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NGD: 2007 Melody Maker back from shop...

#1 User is offline   cliffenstein 

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 06:29 AM

I got this bad boy in late March for $299 (case included). I put on locking tuners and strap locks and then promptly took it in to the best luthier in town. The 5 week wait was torture for me, but I am so happy with the results!

1. Setup (neck straightened, action super low all the way up the fretboard, no fret buzz)
2. Fretboard stained (it was light-ish and streaky...now it looks almost ebony and the stain isn't rubbing off onto my fingers from playing)
3. Nut filed properly for 11 gauge strings (no binding!)
4. Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup installed (very minor extra routing was required in order to get the wires through, but otherwise the Hot Rails fit)

Instructions were given to replace the bridge if the intonation couldn't be set close enough, but the original bridge remains and the intonation is really quite good!

When I got the guitar back, the pickup was all the way down. Melody Makers have much more space between the body and the strings than most Gibsons, so I actually had to raise the pickup all the way up. It sounds absolutely fantastic in this guitar. I'm getting great meaty tone.

My other guitarist also has a 2007 Melody Maker and it's at my house right now. His has a Gibson 498T installed in it. After getting my guitar back today, I went back and forth between the guitars and they sound VERY similar to each other. Both retain the dirty, gritty tone that Melody Makers are known for, but with the improved humbucker voicing. I figured the guitars would sound very different from each other with the different pickups, but it's quite remarkable just how much these two guitars sound alike.

The neck profile is killer...I LOVE THIS THING!!!!!!!

Photos of my finished Melody Maker:

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1977 Aria Pro II L-550 (Les Paul Custom)
1990 Sebring LPJ Special
1993 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Recording King RAJ-122
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#2 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 03:29 PM

Raw and Basic! [thumbup] What more do you need?! [biggrin]

CB
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#3 User is offline   cliffenstein 

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 03:36 PM

I actually agree!
1977 Aria Pro II L-550 (Les Paul Custom)
1990 Sebring LPJ Special
1993 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Recording King RAJ-122
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#4 User is offline   Pesh 

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 02:13 PM

Fantastic! Those Schaller tuners look great.
Pesh, also known by some as Tom; an English bloke living in Spain, who likes sending all kinds of well-intentioned sonic shrapnel careening through the air. (Twitter = @TM_Fisher).

Things with Strings...
2002 Fender Squier Affinity Stratocaster - "Janus".

2013 Gibson USA Limited Les Paul Traditional Pro II - "Negroni".
2014 Gibson USA 120th Anniversary Les Paul Studio - "Jupiter".
2015 Epiphone Limited EJ-200 Artist - "Nightmaiden".
2016 Stagg M20 Mandolin - "Octavia".

Things I've Built...
First build; cross between a '57 Goldtop & the Lou Pallo Signature Les Paul; thread here [in progress and sadly on hold]

Things without strings...
Marshall MG15DFX.
Orange OR15.
Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal.
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#5 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:55 PM

Pardon my ignorance, but how can intonation be adjusted at all with that wrap around bridge-tailpiece?
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#6 User is offline   cliffenstein 

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:52 PM

View PostTwang Gang, on 07 July 2017 - 03:55 PM, said:

Pardon my ignorance, but how can intonation be adjusted at all with that wrap around bridge-tailpiece?


First of all, the wrap around is at an angle to help approximate it. From there, adjustments are made via two screws that make each side go closer or further away from the bridge pickup.

In the end, this guitar is spot on at the first few frets where you expect it would be and then if I go and play a full G cowboy chord past the 12th fret, it's still in tune. So, at least for my purposes, it's certainly good enough.
1977 Aria Pro II L-550 (Les Paul Custom)
1990 Sebring LPJ Special
1993 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Recording King RAJ-122
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#7 User is offline   cliffenstein 

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:38 AM

After two months or so with the Hot Rails, I started noticing a certain unpleasant frequency as well as a slight lack of bottom end (when not playing loud) that began bugging me. I've never had these issues with the Hot Rails in a Strat, but with this Melody Make those issues were definitely there. it's one of those things where when you start hearing something you can't "unhear" it.

A friend I trust recommended that I get a Little '59 based on its EQ specs and his previous experience with the full size '59.

Wiring is pickup to 500k volume pot only. No push pull or anything like that. I'm after a straight ahead rock n roll, Joan Jett kinda thing (without having to do any routing).

With the Little '59 that unpleasant frequency I was hearing with the Hot Rails is completely gone. The overall pickup EQ is perfect now. This is VERY much the overall sound I was looking for.
1977 Aria Pro II L-550 (Les Paul Custom)
1990 Sebring LPJ Special
1993 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Recording King RAJ-122
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