Gibson USA 2017 M2 (Melody Maker)
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The Gibson M2 is a heck of a guitar for the price, especially if you get it on sale as part of Amazon Promotions. It will come with a picture of the guitar being setup at the Gibson factory along with the fresh from the Gibson factory smell when you unpack it. However, some trade-offs had to be made in order to create an American-made Gibson at this price.
For starters, the paint is thinner than what you would find on a $2,500 Gibson, but I like the color selection, especially the citron green. It also comes in ebony, teal, bright cherry, phantom grey, and strawberry milk.
Also, the body is made of poplar instead of mahogany. There is nothing wrong with poplar, but I think most would agree that traditionally, a Gibson Les Paul is made with a mahogany body, rosewood fretboard, and humbucker pickups.
Speaking of the pickups, they are a bit too hot for me, but that would be a good thing if you are looking to push a lot of distortion or overdrive through it. I would upgrade the pickups to something like a Seymour Duncan Alnico II (Amazon).
I suspect most people who purchase this guitar will use it as a platform for upgrades; it is an inexpensive way to get the authentic Gibson name and not much else. However, if that is your angle, then perhaps you should consider Gibson’s slightly more expensive Amazon exclusive model, the Gibson Les Paul Custom Special (Amazon). That way you get an all mahogany body and already upgraded pickups, and yes, it is also an American-made Gibson.