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Inquiries regarding the 1981 Victory Artist Model

Inquiries regarding the 1981 Victory Artist Model
« on: December 03, 2006, 10:57:11 AM »

  I recently purchased a 1981 Victory Artist in an antique sunburst finish, and let me tell you: This bass is incredible. In my opinion, it easily does circles around the Jazz Bass as far as versatility, tone and aesthetic. I am posting to find others who share my enthusiasm for this instrument, but also  to inquire as to whether or not there is any sort of  procedure surrounding the purchase of used instruments (lame as hell, I know). Should I take it into a shop? The only troubles I've had with it  thus far are that the action is a tad high and the 16th fret on the G string buzzes crazily. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Also, I am slightly suspicious of why the Victory was not at all popular. Is there anything gravely amiss with it that I should know about before becoming too attatched?

Inquiries regarding the 1981 Victory Artist Model
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 08:10:58 PM »
Yeah, take it in to your local shop for a setup.  It won't run more than fitty bones.  I suspect it just needs a bridge/truss rod adjustment.

I have Vic Standard - great neck and I love the upper register access. Great tone too.

They were popular at the time of release (compared to many other Gibby basses) -  Ted Nuggent's Bass Player used one as did the band trying out for the talent show just before Marty McFly's in "Back to the Future" (and they must have sold a bunch of them because they're always coming up on ebay).  The main reason they don't do well nowadays on the used market (lowest priced Gibby bass, but not the worst) is the weight - the all-maple construction makes the Victories rather heavy (the standard is a bit heavier then either the Custom or Artist models which have larger routes in the body to accomodate a second pickup and associated electronics).  Their popularity may also have been affected by a change in aesthetic tastes in the 90s when pointy guitars started falling out of style along with Hair Metal and the power ballad.

That being said, the average price of a Standard has gone up from about US$300 when I bought mine to $400-500, so the secret is getting out -  if you want a P sound, but with more balls and improoved ergonomics, and don't want to spend a grand, then get a Victory.


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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 12:09:46 PM »
Unfortunately there are no released shipping figures past '79, so theres no definate info on how they did sales-wise, but for some of their production run, they were Gibsons only bass model.

Compared to other older Gibsons they tend to be found in quite unmolested condition, which is a testament to their useability as instruments. You don't see them with added pickups or replaced bridges like some others

They are not old enough to be vintage, and it has not really caught the attention of any of the retro-loving bands that could popularise it

I predict that the next 10 years will see a revival in interest in, and prices of the victory

My victory artist is missing a couple switches - anyone got any parts?

Inquiries regarding the 1981 Victory Artist Model
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 07:13:11 PM »
In the 3 years I've been watching Gibson bass auctions on ebay I have seen only 1 Victory Standard (out of the few hundred that were listed) with the pup changed.  I've seen 0 modded Customs or Artists.

Modded Victory bass
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2006, 05:13:13 PM »
There was a Victory bass at a local shop here that had the 2 pickups replaced with Jazz pickups. Not sure which model it was tho. I played it unplugged but didn't bother plugging it in cause there were other people doing serious business and since it was a small shop, I didn't want to be rude. It sold and ended up for sale on Ebay a couple of months later from a pawn shop in central Phx. It was missing a couple of switches, so I'm sure the original electronics were missing. Would have liked to hear it tho, just to see what it was like.

I'd like to get a Victory at some point. It would be a nice alternative to the more common  P-Bass.



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