Vintage Gibson Melody Maker D Double Cutaway – USA 1961

by Gibson

$3,495.00 20272

The Melody Maker was originally released in early 1959 as a single pickup model, available with either a regular (24 3/4") or a short (22 1/2") scale neck. The favourable response to the model led Gibson to list a dual pickup version on November 1, 1959 but the Melody Maker D (that’s the “D” in the model description) was not shipped in quantity until 1960.

Unlike the single pickup model, the D version was exclusively offered with a full-size neck at a price fractionally higher than the single pickup Junior and TV models. The Melody Maker D is structurally identical to the single pickup Melody Maker except for an enlarged pickguard supporting two pickups, four controls, and a three-way toggle switch.

Between 1959 and 1965, the Melody Maker kept the same basic specifications but went through two successive body redesigns. When introduced in 1959, the Melody Maker had a single rounded cutaway body shape identical to the original Les Paul Junior, but thinner. In early 1961, this was modified to a symmetrical double cutaway with rounded horns and slightly rounded body edges. That is the version of this guitar.

The last change to the Melody Maker came in 1965, when it adopted the body style of the SG, with pointed horns and with the body edges slightly more rounded. This body design lasted until the Melody Maker was dropped from the Gibson line in 1971.

This super light guitar weighs just 5.7 lbs. and has a nice, fat nut width of 1 11/16 “ and a normal scale length of 24 3/4 “.

Solid mahogany body, one-piece mahogany neck with a medium C profile. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 medium-small frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Gold silk-screen "Gibson" headstock logo. Open-back strip tuners with white plastic oval buttons. Serial number (38xxx) stamped on the back of the headstock.

Black plastic "all-on-one-plate" pickguard with seven screws and the words "Melody Maker" in white by the end of the fretboard. Two Melody Maker pickups (black plastic-covered single-coil without adjustable polepieces) with outputs of 7.15 k & 7.25 k, four controls (two volume, two tone) and jack input, all mounted on the pickguard.

The potentiometers date to 1961 and the capacitors are the Sprague black cylindrical type. Nothing appears to be changed under the hood. Gold plastic bell-shaped knobs with white markings and metal tops. Combination wrap-over bar bridge/tailpiece with two adjustable 'intonation' worm screws.

We think these are the original frets, or it’s an excellent refret. Whatever, the frets are in good shape with plenty of life left. The nut has been changed at some point.

There is some light general surface wear, a couple of marks on the back of the neck, and some lacquer checking, but overall this fifty-nine year old little gem is in excellent condition.

And the best thing – this is a great playing guitar with a killer set of pickups. The Melody Maker may have been a “student” level guitar, but it is capable of standing its ground with the big boys any time. Obviously not as fat & thick as a Les Paul, but these pickups will punch through in a good way when needed.

This is a light and lively guitar - an actual wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Its original cardboard “alligator” case is long gone, so this one comes in a Road Runner gig bag in good condition.

Video demo of single pickup version –


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