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Melody Maker with 2 pups? (& replacement q's)


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I played a used Gibson guitar once (in a shop) and I'm trying to remember what it was. It was Les-Paul shaped or nearly LP shaped, but flat. It had two pickups. It sounded fantastic playing the blues, and wasn't expensive.


I'm looking at a Melody Maker picture, and it has only one pup. The guitar I'm remembering had two, and either they were both factory mounted or someone did a real nice job of adding one.


Mostly I'm curious what the pickups would have been, and I suspect the bridge pickup was the same as on a Melody Maker -- looked about the same, thinner than a typical LP pup. Gibson calls the pup on a MelodyMaker a "Vintage P90". How would that differe from a non-vintage P90?


I'm considering replacing some crappy pickups on a cheap guitar. I'll have to try a MM to see if the P90 is what I'm going for, but assuming it is, how does the P100 compare?


Then again, I have SC pups on my other guitar, maybe I should go with humbuckers -- as long as they're bright and lively, which the current ones aren't. It's for this guitar, a National (believe it or not):




The mounts need to be redone too, so perfect fit replacement probably isn't an issue. It doesn't and won't ever sound like a Les Paul. The body is made of boards pressed together with a molded ply top. It's light as a feather. But frankly, I don't want anything like a real LP (my favorite LP is the Smartwood series, which are also light and hated by LP lovers.)


Any suggestions? I'm not a 'tone nut' or vintage freak, and won't be spending huge amounts of money. I'll probably get pups from ebay.

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You could be right. I remember there was something different about the shape, and double cutaway could have been it. This was in about 1999, and the guitar was old though no telling how old from superficial appearance.


It was a good player, and the pickups sounded sweet as can be. It's possible that the shop didn't quite know what they had and mismarked it. I guess I shoulda just bought it for like $600 they were asking (since I still remember it, it would have been a good deal no matter what it was).

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I agree, it sounds like it would be a Special...


Didn't have to be from the late 50's though... Gibson has made various re-incarnations of this style guitar over the years.


For a price of $600 it was most likely a used, late model version of the 50's Special.


For instance...





"Spend all day doing nothing

But we sure do it well" - Huck Johns from 'Oh Yeah'

Click to Listen to Oh yeah

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The original Melody Makers had thin SC pups, and my buddy had one with 2 of those pups. Sonically, it was what it was, and now they're gone, so the formula must have been off. My first exposure to this model was in the 60's - a funk band called Mandrill's lead player used one. A guy I used to know in Kingston, Ontario gigged with one for years. It has 2 pups.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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You might also have been looking at an SG250. If I recall correctly it had a metal plate kinda like a Tele.... but I sold mine off in the late 1970s, so I'm not sure. 2 pickup, though, and probably would have little resale value today, not like an LP Special, which would probably get big bucks.



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Like this?




I own one of these (I hijacked this picture, but mine looks identical). Two SC pups, typical LP wiring, wraparound bridge with fixed intonation, and holes where a vibrola tailpiece was originally.


The pickups are fairly weak, so they make the amp work pretty hard - great with my all-tube Vox Berkeley.

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Doug, I think it looked a lot like that, except the pups were the vintage P90 shape: featureless black bars, thinner than LP typical pups, but thicker than those pictured. That guitar with different pups would really hit the target: perhaps there were variations. What is that, teh SG Special?


Seems to me it did have a wraparound bridge like that.


It was not the stereotypical LP shape, and was not a Junior or similar. It didn't say "SG" on it, nor did the tag, the only place I saw the name, which I WISH I could remember! It's quite possible that it was mislabeled. It was at Herb David Guitars in Ann Arbor MI, and while Herb knows his guitars, he also has a devil-may-care attitude.




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