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Gibson Hummingbird True Vintage sound and colour??

#1 User is offline   FrederikThaysen 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:43 AM

Hi guys!

I'm from Denmark, and I'm about to buy my very first acoustic Gibson guitar - a Hummingbird True Vintage! And I couldn't be more excited!!!

Sadly, there are no True Vintage models in any store in DK right now. So I have recently called one of the local music stores and asked them about the possibility of ordering one for me. The salesman told me that there was one left in Sweden, and then he ordered it for me...

Now, I have two important questions to ask you guys:

1. I have never seen, played or even heard this guitar for real - only in youtube videos and pictures from Google. So my question is: Is this just too risky?? Most people would advice me to never buy a guitar that I haven't played before. But that was not a possibility for me. So, is the TV series so reliable that I can be almost sure that I'm getting fantastic quality or??

2. In most pictures I've seen of different Hummingbirds TV, they are very sparkling with a cherry red sunburst. But in other pictures the TV looks very dark brown and woody. Which colour is most common?? I would prefer the cherry red colour any day instead of the brown dark colour. Can anyone tell me, how the colour really looks?

This is the colour I'm hoping for:

http://www.google.dk...320&bih=416#p=6

This is the colour I'm not hoping for (the right one):

http://www.google.dk...20&bih=416#i=75

Cheers,
Frederik, DK
Gibson Hummingbird True Vintage

#2 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hey Fredrik and welcome. Most of the HB TVs I've seen some with the 60s style cherry sunburst finish. I would not like to buy a guitar without playing it first, but you are in a unique situation being that there are none anywhere near you except Sweden. You may not have a choice if you really want the HB.

#3 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:02 AM

Strange, the links dont seem to work for me ...
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The Big Fat Lady 02' Gibson J-150
The Squares 69' Gibson Hummingbird, 11' HB TV
The Slopeys 11' Gibson SJ (Aaron Lewis), 02' AJ
The Pickers 43' Gibson LG-2, 09' Furch OM 32SM (custom) , 02' Martin J-40
The Beater 99' Cort Earth 100
The Lonely Electric: 95' Les Paul

What we do on weekends:
http://www.reverbnat...oubleshotprague

#4 User is offline   ParlourMan 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:05 AM

View PostEuroAussie, on 29 March 2012 - 11:02 AM, said:

Strange, the links dont seem to work for me ...



Me neither, I'm routed to the google.dk homepage.


http://www.youtube.c...ser/TheAyeTunes

Lets all have a wee cuddle.

#5 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:28 AM

Hello Fred – You sure seem to be levitating by the thoughts of that Gibson. But are you really goin' for the looks and the looks only. . .

I won't be the one to pull feathers from the bird, they are fascinating - seducing - captivating creatures, yet you really have to try a few before deciding. Everything else would be slightly hazardous, wouldn't it. . .

Your links aren't working here either - quite a shame.

Regarding colour, bear in mind that all bursts are ever-changing with lights, angles, time of day etc. Still the TV's typically come reddish like an original cherry-burst faded towards honey or brown. Extremely beautiful and strong - appealing beyond any common sense. There might be a slightly browner version too – a caramel-burst, if you like. And don't forget you might meet semi-matt finishes as well (don't think they make them any longer).

Last – I recently saw and tried a 2012. It was far more yellowish in both woods and bindings, , , in fact a whole other personality. Sounded fine though.
If you get one, don't hesitate to tell us. We drink these stories like cats go for cream.





- and for heavens sake give it time to break in. . . .


#6 User is offline   bobby b 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:29 AM

Hi Frederik,

Congrats on your choice! I do understand your concern over this purchase ( buying without playing ). I also had to get a dealer to order in a HB TV for me, however it was with the stipulation that I try it out before committing to the purchase. The dealer had no problem with that, and assured me that I would not 'have to buy it' if I did not like it.

When the guitar arrived at the store, I got a call. At the store the guitar was still in the shipping box from Gibson...... this was great IMO....as I would be the one that got to unpack it and play it for the first time.....yaaaay!!!
The guitar was stunning in every aspect, look and sound. I couldn't be happier.

As far as colour goes, mine is kinda like an 'aged' looking cherry burst . The back and sides are a very deep smoky wine colour. Very classy looking IMO......

The colour and grain/silking vary depending on the light it is in, but I find it to be stunning in any light!

Posted Image
DSC_8892 by bobbyjeepyj, on Flickr
2011 Hummingbird TV 'VOS'
1989 Les Paul Standard
1995 Fender Telecaster
1974 Yamaki 135
1971 Yamaki Folk Deluxe
1980 Fender FJ70 Jumbo
1984 Takamine F360S
1979 Fender F15 ( my first acoustic, bought new in 1980 )

#7 User is offline   FrederikThaysen 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:03 PM

Hi again,

First of all, thank you for all your quick responses! I'm looking forward to becoming a member of the big Gibson family!

Secondly, I'm sorry about the links... I forgot all about that. But you can see the exact colour that I'm hoping for in this picture (the guitar at the right):

http://www.google.co...t:429,r:8,s:100

And the colour that I'm not hoping for (also the one at the right):

http://www.google.co...:48&tx=82&ty=79

It's very dark/brown-looking and almost looks like caramel. I prefer the one at the right in the first link without a doubt.

Bobby: Thanks for the picture! Your Bird is stunningly beautiful. I truly hope that mine will take my breath away too and sound/look amazing!
I also hope that it comes in a brown bag, instead of a black one.

By the way, I'm having a pickup installed in it for live use. The salesman recommended a LR Baggs Element pick-up like they use as standard pickup in many acoustic Gibson guitars. Would you recommend that for a HB True Vintage? And which strings and gauge do you use for it to get that crispy and clear sound?
Gibson Hummingbird True Vintage

#8 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:05 PM

Right, I can see the pics now. Yes, understand what you mean. Out of those three to be honest I would insist on the cherry red version as to me that looks by far the best. I dont really like the caramel version at all.
___________________________

The Big Fat Lady 02' Gibson J-150
The Squares 69' Gibson Hummingbird, 11' HB TV
The Slopeys 11' Gibson SJ (Aaron Lewis), 02' AJ
The Pickers 43' Gibson LG-2, 09' Furch OM 32SM (custom) , 02' Martin J-40
The Beater 99' Cort Earth 100
The Lonely Electric: 95' Les Paul

What we do on weekends:
http://www.reverbnat...oubleshotprague

#9 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

I really don;'t care for the caramel/brownish burst. Cherry burst is far prettier IMHO. Did you ask your dealer if you could try it before buying it? That was a good suggestion.

#10 User is offline   FrederikThaysen 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:17 PM

I have never heard about a brown/caramel Hummingbird though. So maybe the brown one in the picture is actually cherry, but because of the light it looks different? I don't really know...
But I fell in love with the red cherry sunburst, so if the one I ordered is an orange or a brown bird, then I will probably be a little disappointed. I cross my fingers!

If someone can tell me about which types of strings and which gauge they use for the HB TV that would be great! And also, is the LR Baggs Element pickup worth recommending? The salesman recommend it.
Gibson Hummingbird True Vintage

#11 User is offline   bobby b 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:24 PM

View PostFrederikThaysen, on 29 March 2012 - 04:17 PM, said:

I have never heard about a brown/caramel Hummingbird though. So maybe the brown one in the picture is actually cherry, but because of the light it looks different? I don't really know...
But I fell in love with the red cherry sunburst, so if the one I ordered is an orange or a brown bird, then I will probably be a little disappointed. I cross my fingers!

If someone can tell me about which types of strings and which gauge they use for the HB TV that would be great! And also, is the LR Baggs Element pickup worth recommending? The salesman recommend it.



I think your right on the pics, could just be the light ( or lack of it ).

I previously owned a Hummingbird Modern Classic. It was much lighter in colour and was more of an light orangey 'honey burst'. I'd bet on your True Vintage being a nice vintage cherryburst colour. [thumbup]

As far as strings go, I use John Pearse PB light.
I like them on this guitar, it really responds well to them.
The first day or 2 they sound really 'new', the sound changes over the next few days, quite drastically. In the past, I'd prob have swapped them out, figuring they were going dead. But, by about a week of steady play they sound the best and stay that way for about another 2-3 weeks. These are the only strings in my experience that have gotten much better with age.

For me, I like the fact that there is no undersaddle pickup in the True Vintage 'bird, so I would not likely be inclined to add one. Have you considered the LR Baggs I-Beam as an alternative?
2011 Hummingbird TV 'VOS'
1989 Les Paul Standard
1995 Fender Telecaster
1974 Yamaki 135
1971 Yamaki Folk Deluxe
1980 Fender FJ70 Jumbo
1984 Takamine F360S
1979 Fender F15 ( my first acoustic, bought new in 1980 )

#12 User is offline   ditdr 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:30 PM

I bought an 11 hb tv i absolutely love it. Mines the light cherry sunburst and seems to be unique. the tv line of guitars is awesome so much so i just ordered a custom shop j 45 tv, theyre stunning physically and sound uncanny. mine was perfect right outta the box, and i will have it setup professionally and action lowered and itll be fantastic very deep bass and mid range drive and subtle brightness almost perfect!
2002 J-100 xtra
2011 Hummingbird T.V.

#13 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:17 PM

View Postditdr, on 29 March 2012 - 05:30 PM, said:

I bought an 11 hb tv i absolutely love it. Mines the light cherry sunburst and seems to be unique. the tv line of guitars is awesome so much so i just ordered a custom shop j 45 tv, theyre stunning physically and sound uncanny. mine was perfect right outta the box, and i will have it setup professionally and action lowered and itll be fantastic very deep bass and mid range drive and subtle brightness almost perfect!



"Custom shop J-45 TV"? Please explain. I thought the J-45 TV was a "standard" (although special) Gibson Bozeman guitar, and that the "custom shop" in Bozeman existed only for some special projects.

#14 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:27 PM

As far as pick-ups, have you considered a soundhole pickup? I am waiting for this one to come on the market in late April:
http://www.lrbaggs.com/m80/
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV
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#15 User is offline   dchristo 

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:33 PM

View Postj45nick, on 29 March 2012 - 06:17 PM, said:

"Custom shop J-45 TV"? Please explain. I thought the J-45 TV was a "standard" (although special) Gibson Bozeman guitar, and that the "custom shop" in Bozeman existed only for some special projects.


Nick, my J-45 TV has a custom shop logo on the back of the headstock
In GOD we trust

Dave

#16 User is offline   FrederikThaysen 

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:15 AM

I hope you are right that my Hummimgbird TV will be a lovely red cherry sunburst too.
I normally use Elixir strings because they normally sound good/bright and last longer because of the coating.
Buy many have told me not to use Elixir on a Gibson, because it doesn't do anything good with the sound and they do not bring out that true vintage tone...
Someone recommended using the Martin SP lights. Do you agree?

And I don't really like the looks of a pickup that is sitting across in the soundhole. That's why I prefer a pickup under the saddle... But will the fact that it is under the saddle do something bad with the sound? The salesman told me that there was no reason for buying a more expensive pickup because the LR Baggs Element sounds great. Do you agree?
Gibson Hummingbird True Vintage

#17 User is offline   ChrisA83 

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:43 AM

Wow Bobby yours looks stunning!

I also think the brown HB doesn't look too good, although I also think it probably has something to do with the light. I would bet that all HB TVs are very similar in colour (cherry burst).

Good luck Frederik! I'd also like to say how great your English is!
2009 Gibson J-45 TV
2007 Martin 00-15
2006 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe
2004 Art & Lutherie Cedar Antique Burst


"If I had the stars from the darkest night; and the diamonds from the deepest ocean; I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss; for that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'""
Boots of Spanish Leather, Bob Dylan

#18 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:35 AM

View PostFrederikThaysen, on 30 March 2012 - 01:15 AM, said:

I hope you are right that my Hummimgbird TV will be a lovely red cherry sunburst too.
I normally use Elixir strings because they normally sound good/bright and last longer because of the coating.
Buy many have told me not to use Elixir on a Gibson, because it doesn't do anything good with the sound and they do not bring out that true vintage tone...
Someone recommended using the Martin SP lights. Do you agree?

And I don't really like the looks of a pickup that is sitting across in the soundhole. That's why I prefer a pickup under the saddle... But will the fact that it is under the saddle do something bad with the sound? The salesman told me that there was no reason for buying a more expensive pickup because the LR Baggs Element sounds great. Do you agree?

The great strings debate and search for the holy grail are never ending. I used Curt Mangan Medium Light 80/20 on my J-45, they sound great, but do not endure as long as the Elixer Nano-webs I used to use. I have 2 Martins with Highlander undersaddle pickups. The guitars sound great unpluged, one sounds great plugged in, and the other is so-so - has always had string balance problems. I have a Fishman Rare Earth in an HD 28 that does a superb job, and I have a Seymour Duncan Mag-Mic in the J-45 that is pretty good. Have you considered the K&K transducer pickups? Lots of good endorsements out there - the ones I've heard are almost always wired in stereo in combination with a soundhole pickup.

I personaly do not believe the under-saddle pickups I have used, and heard have any sort of profound negative impact - they do have to be carefully installed. The only negative comments I have heard, and I hate to spread negative - but was on the LR BAGGS I-Beam - I know a couple of shops that will not install them, referring to them as the I-Scream because of a propensity and sensitivity to feedback, but I really have no hands-on with them.
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV
Gibson Jackson Browne
Gibson SJ-200
Gibson J-45 Legend

#19 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:01 AM

View Postdchristo, on 29 March 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

Nick, my J-45 TV has a custom shop logo on the back of the headstock


I didn't realize they still put the custom shop stickers on them.

#20 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:27 AM

View Postj45nick, on 30 March 2012 - 06:01 AM, said:

I didn't realize they still put the custom shop stickers on them.


is it one of those yellow and blue things ?
my historic has one , i dont think it adds much to the look at all

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