i have the sg faded. its immaculate, but i've never played a real sg for comparison.
A man, a woman, and a bad musician walk into a bar...

Lady GaGa orders a beer.
sg faded's are good. i never tried a melody maker, but my friend says its not that great.
if i were you, i'd save up and buy a gibson standard sg.
My Axes:
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Standard
Fender 52 Telecaster
Fender 62 Stratocaster
Fender American Standard Telecaster
Its basically the gibson name. From what I've played, the epiphone g400's are better quality. The gibson fadeds are just really spotty. I suppose if you find one that plays good its a worthwhile buy but I've played about 5 different ones and all of them had some kind of problem. just not what you would expect from a quality gibson guitar. The melody makers are pretty much a waste of money. Im sure some people like them, but they sound like a cheap squier to me
Some are good and some are bad. From what i have experienced all gibsons that are below the standard models are of a lesser quality and should just be called an epiphone. I have also played many epiphones that are better quality than the lower end gibsons. It is just hit or miss.

Epi LP Custom EMGs
ESP H-1000
Schecter Elite 7
Jackson Dominion
Peavey Valveking Head
Jet City JCA24s
Blackstar HT20 & HTV212
MXR Pedals
Schecter Stiletto Custom
Schecter Stiletto Studio
Fender Vintage Modified
Ampeg B2RE
Fender 4x10 Cab
used to own one. now my friend brought it from me. from my point of view and perspective. it will make do, its more costing due to the "gibson logo" than anything else. there are better guitars out there for the price range.
I really like mine. It's a solid guitar for the price. Much better than most epiphones I have played. Most epiphones just don't play as well for me.
It's an issue of the wood used and the finished used. A good finish will seal in the wood and make it sound better over time. The faded's don't have that finish. Also, wood quality. The best woods go towards AAAA and AAA tops and things like that. Faded's generally just use whatever wood is leftover. That being said because the wood in that pile isn't knocked or super carefully checked you might find a diamond that sounds amazing. At the end of the day a guitar is an instrument. Unless necks and frets are really f'ed up they can be fixed. What kind be fixed is if the guitar's tonewood is subpar in the first place. The difference between a Yamaha grand piano and a Steinway isn't all in the construction or attention to detail.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam