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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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Yardsale find - Anyone have any info on this double cutaway? [ Melody Maker ]
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20/11/2012 10:27

Gibson Melody Maker/Skylark Amp - Need Date & Valuation
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Melody Makers
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06/02/2010 08:02



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

NEW OPEN BOX Gibson USA Melody Maker MMEXSECH-String Solid Body Ebony - READ

Current price: $132.50
buy it now
Time left: 17h 33m
Gibson 140039982 Melody Maker Right Handed Electric Guitar Gold Top 157315 CN

Current price: $355.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 9h 51m
1961 Gibson Melody Maker Vintage Player Electric Guitar w faux alligator case

Current price: $555.00
buy it now
Time left: 17h 24m
Gibson USA Melody Maker Electric Guitar

Current price: $355.00
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Time left: 3d 4h 51m
LOOK!! 2011 GIBSON LIMITED RUN MELODY MAKER EXPLORER! UNPLAYED MINT IN CASE!

Current price: $219.01
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Time left: 17h 23m
Gibson SG Melody Maker w/ $300 in upgrades

Current price: $119.05
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Time left: 4d 17h 5m
Gibson SG Melody Maker

Current price: $300.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 18h 26m
1961 Gibson Melody Maker Vintage Parts Guitar

Current price: $102.50
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Time left: 9d 11h 59m
1965 Gibson Melody Maker MM PROJECT rosewood neck mahogany guitar body Lefty Mod

Current price: $199.95
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Time left: 5d 18h 17m
1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG Jr tailpiece bridge and posts nice

Current price: $39.00
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Time left: 1d 17h 25m
GIBSON "SG" - Melody Maker .. NEW(other)!! ... w/New Padded Soft Bag

Current price: $199.99
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Time left: 5d 14h 28m
Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker Electric Guitar

Current price: $800.00
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Time left: 2d 4h 43m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

gibson melody maker

Current price: £340.00
buy it now
Time left: 12h 16m
Gibson 59 reissue USA Melody Maker

Current price: £250.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 16h 11m
Gibson MELODY MAKER Special electric guitar BLUE with GIGBAG. Made in USA '11

Current price: £475.00
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Time left: 5d 11h 4m
20 RUSTY RELIC TO REPLACE GIBSON PICKGUARD SCREWS SG FIREBIRD MELODY MAKER ,BASS

Current price: £4.33
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Time left: 4d 9h 10m
Gibson Melody Maker - Made in USA - Awesome!

Current price: £379.00
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Time left: 4d 4h 46m
GIBSON MAESTRO SG TAILPIECE VIBROLA TREM ARM BAR FIREBIRD SG MELODY MAKER

Current price: £18.31
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Time left: 26d 13h 48m
Epiphone Melody Maker Guitar (w/original hardcase)

Current price: £1500.00
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Time left: 25d 9h 40m
Gibson Melody Maker Explorer Electric Guitar - Made in USA - NEW

Current price: £332.88
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Time left: 19d 6h 31m
GIBSON MELODY MAKER PICKUP 1966 SG MELODY MAKER 1967 KALAMAZOO KG-2A

Current price: £39.92
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Time left: 17h 23m
MELODY MAKER PICKGUARD 1962

Current price: £17.98
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Time left: 27d 19h 8m
Gibson USA Les Paul Melody Maker, Satin Blue Limited + HDSC, Ships worldwide!

Current price: £365.54
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Time left: 9d 12h 7m
1960's vintage Gibson strap buttons for Les Paul Junior Melody Maker es 330 J-45

Current price: £8.64
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Time left: 10d 18h 14m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Gibson Melody Maker mit Koffer und Dirty Fingers Pickup

Current price: €328.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 4h 43m
GIBSON Melody Maker LP special...1960 real Vintage

Current price: €1999.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 12h 16m
70's BROWN CASE fits GIBSON MELODY MAKER STYLE 2 MODELS

Current price: €125.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 4h 49m
Gibson Melody Maker Satin Ebony, Planet waves lockingtuners

Current price: €382.00
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Time left: 4d 3h 20m
1983 Gibson Melody Maker, very rare Model, P94, vintage, USA made

Current price: €1099.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 5h 44m
1968 Gibson SG Melody Maker - Burgundy Metallic

Current price: €2245.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 6h 13m
See more results on eBay here

There are 4 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
SonicSpoon Comment left 6th June 2012 19:07:14
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 06:06:39
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 14:02:09
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 21:09:38
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...

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