Gibson Melody Maker Explorer
Gibson Melody Maker Explorer

Melody Maker Explorer, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Explorer series.

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All user reviews for the Gibson Melody Maker Explorer

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Average Score:3.5( 3.5/5 based on 3 reviews )
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
Value For Money : Excellent
Not satisfied with those reviews?
heads on fire02/28/2012

heads on fire's review"Simple and sweet!"

Gibson Melody Maker Explorer
Made in Nashville, TN, USA

Species Maple
Body Type Slab
Adhesive Franklin Titebond 50
Species Mahogany
Profile Melody Maker
Truss Rod Traditional Adjustable
Joint Angle 1.75° (+/- 15 seconds)
Adhesive Franklin Titebond 50
Neck Fit
Joint Mortise & Tenon
Adhesive Franklin Titebond 50
Joint Angle Tolerance +/- .005"
Species Baked Maple
Frets 22
Radius 12"
Nut/E.O.B 1.695"/2.260"
Inlays Dot
Material Corian
Width 1.695
Slots Gibson PLEK System
Truss Rod Cover with Hot Stamp Gold Gibson Logo Black Antique Bell

Model White Button

Type Wrap Around Tailpiece
Plating Chrome
Knobs Black Top Hat
Strings .010 - .046, Genuine Gibson strings
Strap Buttons Aluminum
Bridge Position Seymour Duncan HB-103 (Ceramic)
Potentiometer 1 Volume Control
Type 300k Linear Volume
Coil Wiring Machine Wound
Output Jack Traditional 1/4"
Sealer Nitrocellulose
Process 1-1.5 mils
Satin EbonySatin BlueSatin WhiteCase
Type Gigbag
Additional Materials Gibson Owners Manual


What an interesting guitar. It's cool that Gibson decided to bring the Explorer shape into the Melody Maker family, stripping down the functions and features to make a very simplistic electric guitar. The guitar plays well, and the body seems a bit smaller than a regular Explorer. I like the idea of a single pickup, single knob guitar, and this is the epitome of that design ideal. The fact that the headstock is more like a Flying V headstock is also a great design idea.


The single pickup sounds great - big, cutting and clear tones. It works well for all rock styles - metal, punk, grunge, screamo - and more. The fact that the body is made of maple does enhance the high mid frequencies, creating a more present clarity in the timbre. This is simplicity to the max, and sometimes the simpler guitar designs are the ones that end up sounding the best. This guitar has a great tone.


This is a very cool axe from Gibson. Where else can you get a solid maple-bodied set neck guitar with just one pickup, frets all professionally dressed via the computer controlled PLEK system, made in the USA, for under $550? I've seen them used sell for $400 even! At that price, it's worth it to buy this even just to have a spare "knock-around" guitar! One could get an Epiphone for that price - not that they are bad guitars, but it's very cool to have a USA-made guitar for that cheap. Highly recommended - try it out!

tjon901's review"Subpar"

Gibson Melody Maker Explorer
This guitar seems to be another attempt by Gibson to lower the overall quality of their products. This is the Melody Maker Explorer. I dont know why anyone would buy the regular Melody Maker and this is no different. The quality on this guitar is below that of all but the cheapest Epiphones. This guitar has a maple body in a slightly smaller Explorer shape. The body has a satin faded finish. The neck is a huge set mahogany neck. It is the standard Gibson scale. The headstock is like a mini flying V headstock for some reason. The tuners up top are pretty poor. The bridge is a wraparound bridge but its a Gibson wraparound bridge so the intonation is not very good down the neck. The single pickup in this guitar is Duncan Design pickup so its like a half quality Seymour Duncan. You get a single volume knob for controls to complete the melody makerness.


The quality on these super low end Gibsons is laughable. At some points it is hard to believe that these guitars are made in America. The tuners are the cheapest Ive come across on any modern guitar. They do not hold tune well at all. The wraparound bridge design was bad back in the 50s and it is still bad. This is no PRS bridge. The intonation on this guitar is bad past the 12th fret and it is mostly because of the bridge. Having a guitar with bad intonation is the worst because you can tune it and tune it but everything will always sound slightly off. The neck on this guitar is huge. It is like a 50s Gibson neck. I guess a bigger neck is easier to make. The frets on this example were not leveled very well and there was buzzing up and down the neck. It is quite amazing to see the differences in quality between a guitar like this and other Gibsons which are all made in America. The baked maple fretboard even though there is nothing wrong with it, the pale look of it to me makes the guitar look cheap overall. If they threw some varnish on it and darkened it up it would look a lot better.


Gibson was pretty clever. On the specs it says the pickup in this guitar is a Seymour Duncan HB-103. On the surface that makes it sound like this guitar has good Seymour Duncan pickups but when you look up what a Duncan HB-103 is it just a Duncan Designed pickup which is what they put in cheap low end guitars when they dont want to use no name pickups. The pickup in this guitar does not clean up well because it is jsut a bridge pickup and there is no tone knob. The maple body in this guitar gives it a different sound than you would normally get with a Gibson. The sound is brighter and that kind of accentuates the low quality of the pickup. With gain it has a sort of harsh but muddy high end tone to it.


I really wouldnt recommend this guitar to anyone. You can get much much better quality Gibson style guitars if you buy an overseas made guitar. Be it an Epiphone or a copy like an Agile or Edwards. The quality on all those guitars for the same price as this guitar would be head and shoulders over this guitar. If you are looking for a low priced Gibson I would strongly advise you to not get a Gibson like this and to start looking at guitars as a whole and not just a name on the headstock.

ericpenot's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" mini explore a perfect customize"

Gibson Melody Maker Explorer
Made in Indonesia, but apparently can be in China.
A small guitar very nice, not very expensive: 560 euros to buy, I bought 120 euros on the net with the desire to customize it to have a low weight explore.
Maple body, mechanical Kluson average quality maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, nice neck to play, low action, very simple but effective bridge.
original micro changed by Jackson to buy so I can not prononoer me on the original micro: anyway a board change
One microphone at the start: a small skyscraper scene of very nice you bine over. Sub Gibson, Epiphone like, but when it's done bine, which is the case, it's worth it.
Channel 22 frets gibson SG guy.
1 tone and 1 volume; it's enough for a microphone, like 2 or 3 elsewhere.
I am a follower of a single volume for all and a single tone


Super nice handle end, not catchy vernisn
excellent ergonomics will light guitar
Excellent access to acute
Fimition very correct, simple but good.
I do not know if the series is homogeneous or not. A check (as always all ways).

I customized mine: stoned for 3 pickups!
Neck pickup: humbucker Bill Lawrence L 90 Twin Blade
Middle Pickup: Quad rail humbucker BF
Pickup: Humbucker Jacson 1990 USA

no toggle switch but 3 small, 1 by microphones, microphones for mélnger.


blues rock pop her sweet kind jazzy clear with bill lawrence
its fat bluezsy a wish.
used with a Laney 30 watt lamps

I do not know the original microphone mas but from the one who sold me the guitar, not terrible ...


I have bought used since 2012, it dates from 2007: it ages well apparently.
I have purchased the form explore and also to have a guitar scene that not break my back.
Super écuipée with good mics, it sounds good and plays very nicely.
A 120 euros on net okaz great deal and good value for money. If the new purchase price, 560 euros, you can find better and cheaper by Hamer and Ibanez exempel or custom 77.
I think the guitar was made in a limited number of expemlaires,'m not sure she is still on sale in 2014.