Ibanez '76 Melody Maker 2343 Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Edit Profile

Ibanez Collectors World » Replicas (Ibanez brand ONLY!) » Ibanez '76 Melody Maker 2343 « Previous Next »

Author Message
Posted on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 3:03 am:   

I have an Ibanez set neck Melody maker replica (2343) circa '76. Pick-up and stop tailpiece are replacements (Gibson P100 and Badass respectively) and the neck and a few other areas have been sanded. The pick guard is wooden and therefore I assume not original. Any idea how common these things are or what their worth? I don't see any other postings mentioning these ones. I picked this up in a pawn shop in Brisbane (AUS) five years ago and once the un-original pick-up and broken tailpiece were replaced, it worked a treat. I was stunned at the workmanship on these things and then started to hear about the whole "Law suit era" stuff. I'll attempt to post some photos if I can work out how to. I also had a bolt-on neck SG with replica bigsby at one stage, but alas, I sold it. Those humbuckers were awsome!
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 2:48 pm:   

Hi Adrian,

I think I got me a Melody Maker 2343 as well. I am not sure though. A friend gave it to me, he had saved it from the garbagecar (!). There is no seriesnumber on the guitar, but after I compared it to a picture from somewhere else on this ICW-site, I was rather sure. Not totally though, as the picture is very dark. I would be very interested in pictures of your Ibanez MM 2343! I haven't got a scanner or digital camara, so I am afraid I can't post pictures of my MM 2343 on this site.

I am interested in other information on this MM 2343 as well. What was it you were talking about "law suit era" stuff? Have you found information on this guitar somewhere else on the internet?

Anyway, the MM 2343 I got looks quite old and wrecked. I do not know what is worth and therefor I am not sure whether to invest a lot of money on restoring this Ibanez guitar or not. I mean, it misses quite a lot of features (pick-up, volume knob, the wiring is all messed up) and some changes to the body seem to have been made as well (probably to fit in an other pick up). I wonder if this guitar worth trying to fix...

What features does your MM 2343 have? What kind of pick-up? My stop tailpiece is missing, what sort of piece would I need?

Maarten (Holland)

(How's live in Brisbane nowadays? My brother stayed at the university of Brisbane for some time)
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 3:35 pm:   


Check out this page from a 1975 catalog:


There are 2 Melody Maker guitars shown. A cherry colored model 2343. And the sunburst model 2344, underneath is also a Melody Maker. They are very different guitars. Which do you have?

I have a catalog page showing the 2343. It should be a set neck, have 1 P90 pickup and a wrap around bridge. (This is very similar to the 2347 model SG Jr. shown.)

I can't tell you anything about the 2344 Melody Maker, except what I see in the picture. It should have 2 single coil pickups and a wrap around bridge. I'm not sure if it would have been a setneck or bolt-on. This is the only catalog page where I see a model 2344 Melody Maker
mike g.
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 11:41 pm:   

Hey Guys,

I have a set neck Ibanez Melody Maker copy that as soon as I can get at it,(??) I will take some pics and email them to John.
When I got the guitar from the seller,it fretted out badly but after some work from my luthier, it felt & played great.( Funky sounding pickups !)
The guitar is very lightweight unlike most Ibanez from that period.
The luthier made a comment as to why anyone would copy the Melody Maker since even the Gibsons did not fare well on the market back then.
My response to him was, maybe they wanted to show Gibson how it should have been...He chuckled.
Just the same,It's different and very cool to me.
It sounds unlike any other Ibanez I own....
Good to hear that there are still some out there.

Mike G.
Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 7:41 am:   


Which MM do you have, the 2343 or the 2344?
mike g.
Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 10:47 am:   


It's a 2344 I believe.
I was hoping to do pics today but I just was told to keep working on the attic by the boss.....
Got to keep her happy !

Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 3:00 pm:   

Hi guys!
Isn't the 2343 a copy of a Les Paul JUNIOR? Or am I mistaken? I believe the only Melody Maker is the 2344.
Posted on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 10:31 am:   

You are right! I took my cue from the Ibanez Vintage page which lists the 2343 as a Melody Maker. See:

I wondered about this, too. But I knew they made them in several shapes (including an SG style) and they've been reissued at least twice. So, I figured Jim Donahue must be more knowledgeable than I.

Anyway, I did some research on Gibson MMs here's some pictures of the ones we've been talking about.

Single cutaway

'61 Double cutaway

'74 Reissue Double cutaway

This is the one I confused with the LP Jr.
'64 Double cutaway

All of these guitars were considered "low budget". They had cheap tuners and wrap around bridge/tailpieces. The '59-61 had a very large neck pocket that was NOT elegant, but was stable. (as you see, the '64 design did away with the neck pocket "collar")

The headstocks had straight parallel sides (no flair or curve). The single coil pickups weren't noteworthy, either. They came in 1 and 2 pickup configs. They even made a 3/4 size MM.

All that aside, the solid mahogany slab body was a very good foundation to build a decent guitar on. Strip off the cheap hardware and for less than $200 in parts, you could "build" a real hotrod rocker. I know, I had a '61 single pickup. I got it already modded with Grovers, a Hi-A humbucker and a Leo Quan Badass bridge.

After the hardware mods, the only objectionable feature was the bulbous neck joint. I've seen some of these MMs where the joint was whittled away.

Everyone of these original "flaws" was addressed in the reissues which reworked the neck pocket and discarded the wraparound bridge by adding a tunamatic bridge and stop tailpiece.

For some more cool pictures of Melody Makers, see:

I hope this helps to set matters straight.
Posted on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 11:19 am:   

I just noticed that Mark Hartman has a Melody Maker. See Miscellaneous section: Survey - What's in Your Collection? the message has a Nov. 4, 2001 date. The Melody Maker is at the very top.

Mark: What can you tell us about the guitar and it's construction? Is it a solid piece of mahogony or is it sandwiched and have veneers? Is it setneck or bolt on?
Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 2:18 pm:   


I got the cherry colored model 2343. It has got a set neck, and sadly does not have the P90 pickup and a wrap around bridge anymore...

You did some nice research, John! Nice pictures. Good to know that I should be looking for guitar parts for the copy of the Les Paul JUNIOR instead of Melody Maker. Music-store owners tend to take you more seriously when you know what you are talking about :^) .

So I quess, MIKE, you're really the one with the melody maker copy!

By the way, guys, any ideas on where I could purchase items for my 2343? (Maybe anywhere near Holland, hehe)?
Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 4:45 pm:   

IT turns out that Mark Hartman's MM is a real Gibson. So, we can't get any Ibanez info from him.

However, MikeG (eyebonez) has sent me pictures of his Ibanez Melody Maker. Here's a couple to illustrate the great job they did making this replica.

MMFront MMBack

Mike: To answer your question (via email); Yes, the bridge looks correct (from this distance, anyway.:))

Now, when you get a chance, can you tell us if this is a sandwich construction of mahogany with veneers (like the Custom Agents) or solid mahogony?
Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 5:13 pm:   


Glad we finally have the model # straightened out.

From the description you've given about the parts you need for the Ibanez LP Jr., I'd say you are at a point where restoring it for it's collectibility value is probably not practical, unless you already had the needed parts. I say this because getting correct parts (that help retain collectibility value) is not easy and they are generally pretty expensive.

Also, I think you said that the pickup cavity was enlarged to accept a humbucking pup. If so, the collectible factor has been pretty much destroyed.

On the other hand, you could invest in a good 3rd party pickup, a decent wrap around bridge, and a potentiometer and end up with a decent players axe. Did you say you needed a nut, too? Hmmm, if you're handy with a soldering gun, file and setting up the guitar, I guess you could do all this repair work for around $100.

I hope this helps.
Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 11:45 am:   


Thanks a lot for your advice. I quess I'll try to restore it so that it is playable again, instead of restoring it in it's original state. $200,- is worth the guitar, I'd say. I was told that in the present state (basically the body, neck and intact headpiece) the guitar is worth some $75 to $150,- However, I got it for free, so "investing" some money in it is no problem at all.
It might even inspire me to start playing the electric guitar some more again. I played the guitar less frequently lately, being in a little bit of a "guitar depression". Therefor, I bought me an Ibanez SR 400 bass, and found out that bass-playing is very satisfying as well.

Anyway, wrap around bridges are still available, I mean new (unoriginal) ones?

What is a 3rd party pick up?

Johnm (Johnm)
Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 4:06 pm:   

Hi Maarten,

3rd party pick-ups are pick-ups manufactured by other (third parties) than the company who produced the guitar originally. Well known examples are Seymour Duncan, and DiMarzio. Those are also the expensive ones.

I don't know where in Holland you are based but my guess is that you can pick up a decent second-hand pick-up at musicstore 'de plug' in Amsterdam. It will probably cost you around 50 -75 Dutch guilders. They might even have a bridge for your guitar.

That will get you started making the guitar playable again.


Coming soon!
Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 4:57 pm:   


I agree on the value of the guitar in it's present condition.

Third party pickups come from a company other than a guitar manufacturer's own pickups. Companies like Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Kinsman, Fralin's, etc.

Check out www.stewmac.com for parts, including bridges and some pickups. Once you find what you want, check out ebay to see if there are some deals to be had.

Hope this helps.
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 10:13 am:   

John(m) and John(s):

Thanks a lot for the advice, guys. 3rd party pickup sounds like a good option. www.stewmac.com is just the site I was looking for! I'll check out 'de plug' in Amsterdam as well. As it is in my hometown, I have been there before and found it to be a nice little shop which, occasionally, might have just what you are looking for.

However, anything special to pay attention to when buying a SECOND HAND pick-up? Or are they usually rather indistroyable? (I heard some talk of diminishing quality of some pickups when they get older).

By the way, the person who gave me this guitar saved it from the garbagecar, can you imagin? Throwing away some $75 to $150.-?! That is almost as bad as those "rockstars" destroying their perfectly good guitar on stage!

Anyway, thanks again..
Johnm (Johnm)
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 3:42 pm:   


I would go and buy a 'cheap' pick-up for starters. Then by the time you have the guitar playable again you can easily change it for a better sounding (and more expensive) one. Although sounds are also a matter of taste.

Add Your Message Here
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message

Thank you for supporting Ibanez Collectors Forum. Please help your favorite Ibanez guitar site as we endeavor to bring you the latest information about Ibanez custom vintage electric and acoustic guitars. Here you can discuss ibanez, guitars, ibanez guitars, basses, acoustics, acoustic, mandolins, electric guitar, electric bass, amplifiers, effect pedals, tuners, picks, pickups.