

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Has anyone here ever played a Victory guitar? The Vic basses were well known but the guitars seem to be almost unknown! Back in 1982 I bought a MVII, brand new! I loved that guitar! Due to some self-inflicted difficulties I ended up selling it. In the last year I have acquired two in hopes of replacing the one that got away..... HAHAHA One of each model and style of finish offered! A MVX in midnight blue and a MVII in tobacco burst. I love the lok, feel and sound of these guitars! Solid hardrock maple, so they do weight a bit. 10 pounds to be precise but my 2001 LP Standard weighs the same, maybe just a wee bit more. They both have some nice humbucking pick-ups and also a coil tap switch to get a true single coil sound! The pick-ups were also a new design just for the Victorys at the time. I don't know if they used them in any other Gibsons..... But 5 new designs! On the MVX it gives you 10 different pick-up configurations! That's a lot of potential voices. Then they used a bridge that has changable saddles so you could have either a brass or nylon saddle to give move variety to it's sound! It's too bad it didn't sell good enough to continue..... I was told by a customer service rep at Gibson that only 2000 were made and they were distributed world wide. I'd love to hear from any other Vic owner/player!

 

Hi Mick

Like you, back in '82 (an outbreak of poetry lol) I purchased an MVII (sunburst).

I've still got it and won't part with it for the world now!

 

Even though I mainly play nylon guitars now (acoustic flamenco, Line 6 nylon and Yamaha Silent Guitar (my wife's favourite - that one's saved my marriages (laughs)), I still like to break out the Vic every now and again - it's even after all this time a real joy to play...

 

And it is still - in my opinion - one of the most gorgeous guitars ever produced.

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Anyone ever encountered a Victory 12 string? I've got one on the bench now. It's a greenish/gray metallic finish. Has 2 Single Coils and non traditional double coil bridge pickup. Has volume/tone and 3 mini toggles. Tune-a-matic bridge with hook style tailpiece. Set neck, Les Paul style pickguard (albeit smaller), Grover Tuners, silkscreened "Original Gibson Prototype" on back of headstock, headstock is the open-book style. Serial #82615510.

If anyone has any info, let me know.

 

Thanks in advance...

 

Scott Eivins

A&Z Guitar Repair

197 Femmer DR

Eolia, MO 63344

azguitarrepair-evh AT yahoo.com

post-58075-029234800 1373735352_thumb.jpg

post-58075-096704800 1373735436_thumb.jpg

post-58075-072591300 1373735497_thumb.jpg

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Not looking to argue here, but I feel the need to respectfully disagree about the type of wood NOT making a difference in sound........

 

I take that to mean I could pull all the hardware and electronics out of a Mahogany Les Paul and put them in a plywood bodied guitar and get the same sound? Nope, not going to believe that.

 

 

I agree that there are a LOT of myths out there concerning tone.

 

I personally don't know what to think about finishes, so I won't comment either way.

 

NHTom

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Hi,

Let's get back to talking about Victorys. I've just acquired a black MVX, which has to be one of the coolest guitars ever. The problem is that, according to Gibson, they were only produced in red, blue and sunburst. Mention has been made of Roy Orbison's black one which was a special order, but I recently came across a 1983 video of the Kinks playing "Come Dancing" in which Dave Davies is playing a black Victory MVX. I've also found two mentions of black Victorys, one with a Kahler trem., on other forums.

I would be very grateful to hear from anyone else with a black Victory, or anyone with a serial number close to mine, (83211534 - made on the 321st day of 1981), so that I can try to establish how many black ones were in that sequence. Gibson didn't have any records relating to serial numbers but they did say that sometimes a retailer who did a lot of business with Gibson would be able to ask for a small number of guitars with a special finish. I've also seen a black Victory bass on Ebay, and that 12-string looks like a one-off - I'd love to get my hands on one of those! Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help or posts an interesting reply.

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Around the 1980s, one of the largest music retailers in Munich was under one roof with ISO, the Gibson distributor for Germany these days. I know for sure they had at least one black Victory guitar for sale. I say "at least" since due to these special connections they sometimes even bought the entire Gibson production output of several months. Players came from far away to buy Gibson guitars there, for the variety of options as well as for the prices.

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Around the 1980s, one of the largest music retailers in Munich was under one roof with ISO, the Gibson distributor for Germany these days. I know for sure they had at least one black Victory guitar for sale. I say "at least" since due to these special connections they sometimes even bought the entire Gibson production output of several months. Players came from far away to buy Gibson guitars there, for the variety of options as well as for the prices.

 

Thank you Capmaster - that confirms the theory. I hope some owners will add more information.

If anyone wants to see one, there's a photo on the Harmony Central thread on black SGs:

 

www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/guitar/acapella-41/1124805-?&_suid=139610835949409409563285298645

 

Being a Newbie I haven't worked out how to upload photos of mine yet!

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I will put my Martin D-28 up against anyone's cement guitar and I will bet even my two Cocker Spaniels can tell the difference between the two.

 

I do want tuners that cut the excess off my strings cause I am lazy and hate when they poke me in the finger.

 

Coil Split/Coil Tap - what is a winding or two among friends.

 

That's like comparing a cup of coffee with a brick - what's the point?

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Kinda' remind you of anything?

 

vic%201.jpg

 

EG_01.jpg

 

 

Gibson would probably stand a much better chance with this lawsuit than the whole "single-cut" thing.

 

One is a run of the mill Strat clone, the other is different - sometimes the difference between pretty good and brilliant or good looking and stunning is quite subtle.

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