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Gibson Melody Maker

Gibson's affordable solid body

1964 Gibson Melody Maker

A 1964 Gibson Melody Maker in sunburst finish

1969 Gibson Melody Maker

A 1969 Gibson Melody Maker in walnut finish

1960 Gibson guitar catalogue

The first catalogue apperance of the Melody Maker was in 1960.

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Melody Makers
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The Gibson Melody Maker has stayed in the Gibson range, in one form or another, for the majority of the last half century. Built in the famous Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Of course it has changed alot in that time, but has earned itself many devoted fans, who prefer it to more expensive models. Perhaps not as iconic as the SG or Les Paul models, but how many classic garage, punk or grunge riffs were blasted out with a Gibson Melody Maker?

The first catalogue appearance of the Melody Maker was the 1960 Gibson catalogue although it had been shipped since 1959. The first incarnation was a single-cutaway Les Paul shaped guitar, the second was double-cutaway Les Paul Junior style, and finally SG style. All had the same basic construction; a mahogany neck glued to a mahogany body, a rosewood fingerboard with simple mother of pearl dot position markers, and between one and three single coil PU380 pickups. These were mounted to the scratchplate and height adjustable with two screws above and below the pickup. The simple controls and input jack were also scratchplate-mounted on all but the SG-styled guitars. A vibrola tailpiece was optional; usually the Gibson GV19 vibrola in conjunction with a compensating bridge - as seen on certain SG guitars.

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 Melody Maker was generally available in sunburst and cherry nitrocellulose finishes. Later pelham blue, sparkling burgundy and finally walnut finish (See a 1969 Gibson Melody Maker in walnut finish). Production ceased in 1970.

Throughout the early 1970s, the Melody Maker was replaced by various short lived SG variants, such as the SG100/200/250 (see the 1972 solid bodies catalogue) and the SG-I and SG-II (see the 1973 solid bodies catalogue).

1960s Gibson Melody Makers

Finally in 1976/77 the Melody maker was revived, and was shipped in moderate numbers compared to in it's heyday. In the first run (1959-1970) just under 50,000 Melody Makers were shipped (more Gibson Melody Maker shipping data).

In recent times, there have been numerous Melody Maker reissues, in various body styles, but they do not compare to the early 1960s instruments. Even entry level Gibson guitars in the early 1960s were made out of very nice pieces of wood; mahogany and rosewood in this case, the likes of which are simply not available in large quantities today. Original 1950s/60s Melody Makers are still affordable, and great playing guitars; especially with upgraded hardware for improved tuning and intonation. A lot of old Melody Makers have had their single coil pickups replaced by P90 pickups, or mini-humbuckers. Some of these have been irreversibly modified in their upgrades, decreasing value considerably; but these are fantastic for every day players, and the irony is that they are potentially better instruments.

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Gibson Melody Makers for sale


US ebay listings

Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker 2014

Current price: $486.55
buy it now
Time left: 29d 17h 59m
1965 Gibson Melody Maker Pickups Vintage!!!

Current price: $159.00
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Time left: 10h 29m
Gibson Melody Maker Explorer 2011 USA Guitar w/ bag

Current price: $415.00
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Time left: 12h 20m
Vintage 1965 Gibson Melody Maker Cherry Finish!

Current price: $929.00
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Time left: 4d 18h 27m
Orville MM-65 Melody Maker Guitar RefNo 86742

Current price: $347.00
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Time left: 20d 1h 2m
2014 GIBSON USA LES PAUL MELODY MAKER 120TH ANNIVERSARY GUITAR WITH GIBSON BAG

Current price: $530.99
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Time left: 10d 6h 42m
1965 GIBSON MELODY MAKER - w/ HSC!

Current price: $1099.00
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Time left: 27d 2h 39m
2007 Gibson Melody Maker Electric Guitar Black

Current price: $440.00
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Time left: 11d 16h 35m
Gibson Melody Maker Electric Guitar ORIGINAL Vintage 2007 U.S.A !

Current price: $569.99
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Time left: 12d 10h 33m
2011 LIMITED RUN USA GIBSON MELODY MAKER - w/ Gig Bag!

Current price: $439.00
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Time left: 28d 12h 45m
2003 Gibson USA Les Paul Melody Maker Guitar Cherry Red, Intonatable bridge!

Current price: $599.00
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Time left: 2d 11h 56m
Gibson USA Melody Maker Ebony (338) DEMO

Current price: $489.00
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Time left: 13d 10h 28m
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UK ebay listings

L@@K... Gibson Melody Maker & Fender Mustang 1 Amp plus accessories

Current price: £385.00
buy it now
Time left: 19d 10h 21m
Gibson Melody Maker 1963 Golden Era

Current price: £1300.00
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Time left: 18d 6h 34m
2011 Gibson Flying V Melody Maker - Rare OOP model

Current price: £325.00
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Time left: 8d 4h 15m
Gibson Melody Maker 2003

Current price: £520.00
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Time left: 9d 51m
Vintage 1965 Gibson Melody Maker Cherry Finish!

Current price: £715.44
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Time left: 4d 18h 27m
1986 Gibson Melody Maker - Red - Humbucker

Current price: £539.08
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Time left: 22d 18h 38m
Gibson Melody Maker 2014 Electric guitar - Made in USA - Charcoal Satin

Current price: £450.00
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Time left: 27d 13h 43m
1961 Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker Sunburst all original! Golden Era, Vintage!!

Current price: £1074.32
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Time left: 15d 16h 35m
Gibson Melody Maker Explorer 2011 USA Guitar w/ bag

Current price: £319.60
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Time left: 12h 20m
2014 Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker

Current price: £500.00
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Time left: 21d 14h 28m
1965 GIBSON MELODY MAKER - w/ HSC!

Current price: £846.36
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Time left: 27d 2h 39m
Gibson Melody Maker Guitar With 2 Cases, Amp & Accessories

Current price: £350.00
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Time left: 3d 11h 23m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

1969 GIBSON SG MELODY MAKER -- made in USA

Current price: €1150.00
buy it now
Time left: 15d 4h 36m
Stop-Tailpiece / Wraparound-Bridge für Melodymaker und ähnliche Typen

Current price: €29.00
buy it now
Time left: 25d 1h 52m
GIBSON MELODY MAKER - made in USA - SLIM NECK PROFILE

Current price: €1090.00
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Time left: 22d 2h 42m
MELODY MAKER® ONE PU PG für GIBSON® BLACK BWB 3PLY PICKGUARD GUITAR USA QUALITY

Current price: €34.95
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Time left: 7d 11h 42m
MELODY MAKER #2 2 PU PG f. GIBSON® BLACK WHITE BLACK 3PLY PICKGUARD USA QUALITY

Current price: €31.95
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Time left: 27d 14h 6m
SG MELODY MAKER PG f. GIBSON® 3PLY BLACK BWB 2011 GENUINE PICKGUARD USA QUALITY

Current price: €31.95
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Time left: 7d 12h 13m
See more results on eBay here

There are 5 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
SonicSpoon Comment left 6th June 2012 20:08:14
Stick a humbucker in the bridge and a decent set of keys. Keep it simple. A custom modded melody maker beats the stock guitar hands down. These were all under $400 a couple years back, and $150 for a beater. What happened?
cooper Comment left 3rd March 2013 07:07:39
Is there a humbucker that fits the melody maker without need for enlarging pickup routes? Must be completely reversible
rapier66 Comment left 13th May 2013 15:03:09
The stock pickups are just a bit too weak and thin for me, at least compared to a typical humbucker... fine for rhythm work (which is why they work great in punk outfits I suppose), but come solo time they tend to whine instead of wail! Mini humbucker upgrade essential.
Willabe Storms Comment left 19th February 2014 22:10:38
1959 Melody Maker has a 3/4" to 7/8" wide pickup... This is the only year for that pickup... This is a Killer pickup, I want a 1959 Gibson Melody Maker... All guitar players praise this pickup...
Robert Gomez Comment left 7th April 2015 11:11:24
Good day to you I have an Gibson melody Maker I believe it is the D model, I am looking for a body (Trans Red) can you help me... Thank You

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