If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site ,you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ... Domenic

Important Note : Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully some of our viewers can help you out ... Thank You

Gibson Challenger

--gibson challenger II
Gibson Challenger I Guitar ( 1983 - 1985 )

In 1983 Gibson Introduced a Les paul Style Shaped solid body guitar and named it the gibson challenger , the guitar was single cutaway , had one

humbucker pickup , bolt on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and dot markers . The Gibson challenger was dicontinued in 1985 .

Gibson Challenger II ( 1983-1985 )

At the exact same time gibson also made the gibson challenger II electric guitar , It still had a lespaul shaped solid body , rosewood fingerboard ( dot markers ) but two Humbuckers . Came in various finishes .

The gibson challenger guitars are very much like the marauders ( bolt on neck ) which were introduced three years earlier .

The challengers never established ground on the market , the pickups were known to be a little noisy , the guitar was solid but had a sluggish sound , and the look just didnt cut it during the early 80s .

However, today these guitars are selling for cheap , seen some gibson challengers guitars for sale at $300 to $400 , in this price range its definitly worth it . Better than most modern guitars in this price range .

Vintage Price Value For 2008 :
1983 - 1985 > $425 to $525 ( Challenger I )
1983 - 1985 > $475 to $575 ( Challenger II )

gibson challengerAvg Upward Trend Of 4% a Year since 2000

Buying Advice For Used & Vintage Gibson Challenger Guitars

1. If you want to buy a Gibson challenger guitar, you can find used & vintage Gibson challenger guitars for sale on Ebay .


  1. Anonymous5:59 PM

    I have a Challenger II and is a great guitar. My main guitar is an Sg special, which is more like an AK assault weapon than a guitar; too much violent and hard rocker. That's why I tried to find somethig to complement the Sg, but in the Gibson boundaries -I just love that tone-. The Challenger is sweet and less agressive. The maple neck -not usual in Gibson- makes it more brilliant. The pick ups are great and not noisy at all. It's a pretty unique instrument.

    A. Allard.

  2. Anonymous5:57 AM

    I have a Challenger II. The pickups in this one weren't noisy, but weren't particularly inspiring either. A pair of EMGs turned this puppy into a pit bull. The neck is the perfect combination of width and thickness for someone who started playing in the Eighties.

  3. Anonymous7:02 AM

    i had 2 gibson challengers in my life and i couldn't stand them , they are great guitars for students but nothing more .

    in my opinion the original pick ups that were on my challengers were awful ... i had to replace them with EMGs too .

    With a little modifications here and there i ended up loving them ...

  4. Anonymous8:49 PM

    Here's mine after some modifications (Pick ups, coil tapping, new frets, new tunners)


    I just love it. But the original pick ups were cheap, you guys are right.


  5. MARCH8:25 PM

    allard , your challenger looks really nice compared to mine .. my challenger looks like it went through war .. but i still luv it ...


  6. this is the one and only guitar I use. I bought a Challenger II to go along with my original '83 Challenger. This guitar sings with the right amp. High gain brings noise and bumps so much that with the right fingers it makes rock and roll perfection. I'd say buy a noise gate with these guitars and let it ride and inersperse noise heaven. Tony/Totimoshi

  7. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I bought my Challenger II new in 84' and played it until it needed a fret job. Until then it always held it's tune and looking back in retro-spect it was a great guitar, and I wish I still had it. I gave it away (free) to a friend of mind who started to luther guitars. Esp gold /silver and a nice re-build. Sounded great,however not as unique as when new..

  8. Anonymous7:25 PM

    I bought my Gibson Challenger new back in '83 and it is a great guitar. It has a "second" on the back headstock. I was told that because of a small imperfection on the body due to an errored screw hole. The guitar has a flat body, no frills, but nice chrome hardware guitar. The color is what I call gray w/ black pick guard, 2 hummbucking pick ups, 3 knobs, 3-way switch and jack all on the front and easy to get to, rosewood fret board w/dot inlays on a maple neck. I love the light weight of this guitar and the action is absolutely perfect. I had to have the jack repaired once because of a slight humming noise. This is my favorite guitar. I also have a '90 LP Standard. The Challenger is a bit bassy in comparison to me, probably due to the covers over the pick ups, but with the right amp set up and tone controls it is fine. I was surprised to learn Gibson made Challenger's with single hummbuckers as well as the Challenger II's with 2 and even 3 pick ups and in production only from '82 to '85.

  9. Anonymous5:37 PM

    love my challenger , picked one up on ebay for $250 , replaced the pick ups with dimarzios and boy does it sing .. i use it on gigs too ... great guitars to modify .

  10. I have a 1983 SG Special, it's a three-knob model, tobacco burst in color, but the tailpiece/bridge is one piece. It has no compensators for intonation, just a stopbar tailpiece. Odd, I cant find any picture of a 3 knob model with a stopbar/tailpiece. Ideas?

  11. I have a laguna seca blue Challenger I, my cousin sold it to me for $100 CDN. I tossed it on to my couch and cracked the body, not the neck, the body. The neck joint looks like a les paul neck that hasnt been notched out for a tenon yet, very deep, and the body is no thicker than an sg without the bevels so this produces a very light but brittle neck pocket. Mahogany is not near as strong as maple. So im keeping the body and electronics in a case and then im making a new (thicker) bookmatched body with very minimal routings. This way i still have all the original parts but thanks to the bolt neck i can transfer the nek to another body.

  12. bensinister at earthlink dot net4:08 PM

    Owlofok: The tailpiece on your SG is aftermarket. It was manufactured with the Schaller 455.

  13. Anonymous7:58 PM

    If you guys want to ditch those pick ups' I am interested. I like them! To each there own. Johnnyhasbeen@hotmail .
    I have a u-2 I may part with if anyone is interested too.

  14. I've got a Gibson Telecaster.Solid ash body.Very heavy. Hockey stick shape head stock. The name Gibson is on the tress rod cover. Anybody ever seen one of these. Please let me know. shester92@yahoo.com

  15. And yes it is definitely a telecaster body.

  16. Good entry level Gibson in the day, but the weak pickups like everyone said need to be upgraded. Just keep the originals in case you ever want to restore it to original.

  17. thuth679:16 PM

    I have a Challenger 1. Single pickup, silver, with the original case. I like the sound I get out of mine. Of coarse I also use effects. Its a fun and inexpensive guitar. Gonna keep mine original.

  18. Anonymous6:19 PM

    I have a Challenger 2, I took out the bridge pickup and put in one with a splitter, also moved the input jack to the side so I could ad another tone pot to set up more like a les-paul. love the neck on this guitar. I kept all parts ro return to original but probably will keep as is don't plan on selling it

  19. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Anyone have a close-up of the vibrato on a Challenger II? I'm trying to ID the unit with Gibson's help but they need to see more detail.


  20. Anonymous6:13 AM

    I bought my Gray/silver Challenger II the minute it became available! I couldn't afford a Les Paul at that time. I still use it today, but mainly use my Charvel Model 3 (1991) because of the floyd rose bar. As far as the feel of the neck and body, the only other guitar that has felt as smooth is a 1954 Les Paul.

  21. Anonymous5:11 PM

    Mine is kind of grey/green.
    My mother bought it new for me on my sixteenth birthday. It was shiny, new and said Gibson. I thought it was the coolest guitar ever made. 25 years later it just keeps getting cooler. The finish is checking and I am on my third set of pickups. I've relocated the input jack because I kept pulling out the pick guard screws, and I have taken some wood out of the body to add electronics. I've replaced the tuning pegs with gibson deluxe tuners, and replaced the knobs with gold P-Bass domes. I used it in a jam session over the weekend and it sounded awesome. My mother passed away 16 years ago but that guitar reminds me of her every time I pick it up.

  22. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Anyone has the schematics for this?


  23. Anonymous10:19 AM

    I have a completely black 1983 Gibson Challenger/Corvus? I wrote Gibson with a serial number and they responded. However, this is an anomaly to me, as it has the three single wound and same plate as Corvus pickups (that kill like my Old Strat).It has the LP body, bolt on maple neck, but its the Broad Gibson head stock with Challenger on the Plate. Took it apart to check for home-made marks and found the matching serial number stamped on pick ups as on neck. No router marks that seem new. Owned it since late 1980's, Bought at a Gibson authorized dealer who still is in business. Anyone ever see another like this?

  24. Anonymous12:53 PM

    I just started on my 'Challenger Project': modyfing a '83 Challenger II. When completed the slab mahogany body will have a flame maple (thin) top and two Lindy Fralin P90s.
    I red that someone was interested in the pickups. They're in great condition, drop me an email: guitar.nirvana@gmail.com

  25. Scott Grove6:51 PM

    To the guy that is 2 posts above me. Yes, that is the Challenger III. I too have the Corvus III and the Challenger III. Nobody every mentions the Challenger III because they don't know that they exist. They are very hard to come by. You are also correct in that they have the Corvus III Pickguard and electronics with the master volume, master tone and the 5 way switch and the 3 single coil pickups and they tear a Strat a new one. And I'm a Strat nut. So, they are a very cool guitar, unlike the much weaker Challenger I and II models.

  26. I have a silver Challenger I that I got for Christmas in '83 and it has lived with me through thousands of miles, untold hours, girl friends and wives (well, actually, I can count the wives). She's still with me and as sweet playing as the day we met.

  27. Anonymous6:16 AM

    I have a Challenger II. Pretty beat up but well worth the 500 euros i paid for it almost 10 years ago! Changed the pickups to humbucker sized P-90's, a big improvement.

  28. I have a Challenger II, Di Marzio pickups and its sounds great.
    Good sustain and easy to ply.
    It's my secret weapon guitar on recording studio when there's a need of ... inspiration
    have a listen here

  29. My first electric guitar was a Challenger II. I ended up trading it in toward a Stratocaster. Years later I regretted it. So, I bought another one on eBay. I threw some after-market pickups in it & it sounds fine.

  30. Article is incorrect in that the Marauder came out in 1974