Gibson Melody Maker, Harmony H22 bass, Vox Ultrasonic
1969 Gibson Melody Maker guitarHarmony H22 bassVox Ultrasonic guitar, with built-in effects
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1964 Gibson Melody Maker

Solid-body single pickup electric guitar

Gibson Melody Maker main page | 1964 Gibson Melody Maker | 1969 Gibson Melody Maker

1964 Gibson Melody Maker
1964 Gibson Melody Maker
Model 1964 Gibson Melody Maker, sunburst finish
Pickups One Gibson PU380 single-coil Melody Maker pickup.
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Mahogany body. 17 1/4" long, 13" wide, 1 3/8" thick.
Neck One piece mahogany with adjustable truss rod. Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot markers. 22 frets. Width at nut 1 5/8"
Hardware 1 volume and 1 tone control. Gibson GV19 vibrola (optional) and TPBR bridge. Kluson 301V tuning keys
Weight 2.62 kg
Headstock pitch 14° (13°?)

See also

Very many guitar players of the 1960s started out on a Gibson Melody Maker; they were very fine guitars for the price; high quality wood, a desireable nitrocellulose finish, but with simple electronics, resulting in a lightweight, easy playing, great sounding instrument, but with less tonal range than higher end instruments. There basic body design did change over the years; initially a single-cutaway Les Paul style, then the doublecutaway as shown here, and finally the same body shape as the SG series of guitars.

Quality woodwork on an entry level guitar

The Gibson workmanship, materials, construction and finish are every bit as good as many higher end guitars - these were made in the Gibson Kalamazoo plant alongside the SG, Les Paul and ES335 guitars - but without expensive inlays and binding, and using simple controls and cheaper, plastic covered single coil pickups. Just like the majority of 1960s Gibson solid bodies, the Melody Maker was all-mahogany (South American), with a set (glued in) neck. The typical Gibson look is completed with a nitrocellulose sunburst finish. Production costs were kept down by giving these guitars a slightly narrower headstock (most Gibson guitars have two extra glued-on wings to give extra width to the headstock), body routing on the front only, and simplified controls which could be assembled away from the guitar itself. Combined with simple single ply plastic parts and a lower-cost hardware, such as the PU380 Melody Maker pickup, the 1964 Melody maker had a zone 1 price of $127.50, or $146.50 with Gibson GV19 vibrola. A single pickup SG Junior was $165 (or $184 with vibrola) at this time.

1964 Gibson catalogueFrom the 1964 Gibson catalogue

Greatest value ever in a solid body electric with full-sized neck and scale length. Acclaimed by players. teachers and students for its fine sound. Big tone, sensative pick-up, feather-light touch and beautiful sunburst finish.

The Gibson Melody Maker was produced in large numbers between 1959 and 1970, with almost 25000 single-pickup Melody Makers produced in this time. In 1964 alone 3685 of them were shipped - the second highest shipping figure after 1965 (see the full Gibson Melody Maker shipping figures).

Gibson Melody Maker fitted with TPBR wraparound bridge The scratchplate of this guitar has the words Melody Maker at the end of the neck Gibson PU380 Melody Maker pickup
Melody Maker guitars were fitted with the TPBR wraparound bridge; nickel plated in this case The scratchplate of this guitar has the words "Melody Maker" at the end of the neck The 1960s Melody Maker guitars were equipped with one (or two) single coil Gibson PU380 pickups
Gold Gibson bell-knobs were fitted to mid 1960s Melody Makers; one volume control and one tone control Gibson Melody Maker headstock detail Gibson Melody Maker reverse headstock detail with Kluson Deluxe tuning keys
Gold Gibson bell-knobs were fitted to mid 1960s Melody Makers; one volume control and one tone control Gibson Melody Maker headstock detail Gibson Melody Maker reverse headstock detail with Kluson Deluxe 301V tuning keys
Gibson Melody Maker logo The serial number stamped onto the reverse of this headstock dates this guitar as a 1964 instrument Gibson Melody Maker heel detail
Gibson Melody Maker logo The serial number stamped onto the reverse of this headstock dates this guitar as a 1964 instrument Gibson Melody Maker heel detail

Melody Maker controls, as described above, are scratchplate mounted. The circuitry is very simple; just a volume and tone control respectively parts BA811 3701 and BA811 3707. In the guitar shown the pots are made by Centralab (they start with the code 134) and are dated to August / September 1964.

Gibson Melody Maker reverse body Gibson Melody Maker body routes and controls mounted to the scratchplate

Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment



Gibson Melody Makers for sale


US ebay listings

GIBSON USA MELODY MAKER - American Made Gibson Electric GUITAR - RED!!!

Current price: $399.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 20h 6m
Gibson Melody Maker Electric Guitar W/ Changed Parts Vintage 1965 U.S.A !

Current price: $750.00

Time left: 14h 59m
Gibson 1965 Red Dual Pickup Pickup Melody Maker Body & Neck

Current price: $539.99
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Gibson 2014 melody maker with p90s and 50s wiring and gigbag

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2014 Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker 120th Anniversary, Wine Red (Satin) #36319

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Gibson USA Melody Maker Ebony satin 2011

Current price: $425.00
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2003 Gibson USA Les Paul Melody Maker Guitar Cherry Red, Intonatable bridge!

Current price: $599.00
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Gibson USA Melody Maker * 2014 Les Paul Model *

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Gibson '67 Melody Maker Vintage w / Hard Case

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GIBSON 60s Vintage LES PAUL MELODY MAKER Double Cut DC Natural Refin '57 Pickup

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gibson melody maker

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1986 Gibson Melody Maker - Red - Humbucker

Current price: $700.00
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Time left: 24d 4h 34m
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UK ebay listings

Gibson Joan Jett Melody Maker Signature Guitar

Current price: £999.00
buy it now
Time left: 13h 39m
Gibson 1965 Red Dual Pickup Pickup Melody Maker Body & Neck

Current price: £408.96
buy it now
Time left: 15d 8h 50m
1986 Gibson Melody Maker - Red - Humbucker

Current price: £530.14
buy it now
Time left: 24d 4h 34m
2014 Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker 120th Anniversary, Wine Red (Satin) #36319

Current price: £454.40
buy it now
Time left: 26d 27m
gibson melody maker. Tobacco Sunburst. 2008

Current price: £325.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 20h 19m
GIBSON 60s Vintage LES PAUL MELODY MAKER Double Cut DC Natural Refin '57 Pickup

Current price: £511.21
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Time left: 27d 11h 46m
Gibson Melody Maker 2003

Current price: £530.00
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Time left: 10d 11h 28m
L@@K... Gibson Melody Maker & Fender Mustang 1 Amp plus accessories

Current price: £385.00
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Time left: 19d 20h 38m
GIBSON Vintage 1964-65 MELODY MAKER JOAN JETT STYLE KILL SWITCH WORN WHITE

Current price: £749.77
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Time left: 12d 9h 42m
Gibson 2014 melody maker with p90s and 50s wiring and gigbag

Current price: £453.65
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Time left: 5m
Gibson EXPLORER Melody Maker - Guitar - Made in USA + Case

Current price: £349.00
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Time left: 2d 17h 28m
Gibson Melody Maker 1963 Golden Era

Current price: £1300.00
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Time left: 19d 18h 6m
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German ebay listings

Gibson Explorer Melody Maker weiss

Current price: €499.00
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Time left: 23h 21m
Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker 2014

Current price: €444.00
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Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker - Single Pickup original

Current price: €444.00

Time left: 23h 33m
1969 GIBSON SG MELODY MAKER -- made in USA

Current price: €1150.00
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Time left: 5d 16h 26m
GIBSON MELODY MAKER - made in USA - SLIM NECK PROFILE

Current price: €1090.00
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Time left: 22d 16h 26m
SG MELODY MAKER PG f. GIBSONĀ® 3PLY WHITE WBW 2011 GENUINE PICKGUARD USA QUALITY

Current price: €34.95
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Time left: 17d 15h 28m
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There are 6 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
jay keele Comment left 9th May 2012 16:04:55
Sweet guitars. I've owned 7 Melody makers since 1978, including a 64 identical to this one - and i've loved them all. the best players had replacement humbuckers and tuners, but even the stock single coils rock out. So light so good looking and so easy to play.
nelljohn Comment left 20th June 2012 07:07:09
My first guitar! Ok my second guitar, but my first proper guitar. Identical in every way. I covered it with stickers, then proceeded to thrash the life out of it. I wish I still had it seeing the money these go for now. Who'd have thought that these would go from punk throwabout to respectable vintage collectable in 25 years
anonymous Comment left 26th June 2012 21:09:36
I inherited my dad's Melody Maker a few years back - just like the guitar pictured above, but without the vibrola. I think it is a 1963. Great condition but the original tuning keys have been swapped out for some individual Klusons. It keeps tune better now, buy will this affect value? What would this be worth please?
Dan Comment left 22nd July 2012 11:11:27
I have a cherry mm also a 64 - do you know how many were cherry vs sb. Any other colors available? TIA Dan
me Comment left 3rd January 2013 07:07:05
Why would anyone modify a perfectly functional musical instrument? Don't blame the the tuners, learn how to tune, don't blame the electronics, learn how to play while you listen. Then make your choices. IDIOTS.
Bruce Comment left 15th October 2013 22:10:14
This was a great article. Learned quite a bit, would have liked some info on the dual pick up model. I have a 62 d model and it is a way cool instrument. Thanks for the article.

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