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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not very experienced with the specific processes and work that accompanies restoring vintage guitars. My lack of knowledge is unfortunately quite problematic, as there is certain information I require in order to follow through with a purchase I may be making in the near future.

I am hopefully purchasing a mid 60s Gibson Melody Maker from someone, but the guitar has had work done on it.

The neck of the guitar has been restored/repainted, and so has the pick-guard. This makes it more affordable but also makes me a tad skeptical. Due to the age and restoration, certain things like the serial number and the logo are no longer there, and the Gibson mark on the neck was taped around for the sake of refinishing (looks a tad dodgy to me, and sorry for the run-on).
He has referred me to the Luther who restored the guitar, and the shop seems rather legit which gives me certain confidence.

Here is the guitar:
https://imgur.co m/a/PfHux

My question is: can anyone give me any information of what I should be looking for, and does the restoration job look legitimate in the photos bellow? I am not completely sure I am getting a fair deal, and it isn't some modern Epiphone with measures taken to cover the fact up.
 

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I'm no expert on these guitars, but it does look from the 60's. The one bridge post doesn't look right to me though.
Looking forward to this thread - and welcome
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Geco, I have yet to figure out all the ins and outs of this forum's format (though considering its simplicity, that's not much of an excuse...).

Yeah Silvertone, that's what's getting under my skin currently, despite it looking authentic and the seller seeming quite honest. The claim is that it was authenticated during the restoration process but I would strongly appreciate some paperwork stating it. If it is authentic however, then I shouldn't have much trouble authenticating it at a Luther.

Thanks Scotty, glad to be here. Unfortunately I am even less of an expert on guitars of this era, perhaps due to a lack of the necessary funds for owning 60s Gibsons
 

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That looks like a late 50’s, or very early 60’s MM. I have a ‘62 and they were already into double cut body shapes by then. They were reissued in the late 2000’s but I’m not sure they used that heel joint. Bear in mind that the guitar should probably be priced based on its value as a player, not a collectable.
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You did this twice, correct spelling below. <no offence intended>
“Luthier”
 

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Stripped finish, replaced parts and s/n painted over....this only has as much value as your like of it, can’t verify age so essentially zero collector value. I wouldn’t pay $500 for it. Looks like a dumpster dive reclamation. Would like to see back of headstock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So it is 'Luthier' then eh? By now I should know to trust my instincts and not the grammar bot for this type of jargon.

Yes, I agree with you pertaining to the player bringing out the potential of an instrument others would often find unbearable to deal with. I've been playing a 1981 Fender Bullet Deluxe for a couple years now; I can testify to how horrendous it played and absurdly high the action was. After half an hour of playing it I would throw in the towel and pickup my tele or jaguar as I was convinced it could never sound or play how I wanted. However, as I got into it more and more familiar with it, I genuinely began to love its sound and feel. Presently my Tele and Jag are barely given attention due to how much I love Deluxe Bullet.

Since I relate to anyone who obsessively tries to find the perfect sound/feel for their rig I only really deal with trades for something that could be worth a similar amount in terms of "tone-hunting". The deal I have going is for my 1965 Harmony amp. The amp has working trem, original tubes, duel-channel, Jensen Speakers, and a natural gain that is eerily similar to a Marshall Bluesbreaker (not reissue come on) to my ears.

The trade is co-beneficial, provided of course the gear is as advertised. Though we both seem pretty thrilled about the deal, I am still rather unsure of the validity of the advert.

*note: I'm fairly confident my guitar playing still sounds like a rodent getting flushed into a polluted river with a megaphone crammed in its face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You have a good point there, about the condition and integrity of the original product. I think I'll have a guitar tech give it a once over before the trade.

As an alternative he also offered to trade for a Harmony H82 Rebel, and that from what I've seen it's in rather excellent condition. However, the H82 Rebel doesn't really provide me with the exact tone I'm hoping for.

The Melody Maker has an almost Strat sounding vibe to it while still providing a punch similar to the LP Junior.

While I'm rambling on, I shouldn't forget the original reason for this post, and that is to ask whether it is in fact a vintage Melody Maker as opposed to a cheap imitation?
 

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Even if it started as a real Gibson the mods & work on it aren't really restoration so much--that certainly affects the value.

That said it's worth whatever you are willing to part with for it...
 

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If your Harmony is a 415, in decent shape, I’d say you’re getting the short end of the bargain by a wide margin.

My unpro best guess is that yes, that is a Melody Maker, or what’s left of one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmm I believe that a good quality H82 rebel does equate to a very similar financial value not withstanding the cost of any subjectively constructed "desire based value". All that's left is to assess the extent of the work done on it, how much of it is original, and ultimately find out how it performs in person.

Thanks for the help, this gives me more assurance in my suspicions of the nature/condition of the guitar; though admitted it still seems a bit dodgy that the identifying marks happened to be effected most by the butchery... I mean restoration work that was done to it
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Keto, pretty snazzy way of showing your knowledge of Harmony amps by subtly mentioning the model number based on my description and the year; the amp in question is indeed Harmony 415C
 

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Have you checked out the electronics? Pups, wiring? That should tell you whether it ever was a 60's MM. Take it to a Luthier that you trust with experience in dealing with vintage Gibsons. If it is an original "husk" of an MM, it is a refin and I agree with a value of less than $500.00.
 

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Unless they have some kind of paperwork showing it to be a Gibson, it's not.

maybe it has parts from a vintage Gibson but it should not be priced like one.
Actual value is probably low.

That being said, melody makers aren't worth a lot of money even in good shape so it's highly unlikely that somebody is trying to fake one.
If you like the guitar, it plays and sounds great go for it.

But it will probably have almost no resale value.

Gibson is the best to contact. But I'm pretty sure without a serial number they wont be able to tell you anything.


Sounds like youre Deluxe Bullet need a good set up.
Where are you located?

If you're near Peterborough Ontario you can come on by the shop and I can show you what you need to do to get it playing nicely.

Nathan
 

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But it will probably have almost no resale value.

If you're near Peterborough Ontario you can come on by the shop and I can show you what you need to do to get it playing nicely.
That's the only thing that would influence my buying of such an item. If you doubt its authenticity, you can be pretty sure the next one will too.

Nice of you to offer to show him how do do a set-up Nathan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah its condition is pretty rough meaning even if I sell my amp, I could get myself a better vintage gibson without much hastle
 

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Yeah its condition is pretty rough meaning even if I sell my amp, I could get myself a better vintage gibson without much hastle
True but give it a play.

It might be a great player and you might be able to wrangle guitar plus cash for your amp.

Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Nathan,

I have a 73 fender mustang that needs some work done(aka put together and seriously fixed up), so I'll consider bring it down depending on what I decide to do with it.

One last consideration I have to inquire about addresses the second offer he provided, that being a trade for his harmony h82 rebel, and intuitively it feels like a fair offer.
The amp value is just about matched in that deal as his h82 is in significantly better shape. So again it boils down to subjectively placed value.

But by question is, has anyone here ever owned/played that particular harmony model? I am aware it has the infamous gold stache pickups, but it'd help to hear someone's first hand experience with it
 
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