Vintage 1981 Gibson Victory Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by austinrick, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. I'm not really interested in buying this bass, but I wonder if there is a story behind the 1981 Gibson Victory bass and is it worth the asking price, and I'd rather hear it from the folks at TB...
  2. My self I have never played one but would love to try one. However this one your pic (to me) does not look right..

    This one on the right is a 2 pickup version..notice no jazz style pick up. There is a single pickup version which has the pickup by the neck only.
  3. Victory Standard..

    1981-VICTORY-STANDARD-1.jpg I have seen Standards cheaper on Evil Bay ($650)
  4. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Modified. Pickguard replaced, original pickup has been moved, J pickup added. Maybe a good player. Do not buy assuming any "vintage" value. $300~400 Max.
    davedblyoo and Laurie Bass like this.
  5. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do?

    Nov 27, 2013
    Richmond va
    it has been in the Richmond CL for months.
  6. As much as that one has been modified, I can't imagine it would have any collectors value. Interesting bas, though. I love that side-by-side pic above. I learn something every time I get on this site.
  7. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    austinrick likes this.
  8. I had a Candy Apple Red Victory Artist Fretless in 1988. I never weighed it, but I believe it was the heaviest bass I've ever played.
  9. Dominick C.

    Dominick C.

    Jul 2, 2012
    Austin, Tx
    I don't like mean people or mean comments....
    There is one on reverb right now for $550. It's gold. They say it's up over 11 pounds.
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    The Victory I tried was very heavy.
  11. I have a 1981 Victory Standard and am going to pickup another one next week. Love them!

    Don't avoid them because of rumors about weight! The one I have is really not that heavy: it's about the same weight as my Fender Jazz 5 string, which is heavy but not prohibitive. It sounds a lot like a Fender Precision, which was Gibson's design intent, but the offset body makes it more comfortable to play than a Precision (IMO).

    The build quality is very good compared to some other basses of a similar vintage, with the possible exception of the paintwork. The one I have was candy apple red but has been refinished in virgin white, as is the one I am going to buy next week. I've heard that the original paintwork just doesn't stand the test of time.

    Gibson sometimes gets a bad rap for its polarizing designs and questionable quality, but I think the Victory is their best design ever. It's the most Fender-ish bass they ever made, and I personally think they will become collectors items.

    Too darn loud!
    EdwardofHuncote likes this.
  12. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie

    Aug 21, 2013
    Did they (Gibson) ever make a Victory 5-string? I have a 1987 Thunder Series 5-string that is a featherweight... I had always assumed it was Gibson's first attempt at a fiver, but would like to try a Victory 5.

    @OP - I concur with above posts... this one is a mod job. Might still be a cool bass but not very collectible.
  13. I have never seen a Victory 5, but it seems any Victory is uncommon.

    The Victory was Norlin-era Gibson's last dying attempt at competing with the P bass and it was designed and built very well. Not like some of the other Gibsons of that era. So I still think it will be a collectible.
  14. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Modified bass, worth less than half the asking price I'd suspect.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have one, a 4 stringer, and yeah, it's very heavy, but I think my ash/maple T-40 has it beat in that department. I seem to remember the '54 Precision I learned on as being as heavy as or heavier than the Victory as well.
  16. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, that's been rather butchered - may actually sound better, but no value as "vintage" or "collectible". If I lived close, I might try to at least check it out in person, but that asking price seems too high. No description of the changes, either, no mention that it's not stock.
  17. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've had several very heavy basses over the decades including, an Ampeg Big Stud, Fender Telecaster Bass, a couple of EBMM Stingrays, an early '80s J, several late 70's Ps, a couple of Peavey T-40s, and an early Ibanez SR1305 5 string.

    I've served my sentence, I'm done with heavy basses. ;)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  18. I hear that! Although I love my Victory, it certainly would not my first choice for playing a long gig. It is not that much heavier than any of my other full scale basses, it's just that my back tends to hurt after a long session with a full scale bass. Age catches up with us all. This is why I have a nice lightweight shortscale ;)
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I live just south of there in Eastern NC. I sent the guy an email twice asking who did the mods and what kind of parts/pickups were used. He never responded either time. He's asking way too much anyway.
  20. Hmm... Unresponsive seller = deal-breaker

    As a Victory owner, I'd consider buying it for spare parts. Or I would buy it, break it up and sell the parts to other Victory owners.