Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

7Aug/05Off

Both Kinds: Ashford AND Simpson

I'm foolishly happy right now over something that probably no one else in the universe could care about. I finally managed to track down another copy of the only guitar I actually like. Unfortunately, most people who play guitar are easily awed by things that are pretty (sometimes the expense of functionality but mainly by getting sucker punched right in the wallet) or 'collectable.' This makes the Gibson Challenger one of those weird guitars that is neither collectable nor that much to look at. Given that they were only manufactured for a couple of years (and the ones I like were only made for one year -- 1983) and were inexpensive new they tend to take up space in attics instead of actually being put to use. I guess people also assume that they're not valuable because the finish Gibson used on these guitars checks like crazy and they will never look slick again without an expensive refinish. All of that said (and not said well through the haze of a hangover), I'm very happy to have another one. The more greenish of the two (on the right) is the one I've dragged around with me for the past nine or so years and the more metallic of the two is the new one. It is kind of sad that it won't stay that pretty for much longer.

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  1. Nice… how much do they run?

    It reminds me a lot of “The Paul” which is an inexpensive, but good current era Gibson that my friend Vince swears by… me, I’m an MIJ Fender man without a single damn humbucker to my name.

    Speaking of which, I need to sell some shit if you know anyone interested. Recording shit… guitar shit… a drum machine that won’t boot.

  2. I actually own four Gibsons. Sheesh. Jose does play a G&L that might have a single coil in it. I’m actually bidding on another Challenger right now. Sheesh. The Paul is a workhorse of a guitar but they’re still a bit on the heavy side for little guys like me.

    Wha’cha got?

  3. It’s funny how you end up going one way or another – Linux, Mac, Windows… Fender/Gibson… Digital/Analog…

    Fender Mustang MIJ – mid-late 90’s, turquoise w/a chip or three.
    Fender Jaguar MIJ – mid 90’s. Suburst, really big chip, some paint dents.
    Fender Jazzmaster MIJ – late 90’s – candy red w/matching headstock.
    Tascam 238 Syncaset – $200 (great condition, foot pedals, manual)
    Tascam PB-48RCA patchbay. ($20… or free with the above tape machine)

    I also have a Shure SM-57 and a green bullet I could part with… they’re just sitting in their boxes doing nothing.

    Oh… and I have an 80’s MIJ Fender Jazz bass sitting a box, completely disassembled and half sanded. At this point, the neck will need so much work I’d be better off just buying a new one and rehashing the spare parts.

  4. Oh… speaking of heavy…

    I nearly bought one of the Travis Bean manufactured aluminum-necked Kramers. Instead I picked up the aforementioned Mustang.

  5. I’ve actually played a Travis Bean before and although those guitars sound impeccable I would not want to play a real one. It felt like I had some kind of heavy weaponry with the tendency to slide groundward strapped to me.

    I had a couple Fenders post high school but my hands are too small for their fret scale. I really like the way that Mustangs feel but a slight bump will magically cause them to be a half step out of tune. I played a Richenbacher all through high school but had the same problems with the fret scale and the bridge that ate strings like crazy. I guess that would be less a problem now that I play 52-14 strings.

  6. Which reminds me that I need to ship you my stock of medium – heavy flat wounds. I really think you might like the sound and feel.

    I’ve not had many problems out of any of the bridges, except for the Jazzmaster which is a bitch. The Jazzmaster also has the hottest pickups – probably 5-10db higher output than my Mustang, which is my preferred “screw around” guitar.

  7. I bought a Challenger 2 in 1983. It always stayed in tune and had great tone and it took a beating well. This was my first eletric guitar and it never left my site. Hell I even brought it with me when I hitched up in the Navy and it survived a 6 month deployment aboard a assalt ship.(LHA-5 Uss.Peleliu) Now days its but a skeleton hanging on the wall. Its pick ups? who knows..Its was my donated project guitar to my cousin who is still at it restoring guitars and the challenger was his first crack at it. He has become quite good and has several guitars that has brought him success. So there again the challenger has been a great guitar. By the way it still sounds good clean.


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