Originally produced in the late 1950s, the Gibson Melody Maker is enjoying a comeback while still sporting that same clean, solid sound in a sleek and sturdy body. With its slim and solid mahogany frame and excellent tone, the Melody Maker was the company's best-selling guitar. Fortunately, Gibson has succeeded in keeping the style and spirit of the 1959 model with this new reissue.
The Gibson Melody Maker reissue sports a single cutaway body style, with a thinner 35mm body and a narrower headstock. It uses a singlecoil pick-up, two controls and the output jack, all mounted on the scratchplate. The unit sports a rudimentary neck joint, and the edges of the body are slightly radiused with sides angled and not as smooth as those of vintage units. The unbound rosewood board carries the frets wide across it. The unit also comes with the standard Gibson tuner and cream plastic buttons. The black scratchplate carries the engraved Gibson Melody Maker name while the iconic gold logo sits on the remodeled headstock.
The unit produces exceptional tone courtesy of the singlecoil pickup, and users will appreciate the high output and clean treble response. The single coil pickup also contributes to the unit's sustain power. Intonation is steady and smooth considering the uncompensated wraptail that the unit came in with.
For the price, the Gibson Melody Maker guitar is surprisingly sturdy and reliable. The thin and rough finish is one common source of complaints but aside from that, the materials are well made and the components feel sturdy. The unit also stays in tune, even with the stock strings and after a couple of hours of play. Components move cleanly, are attached securely to their sockets, and there is no static when turning the knobs.
Gibson Melody Maker Review
The Gibson Melody Maker is a well-built and sturdy instrument with high quality components. I found tuning to be very easy, and the volume and tone controls work perfectly within range. There is very little buzzing once the bridge is lowered and tuned. The pickup is the most pleasant surprise for me. For this price, one would expect an unpredictable performance, but I saw nothing of this sort. Some users complain about the overly thin finish and rough patches all over the body, but these can be solved with a few minutes of light sanding.
The Gibson Melody Maker offers great sound in a quality body for a fraction of the price of vintage Gibson guitars. With smooth, clean tones and excellent electronics, one can easily see that the manufacturers knew which features of the original they needed to keep, and which they could do without. Small problems with the finish do not seem to deter most users, who are only too happy to give the guitar a final sanding themselves if they want a sleeker, smoother look.