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Gibson Joan Jett Signature Melody Maker Electric Guitar

Sound Quality

I play Heavy, Downtuned, Doom Rock/Metal and other Hard Rock styles and this Guitar suits this reasonably well. However, it is noticeably less-heavy sounding than my SG Standard with maybe a bit more emphasis on higher mid frequencies. I suspect that this is probably a characteristic of the Burstbucker III, in comparison to the 498T Bridge p/up in my SG. The Burstbucker III is slightly noisier as well, generating more high-end feedback than my SG, but by no means a problem per say, just different response. A slight back off on the Volume Knob seems to help with the feedback. - As I said, I think the Burstbucker III is slightly brighter than the 490 series p/ups..maybe a bit hotter. It produces powerful sounds, maybe also a bit more sensitive to pick attack and articulation. -One thing that is remarkable about this guitar is that it sounds really great unplugged..for an electric guitar. I think that this is due to the electronics cavity being on the front of the guitar(underneath the pickguard at the controls-area), rather than in the back like most other gibsons. This may have something to do with the greater amount of microphonic-like feedback that gets generated..but I'm not sure. I think the cavity acts slightly like a semi-hollow body. - Overall, I think this Guitar sounds very good for a Brand New Gibson, priced under $650...very similar but a bit better than all of the newer Faded SGs that I have played.


Haven't used this guitar live yet, but probably will in the future. The build and materials of this guitar seem good enough, the wood being of poorer quality than an older Gibson for sure, but nice enough for an inexpensive Gibson guitar. The finish, like I said, is already made to look 'vintage', but in reality, it looks like someone tried to make it look vintage...not really vintage. However, because it is white, it looks way better than all of the other Gibson faded finishes,(red, brown, etc)..with the white it is more subtle and less phony looking. Strap buttons are solid. Seems dependable enough so far. - I have played gigs, toured, recorded with bands for about 20 years always WITHOUT a backup. Now I have 2 guitars, so maybe I would bring both when doing a gig..but maybe not. Seems dependable enough so far....


General Comments

I have been playing guitar for 25 years, actively in bands for about 20. In addition to this JJMM, I have a late 90's Gibson SG Standard , a Laney GH100L 100 watt head, a Laney GH100TI head, a Marshall 9000 series valve pre-amp, and a couple of 4X12 cabs.

-I really like this Melody Maker guitar, and would probably get another one. I do wish that Gibson would make a slightly nicer version of this though. If this had a nicer white finish, pearl inlays on bound fretboard, dual humbuckers...like the features on an SG standard but with Melody Maker body, that would be my ideal Guitar.

I took a gamble on this guitar, not having played it before purchasing it online, but was pleasantly surprised. Like I said before, I think this is as nice if not nicer than most of the newer faded SGs and LP Studios that are coming out. Not a guitar for the 'collector' set, but is very nice, simple, rock guitar that plays very nicely, inspiring you to pick it up and play.

Reviewer's Background

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