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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 appearance of the Melody Maker was in 1960.

The Gibson Melody Maker is an absolutely legendary Gibson solid body guitar. It isn't necessarily at the top of the list of classic models, but just in terms of sales it was absolutely huge, with over 47000 Melody Makers shipped in a relatively short period between 1959 and 1970. In that time, and since, the Melody Maker has earned itself many devoted fans, who prefer it to more expensive models. Perhaps not as iconic as the Gibson SG or Les Paul models, but how many classic garage, punk or grunge riffs were blasted out with a Gibson Melody Maker? It was the ultimate beginners model, and was also available in a 3/4 size model. In fact, the 3/4 size Gibson Melody Maker actually outsold the regular scale model in 1959, though in no other year. Except for a brief hiatus in the early 1970s, the Gibson Melody Maker remained an important part of the Gibson range for the majority of the next half century.

1960 Melody Maker and ES-125TC promotional sheet
Original 1960 Melody Maker promo sheet

The Melody Maker was built in the famous Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It changed a lot in the time of its production, more so than probably any other model; it had three distinct body styles between 1960 and 1967, but always with the same basic construction and hardware: 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 Gibson SGs.

Gibson Melody Maker body styles

The Melody Maker shipped in quite large numbers in 1959, but the first catalogue appearance of the Melody Maker was not until the Guitars & Amplifiers catalogue of 1960. 1959 shipping figures were great for the Gibson Melody Maker, 1960 less so, despite the addition of a dual pickup model, the Melody Maker D. The 1959 and 1960 Gibson Melody Maker had a single-cutaway Les Paul-style body shape. This changed to the double cutaway Les Paul Junior style in mid 1961. This was by far the most popular body design, at least in terms of sales figures. In late 1966 or early 1967 the design changed again, finally adopting the Gibson SG style.

1964 Gibson catalogue

From 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, sensitive pick-up, feather-light touch and beautiful sunburst finish.

Finish options for the Gibson Melody Maker

The earliest Melody Makers were generally available in Gibson's classic Sunburst nitrocellulose finish. In fact this was the only finish listed right through to 1964, although occasional examples were shipped in the translucent Cherry used on the Gibson SG line, certainly as early as 1963 (see a 1964 Gibson Melody Maker in Sunburst finish). Then through 1965, Sunburst was discontinued with only Cherry offered in 1965 and April 1966 price lists. In late 1966, with the change to the SG-style body, Cherry was also discontinued; the Gibson Melody Maker was now offered in Pelham Blue and Sparkling Burgundy finishes - with a natural mahogany neck. Walnut finish (See a 1969 Gibson Melody Maker in Walnut finish). seems to have been available as a finish option from as early as 1968, though it is not listed in price lists until March 1970, replacing all previous finishes. The Melody Maker's final price list inclusion was in the September 1970 list.

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).

Gibson Melody Maker guitar cases

From 1959, the Melody Maker was offered with an optional case, Durabilt case, model 114. As an entry level model, there was no upgrade option; this case was exclusive to the Melody Maker. From June 1965, the suggested case was Durabilt, model 154. But when the body style changed to the same shape and size as the SG, it was offered with any of the SG's case options. Durabilt case 116, Archcraft case 316, Oblong case 1237 or Faultless case 0537.

Gibson Melody Maker Reissue

The early sixties style, doublecut Melody Maker Double was reissued in 1977, shipping in moderate numbers through the rest of the decade. It was a fairly accurate reissue, though with a more reliable stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic bridge. It was still available (in limited quantities) as late as 1981 (see the 1981 Gibson Specials pre-owners folder).

In recent times, there have been numerous Gibson Melody Maker reissues, in all three body styles: single cutaway, doublecut and SG. Even a Joan Jett Melody Maker. Various finish and price points have been offered but none 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 Gibson 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.

Gibson Melody Maker catalog appearances

The Gibson Melody Maker was shown in Gibson guitar catalogs throughout the 1960s, and again in the late 1970s. Through these appearances, the evolution of the guitar can clearly be seen. Click each image for a browse through the respective catalog, and the Melody Makers within.

1960 Gibson full line catalogue
From the 1960 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalog. This was the first catalog appearance, and it shows the earliest single-cutaway body style

Greatest value ever in a Solid Body electric with full size neck and scale length
1962 Gibson full line catalog
From the 1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalog. The model shown has the double cutaway body style, rather than the old single cutaway

Acclaimed by players, teachers and students for it's fine sound, big tone, sensitive pickup, feather-light touch and beautiful sunburst finish.
1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue
From the 1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalog

Ultra thin, contoured, double cutaway body, nickel-plated metal parts. Slim, fast, low action neck - with exclusive extra low frets - joins body at 16th fret. One-piece mahogany neck, adjustable truss rod. Rosewood fingerboard, pearl dot inlays.
Gibson 1966 Full Line catalogue
From the 1966 Gibson full line catalog - this was the first to show the new SG shaped Melody Maker, and the first in colour; but the majority of the catalog description is unchanged, save for the colour options as below

Beautiful Fire Engine Red or Pelham Blue finish. Gibson Vibrola
1970 Gibson solid body catalog
The 1970 Gibson solid body catalogue was the last appearance of the Melody Maker in a Gibson catalog for very many years; soon to be replaced by the SG100, SG200 and SG250 guitars. It is only available in walnut finish.
1978 Gibson catalog
The 1978 Gibson Quality / Prestige / Innovation catalog included a reissue of the early 1960s double cutaway version, called the Melody Maker Double, available in Cherry, Sunburst or Walnut finishes.
1981 Gibson Specials pre-owners manual
The second and final US listing of the reissued Melody Maker came in 1981: Gibson launched a series of pre-owners manuals, including one full of limited edition, experimental and close out models, named Gibson Specials.
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Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker - Single P-90 - Tune-o-matic - case

Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker - Single P-90 - Tune-o-matic - case

Media, Pennsylvania, 190**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Excellent Condition. ( small drill hole for strap button )
Never monkeyed with
Great frets
These ( 2002 - 2004 ) are Superb guitars ( especially this one - ahem . )
Sounds / Looks / Plays like a little slice of heaven
Please check pictures and ask any questions
Ships insured to lower 48 U S.
Others, please inquire
Thank you
... more
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Very Nice 2014 Gibson 120th Anniversary Les Paul Melody Maker Guitar ----- Cool!

Very Nice 2014 Gibson 120th Anniversary Les Paul Melody Maker Guitar ----- Cool!

Munster, Indiana, 463**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Very Nice 2014 Gibson 120th Anniversary Les Paul Melody Maker Guitar. Looks, sounds and plays great. Controls have been rewired with individual 500K pots & .022 caps. Guitar does not appear to have been played very much. Shipping is $50 to the continental US; all others use eBay's Global Shipping Program. Sorry, no shipping to Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.... more
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1960 Gibson Melody Maker conversion sea foam green refinished relic Roadworn

1960 Gibson Melody Maker conversion sea foam green refinished relic Roadworn

Chicago, Illinois, 606**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1960 Gibson Melody Maker.... more
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1964 Gibson Melody Maker D Double Pickup Vintage Guitar Sunburst w /  Case

1964 Gibson Melody Maker D Double Pickup Vintage Guitar Sunburst w / Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (Double) in excellent condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for a vintage replica wraparound bridge intonated for a plain G string. With a particularly vibrant three-tone Sunburst gloss nitro lacquer finish, this Melody Maker D features solid Honduran mahogany body construction with a one-piece mahogany neck capped with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. The pair of robust-sounding single coil pickups combine a Fender-esque snap and ... more
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ORIGINAL 1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG Pelham Blue OHSC - BEST ONE ON EBAY - LOOK!

ORIGINAL 1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG Pelham Blue OHSC - BEST ONE ON EBAY - LOOK!

Santa Rosa, California, 954**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Hello and welcome to my auction!
Here we have an incredible time capsule
This is a 1967 Gibson dual pickup Melody Maker Deluxe with vibrola in Pelham Blue Metallic
Serial number #00695X
This color turns green over time and is one of the rarest colors that Gibson offered. Highly prized!
There is some crazing in the varnish on the back of neck near the heal and some on the lower back on the back of the body
A few minor dings and digs front and back, and a small one on the ... more
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Gibson Melody Maker SG w / Vibrola and DimMarzio mid-late 60s - Pelham Blue

Gibson Melody Maker SG w / Vibrola and DimMarzio mid-late 60's - Pelham Blue

Riverside, California, 925**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Very nice and solid late 60's Gibson Melody Maker D w / vibrola. All original parts and finish. The pickup is one DiMarzio single coil it's super strong and snappy It has been used but has been taken care of VERY WELL! All electronics still work and comes with original hardshell case.... more
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1966 Gibson Melody Maker Vibrola Cherry SG Vintage Electric Guitar

1966 Gibson Melody Maker Vibrola Cherry SG Vintage Electric Guitar

Sonoma, California, 954**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1966 Gibson Melody Maker with a Cherry Burgundy Red finish and Vibrola tremolo. This vintage guitar is 100% all original with zero modifications. It is in excellent overall condition with no issues. There are typical handling marks and scuffs throughout but nothing major. The finish is still shiny with no finish checking. There is only very light fretwear, and all frets have been polished to a bright shine. The Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard is in great condition with minimal fingerwear. The ... more
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1960 gibson melody maker sunburst dual pickups dbl cutaway  w /  orig case

1960 gibson melody maker sunburst dual pickups dbl cutaway  w / orig case

Chicago, Illinois, 606**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1960 gibson melody maker sunburst dual pick ups dbl cutaway w / orig case. ..... more
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Gibson MELODY MAKER Double Cutaway 1964 Vintage Guitar

Gibson MELODY MAKER Double Cutaway 1964 Vintage Guitar

Bellport, New York, 117**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1964 Double Cut Gibson Melody Maker PLEASE LOOK AT ALL PHOTOS! THE LOW OPENING BID DOES NOT REFLECT THE QUALITY OF THIS INSTRUMENT OR IT'S CURRENT PLAYABLITY! A short time ago, an Ebay member offered to buy outside of Ebay. That member was reported. I only sell through EBAY, in auction style, NEVER a direct sale. This protects me and you!
Original pots were checked, pickup, original tuners and hardware. Plays like any great vintage slab-body of the 1960's. The pickup is great, includes the ... more
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1965 Gibson Melody Maker Cherry Red w / Alligator Case 5 2 Lbs GREAT PLAYER

1965 Gibson Melody Maker Cherry Red w / Alligator Case 5 2 Lbs GREAT PLAYER

Berkeley, California, 947**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1965 Gibson Melody Maker Serial No. 269324 This guitar is in very good vintage condition, with some small dings on the back of the neck and at the edge by the endpin, as shown
The neck is a comfortable 1 66 inch nut width. The slightly wide and flat fingerboard make for a fast neck
The action is set very low with no buzzes. It's a completely functional and great sounding guitar all around the neck. We recently set it up and set the intonation precisely
The Gibson Melody Maker Double ... more
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1994 Gibson All American II Melody Maker

1994 Gibson All American II Melody Maker

Austin, Texas, 787**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson All American II double cut melody maker from 1994?
Wasn't the All American II Melody Maker model only in catalogues from 1996-1998?
Was this 94 a prototype?
Was it a trade show model?
A Guitar Center exclusive with possibly less than 100 created?
Gibson employees past and present have answered some questions and raised even more. I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle
The All American II Melody Maker wasn't in any printed material until 1996. And then only ... more
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1989 Gibson USA Melody Maker Flyer Pro II- All Original- W / Case

1989 Gibson USA Melody Maker Flyer Pro II- All Original- W / Case

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, 182**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage all original 1989 Gibson USA Melody Maker Flyer Pro II in great condition for its age. Original Gibson USA covered pickups, Ebony fretboard, Original Kahler Tremelo with replacement Tremelo arm as pictured. Includes Epiphone case. Some minor dings / wear as pictured but minimal for age. No cracks or breaks anywhere.
Sold as is, no implied or expressed warranty
Shipping to Continental 48 states ??
Alaska and Hawaii will incur U S. customs duties paid for and arranged by... more
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Gibson Melody Maker D Electric Guitar Vintage 1967 Black 2 Pickup Model Vibrola

Gibson Melody Maker D Electric Guitar Vintage 1967 Black 2 Pickup Model Vibrola

Wilmington, Delaware, 198**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


For sale is 1967 Gibson Melody Maker D w / Vibrola. This guitar was repainted Black in the 1980's and some parts have been replaced. The price is fair for a guitar that sells for $3-4k today.... more
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Epiphone by Gibson SB-722D Olympic 1961 Sunburst "Melody Maker"

Epiphone by Gibson SB-722D Olympic 1961 Sunburst "Melody Maker"

Brooklyn, New York, 112**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This Epiphone Olympic was made in the USA in 1961. Most Epiphone models made by Gibson differed from the Gibson counterparts, but the Olympic from 1961 is pretty much identical to the Gibson Melody Maker, with the only real differences being the logo and the headstock shape. This example is all original and in very clean condition. It has been pro-setup in our store. It comes with a non original hard case
If you have any questions, please message us
We ship Worldwide! Message ... more
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1987 Gibson Melody Maker Junior All Original Low Use Shaw Era PAF 9 / 10 6 75 Lbs.

1987 Gibson Melody Maker Junior All Original Low Use Shaw Era PAF 9 / 10 6 75 Lbs.

Knoxville, Tennessee, 379**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Wow this is now a 37 year old piece. Doesn't seem that long ago does it? Super clean example of what Gibson was doing in the mid-late 80's after their buyback from Norlin. A Tune-A-Matic AND a stock Gibson PAF! Wow factory mini Grovers! Just like a real LP only lighter / thinner and more basic! Mahogany neck and body! Rosewood Board! A poor man's LP Junior! 1987 Gibson Melody "Junior" 9 25 / 10 in condition as it is very gently used!
This is the BEST Melody Maker ever made by Gibson due to ... more
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Vintage 1963 GIbson Melody Maker 3 / 4 Doublecut electric guitar VG+ Vibrant Burst

Vintage 1963 GIbson Melody Maker 3 / 4 Doublecut electric guitar VG+ Vibrant Burst

Lubbock, Texas, 794**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1963 Gibson Melody Maker 3 / 4 double-cut electric guitar==VG+ 8 / 10 All Original condition, play wear / light scratches / (mostly) edge dings / light cheaks, but very shiny and vibrant Tobacco Sunburst finish==Straight neck, medium U profile, fret / board wear first 3 or 4 frets==Electronics working properly==Heavy for a MM 3 / 4 at approx 6 lbs, apparently a dense one-piece Hondouran body!==Includes new hard case
If you are considering a purchase, please take a minute and read our ... more
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1960s Gibson Melody Maker

1960's Gibson Melody Maker

Houston, Texas, 770**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


possibly 1959 melody maker... more
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Gibson Melody Maker Jonas Brothers signed

Gibson Melody Maker Jonas Brothers signed

Monroe, Washington, 982**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson Melody Maker
Jonas Brother signature series
Great used condition
No case
... more
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Gibson Melody Maker 1965 - Cherry Electric Guitar w /  Original Case

Gibson Melody Maker 1965 - Cherry Electric Guitar w / Original Case

Huntington, Indiana, 467**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


For sale is a Gibson Melody Maker 1965 - Cherry Electric Guitar w / Original Case in Very Good Condition!
Weight - 5 lbs 10 5 oz
Nut Width - 1 56 "
Scale Length - Roughly 22 3 / 4 "
Includes the original hard case, but the handle is broken on one side
The guitar is currently strung just using the hardtail, but can be strung for the whammy bar as well
Sold as pictured / described
Internal Use (Bin) - P2
... more
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1965 Gibson Melody Maker Double Cut Cherry Vintage 1960s

1965 Gibson Melody Maker Double Cut Cherry Vintage 1960's

Brooklyn, New York, 112**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This listing is for a monster player 1965 Gibson Melody Maker. This Double Cut single pickup Gibson Melody Maker was in 1965. The guitar has been professionally set up and plays great with low and comfortable action. As you can see, the original pickup has been changed to a vintage 1980's Dimarzio Super Distortion with a very high output.
The pots are original and date to the 8th week of 1965. The other original parts are the truss rod cover and strap buttons. The pickguard is original but ... more
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There are 5 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Robert Gomez Comment left 7th April 2015 20:08:24 reply
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
Willabe Storms Comment left 20th February 2014 09:09:38 reply
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...
rapier66 Comment left 14th May 2013 00:12:09 reply
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.
cooper Comment left 3rd March 2013 18:06:39 reply
Is there a humbucker that fits the melody maker without need for enlarging pickup routes? Must be completely reversible
SonicSpoon Comment left 7th June 2012 05:05:14 reply
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?


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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1960 Hofner Colorama II

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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.