Replacement PU for new '59 Re-issue Melody Maker


I'm 50 years old, and just bought my first guitar. I got a single PU Melody Maker RI, and I'm pretty sure its time to replace the single-coil that came stock it. What would be the best choice for a P 90? Or, should I consider a HB for the single bridge application on the MM?

I don't know anything about playing a guitar, but I sure do love this little jewel. Sometimes I just set it out on the couch across the room so I can look at it when I'm watching TV!

I do know this: When you hit it, that thing feels just like your holding a 5 lb tuning fork. It's amazing. For whatever its worth, I've held lots of guitars in the $800+ range that are not nearly as resonant.

I love the electric guitar and always wanted to have one to take a crack at learning how to play. So, on a wild hair, I bought this baby for $356.00 in Jan. I've taught my self a few cords, and have had a ball playing around with a slide. It stays in tune always.

And, if I don't ever learn how to play her, we at least share the same tastes' in movies.


a couple of questions

1) what kind of amp are you using?
2) why do you think it's time to replace the pickup?

Best way to add "resonance" to your guitar - new strings!  Best way to improve tone - new strings!  BY FAR THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR TONE - pick of the guitar and play it while watching tv instead of looking at it!
spauldingrules said:
play it while watching tv

That's where I did all my practicing as a kid. I can still play the theme to McMillan and Wife.
I'm pretty sure its time to replace the single-coil that came stock it.

Ummm - WHY?!?

To the best of my (limited) knowledge, all pickups are about equally adept at watching TV.... :blob7: Gibson makes good pickups, it's hard to imagine that they'd put a sub-prime one on a Melody Maker, given that there's not a whole lot else to one, besides a pickup?
Funny how you know a lot of the guitar terms and acronyms, but only play for about 2 months :)
Also curious how you ended up on this board? planning a warmoth too?
don't get me wrong, your're very welcome here either way :) just curious..
I do like those melody makers - however, neither Gibson nor Fender will EVER get a dime of my money again.  Well, maybe Fender, since their stuff isn't ridiculously overpriced, just overpriced.  I've had 3 Les Pauls in my life and they all were terrible and went on Fleabay.  And yes, I played them first - TWO had the truss rods break and the other's neck warped!  I wasn't even gigging them (used the "cheap" MIM tele for that, which was much more durable and quality, IMO).  This was the early 90's, of course, which I think was a low point for Gibson probably, so yours is probably a lot better.
Yeah, I think you should hold off on getting a new pickup.  You'd be better off spending your money on guitar lessons, or maybe some books!  I suspect that pickup is fine for anybody, and more than enough for a beginner.

I got my first electric (a cheap Strat copy) after playing acoustic for a year, replaced one of the pickups (with a lipstick tube) after playing for four years, and got my second electric (my Warmoth) after playing for seven years.

You've got a good-quality instrument... concentrate on your skill and not your gear!  That goes for the rest of you, too!  Especially me!!  Thanks to my recent spending spree my equipment is way better than my playing.
Maybe he's a badd-asss bass player, and therefore knows the terms, and is probably as skilled as an advanced beginner on guitar.  :laughing7:
50% of the people who post on Harmony Central know nothing about guitar other than the jargon.
A bad ass bass player would wipe the floor with a beginner guitar player and certainly wouldn't gaze across the room at a melody maker. :laughing7: :laughing7: :laughing7:
Sorry it's taken so long to reply-

Music is in my soul and after God and family, I'm more impassioned about the guitar than probably anything else. I grew up in the Mississippi Delta and was blessed to have been in the region of the country that saw such dynamic bands come of age such as The Allmans, Lynyrd Skynryd, and The Outlaws. Back then, a Skynyrd concert in Memphis took on a football game atmosphere. My freinds and I made the two hour journey north along the river to be witness to the "home team" again defending it's home turf. They NEVER missed the mark. Lynyrd Skynyd always showed up in the following posture: 1. OVER prepared 2. With and attitude and agenda. Not too high, but just right. My interest in the guitar was spawned by the notion that this band-on their second lp-"Second Helping"-saw it fit to list the specific instrument each player used. It was here that I developed an ear for guitar tonal qualities, listening to a Les Paul being played off of a Strat ,and a Firebird. I found it facinating, and still do.

It really is almost an embarrassment that I don't know how to play by now. Invariably, I find myself locked into a dialogue with a great guitarist, only to end with my confessing I don't play.

My 15 year old son, whom I adore, took to the guitar about a year ago. He saved his money, and bought a Jackson. It's amazing how good he's gotten in such a short period of time. His newfound love for the instrument provided me an opportunity to share and spend time with him. I guess that is the thing that pushed me to finally pulling the trigger on an electric.The Melody Maker is actually a gift to him, and me, as he will ultimately inherit it when I am called to go Home.

I was being somewhat factious about the PU, although I only recently learned the history of the P-90. It's just the temptation to tweak and attempt to discover a perfect tone. The only thing wrong about the single coil Gibson utilizes is that it hums. It does have alot of spark and a truly unique tone, no doubt.

I've learned alot from you guys since discoving Warmoth. What a winning concept they offer to build your own guitar. Fascinating. I appreciate the warm welcome from y' all and look foreword to many great musical discussions with you in the future.

meg68, good luck with learning to play. A lot of people make the mistake of looking for the perfect guitar or tone, thinking that's the reason their playing doesn't sound right. It's true that a nicely set up guitar, functioning properly, is more fun and easier to play but there's nothing a beginner can do with a p90 that he can't do with a stock gibson single coil. I'd suggest ignoring guys like us (this is basically a site for fanatics and people who love woodworking)  for a while and finding a good teacher or a patient and skilled friend who likes the same music as you and will focus on playing the music you like. The sounds come from your fingers first and foremost. To sound a bit like Greg Allman, you don't need Greg Allman's guitar and amp, you need the skills to do some of what he does. Eventually the guitar will matter more. Good luck and keep it up.
As a beginner you should take your guitar to a shop and get the intonation set... then find someone who can teach you to change strings well.  And get a tuner unless you're a concert violinist or something.  :)  Everything comes so much easier when the guitar is in tune up and down the neck.
go to youtube and just search for stuff at random, random playing techniques and such, pickups and amps, and you will stumble upon lessons,
or you can just look for the lessons, but i like to happen upon them, its more fun.

anyway, you will learn basic set up, picking, strumming, chording, and everything under the sun this way.
for example, i know how to set up a floyd rose, even though i may never use or own one.

i could give you some links to the stuff i watch, but theres no fun in that now is there.
Learn this:


Most of your favorite guitarists will lose their mystique rather quickly.
Thanks alot to all for the encouragement and sage advice. I now look at my single-coil in the MM as the RIGHT PU, as decided by Gibson, and thats good enough for me.

I have actually been committed to spending alot of time just learning chords. I've got five down pretty cold, but my fingers still go spastic on a few-A and C. I have been doing this practice while unplugged only. Amaring the tone and sustain that emanates through this solid chunk of mahogany. The neck really hums too. I wonder how much the minimalist finish these guiutars come with actually serves too enhance the intruments ability to transmit vibration. More clearly, would this guitar be different if it came with more paint and a thick clear coating? Just wondering.