1959/60 Melody Maker

Wailing

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Hi Folks

I have read that the 59 Melody Makers are the ones to buy because of the 'wide' pickup. Ive looked at 1960 models, which also look like they have the 'wide' pickups... How do I identify which ones have the 'best' pickups ?

Keep strumming... Wailing
 

rich85

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To be honest just buy a good one then drop in a seymour duncan custom shop direct replacement. They do a few different options and all look stock. Its what Billy Gibbons uses in his.
 

kasu

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The fat one sounds great IMO. The thin one is pretty "feeble". You simply have to learn what the fat one looks like. Its not that hard even though the difference isnt huge. Google a bunch of pics and compare.
 

Cjsinla

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My 1960 MM has the wide pickup as well, they were not phased out by then. I believe all the wide ones are the “good ones.” Go for it.

FF13A071-7185-4B3C-83EE-281F1F328450.jpeg


BEC9D449-8A95-4452-897C-02310860A1A7.jpeg
 

Danelectro

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I currently own a 1959 and an early 1960, both of which have the wide pickups. Both have ‘59 profile necks that feel identical. I also had a late 1960 MM which had the narrow pickup and a thinner neck (but not a pencil neck like some early 1960’s have). The wide pickup has much better tone than the anemic-sounding narrow pickup, but it’s still no P90.
 

bad565ss

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Would it be considered bad form to route one of these for a dog ear P90?
 

zombiwoof

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Would it be considered bad form to route one of these for a dog ear P90?
There are replacement pickups for those that are made to sound like P90's, I would try one of those instead of modding what is now considered a vintage guitar.
Interesting story: Years ago, my brother bought a mid sixties cherry double cut MM ($400), after playing it a few times I told him the pickup was really weak and needed to be replaced. He agreed, but at the time there were no replacement pickups for MM's. I even contacted Duncan, talked to someone there and told him they should make a MM replacement pickup, since so many of them had been routed for P90's or HB's. He replied that there was really no market for a MM replacement, and besides the original pickups were "great". I wondered what planet he was from, and decided to just get a Strat type pickup that didn't have the triangular base on it. The mounting holes don't line up, but I decided on a Bill Lawrence blade single coil, to mount it I put a thin shim under it to get it up closer to the strings (think I used the bottom plastic plate from the original pickup, which holds the pickup together), and screwed the new pickup into the wood. I put the original mounting screws back in the holes on the pickguard and fixed them in position with some silicone gunk, to keep it looking original. The guitar sounded much better after that, of course the pickup can't be adjusted any more, but it looks good and sounds great. I borrowed that guitar for a couple of years and used it for slide when I was gigging around the country, tuned to open E or open A. A few years later I see that Duncan seemed to change their mind, as they then had added a Custom Shop MM pickup to the lineup. So much for the original skinny MM pickups sounding great!. By the way, it wasn't Seymour I talked to.
Al
 

BWOTW

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There are replacement pickups for those that are made to sound like P90's, I would try one of those instead of modding what is now considered a vintage guitar.
Interesting story: Years ago, my brother bought a mid sixties cherry double cut MM ($400), after playing it a few times I told him the pickup was really weak and needed to be replaced. He agreed, but at the time there were no replacement pickups for MM's. I even contacted Duncan, talked to someone there and told him they should make a MM replacement pickup, since so many of them had been routed for P90's or HB's. He replied that there was really no market for a MM replacement, and besides the original pickups were "great". I wondered what planet he was from, and decided to just get a Strat type pickup that didn't have the triangular base on it. The mounting holes don't line up, but I decided on a Bill Lawrence blade single coil, to mount it I put a thin shim under it to get it up closer to the strings (think I used the bottom plastic plate from the original pickup, which holds the pickup together), and screwed the new pickup into the wood. I put the original mounting screws back in the holes on the pickguard and fixed them in position with some silicone gunk, to keep it looking original. The guitar sounded much better after that, of course the pickup can't be adjusted any more, but it looks good and sounds great. I borrowed that guitar for a couple of years and used it for slide when I was gigging around the country, tuned to open E or open A. A few years later I see that Duncan seemed to change their mind, as they then had added a Custom Shop MM pickup to the lineup. So much for the original skinny MM pickups sounding great!. By the way, it wasn't Seymour I talked to.
Al
Never heard the wide MM pickup, but I can confirm the later one is weak. It SOUNDS good, but it's so low output, so noisy and so prone to squealing that it's hard to use in a rock oriented scenario. I did pretty much the same thing with mine, in my case with a Duncan Hot Rails. Thought it'd be something temporary 'til I decided if I routed it or not, but it actually sounds pretty, pretty good like this!

 

red_house356

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Be aware that the melody maker pickups from Seymour Duncan are about as deep as hot rails or other HB single coil sized pickups. You may need to route the neck position. I hit a snag with my '60. Wide MM pickups will be found in '59s and early '60 MMs. I have an early '60 MM D that had wide pickups and rocks a .895" 1st fret profile.



It currently has a narrow MM pickup that was rewound by James from Rewind Electric. It is a completely brand new pickup. Love it.
 
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