Gibson Melody Maker D Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Gibson  Melody Maker D Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 9209
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Gibson Melody Maker D Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 516995, cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The Melody Maker was Gibson's 1960s offering in a high-quality student or amateur player's guitar, with many of the features of the company's more expensive solid-bodies at a budget price. While the instrument is fairly unadorned and has some basic economies (single-layer pickguard, strip tuners, single-coil pickups with unshielded wiring, and narrow headstock with a decal logo), in the important ways this is still a real Gibson instrument.

The thin solid mahogany body and neck are finished in the company's vibrant 1960s cherry finish and the neck is the slimmer 1 5/8" nut width 1965 style. This twin-pickup guitar is the later style body, somewhat flatter and broader than the early Melody Makers made through 1964. This style was only offered in 1965, as by early '66 the Melody Maker was redesigned yet again to use the SG shape. This guitar has a stop tailpiece/bridge but no vibrato installed; the screw holes have screws in them but were not filled in. If desired a vibrato could be easily re-installed to restore it to the original layout.

While only in production for about 14 months, this version of the Melody Maker-D is not exactly a rare guitar -- 1965 production figures show over 4500 were shipped out that year! Nevertheless, many have been modified heavily over the years, so finding one in original condition is always nice. Probably the single most famous MM-D is the '65 used by Eric Carmen in the Raspberries and subsequently owned and played by Joan Jett for the bulk of her career, which is refinished in white with two humbucking pickups. This original 1965 cherry guitar is a great-playing 1960s Gibson: light, easy to handle, and extremely responsive with a great sound and vibe.
Overall length is 39 in. (99.1 cm.), 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar shows some typical wear overall, including dings, dents, and scrapes to the finish. There are no large areas of finish wear. As noted the original vibrato unit has been removed and is not included; many players prefer the straight stop tail setup. The nut is replaced and the tuners are period style Kluson repros but otherwise the guitar is original. This is a lovely guitar to play, exceptionally light and handy, and it resides in a modern Epiphone-branded rectangular HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.