Other Equipment

Tremolo ID Needed

1

I'm listing some guitars on Reverb for a deceased friend's widow. One is I believe a 1962 Gibson Melody Maker ,at least according to serial numbers (52###). It has double PU's and a whammy bar that doesn't look like any I've seen in pictures. If it's not original, it's been on it a long time gauging by the paint underneath it. I need to know if it is original and am curious as to who made it. I really like the way it plays and looks. Nice and compact, I would love to find one to stick on my tele.

2

Another view.

3

The whole enchilada.

4

It's an Epiphone vibrato. Kind of like the Tremotone, but for solid bodies. It's kind of a Gibson product, so I could believe that it might be original. It was used on a lot of Epiphones in the '60s.

And I was able to find one other '62 Melody Maker using that vibrato without too much effort, so there are probably others. If there aren't any holes that don't belong, I'd be pretty comfortable calling it original.

5

It's an Epiphone vibrato. Kind of like the Tremotone, but for solid bodies. It's kind of a Gibson product, so I could believe that it might be original. It was used on a lot of Epiphones in the '60s.

And I was able to find one other '62 Melody Maker using that vibrato without too much effort, so there are probably others. If there aren't any holes that don't belong, I'd be pretty comfortable calling it original.

– Afire

Yep, what the man said. Very cool.

8

They were better than that other style called Vibrola... with that big metal leaf type of thing.

9

Thanks for the info guys. It works really well,feels like a cross between a B-5 and a strat. There is no visible spring ,so I'm amazed at how strong it is, and after 59 years! I wish I could find a NOS like Jonathan had.I'm not crazy about the way a B5 looks on a Tele. But a Maestro might do the trick.

10

OK, so I checked a couple out on ebay and reverb now I know what it's called. Holy moly, ones with no handles are asking 2-3 Franklin's, complete vintage ones are 4-600. I'm trying to get what the market will pay for the Melody Maker for my friend's widow.I compared what I could find on E-bay and Reverb, but I only saw examples with the other one they used. Do you think having the Maestro Vibrola on it increases its value on the market?

11

OK, so I checked a couple out on ebay and reverb now I know what it's called. Holy moly, ones with no handles are asking 2-3 Franklin's, complete vintage ones are 4-600. I'm trying to get what the market will pay for the Melody Maker for my friend's widow.I compared what I could find on E-bay and Reverb, but I only saw examples with the other one they used. Do you think having the Maestro Vibrola on it increases its value on the market?

– Opie

It would with me. I can't see how having an unusual, arguably somewhat collectible, and for many players necessary feature wouldn't enhance the value at least a little.

12

It's a Maestro Vibrola. People usually call the other kind of Gibson a Maestro, but that's wrong. Here's a NOS one I used to have, with the box, instructions etc.

– Jonathan A. Sipes......maker of aluminum dust.

That's interesting. To me, and I would wager many semi-Gibson-literate folks, Maestro has always meant the curved spring Rickenbackerish vibrato. Maybe we're all wrong, or is it possible that there was some ambiguity or overlap in Gibson's terminology?

13

That's interesting. To me, and I would wager many semi-Gibson-literate folks, Maestro has always meant the curved spring Rickenbackerish vibrato. Maybe we're all wrong, or is it possible that there was some ambiguity or overlap in Gibson's terminology?

– Afire

Historically, the leaf-spring vibrolas were just called "Gibson Vibrola". In the ensuing years, Gibson has called the Lyre/leaf-spring Vibrolas "Maestro" on occasion, muddying the waters.

14

Historically, the leaf-spring vibrolas were just called "Gibson Vibrola". In the ensuing years, Gibson has called the Lyre/leaf-spring Vibrolas "Maestro" on occasion, muddying the waters.

– Jonathan A. Sipes......maker of aluminum dust.

Interesting (at least to me). What I presumed was the semi-ubiquitous Maestro Vibrola is actually just a Vibrola and the actual Maestro Vibrola is the comparatively rare Epiphone unit.


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