Gibson Melody Maker

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by beckstriad, Dec 13, 2005.


  1. beckstriad

    beckstriad I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,809
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    What do you guys think about vintage Gibson Melody Makers? Could I get some opinions on the type of tone and build quality that these guitars offer? Thanks for the help, guys and girls.
     
  2. Luke V

    Luke V Member

    Messages:
    1,942
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo
    There are alot of different styles. Do you have a pic, or can you describe it. Some look like lp jrs, some like sgs, some look like niether. The lp jr type are the coolest. The sg style has a very narrow headstock and a kind of wimpy single coil. That type was my first "real" guitar. Build quality is decent, They're from the 50s and 60s. That said they are the bottom of the line Gibsons. The precurser of the Kalamazoo brand.
     
  3. beckstriad

    beckstriad I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,809
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Yeah, I would like to know about the Les Paul Junior style Melody Makers. Thanks for the reply, keep them coming...
     
  4. Shamus

    Shamus Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,038
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    As the prices of '50's gibby's have gone throught the roof, MM's are the last of the bunch. They have a thinner mahogany slab than Juniors, but many owners feel that they are fairly close tonally. Even w/ the non-winged narrow headstocks, they share the neck profiles and old wood with the greats.

    I've been looking for a nice beater single cut myself.
     
  5. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

    Messages:
    19,405
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    The new ones aren't bad guitars- you're getting a fair guitar for the price, and at the end of the day it still says "Gibson" on the headstock.
     
  6. beckstriad

    beckstriad I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,809
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    So's the tone like a LP Junior or something different? Thanks and keep them coming...
     
  7. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

    Messages:
    19,405
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    The newer ones have P-90s and that keeps it in the Junior spectrum. The older ones have lower output pickups, kind of like a Fender Bronco pickup.
     
  8. beckstriad

    beckstriad I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,809
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Is it possible to put a p-90 in the older ones?
     
  9. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

    Messages:
    19,405
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    You'd have to enlarge the rout on your pickguard or get a new one. The amount of wood you have to remove is minimal. Just a tiny wedge on the treble side.

    If you have an older one, I'd suggest NOT doing that unless the guitar has been hacked or a neck break or something- there are only so many of those old Melody Makers, and year by year there's fewer and fewer examples of un-boogered ones. It used to be you could pick one up cheap, and you didn't feel bad about carving it up because they were a dime a dozen. Not so much anymore.
     
  10. pm81

    pm81 Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    TX
    Got 2 in mine (came that way) - had some additional work to fix up the wiring and shim the pickups along with some other mods. It's a 65.

    Great piece of wood (old honduras mahogany and brazilian fretboard, excellent neck).

    edit - broken link on pic

    Paul
     
  11. Luke V

    Luke V Member

    Messages:
    1,942
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo
    Why don't you just get a Les Paul jr. from MF? I've got one, and it kicks ass, great guitar for the money. I got mine used, looks brand new, for $550.
     
  12. JamesT

    JamesT Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia near DC
    I have a lp jr style 66. it is red like in modded picture. It has 2 pickups. it had a tremelo that was removed and replaced with a Leo Quan badass bridge. It has a great tone and fun to play. It looks like it went off to college as it has some dings but not too many. To save money Gibson took LP necks and shaved down the head stock, painted it black and used a decal so it has the same shaped neck as my LP Standard. The body is a bit thinner than LP Junior so is almost neck heavy, but not really I have a 68 p-90 but did not put it in as it is not modded and LQ bridge does not add holes. Great sound and build quality is too. Nitro finish also. I would classify it way above a beater... I have seen early mint sunburst ones got for $800. In 99 I haid $500. They were sold with cheapo cases and I got the store to give me an old beater LP case. I put a towel in it to make up the difference in thickness.
     
  13. JamesT

    JamesT Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia near DC
    Back in 86 my brother bought one for $100.

    someone had made the routs bigger, painted it black with a brush(EEK!) and put in a super distortion pickup in it. It was abused. I stripped it refinished it with just a couple of coats of varnish. It is much happier now.
     
  14. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

    Messages:
    2,998
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    suburban Philly
    My '61 Melody Maker is one of my most toneful and resonant guitars.

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  15. JamesT

    JamesT Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia near DC
    I played mine last night Fender accoustisonic junior with reverb and chorus and my wife commentred on how pretty Melody sounded. I reccommend getting an untouched one and leaving it as she was born. if you want to chjop one up get a new or 80s one that came with a hummer pup.
     

Share This Page