FIRST LOOK DEMO: Gibson Melody Maker SG

Gibson's new-for-2011 Melody Maker series arrived with little or no fanfare at Frankfurt Musikmesse 2011. As more details emerged, we started to get pretty excited about the prospect of stripped-down, no-nonsense Gibson USA electric guitars with street prices under £500.

There's plenty of cause for debate: will these models cannibalise Epiphone sales? Can Gibson even make a profit on USA guitars at this price point?

These concerns aside, the new Melody Maker guitars are exactly the kind of instruments that our teenage selves would have been salivating over had they existed in the mid-1990s. Never underestimate the residual voodoo in the presence of that Gibson logo on the headstock, and after all, who really needs a neck pickup for grunge, punk and alt-rock noisemaking?

Keep your eyes peeled for in-depth reviews of the whole range in future issues of Guitarist and Total Guitar magazine, but in the meantime, check out our First Look audio demo to hear the Gibson Melody Maker SG put through its paces using POD Farm in GarageBand:

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.