GIbson Melody Maker SG or Epiphone SG G-400

ravana

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
26
Reaction score
7
Hello, a few years back I was given an acoustic guitar, played it for half a year and then it slowly became a dust collector :-/ My love for music and desire to learn guitar still hasn't died but I'm going to try another angle. Considering my favorite genres of music are classic rock, ska, and doom/sludge/stoner metal I think I'm going to invest in a starter electric and hope that learning black sabbath albums whilist learning theory will interest me more than trying to play black sabbath on an acoustic and feeling unsatisfied.

Well with that intro:

I see that Gibson Melody Maker SG is for a sweet deal and getting an American made guitar as a first electric would be sweet. I won't lie I do have a certain pride with buying American :-X But I'm also fairly rational and have noticed that the SG G-400 fares for the same price, has better woods, more accurate of representation of the SG standard, etc. To summarize:

Pros of Melody Maker
- Simplistic
- Better quality electronics - well electronic
- Gibson :)

Cons of Melody Maker
- I hear that the vol. knob gets in the way? Doesn't seem to hurt fender strat sales so not sure about this.
- from what I understand maple isn't as of a quality tonewood as mahogany?

Pros of G-400
- Better representation of papa bear Standard SG
- More range of tones
- Knobs out of way

Cons of G-400
- Hear it suffers from being very neck heavy, more than the Gibsons.
- MIC :-(

General Questions:
1.) If someone could address if the vol. knob gets in the way that would be much appreciated.
2.) Is the SG the same size/thickness as the Standard SG?

What do you folks think would be better in the long run once the, "Wee Gibson, first guitar thrill" goes away. Then again, as materialistic as it may sound - I'm sure that does cause a certain attachment too....

Thanks,
Rav.
 

theNARDdog9

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
731
To answer your questions, the knob does not seem to get in the way at all for me. I own the explorer MM and the knob placement is fine on mine; Ive also played the SG one and I had no problems--however, this definitely depends on the player/style of playing.

That said if you want a more metal guitar, you may want to look at the Explorer MM. It just screams metal and hard rock both in sound, playability, and appearance. Not sure if the SG is any thinner than the standard, but I know the explorer MMs are thinner and smaller than the standard Explorers.

Hope I helped! And welcome to MLP!!!
 

ravana

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
26
Reaction score
7
I love the history of the SG too much.

Tony Iommi, Jerry Garcia, Santana! Their respective bands are amongst my favorites - once again, although shallow, I guess it's the little psychological things that get one excited when starting out.
 

ed1996

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
1,753
Reaction score
1,340
The main problem with the melody maker is that it only has one pickup.
 

theNARDdog9

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
731
To be honest I love the single pup config...the pup has so much drive and crunch to it! And Ravana I know why you mean. My SG is probably my favorite guitar--it's so iconic and just a beautiful playing and sounding instrument. On a related note, if you can spend between 400-500, try finding a used SG faded. Two pups that kick some serious ass!!! They also come with a really nice faded finish that gives them a fast neck and an old fashioned rock feel!
 

ravana

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
26
Reaction score
7
I would love to get the faded but 300 is a hard budget. Both the MM and G400 are both the same price so money isn't really the issue. And plus I kind of want to reward myself with a Standard after 2 years or so if I keep up with guitar this time around. Don't want to get too carried away.

It's kind of weird - the more I think about it Epi seems like the better choice. I'll wind up with a Gibson SG standard eventually, just have to work for it first. Is the neck dive issue of the Epi a real thing or is it more overhyped forum-goer fodder to talk about?
 

djrussell

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
1,555
Reaction score
910
Personally, I like the appeal of having 1 pickup. I know you can get all sorts of "sounds" out of a 2 pickup config with 6 different switches and 8 different knobs, but if you've got a good amp a lot of the changes can be done there. Besides, you would be surprised by the sort of sound you can get just by adjusting the volume and tone knobs on single pickup guitars.

I'd go with the SG Melody Maker man.

EDIT: Also, as far as resale goes - the Gibson will fetch better. If you decide to get an SG Standard in a few years you can sell the MM for a lot more than the Epiphone and put the $$ towards that.
 

theNARDdog9

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
731
Personally, I like the appeal of having 1 pickup. I know you can get all sorts of "sounds" out of a 2 pickup config with 6 different switches and 8 different knobs, but if you've got a good amp a lot of the changes can be done there. Besides, you would be surprised by the sort of sound you can get just by adjusting the volume and tone knobs on single pickup guitars.

I'd go with the SG Melody Maker man.

EDIT: Also, as far as resale goes - the Gibson will fetch better. If you decide to get an SG Standard in a few years you can sell the MM for a lot more than the Epiphone and put the $$ towards that.

+1 on all that. Also there's just something more satisfying about a Gibson. With the epiphone you'll always be GASing for something more....play both and choose whatever feels right. IMHO the MM is the better guitar (also I would agree that the g400 has more neck dive though I wouldn't say it's an immense difference)
 

ravana

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
26
Reaction score
7
I think you're right about the "GASing for something more..." part. I think Melody Maker will be fine. Now to just cross my fingers they don't go to 399 by Saturday since that's the earliest I can get one.

Since they are discontinued are they staying at 299 until all inventories are empty?
 

theNARDdog9

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
731
I think theyll stay at 299...I really wish I had waited before buying mine. I purchased my explorer a week before they dropped the price :/
 

Gar

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
455
Reaction score
491
Get the best you can afford. Check the used market for a used SG Classic. I had an Epiphone SG (3 pick up custom) and the neck was like a vibrato arm, the slightest wobble sent it out of tune, not saying they're all like that but it's worth mentioning. It put me off SGs until I played a Gibson Standard (which I now own). Keep saving for that Standard, but if you really must buy one now the Gibson will hold it's value better and should be easier to sell on.
 

studio1087

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
2,266
Melody Makers like the SG are great student guitars because of their simplicity.

When you play a guitar with one pickup you focus more on your hands and technique.

The fact that the guitar has less electronics is a plus.

It's a high quality, straight forward instrument. You'll focus on your hands and just playing the thing well.

Some day if you get a more complicated guitar you'll still have a great American made Melody Maker (great guitar).

Melody Maker.
 

icantbuyafender

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
4,063
Reaction score
1,925
if you got the chops, a volume knob and single pup is all youll ever need, dude.

I personally love my MM LP P-90's versions from '03 for that reason.

sure they have a tone knob but id rather use the volume to adjust sound.

the pot choice just allows for more augmentation than JUST volume.

Plug in and play. NO bullshit.

Such a simple circuit has such a huge response!

trust me. Just hold them. the gibby MM will feel like part of you
 

ravana

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
26
Reaction score
7
Thank you all for the encouragement!

I'm sold on the MM, now I'm just extremely anxious and hoping the deal doesn't go away or a surprise sell-out by friday! Trapped at school until then. Paying with cash so can't order online :-(
 

rockerbilly

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
I've got the SG MM and it sounds fantastic but my gripe with it is the rough edged 'speedbump' frets. They are a bit of a chore to deal with especially after playing just about any other guitar with smaller smoother frets. Still for the money it's a winner and even though I was worried at first about the vol knob getting in the way it doesn't bother me at all. It's a pure rock machine as far as I'm concerned.
 

eyeofsetSG

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I'd say the Gibson SG MM. I have had quite my few shares of various Epiphones and none could compete with the 2011 Gibson SG Melody Maker in Dark Blue. I have a new 2009 Faded G400, a used 1997 Korean made G400, a used 2005 Korean made G400 Deluxe with Maestro and more recently a used 2011 1966 reissue with full pickguard and none of those guitars could compete in terms of feel and playability and of course sound. The 1997 G400 was louder when overdriven but it stayed cleaner at higher volumes than the 2011 SG MM and the rest were junk with the exception of the 2009 Faded G400. That was a fantastic guitar but I could not enjoy it enough because of a bad roommate situation then and had to get a refund from GC for but that was before I had enough money to American made Gibsons anyway. Lastly I also had a Custom Shop SG Prophecy GX with Dirty Fingers pickups but felt the neck was to wide. I finally graduated to Gibsons when I bought a used vintage 1973 Gibson SG Special with mini humbuckers in 2011 a year before the SG Special Tributes came and also a year before I bought my SG MM from GC brand new in 2012. That was an awesome guitar in and of itself but I thought it was too good and therefore let it go on trade in towards a Crate Tube amp in October 2012. It had a super thin 70's style neck that was thinner than my 2011 SG MM that I currently own now. Also more recently I bought used 2006 Gibson SG Special 3 pickup version in faded Black which was another good guitar that I let go of recently. Anyways to answer the question about the SG MM vs The G400 I would rather invest in and pay top dollar for a new or used SG MM before I'd buy another G400 of any model. They are better made, made in America on top of that, they are simplistic, have better electronics and hold their value very well and the necks feel more comfortable on the hands when you do play them. I saw a used black 1966 G400 PRO on GC used website for $100 and on that same website there was a used black SG MM for $400. You can get a used SG MM from $250 to $400 on GC used depending on the color and the condition. The black ones are the rarer of the bunch and go for the most money while the white ones go for the least and the Dark Blue ones like the one I have can range somewhere in between. Also the ones that have upgraded tuners and pickups can also fetch a alot of money for an inexpensive Gibson. After buying Epiphones before and after buying the three Gibsons I have had and currently still have in my collection I am going to buy all Gibsons from now on. Thats my two cents worth.
 

colchar

Banned
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
33,834
Reaction score
74,682
I'd say the Gibson SG MM. I have had quite my few shares of various Epiphones and none could compete with the 2011 Gibson SG Melody Maker in Dark Blue. I have a new 2009 Faded G400, a used 1997 Korean made G400, a used 2005 Korean made G400 Deluxe with Maestro and more recently a used 2011 1966 reissue with full pickguard and none of those guitars could compete in terms of feel and playability and of course sound. The 1997 G400 was louder when overdriven but it stayed cleaner at higher volumes than the 2011 SG MM and the rest were junk with the exception of the 2009 Faded G400. That was a fantastic guitar but I could not enjoy it enough because of a bad roommate situation then and had to get a refund from GC for but that was before I had enough money to American made Gibsons anyway. Lastly I also had a Custom Shop SG Prophecy GX with Dirty Fingers pickups but felt the neck was to wide. I finally graduated to Gibsons when I bought a used vintage 1973 Gibson SG Special with mini humbuckers in 2011 a year before the SG Special Tributes came and also a year before I bought my SG MM from GC brand new in 2012. That was an awesome guitar in and of itself but I thought it was too good and therefore let it go on trade in towards a Crate Tube amp in October 2012. It had a super thin 70's style neck that was thinner than my 2011 SG MM that I currently own now. Also more recently I bought used 2006 Gibson SG Special 3 pickup version in faded Black which was another good guitar that I let go of recently. Anyways to answer the question about the SG MM vs The G400 I would rather invest in and pay top dollar for a new or used SG MM before I'd buy another G400 of any model. They are better made, made in America on top of that, they are simplistic, have better electronics and hold their value very well and the necks feel more comfortable on the hands when you do play them. I saw a used black 1966 G400 PRO on GC used website for $100 and on that same website there was a used black SG MM for $400. You can get a used SG MM from $250 to $400 on GC used depending on the color and the condition. The black ones are the rarer of the bunch and go for the most money while the white ones go for the least and the Dark Blue ones like the one I have can range somewhere in between. Also the ones that have upgraded tuners and pickups can also fetch a alot of money for an inexpensive Gibson. After buying Epiphones before and after buying the three Gibsons I have had and currently still have in my collection I am going to buy all Gibsons from now on. Thats my two cents worth.


:facepalm:

You just replied to a thread from 2012. I'm betting the OP made up his mind a long time ago.

On another note, perhaps you should check this link:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paragraph
 

Latest Threads



Top