Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker 2014

Gibson's most affordable USA-made Les Paul gets a makeover for 2014, featuring a slicker look and P-90 Alnico V pickups.

Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker 2014

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This Gibson branded guitar easily crosses over into Epiphone price range. Made possible by stripping the guitar of aesthetic extras, which at first may seem like a bad thing - but ironically, the stripped down look together with the sound of P90 pickups gave the Melody Maker a distinct style and sound that appealed to many players.

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This year, Gibson revisits and updates the Melody Maker design, now featuring a thinner body profile, upgraded pickups and are available in four matte satin finishes.

The body of the guitar features a maple top glued to a mahogany back, carved into the familiar single cutaway shape. The thinner body and its curves are designed to be comfortable to carry and play with. Thankfully, Gibson picked some great satin finishes that matches the guitar really well - Yellow, Manhattan Midnight, Wine Red and Charcoal.

The neck of the guitar is made from maple, carved into a '50s rounded profile. It is topped by a rosewood fretboard with 22 cryogenically treated frets that are said to last longer than regular ones. The nut width is 1.695" and it comes equipped with a White GraphTech nut. The headstock looks more traditional, featuring gold silkscreen labels along with a black and white truss rod cover with Melody Maker stamped in white.

The new 2014 Melody Maker features upgraded pickups, a P-90SR on the neck and a P-90ST on the bridge. If you're not familiar, P90s offer a single-coil sound complete with the 50/60 cycle hum. Like other Gibson models, the bridge pickup is slightly hotter than the neck. Traditional controls are provided, including a 3-way Switchcraft with black tip plastic and independent volume and tone controls. The 2014 makeover introduces "max grip" speed knobs that are more accurate and easier to adjust.

Another simplified part of the new Melody Maker is the lightning bar tailpiece, which is literally a stopbar tailpiece with fixed metal saddles to accommodate string intonation. Other hardware include vintage style tuners with white buttons and aluminum strap buttons.

Like all the 2014 Gibson models, the new Melody Maker features a "120th Anniversary" inlay on the 12th fret. At just $569, this US-made guitar is a tempting deal for both beginners and professionals. Visit Gibson for more information.

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Looking for an electric guitar for under $500? Check out our roundup of the best in this price range.

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