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Unread 05-04-2009, 06:43 PM   #1
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'61 Gibson Melody Maker (PICTURES)

So a 1961 Gibson Melody Maker is available for my purchase. A friends dad has it lying around and never plays anymore and says he would be willing to sell it to me. I have only gotten to play this guitar once for about 5 minutes on probably 5 year old strings, but it is beautiful and plays like a dream! I did not play it plugged in but it seems to have no problems aside from finish problems guitars tend to pick up in 48 year lifetimes. He isn't one hundred percent sure but it sounds like one of the pickups is stock and one isnt (sorry no more details on that).

The best part: he is giving me to option to try it out for as long as I want! So before I make an offer I can give it a good test run. I plan on utilizing this effectively (or i would be crazy), but would like to hear what you guys think this guitar might be worth and if it would be worth keeping around.

Thanks a ton guys, really appreciate it.

(And before anyone asks, yesss I will post pics when I am borrowing the guitar )

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Last edited by cheyguy426; 05-22-2009 at 07:30 PM.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cheyguy426 View Post
So a 1961 Gibson Melody Maker is available for my purchase. A friends dad has it lying around and never plays anymore and says he would be willing to sell it to me. I have only gotten to play this guitar once for about 5 minutes on probably 5 year old strings, but it is beautiful and plays like a dream! I did not play it plugged in but it seems to have no problems aside from finish problems guitars tend to pick up in 48 year lifetimes. He isn't one hundred percent sure but it sounds like one of the pickups is stock and one isnt (sorry no more details on that).

The best part: he is giving me to option to try it out for as long as I want! So before I make an offer I can give it a good test run. I plan on utilizing this effectively (or i would be crazy), but would like to hear what you guys think this guitar might be worth and if it would be worth keeping around.

Thanks a ton guys, really appreciate it.

(And before anyone asks, yesss I will post pics when I am borrowing the guitar )
okay, what is the pickup complement?

Depending on condition, $500-$1200 is a fair price for these bad boys. My personal favorite guitar is my '64 MM doublecut that I have. I have been watching the market for a while and just average condition usually goes for around $750+.

These are my all time favorite guitars.

There is one really horrible thing about MMs though. No hardshell cases are made for them. Apparently in the 60's was the last time those were produced. You would need a custom hard shell case as they wobble around in generic cases, or carry it in a gig bag and guard it with your life...
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Unread 05-04-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
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Do they make hard cases for Les Paul Juniors? Maybe that would work?
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Unread 05-04-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Do they make hard cases for Les Paul Juniors? Maybe that would work?
nope. The body thickness is way wrong.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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He already has a hardshell for it and said he would include it.

If everything is in good working order and the sound is right I would love to purchase. Right now my main electric is an Ibanez Semi-Hollowbody and the sound can defintiely have too much body at times.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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He already has a hardshell for it and said he would include it.
Be careful. If the fit is not snug, it can be a bad thing. If you have one of those original hardshell cases, (they are brown alligatorskin finish I believe) those are valuable. My Melody Maker sounds huge, but has a rather unique sound... It has a single P90, which is kind of unusual.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 08:56 PM   #7
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Be careful. If the fit is not snug, it can be a bad thing. If you have one of those original hardshell cases, (they are brown alligatorskin finish I believe) those are valuable. My Melody Maker sounds huge, but has a rather unique sound... It has a single P90, which is kind of unusual.
I thought the brown alligator skin cases (with pink inside) were the ones for SG's? I know a few people with them for their expensive Gibson SG's anyways...
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Unread 05-04-2009, 09:08 PM   #8
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I thought the brown alligator skin cases (with pink inside) were the ones for SG's? I know a few people with them for their expensive Gibson SG's anyways...
There are some of those too. But the only case Gibson ever made that fit a Melody Maker had that finish as well. (But I don't think the inside was pink, IIRC.) Or, at least that is what Gibson Customer service told me, and the only one I ever saw, (with a mint early sixties melody maker inside) was a package deal for 1700. Those are RARE. An original one of those sells for quite a pretty penny without the guitar.

I have not seen another. Somewhere, I have an email from gibson which lists the one aftermarket maker who does melody maker cases. I got a quote, but it was around $500. I plan on routing my own eventually and lining it...

To put it in perspective, I have a friend who would pay $500 for an original case for his...

But enough about cases. These are a great sleeper guitar with mojo.
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Unread 05-05-2009, 01:48 PM   #9
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Well I am definitely excited to play it. I just remember it being a very light body with an awesome neck. Will keep you updated.
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Unread 05-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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Well I am definitely excited to play it. I just remember it being a very light body with an awesome neck. Will keep you updated.
They do tend to feedback in the good way easier than some. The thin light body does that, so you can get sweet controlled feedback at reasonable volumes.

Like I said, my favorite guitar.
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Unread 05-05-2009, 07:40 PM   #11
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That's something coming from a man with a lot of guitars to his name!
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Unread 05-22-2009, 07:23 PM   #12
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Pictures, as promised!




Lovely hole in the headstock along with additional damage.


A good amount of damage on the back...


...especially this terrible varnish job.
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:33 PM   #13
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Pictures, as promised!




Lovely hole in the headstock along with additional damage.


A good amount of damage on the back...


...especially this terrible varnish job.
Really not too bad for a '61 at all. Looks like a player, but overall in nice shape. Not too fond of the extra hole in the headstock, but other than that, really nice.

I would guess value at around $500-$650 But if you like that 60's MM neck, you won't find another similar except on some of the original fender tele forerunners. And those are FAR pricier.
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Unread 05-23-2009, 07:50 AM   #14
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Yeah, can't expect a guitar to be around that long and not have some lovin on it.

Another thing is that the electronics have some, ummm, personality let's call it. The Bridge pickup is MUCH higher gain than the neck one (not an issue), but the three way selector is loose and when it's in the middle position it sometimes falls to the neck position. Also there is a noticeable crackle out of the amp when adjusting either of the volumes. I will most likely take it down to a tech in town and have him assess the damage further.
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Unread 05-24-2009, 10:37 AM   #15
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Yeah, can't expect a guitar to be around that long and not have some lovin on it.

Another thing is that the electronics have some, ummm, personality let's call it. The Bridge pickup is MUCH higher gain than the neck one (not an issue), but the three way selector is loose and when it's in the middle position it sometimes falls to the neck position. Also there is a noticeable crackle out of the amp when adjusting either of the volumes. I will most likely take it down to a tech in town and have him assess the damage further.
I doubt you need a tech. For the crackle, you need pot cleaner. and I would guess you probably need to either bend the metal of the open switch, or replace it, (keeping all original parts in a baggy) (though with dual humbuckers, it is nearly certain to be a reroute job.)
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