Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends
2004 Melo JM3
Price and Status: For pricing and hold status of this instrument, please check here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold. To be notified of examples of this or any other model in the future, please email your specific requests to [email protected].
Serial #: 0328904 Signed by the maker, dated: 26/6/04
Body size at lower bout: 18" (457mm). Scale length: 25.4" (645mm) Nut Width: 1 13/16" (46mm)
Finish: Blonde finish, nitrocellulose type
Materials: Solid flame maple back and 23 fret neck; solid carved European bearclaw spruce top, solid bound ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl and abalone peghead inlay.
Hardware: Solid contoured ebony hardware including finger rest, tailpiece, keys, rod cover and wedge-adjusting bridge; gold Grover Rotomatic tuners.
Notes: The Smithsonian had its Blue Guitars, the MIT Museum its banjos. But if the instruments of Josep Melo were to be placed on display, they should surely be at the Museum of Modern Art itself. Shaped with an artist's eye, and an engineer's discipline, these musical marvels are a bold fusion of clean strong lines and truly inspired design.
Venturing from his workshop in Sabadell, Spain, Melo drew inspiration from some of the great innovators of the 20th century guitar: Jacques Favino in Paris, David John Morse in California, and first and foremost, the legendary Jimmy D'Aquisto himself, in whose memory this guitar model is dedicated. Melo's goal was to produce an electric guitar with a pronounced acoustic flavor, and this striking super-jumbo guitar is the result.
The JM3 is Melo's top-of-the-line acoustic archtop, with an 18" noncutaway body and D'Aquisto Solo type segmented f-holes. A top carved from solid European bearclaw spruce rests atop a body of solid handcarved fiddleback maple, with an ultra-light headstock that results in excellent balance on the neck or lap. The wedge-adjusting bridge is a engineering delight, transmitting tone to the top through solid wood alone, eliminating balky bridge wheels in favor of a single ebony drawbar, which adjusts bridge height evenly with thumb pressure alone. Finally the tailpiece height is adjustable by an ingenious system that allows the player to choose between a pair of wooden mounting dowels of differing length.
The action is smooth and low over a generous 1 13/16" fingerboard with a gentle, slightly flattened neck profile. The tone of the 18" X-braced soundboard is big and warm, with excellent balance. This example is in immaculate original condition, without cracks, pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Rarely seen in the US, Melo's guitars are even rarer on the vintage market. At today's exchange rates, this instrument would cost upwards of $10,000 new, with a considerable wait. A striking blend of innovation and performance, the Melo is unmistakably a guitar for the 21st century player.
Setup: The instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze roundwound strings (.013-.056), and may be strung with lighter or heavier string at player's preference.
Case: Original plush hardshell case.