Great guitar, great value, great service
I'm really impressed with the quality of the Melody Maker 2014 that I just received from Sweetwater. Gibson really seem to be upping their game in $500 guitar market. I've played the older style of Melody Makers in my local music store, and I could never find one that was playable. The 2014 model puts paid to all of my concerns.
Gibson appear to be embracing useful innovation, and it shows in this guitar. I'm sure that SW's 55 point check helped, so the guitar was playable out of the box. Thanks Gibson and SW. The finish on the guitar is almost flawless. The satin finish is opaque and well-applied. Looks like Gibson applied grain filler to the body--I really don't like the look of a guitar finished without grain filler--it's a cost saving, but I think it's ugly. The maple cap and neck don't need grain filler of course. The color is close to the TV Yellow of my LP Jr but more yellow and less Dijon mustard but not banana yellow. The body is thin, about 50% the thickness of my LP Std, and light--only 7 lbs. But it feels solid.
The fret ends are smooth and playable, unlike my 2013 LPJ. The new (old?) P90S pickups are as described--more bottom end than I expected, nice top end sparkle, and lots of grunt when driving an amp. They sound close to the Gibson demo on YouTube--Nice! They're single coil, so there's some hum but a lot less than I've experienced with more traditional-style P90s. I really hate 60 cycle hum--there is a bit with these pickups, but it isn't bad.
The lightning bolt wraparound bridge is a work of art--satin chrome, solid and cool looking. All top five strings intonate spot on. The low E is out. I haven't adjusted the allen bolts yet. That might help a little bit.
The 50s style neck is thicker than the 60s slim taper profile on three of my other LPs, but it isn't crazy chunky--it feels just a bit thicker in the hand, which I like. I also appreciate the fact that the neck is made of maple, which should be stronger than mahogany and less prone to snapping at the headstock.
Thanks, Gibson, for finally ditching those small strap buttons, which everyone has to replace.
If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive, quality guitar that's made in the US, sounds great and is easy to play, you'd be hard-pressed to beat the Melody Maker. I love mine. Thanks to Sweetwater for making my purchase an easy and pleasant transaction!