Melody Maker Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: Melody Maker
With a period-correct pickguard housing a special design singlecoil pickup, a vintage-style wraparound tailpiece, rounded neck profile, and slim, light body, the Melody Maker is an unbelievable value for players of all ages, styles, and skill levels.
 Sound: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 7.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (10) pictures (4) 83 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.8
Melody Maker Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 449.99

Purchased from: Guitar center

Features: As far as features go the MM is nothing fancy. It was made in the USA, with 22 frets and a Mahogany neck. The finish looks like crap. I don't know what they call it but as far as I'm concerned it should be called crap. It features a cheap wraparound tailpiece. I chose the dual pickup version so mine has one volume knob and two tone knobs (one for each pickup), but if you get the single pickup version then it has one volume and one tone. Like I said earlier I have the two pickup version which I don't think they make anymore, so mine came with two single coil pickups. It didn't come with any real accessories, but it did come with a bright Orange box that could serve as a case if you wanted it to. // 5

Sound: For the most part I play punk, metal, grunge and stuff like that. But this guitar can produce pretty much any sound you want to make with it. My uncle comes down to visit sometimes and he plays country on it. My only complaint with the sound is that if you turn the volume up all the way with the tone up all the way and you turn on some gain, then you get a really horrible buzz sound. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: the action is a little high, and when I first got it the bridge pickup was almost touching the strings, but that was an easy fix. The pickup selector on mine clicks really loud when you move it but I don't move it much, and regular melody makers don't have pickup selectors, so it's not really that big of a deal. // 4

Reliability & Durability: Even though this guitar is light and seems pretty flimsy, it is actually pretty tough. The strap buttons are small as hell and it's almost impossible to keep a strap on there without putting a little electrical tape on it to keep the strap on, but it's very dependable, and yes I would definitely use it at a gig without a backup. Even though the finish is extremely ugly, it is on there and it ain't never coming off. However if the finish did come off from playing it, it really wouldn't look any worse. But other than that this is a really reliable guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: Like I said earlier I mostly play punk, grunge and metal. This guitar is excellent for punk and grunge, because on the rare occasion there is a solo it is simple and short. It isn't the best for metal if you want to play lead though. It's hard to multiple hammer ons past the 15th fret which is used in most metal solos, and tapping is nearly impossible past the 12th fret. It is really good for metal rhythm. I would suggest this guitar to anyone who is just beginning guitar or who doesn't plan on doing any shredding. It's an excellent rythm guitar and it's in just about anyones budget. // 8

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overall: 8.8
Melody Maker Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 695.4

Purchased from: eBay!

Features: Made in '07 in Nashville Tennessee, it's a 22 fret beast with an uncarved mahogany top and a Vintage sunburst finish. Mine is the two pickup model (because I wanted more versatility) and the guitar comes with a huge '59 neck. Didn't get any stuff with it, just the box and a setup certificate from Gibson. It all works pretty well and is quite a nice looker. // 8

Sound: I play indie/rock and this guitar suits it very well. I used to use a '52 Telecaster but I found it was unable to play thick crunchy riffs all that well. The single-coils in this seem to do it and they don't feedback much at all on stage (unless you stand right next to your amp). Much noisier than the Telecaster (and the humbucker in my custom Telecaster) so I guess it's pretty powerful. Lots of sustain. Really versatile, but I wouldn't use it for metal or anything too high-gain. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Because it only has a wraparound bridge the guitar is impossible to intonate and lowering the action is awkward. It came out of the box playing OK but I lowered the action a bit. It seems to be in pretty good shape (I've been gigging and rehearsing with it for about 6 months) but the finish chips away quite easily, mine has a few major dings from minor abuse. Nothing has broken on it and everything works as it should. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The guitar easily withstands Live playing, even with a Sex Pistols style "smash instruments about a bit" at the end of the set. Never had any problems with it at all. The strap buttons are tiny so straplocks are pretty essential but apart from that it's solid and I play without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: The guitar plays really well (after you adjust to playing with the bigger neck) and because it has quite a flat fretboard it's good for lead and riffs. It's better than my '52 Telecaster and I prefer to it to my other guitars. If it was stolen I would consider buying another one but the neck might put me off. I would probably go for a Fender Jaguar because it looks more versatile. // 9

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overall: 8
Melody Maker Reviewed by: MarcoGE, on november 09, 2012
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 422.1

Purchased from:

Features: Gibson Melody Maker Dual Pickup vintage sunburst, made in 2007 in Nashville, TN, USA. It has a '59 Rounded neck (pretty fat), 22 frets, rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays. The body and the neck wood is mahogany. I have the Satin Vintage Sunburst finish. It comes with a wrap-around tailpiece, a volume knob and a tone knob, a toggle switch. It has Gibson Deluxe tuners. Mine has two single coil vintage style pickups. There are no acceossories at all, just the guitar in a nice box. // 8

Sound: I play rock, indie and alternative, and it's really fine. It's almost the same guitar as Carl Barat (Libertines/Dirty Pretty Things) and you can get that crunchy tone. I'm using it with an Orange Crush 30R amp and a Behringer UD100 Distorsion unit. It's a typical Gibson sound due to the mahogany body, but the single coil Vintage stle pickup give to this guitar a great tone, a bit cleaner. The guitar can produce lots of sounds and there's a big difference between the neck and the bridge pickup, so you can get a big range of sounds. I love the distorded sound, Gibson guitars are really good with a bit of distorsion. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: For this price, it's hard to make better, but let's say that that Gibson "Made In USA" quality's not the same as you can see on more expensive guitars. The Vintage sunburst finish is not excellent, I don't think it's handmade like other guitars. The rest is okay. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I think it will withstand Live playing because there are artists playing on these actually. I said Carl Barat because he's one of my favourites, but I've seen others. The hardware and the strap buttons seem solid. I can depend on it and I would use it on a gig without backup. It's a Gibson, after all. The finish doesn't seem good enough to last, it seems thin and easy to wear off with one year of hard playing. // 8

Overall Impression: I play rock, indie and alternative, and it's really fine. I've been playing for some moths now and I'm using it with an Orange Crush 30R amp and a Behringer UD100 Distorsion unit. If it were stolen/lost, I'd not buy the same, I like to change. I'd probably get another Gibson but I'd look for a higher quality. I chose this because Gibson is known for their crunchy tone and a legendary quality. At first I hesitated within a Mexico Strat or this, but I finally chose Gibson. // 8

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overall: 8
Melody Maker Reviewed by: YYZX, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 349.6

Purchased from: eBay

Features: This is the single pickup edition made in the USA, I have no idea when this guitar was made but I'm assuming that it was between '04 and '06. It has 22 medium frets with a rosewood fingerboard and a '59 Rounded neck and Dot inlays. It has a Les Paul solid flat-top which Is made from mahogany and finished in satin Gibson sunburst, the neck is also mahogany. It has a Gibson raparound tailpiece with passive electronics. It has 1 volume and one tone to control a single "vintage style" pickup which is very similar to a P-90 but with increased highs (great for rock, punk or anything with distorsion). It Has Gibson Deluxe tuners like the ones you find on a SG Special. It comes in a Vintage-look box with no accessories at all. // 7

Sound: Its Suits my music style perfectly (rock, blues, alternative ect.) because of it's specialy designed Vintage style pickup. I Usually use it through my Orange Crush 30R or my Peavey studio pro 112, it sounds great through both amps but when I want heavy distorsion. The hum is incredibly loud, it feeds back if you get close to the amp too. It has a nice bright sound but it's can still be full and rich if you want. I would recomend this guitar to anybody who wants to play rock, indie, blues, alternative, punk or maybe even some jazz. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I'm not sure if the guitar came with the factory set-up or not because I bought it second hand, though it most-likely is because the guitar came mint and was probably an unwanted gift or something. Anyway the setup is great to play, there is some slight fret buzzing but I'm sure it can be fixed. As for the pickups, they were set up perfect for me, nice and high for lots of trebble. There aren't realy any factory falts apart from the tone knob being abit wobbley. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have not gigged this guitar but I'm pretty confident that it would be alright on stage, although I would need to get some strap-locks (just like on any guitar). The hardware seems pretty solid (afterall, this guitar has genuine Gibson hardware). You can't realy talk 'quality finish' on a satin finished instrument, but I prefer the satin anyway because it's easy to repair and if I get sick of the colour I can just strip it back and paint it whatever colour I want! I think I could depend on it on stage, it is very reliable and it isnt as bad as everyone says it is, it's almost Gibson USA quility. // 8

Overall Impression: I play rock, blues alternative, it's great. I have been playing for 2 years, now and I also own a Parker nitefly mojo. Before buying this guitar I wish I had straplocks and a 90 degree jack for my lead. If it were stolen or lost I would not buy it again, I would probably get a Hagstrom Ultra Swede, I think they are much better value and they play better too. I love the Light weight body of the Gibson and the sunburst finish. I hate the headstock as it is slimmer than other Gibson models and in my opinion I don't like it very much. My favourite feature is the awesome Vintage style pickup, it has a great tone. I wish it had a Tune-o-Matic bridge, that would complete this guitar. Overall it's a great guitar, not as good as other Gibsons but it's better than an Epiphone, it's a great first Gibson. // 8

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overall: 9.4
Melody Maker Reviewed by: JosephFelice, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: The Ebony black in satin nitrocellulose is solid and looks good with gloss black dual pick ups and pick guard. It has black top hats and white button tuners with white pearl Dot inlays. USA made in Tennessee in Nashville, so you can't go wrong there. Let's face it American made Gibsons are always going up in value. // 9

Sound: The '59 neck profile is a rock but easy for small hands. It is set like all custom Gibson's and having a mahogany body and neck it delivers incredible sustain. The pick ups are crunchier then Fender singles but not as bright. I like the darker brown sound these singles produce, suited well for a singer/songwriter or rhythm player. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The rosewood finger board was nice and flat and pearl Dot inlays looked really good on the black on black look this guitar has. Black finish, called ebony by Gibson, has got a satin sheen I personally like a lot. The frets were medium jumbo, and were nicely polished. I thought the silk screened Gibson logo could have been done better. // 10

Reliability & Durability: You can rely on this thing for sure; it reminds me a lot of a Telecaster with the 3-switch pickup selector, tone and volume controls. Much lighter weight and yet still solid, totally gig worthy. Reliability & Durability are it's rock solid. The finish is the only thing that may make this a 9 if it is on a sunburst or white faded finish. // 9

Overall Impression: For the money right now this thing can't be beat. I play blues, funk, classic rock, alternative and Indie stuff, and this guitar is suited pretty much for all of that. I love this thing so much; I just bought another one online. I bet this guitar will get played more by it's owners then many of their guitars worth thousands as it's so comfortable. Anyone without cash that wants Gibson American quality should get one. If you would never look at an inexpensive guitar and yet have expensive guitars you never play, you'll love this guitar. Because you'll play this thing to death and not worry about it and then find yourself secretly thinking it's the most fun thing to play, even though you would never admit it to your friends. // 10

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overall: 9
Melody Maker Reviewed by: Stuie2081, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 350

Purchased from: Pro Musica (cork)

Features: Made in the usa in 2009, rosewood fretboard, mahogany body and set mahogany neck. Sunburst finish. Wrap around tailpiece, on single pickup in the bridge, and Gibson deluxe tuners. Overall, good simple guitar done right! My only complaint is that the tuners could hold tune a little better, they are good, but I'm used to good grover tuners, so that felt like a little step down for me.. // 8

Sound: I play punk, hard rock, blues, alternative, a bit of metal....this guitar covers most of them very well once you know how to dial the tone right...I even managed to get a credible metal sound out of it, but look, this isn't a metalhead's guitar, if you want to play metal, you buy a dean, esp, bc rich or schector...not a Gibson melody maker!! This guitar is absolutly astonishing for punk and blues... I have played and owned multiple guitars, this one is by far the best I've played for a fast punk or hard rock crunchy rythm sound. a1 gibson!! Side note; it even made a Crate GT1200H sound good o.O) // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar came in perfect condition..I love the satin finish...the only reason it'll come off is if you mistreat your guitar, and if you do that....well you really have no reason to give out ffs! Overall, as per the general feel of the guitar, somple guitar done well! // 8

Reliability & Durability: Apart from the incredibly tiny strap pins, this guitar is definatly up to scratch and just begs to be gigged with. I would feel pretty confident gigging without a's a simple guitar...there's really not much that can go wrong on this one.. Wish it had a Les Paul Junior pickguard, as the only colour that the pickguard suits is the colour I have (sunburst). // 9

Overall Impression: well, initial impression is very good! My main guitar before this was a Les Paul standard, which ways a tonne! Needless to say this lightweight beauty is a godsend! Thick Les Paul sounds, twangy Telecaster sounds...all at your fingertips in this guitar...for this sort of money they're giving them away...these guitars deserve to be played by more people..I used to think for ages that these guitars were cheap and useless....then I tried one out and bought it in the same day! This guitar is a keeper!! // 10

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overall: 9.2
Melody Maker Reviewed by: Hunter2081, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 370

Features: Not entirely sure when it was made, I would hazzard a guess that it was made in 2008. It has 22 frets, rosewood fretboard (a gorgeous grain is present through my board), the body is a slab of mahogany, with a satin finish on it. Mine has a wrap around tailpiece and single coil pickup. One tone, one volume. Only complaint I've had over the months I've had it is that the tuners lose tune a bit often. Other then that, a fantastic guitar. // 9

Sound: I tend to play alot of punk, hard rock, and metal. It covers EVERYTHING amazingly well (hell, the single coil doesn't stop it from being a great guitar for even metal). Of course, there is a bit of noise off of the pickup, but considering most of my guitars are single coil, I can safely say that this is a reasonably quiet pickup. This guitar is perfect for punk, blues and reggae. And can even be used to immitate muse-esque sounds on a high gain amp to very good effect. Overall, great guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up was pretty good in fairness, I didn't really need to do much to the guitar to get it to the Standard I want. Overall the finnish on the sunburst model I have is very attractive. Oh, and to clear one thing up. Loads of people say that the finish comes off very easily. To a large extent, that is a lie. If you're not bumping and scraping this on purpose, your guitar won; t be looking too bad after regular gigging. The finish has stayed just as well on this as my other 5 guitars. So I don't think it is a problem. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar, being so simplistic, is a gigging musician's best friend in my opinion. There's so very little that can go wrong on this guitar, I have absolutely no difficulty about it's reliability. It has never let me down, and probably won't. Only complaint are the miniscule strap buttons, but I have strap locks on mine, so it doesn't cause and issue anymore. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this is a fantastic guitar. I've been playing for 4 and half years, and my playing has gotten to the point where I can outplay my father, a guitar teacher of 15 years. I have played loads of guitars that are much more expensive then this, and yet, this guitar is by far my favourite, without any exception. I have fallen in love with this guitar. To clarify, I have owned this guitar since january, and so to me, it has rightfully owned the high marks (check out my Les Paul Standard Plus top review, and you will see that I don't often give easy marks). Overall, if you're lucky enough to get one as good as mine, you will never want to go back to playing other guitars again. // 10

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overall: 8.6
Melody Maker Reviewed by: rubbieh, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299.99

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: This guitar was made in 2011 in the USA, advertised as Limited Run but who knows for sure? Flying V gets the Melody Maker treatment, with great results! It has most of the usual Gibson traits, with a few differences: - 22 Frets - 24.75" Scale Length - Flying V Shaped Maple Body - Mahogany Neck ("Melody Maker" neck profile) - Baked Maple Fretboard - Wraparound Tailpiece - One Duncan Designed HB-103 Pickup - One volume control knob - Kluson Deluxe Tuners (with little oval shaped cream plastic knobs) It also included a Gibson USA gig bag, with the usual Gibson inspection/warranty paperwork and owner's manual inside the zipper pocket. Surprisingly, it included the truss rod adjustment wrench as well! Nice plus. There isn't a single thing on this guitar that doesn't need to be there, simply elegant. // 7

Sound: I tested this guitar out on my Crate GTX3500H stack. I mostly play black metal, and despite the genre's reputation for crap sound quality I hold my gear and tone up to high standards. I wanted a ballsy, high output guitar that still retained clarity in the notes being played. I was honestly expecting to have to replace the pickup in this thing with a 500T or Dirty FingersDirty Fingers, but the sound it puts out left me very impressed. Scorching output, this thing screams! The tone is a bit on the bright side though, and the clean sounds aren't bad but seem to lack some depth. I am now questioning whether or not I want to replace the pickup as I had originally intended. May do it just to try it out. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup on this was immaculate. Nice action, not too low or high... Though I might lower it just a tad. The intonation isn't PERFECT, but it is damn close. It has a wraparound tailpiece, so not too much can be done intonation-wise aside from adjusting the scale length on the bass/treble side. No point in screwing with that too much, sounds great as it is. The pickup is set about as high as it can go, but that puts it exactly where it should be in relation to the current string height. No visible finish flaws, it is evenly sprayed and looks great. The Satin Ebony finish is VERY comfortable to play on, your hands just glide over it like butter... Especially after you put some real playing time in. People like to rag on the baked maple fretboards, and I'll admit I was skeptical about them myself. Well, they function perfectly and have a bright sound characteristic to them reminiscent of ebony. Not quite as pretty to look at as rosewood, but it has a rich dark brown color to it that isn't ugly in the least. I approve. I will be replacing the tuners, but not because they are bad. I just prefer the look and feel of the Gibson/Grover Modern tuners. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built to rock. Knock it around a bit, it can take it. Everything on this guitar is solid, would definitely gig with it. I've heard these satin finishes tend to wear quickly, but I feel that a worn finish just shows a well loved instrument and adds character. At any rate, I haven't worn through the finish yet. // 8

Overall Impression: The value this guitar presents is unprecedented. This is a real Gibson, with great sound and amazing playability. At 300 bucks this thing is an absolute STEAL! I prefer it over my SG Special which cost over twice as much. I love everything about this guitar, it's simplicity is it's greatest virtue. // 10

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