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torca

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  1. Beautiful guitar, loved the sneaky 63' originals that came out with maple back and sides, as too many Dove bodies made and Hummingbirds were needed, now. Yours is a solid body, while the 60's were usually laminate, or a combination. Saw a solid back and lam sides, so mismatched it was beautiful. The SP was the special production ,as these followed the Centennial Series in 1993 which was 12 months of year/special model each month. A guitar store(Colorado?) has the complete 12 guitar series for sale now I believe. During this time period those special run Epiphones came out, Excellente,Frontier and Texan. I mention this because I hade a 1994 Epi Frontier from this series with real smackin' flame like yours, long scale. Gibson was obviously dipping into some prime maple and getting their swagger back. Hitting their stride with Ren and friends, this is one of the few Montana mades' that suggests desirability because of specs/and builders involved. Of course, it's the sound that will matter to a player. My Epi Frontier sounded like crap and left shortly after. A new Epi Masterbilt covered that urge cheaply. with the sound the other unfortunately couldn't .If yours have any sentimental value keep it's not a model year you'll find again likely. If not make someone else happy.
  2. FYI, the guitar above is my new Frontier. Don't know who Pete Cash is? TB
  3. Just picked up the new Frontier at Long and McQuade here in Halifax. I was looking for a good guitar that I could travel with if needed. Last year I had bought a Insp Texan and was pleased with the guitar on the whole. Soundwise it was good but you really had to bang on it to get through the poly finish,soundwise.I took the Texan in to the store and decided I would trade it in if I liked the Frontier. Which I did. The Frontier had a open, looser sound by far which was good but didn't compress and get overly jangly on hard strumming., which some maple guitars do. It certainly had the "woofiness" of a good dread to combine with high end sparkle(not just high string cut) so I am pleased. That "woof" sealed the deal as it sounded like it had the goods, though new and green, to age into a real, quality guitar of sonic substance.Build quality is excellent,though I'm going to change out the compensated saddle to bone, which the original is not from the looks, just seems like Tusq, especially as it's graduated. Neck is very comfortable D profile, near identical to a 61 Hummingbird. The 12" radius is a flatter, more comfortable strummer than the Texan(14) due to this radius change. The laurel neck and bridge is new to me, and I have no issues with the streaky look. It's real wood and not richlite or ply .The neck mimics a fuller feel, yet is quick and only very slightly thicker at the 12th fret light, so it plays as fast as needed very easily. Finish is nicely done, very thin and low gloss, not tacky in the least. Tuners are gold with the slightly swirly translucent knobs which are a classy original cop. Overall I'm very pleased and think this is a great step for Epiphone to draw on their past, and build a cost effective, keeper guitar. I have pics but the size is too big to post and unsure how to shrink them for the format.
  4. Tom, beautiful guitars,living history there. Interesting are your well thought out factors which determine whether you buy or not. That all guitars must be applicable for your purpose,the sound,you want for the music you play is very interesting.So logical.I wish I was so consistent in buying guitars. Now I know that all Gibsons' were built with what has now been identified as Indian rosewood.Or so the current wisdom goes. Looking at the AJ's I see almost identical wood properties,primarily straight grain. The others show a far different appearance,with wild grain lines.I have seen almost identical on the very earliest SJ-200s'. With that thought,and the fact that straight grain Indian rosewood is commonplace now and then,I'm curious with the b/s wood selections on the non AJ guitars. Would the rosewoods with wild grain have been graded for building the same as the straight grained wood do you think?. Is there any belief that Gibson sourced rosewood from both India and South America,Brazil maybe even specifically,and just mixed it all together.Rosewood is rosewood from a builder standpoint. By the by,I know there is/was an pre war AJ down here in Nova Scotia.I have seen pictures of the gentleman who owned it, and his bluegrass band,playing. Have you ever seen an pw AJ down here in Novi?Curious on your thoughts on my ramble questions.Your experience with these guitars is first hand and very discriminating. Bravo to you and your wife. Thanks Todd
  5. A wonderful guitar style, and Gibsons' have tricked them where it's knocked out of the park almost everytime, I would buy sight unseen, without missing a heartbeat, Only skipping is waiting while it travels on its' lil' journey.
  6. Duluth Dan ,you the man. Lightfoots' monumental piece on the life and dangers of those who sail the vast inland sea,the Great Lakes.Indeed.If only one song came from GL,if this was it,you've left your mark to be remembered by,for us to remember others who face a danger we don't even know existed. And yes, it's roll,it's feel,it's rhythm is that of the water.If that affects you as you listen,well that's what the the song IS.What a outstanding compliment to the structure of the words,the song itself. Living in Nova Scotia you can almost feel the Atlantic pushing in ,then releasing gently the land as it rolls back out.No matter where you are. I miss it as I travel inland.Gordon Lightfoots' Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald brings that feeling back as soon as that haunting intro begins.Outstanding,simply outstanding.
  7. Believe there is one Mint Green Hummingbird at Wildwood right now.
  8. I agree with Jess and Ramblers' take on Red spruce. If called Adirondack Red spruce it is simply adding the general locale of where the Red grew,i.e Adirondack mountains. In the 1920's onward, almost all Red spruce was taken from the Adirondack mountains, mostly by Martin, it got termed Adirondack spruce, not even bothering to add the Red part. Interesting thread on Martin forum where a couple of young guys go off the beaten path down in North Carolina just to take down ONE tree of old growth Red spruce with the woodlot owners approval. And I agree that Red does differ greatly on some guitars, great on some ,not as much on others. Sitka to me is the only wood needed for the J-200,the maple already brings the high end "zing" from the get go. Used on a smaller body though I hear that "zing'as a real compliment to a smaller guitar that can accommodate those added frequencies pronto. Your mileage may vary.
  9. I have a 61 Hummingbird with the first version of the adjustable saddle and bridge.The solid rosewood bridge has the two pearl dots at each end of string line,and a one piece porcelain saddle. Had tried it briefly with a rosewood bridge,which changed the sound. Far less top end zing, and a somewhat smoother bass response from bass into the midrange,but the porcelain version offered more midrange/vocal that made the older Gibson's such a great accompianent singer instrument. I plan to have a one piece rosewood and ebony insert made and leave the adjustable bridge as is.
  10. As I oftened dealt with the 12th Fret,I'm very surprised you were not told of checking. Any piece I've ever sold there was minutely scrutinized for flaws, imperfections ect,sometimes to the point that I felt they were trying to drive down selling/consignment price. I actually took a J-200 down to Folkways to sell after having a small finish crack(1/4") along maple/walnut neck seam that was going to be described as a small crack possibly. Recently sold a TV Hummingbird there that had some lacquer lift at tuner bushings,and they pictured and described as such. Knowing you asked about checking, I would be asking for some kind of consideration.Unless the owner agrees to a price break, it likely would have to be sent back if the Fret wouldn't move monetarily to keep you satisfied,and rightly so on your expectations.
  11. I had a 07 Limited Edition of the 167 specials. Natural,Adi top ect,and it sounded fantastic.But had a few issues that led me to move to the Hummingbird TV,that just sold off the 12th Fret,as I replaced with a 61' Bird.Beautiful and "true vintage".Now have another 07 J-200 Natural,sitka top,built before they labeled it a TV as they were just coming out.My label doesn't say TV but it is,even came with California Gal case.Tip off for these is the lighter back braces all the way down back(bottom two braces are NOT the large wide ones that typically differentiate the regular models.Saw the 200 at the Fret and that's not a bad deal,offer $200 less or so,and usually the seller will meet halfway,good deal IMO.Here's mine.Crappy photos,trying to show brace size,and serial00667xxx.I prefer 4 bar stache' and Kluson's,and if neckset is good saddle,and room to make as you wish,you may have found a guitar you like.Happy hunting.
  12. I don't get it either as it competes with the newer,value targeted model.IMO ,Fuller's made the best J-35 variations in the late 90's-early 2000's,had Gibson adhere to some real traditional and performance aspects that produced the best versions.Both Sitka and Adi was used,but all I played had a distinct,full and commanding sound,quite different than the J-45's until the TV line came around.
  13. You might want to check the scale length as some had the longer 25 1/2",not the 23 3/4".Food for thought.
  14. Wily, I've had a couple of these. First was the Epiphone Frontier re-issue,long scale 25 1/2", made in Korea, bridge and fingerboard rosewood with highly flamed back laminated and sides. It was in hindsight, a good sounding guitar with lots of volume and fit n' finish was quite good. Great strummer with no maple harshness when driven hard. Also owned one of the Gibson Montana made Epi Frontier re-issue, made in 1994.Beautiful flamed solid maple b and s, with dark walnut stain. Looked like the stain on the maple of banner Maple J-45's.Long scale also with a somewhat smaller feeling neck,just a shade under 1 11/16's,and shallow. It certainly wasn't like the small 60's necks Gibson introduced in 64-65,but noticeable. I wondered if Gibson did this as a slight nod to potential buyers,looking at the re-issue and knowing about the Epi design history in the 60's.Very nice pickguard etched groove and then painted,the Korean made was just painted.Oddly I found the Gibson Epi to be somewhat quiet, articulate but not a great hard strummer.The actual guitar is now for sale at Gruhn's and posted on their website.I have been thinking about buying a 60's Frontier,but am reluctant to do so sight unseen,as I've always done. The individuality of the maple sound and need to have the bigger neck, makes me want to play first,as they are typically $3-6K depending on condition. I should have kept the Korean Epi as my camp guitar.
  15. The holes under bridge plate are made by Gibson during manufacture for locating template jig,nothing unusual there. The bridge may have had glue inserted under bridge, as the visible excess seems wonky, but I have seen factory models come out with this also present. The crease/lacquer checks at bridge ends are quite normal, stress and nitro. I see nothing that I would deem worthy of returning guitar, and no repair mods needed. Maybe take a nice sharp razor and score the glue overflow from top and bottom to remove, and you'll be good as new.
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