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Melody Maker Guitars

1966 Gibson Melody Maker

Color: Pelham Blue with Mahogany Neck, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00505)
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Extremely Rare First Year Pelham Blue Melody Maker

This extremely rare Pelham Blue Melody Maker weighs just 6.50 lbs. and has a nut width of 1 9/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Solid mahogany body, medium profile one-piece mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard with 22 jumbo frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Headstock with gold silk-screened "Gibson" logo. Closed-back dual-line Kluson Deluxe strip tuners with white plastic oval buttons. Serial number ("900231") stamped on the back of the headstock. One hot Melody Maker pickup (white plastic-covered single-coil pickup without adjustable poles) with an output of 6.17k. Single-layer white plastic pickguard with ten screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) on the lower treble bout. Black plastic bell-shaped knobs with metal tops. The pots are stamped: "137 65XX" (CTS 1965 [month obscured by solder]). Stud wrap-around bridge/tailpiece with pre-set intonation and Maestro vibrato tailpiece. Apart from a few very small marks on the sides of the guitar, a small surface chip on the back of the neck behind the 10th fret, a tiny amount of finish checking, and the bare minimum of fading to green, this rare Pelham Blue Melody Maker is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition. Housed in the original Gibson black softshell case with brown velvet lining (8.75).

The single pickup Melody Maker was introduced in early 1959, both in regular and 3/4 size versions, as the newer budget model in the solid body line. A dual pickup version was subsequently listed in late 1959. Between 1959 and 1965, the Melody Maker trio kept the same basic specifications but went through two successive body redesigns. The first variant is characterized by a single cutaway shape identical to the original Les Paul Junior except for a thinner body. The instruments made up to mid-1960 also feature a slightly wider pickup cover (7/8") whereas those subsequently released have a narrower unit (5/8"). In early 1961 both the regular and the 3/4 size versions were modified with a double cutaway shape produced by creating an upper horn symmetrical to the lower one (the Melody Maker was about the only solid body in the early 60s not to be fitted with the highly contoured SG design with pointed horns). A further redesign took place in early 1965 when the model took on a double cutaway body with more pointed sculptured horns positioned farther away from the neck. At the same time the body edges became slightly more rounded and the standard finish was changed from sunburst to cherry red. Eventually, the new body shape did not prove very pleasing and in February 1966 the Melody Maker was fitted with the SG body style. The SG-styled Melody Makers were phased out in 1971. See A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics -- The Classic Years, pp. 215-216.

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