1969 SG Melody Maker: Is it legit?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by kasporelli, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    Hey yall, I just bought a 1969 melody maker and the headstock serial number seems very crooked for some reason. But everything else checks out. Do you think this is unusual?

    Also surprised how light it is, it feels almost like a toy.

    The guy made a lot of modifications such as refinish, fretboard dots to trapezoids, bridge replaced, switch toggle replaced, tuners replaced.

    It seems the pots and pickups are original though.

    Here are some pics:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting guitar at any rate, I would assume with all the things you know were changed (refinish etc.) you got it for a "player" price tag. So with that in mind, how does it play? I would definitely give something like that a shot as a possible player, I don't see anything that looks like it would detract from the value it has as a guitar to use at home, in the studio, or on the stage.
     
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  3. Westernrider

    Westernrider Well-Known Member

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    That is one very nice guitar. It is obvious the previous owner put some work and money into that guitar. That guitar is a keeper.
    I've only have one question: How do those single coils sound?
     
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  4. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    I got it for a fair price considering all the non original parts.

    It plays/ sounds very nice, idk if its because its vintage or what, but its the best sounding/feeling gibson guitar ive tried. The only thing I dont like is the trapezoids are very crooked, i think the previous owner did it himself.

    Very pleased with it, but is it unusual for the serial number to be crooked?
     
  5. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. It's legit, serial numbers weren't always stamped perfectly straight back then. Curiously, despite the dot over the "i", it looks to be a '69 indeed because it has the full size headstock. An early one too, because it has a one piece neck. The laminated neck came in around mid '69. What are the pot codes?

    That said, it shouldn't have a MOP Gibson inlay until 1970... This could actually have had the inlay added with the refinish...

    Also, the knobs look like modern reproductions.
     
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  6. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    Yes I was curious about the MOP gibson inlay which is not accurate. I will take a pic of the pots and post it when i get home. The owner said the pots and pickups were from 67' so Im not quite sure about that.

    For a vintage guitar it has very little wear on the neck and body, no breaks or anything. It has a 1.5 inch nut as well which was normal in 1969. I cant plug it in an amp until next week though unfortunately.
     
  7. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes in a refinish, a shallow stamped serial number will be removed (an unavoidable result of the process in some cases). Perhaps the same person who got the inlays a bit crooked was also responsible for restriking the serial number and got it crooked as well? The inlays I can see in the photo don't look "off" to me, but I'll take your word that some at least aren't quite straight.

    As for why it plays so well, my theory has always been that "vintage awesomeness" is largely a result of having been owned by people who played, cherished, and took care of their instrument. After 50 or 60 years of refinement by owners who valued the playability of a fine guitar, it comes as no surprise to me that the set up and such are likely to be quite good indeed, even if there are some significant repairs and battle scars picked up along the way.

    A well loved players axe attracts me like a moth to a flame. I see something like this, and my only thought is to try it out and see what decades of refinement might have brought out that may not be present in an instrument that hasn't been touched since it left the factory.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  8. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    I agree, its almost scary how accurate the intonation and action are on this guitar. When bending there are no wasted millimeteres, everything is so accurate and precise, not used to a guitar like that.

    Its a bummer about the trapezoids being crooked though. Just compared to my epiphone and the epi trapezoids are very straight comparatively. But an awesome vintage instrument nonetheless.
     
  9. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Trust me, if it plays as good as all that, those "beauty marks" will become as endearing as any "cosmetic perfection" could ever be.
     
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  10. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Very possible. I've seen '65 pots in a '67 or '68 before. Sometimes they just dump new pots into the bin before it's fully empty and old pots sit at the bottom for a long time before getting used. That or they might find an old box that was in the back of the storage room.

    The funny thing is that when you pay extra for hand-work, it means there's a greater chance of imperfection because humans make mistakes. The more automated the manufacturing, the more perfection you can achieve. That's something a lot of people don't get when comparing Epiphones to Gibsons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
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  11. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude Active Member

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    That is a super weird spot to put the pickup selector switch. Does it get in the way or do you accidentally swat it when strumming?
     
  12. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    These are the pot codes, at least the best shot I could get...
     
  13. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    the melody makers from back then had the toggle switch in that position. It doesnt seem to get in the way at all, although it takes some getting used to.
     
  14. 64Tele

    64Tele New Member

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    [​IMG]

    From Gibson catalog.....1970 two pickup SG style Melody Maker.
    I had one from 1970 to 1972 before trading it off.

    Walnut finish, sliding switch pickup selector, unbound neck with dots, big headstock, vibrola with compensated bridge (not tune-o-matic with stop).
    If I recall, they went (new) for $240 including the chipboard (not hard shell) case.

    Guitar from OP has had pickup selector changed, bridge changed to tune-o-matic and stop tailpiece (you can see the holes from the vibrola on the face of guitar).

    I'd say it's had a neck reset/replacement as the headstock face isn't walnut finish (see catalog pic), but is black like other Gibson models (not sure what....I don't know of any trapezoid fingerboards with "plain" black headstock with pearl Gibson logo). The Melody Maker (walnut finish) had a gold (painted) Gibson logo on the headstock (see catalog pic).
    Nice guitar, but no where near original.

    Does neck/body joint look like it's been done well?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  15. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    IDK about the serial # part, I don't....BUT But but the dot over the 'i' on the headstock is correct in 1969 ? that is two things right off the bat, so IDK BRO ! I'm no expert and IDK when GIBSON widened the headstock on the MM's but the Early-mid '60's Melody Makers had skinny ass headstocks and those White Button Tuning Machines that some people like.
    You should be able to tell if its a GIBSON by the way it rings un-plugged and how it plays when the neck is dead straight and, of course, when its plugged in.......but the pickup's were replaced ?

    Not going to ask what you paid for it but the refinish is un-fortunate as far as value goes...but maybe you got a good dealio on it because of the refinish ? IMO you should have.
    Those guitars were not expensive when new, and laughably enough there is a '68 MM on reverb right now going for close to $4,000.00 (I'd pass...but Someone will actually pay new Les Paul CUSTOM prices, for a 50+ year old used Melody-Maker ! LMAO!). This one has the ugly ass White Button Tuning Machines and the skinny ass headstock too...in 1968, HERE:

    https://reverb.com/item/44295377-vi...maker-iii-sparkiling-burgundy-w-original-case

    So really ??? IDK..... have to see/play it in person...... but its probably legit......N E Way, I would just:
    PLAY THE $#!T OUT OF THAT ROCK N ROLL MACHINE !!!
     
  16. kasporelli

    kasporelli New Member

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    Hey Mr D, yes the guitar rings when unplugged and I am not really into vintage or anything but was looking for a sg with a thin nut width (as weird as that sounds). The angus oung, sg naked, sg goddeess were potentials, but when I saw this guitar at a fair price, I had to go for it.

    The melody maker changed to the full headstock around 69' so it does make sense.
    https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/Melody_Maker

    Yes this one is a keeper, and even though I had to sell 2 epiphones to buy it, I think it was worth it!

    On a side note: There exists a 12 string melody maker, I just thought this ws neat, probaly very rare.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  17. 64Tele

    64Tele New Member

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    Probably even rarer to find one without neck joint issues (12 string tension more than a 6 string).
     
  18. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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  19. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    COOLIO, the un-plugged RING is a tell-tale sign and a good one...a real GIBSON (Mahogany/Rosewood) will never sound like plastic and the straighter you get the neck the Faster it will play... slides become effortless, notes get deeper sounding etc........ ....
    Sounds like the REAL DEALIO, and I'm glad you got what you wanted...you will soon forget the Epiphones and from the sound of this guitar it will most likely be a #1 type player for a few years at least....NICE ONE !!!

    BTW, One other thing that is a good sign is the screw holes for the original tremolo system. IF If if it were a copy/fake , yes? IDK if someone would waste good $$$ improving a junker that sounds like plastic un-plugged, unless their aim was to deceive....just seems a bit much though. really..

    Did you get the original Hared Shell Case ? That may also help determine things.....the HSCase if original would most likely be a certain type. AYK, The POT codes are key as well.
     
  20. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    One other thing, IIRC, is that the GIBSON logo in 1969 was a one-off and different from the previous years as well as the following years, IDK why.... but.....the 'i' was not dotted and the 'o' may have been different as well (closed/open).

    I'd really like to see the pot codes, DANG ! I know for a fact that the starting serial #'s for all 1965 SG's started w/Serial# 258XXX (Direct from a GIBSON long time employee) ........and if they ran sequentially ......

    did give up tryin to figure out GIBSON quite a while ago....
     

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