Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
LeonC

'63 Melody Maker double cut neck joint?

Recommended Posts

I plan to install a P90 in the neck position on an old Melody Maker (the bridge position was already routed for a humbucker). My concern with the neck joint is that the more reinforcement it needs from the body below the neck, the further I should mount the pickup from the base of the fretboard. If I wasn't concerned about this, I'd just mount it flush to the end of the fretboard as I think it would sound best there. But my concern is that this looks like a simple box joint and on the double-cut, the cutaways are deep enough that the neck joint probably needs the additional stability provided by the solid body below the neck joint.

 

I've noted that on double-cut, double-pickup MMs of this era, the neck pickup was always mounted about 3/4" down from the fretboard. And I know that the neck pickup on Les Paul Specials moved from '59 to '60 (they moved the pickup down away from the butt of the neck, presumably from these concerns).

 

Does anyone ABSOLUTELY KNOW whether or not the MM neck joints were box joints or tennon type joints? Guessing is fine--I can guess, and I already have--but I'm particularly interested in hearing from someone who knows, based on first hand experience. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added a pickup to a LP Junior... and the neck tennon basically comes to the end of the fretboard (just before it actually...

 

I reckon the MM is probably similar. Hard to say for sure as I haven't worked on a MM before... But heres a pic of what I routed..

 

Hope that helped a bit and good luck :)

 

20130622_175203_zpsf0375dc4.jpg

 

if you go to 19:13 on this vid you get a good look at the standard type of neck joint they use

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive been having a look at some pics... is this what you are talking about?

 

MMComboWebsize_zps73818434.jpg

 

If so.. then I think you should be ok.. The way the back is designed the neck heal area extends further out than on normal LPs giving that area of the neck more support.. So I reckon you will be ok.. if the neck heal went all the way back to the body then it may have been more of an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that MM double-cut is the type I'm referring to; the body ends with that boxy structure into which the neck is set. I don't THINK it's a tennon; I think it's a simple box joint. Note how whoever installed the pickups mounted the neck pickup below the fretboard...looks like maybe 1/2" or so down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that MM double-cut is the type I'm referring to; the body ends with that boxy structure into which the neck is set. I don't THINK it's a tennon; I think it's a simple box joint. Note how whoever installed the pickups mounted the neck pickup below the fretboard...looks like maybe 1/2" or so down.

Well this is the only image I could find...

 

from this thread

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/other-gibsons/160718-melody-maker-question-s.html

MelodyMaker001_zps28101cff.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool photo Rabs; thanks.

 

The thing is...that is a reissue. You can tell because the old ones (like mine and like the one in your earlier photo) have a gap that is about 1/8" side at the base of the fretboard like this:

 

1960mmneck.jpg

 

Seems like most folks who route these for neck pickups avoid routing up to that gap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool photo Rabs; thanks.

 

The thing is...that is a reissue. You can tell because the old ones (like mine and like the one in your earlier photo) have a gap that is about 1/8" side at the base of the fretboard like this:

 

Seems like most folks who route these for neck pickups avoid routing up to that gap.

Hmmm... yeah I cant say for sure.. but you have like 7 frets worth of glued wood on the neck and body... which is the same area as a LP... (a good 3")

 

Donno man.. I think it will be ok.. and I doubt you will find many people who have made that mod to that sort on vintage model...

 

Will be interesting to see what happens so let us know.. and good luck [thumbup]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, actually neck joins body at 16th fret. Could be that it's quite stable. I'll be reviewing this with a few more folks before I proceed. The guitar has already been customized such that it's value as a 'vintage instrument' has been significantly diminished...

 

But I have to say--much to my surprise--it has to be one of the best solid body guitars I've ever owned. I currently have a 1968 LP Custom, a '61 Epiphone Coronet, an old Guild S100 and I've owned plenty of other old Gibsons, Epiphones and still have a '61 dot-neck 335. This little Melody Maker is probably the most responsive, acoustically loudest, best sounding amplified and most resonant electric guitar I've ever played. It plays very well too and is in decent repair overall though the tuners are failing. I also recently picked up a '60/61 single cut MM which is in a bit rougher shape, but also has an amazing resonant, ringing quality to it. Same kind "neck in a box" joint. I don't know if that's the secret, or if it's that old Honduran mahogany and Brazilian rosewood fretboard...I don't think it's just the wood though...I've owned and played plenty of other Gibsons from that era that weren't nearly as resonant. I think it's that boxy neck joint...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I have one of these a Double Cut Special

IMG_0199_zpse29c33c4.jpg

 

And it does all the things you describe.. I think its just the way these are just slabs of wood.. no weight relief no caps.. just one nice bit of wood.. (even if its more than one piece :)).

 

Its why the people who love Juniors and Specials and MMs love them so much.. they are just basic all out rock machines [thumbup]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...