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Gibson Melody Maker Explorer
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Gibson Melody Maker Explorer

V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Gibson belonging to the Explorer series.

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tjon901 tjon901

« Subpar »

Published on 12/15/11 at 13:01
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.

UTILIZATION

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.

SOUNDS

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.

OVERALL OPINION

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.
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