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ALD323

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  1. The AJ100 will be all laminate...I own an AJ100 and LOVE it, it sounds deep and beautiful and is much more stable than the AJ220 I owned and sold in which the top buldged out and was ruined. I sold that. I had the AJ100 set up, plays like butter, and never warps with heat and humidity. The 200 will sound brighter, and a bit better tome but not by a mile thats for sure. Both sound great....the 100 is rock solid, and tolerates heat and humidity fluctuations better. The 220 with the solid top will require careful humidification, and should not be over humidified as this will cause top buldge as it did in mine which ruined its tone and look. That will not happen on the 100 model with the laminated top. If you are used to humidifying a guitar to about 48 degrees year round, then the 220 would be a great choice, if not, perhaps the 100 is the better deal. Good luck.
  2. Four letters drscribe this guitar. ..OMFG! ... As the employees at the end of the Gibson quality control line call out... SHIP IT!!
  3. I have a 2015 AJ-45me and love it, particularly for the comfort of the short scale it sports, which the Gibson J-45 also has. It is extremely comfortable to hold and play. It is a great guitar for singing and supports the voice without over-riding the voice. It also has thinner neck profile than the Texan which has a thicker neck. The Texan with the thicker full scale neck is good if you like a thicker neck. It may produce a deeper louder sound. The AJ-45 has what is called a "slim taper D" neck...very slim and sweet and easy to play as I prefer thin necks. I may produce a slightly sweeter, slightly thinner yet full rich sound. I have my AJ-45 for 5 years now, it has aged well and sounds delightful, almost competing with my Gibson J-45. (particularly after I had it set up) They are both very different guitars, both sounding wonderful. I would say the AJ-45 is easier to hold and play, very, very comfortable in your lap if you sit while playing. It's main drawback to me is the non-gloss matt finish on the top..which I hand polished to a gloss finish on the top, and replaced the pick guard and pins...making it look even more like its expensive sister the J-45 Gibson. So scale, volume and matt finish as well as neck thickness should be considered when comparing the two. Good luck, both are fine guitars! For me the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45 is the perfect compliment to the Gibson J-45 standard, and sounds closer to a Gibson J-45 than any other guitar I have ever played including the Texan. It has that iconic Gibson sound and feel.
  4. Two birds are better than one I say! And those are both beauties. I also love the keystone grover nickel tuner buttons on your Dove! I ordered a set of those for my Hummingbird and they really fit and look beautiful on both the Dove and the Hummingbird! Congrats!
  5. It sounds like a bit of fret buzz to me. If it has been set up, perhaps the neck might just need a tweak of relief to remove the buzz, if you know how to adjust the truss rod on your own. Heat and humidity conditions can cause this variation. If it has not ever been set up, that would likely be quickly fixed. If it has been set up it's possible the neck or top may have changed particularly under low humidity conditions which can cause the top to sink...lowering the strings closer to the frets, causing them to buzz slightly during play.
  6. So, here's how it happened. I came up with it on my own after I had sent for a new Gibson Flubber pickguard from a well known and approved supplier...only to find that when it arrived it was more flexed and uneven than the one I took off the 2013 hummingbird. I sent it back for refund. Now the old HB flubber pick guard began to lift and fail at about 6 months. Dissappointed, I removed it, but soon found that I could not appreciate the Hummingbird without the guard, nor could I tolerate all the continuous lifting corners which kept popping up when I pushed them down. I began to look at and ..."study my pick guard lying on a countertop." I quickly realized why it was lifting even tho it had been put on with strong 3M glue, or similar type adhesive. I noticed the entire flubber guard was slightly bowed from the deep middle and rose up higher at the tips of the guard pointed up as it lay on the counter top. It layed very uneven, and refused to lie flat at all bouncing back to the curl every time I pressed it to the counter top.... I concluded that the curled and flexed flubber guard represented a "constant stress point" which eventually caused it to pull away from the top even with the 3M glue holding it. I realized that if the pick guard were FLAT..like most celluloid guards are..that it would not stress the 3M glue because there would be no constant subtle pull up pressure..and then it should stay put. So I decided to experiment by applying the heat as indicated in the process, knowing at the time it could possibly ruin the soft flubber pick guard..but by now I was willing to take the risk..as there simply was no other solution. It did not destroy or disfigure the guard or its bird motif in any way..the only thing it did was soften it and relax it to lay fat on the counter top. It is my belief that when these guards are made and still in the hot molds, they cool too quickly and unevenly, causing the guard to curl up at the tips since the heat would be dissapated from those thinner areas faster than the thicker body of the flubber guard itself. As it cools, and while the atoms are still in liquid form, they "re-arrange themselves to the cooler temp ..and the atoms then remain in that position permanently. Stubborn little buggers they are lol! What I needed was a way to "re-arrange the atoms," warm them up to a relaxed state, and then allow them to cool slowly in the flat position with a heavy book on top the guard, forcing it to remain flat as it slowly cooled under the heavy books pressure. I knew that once the atoms had cooled in a flat position, it would be impossible for them to ever rearrange them selves to the curled position again. Long story short...Having worked and retired in a Bell Labs research and development center where both molecules atoms were a common daily subject in the process of developing electronic products and computer chips, I was aware of how "atoms" react in various circumstances, particularly the effects of heat on atoms while in the heated or molten state, and then simply applied the basic physics to create a simple process to correct the flex or curl. This would allow the flubber gard to be re-installed FLAT instead of with flex or curl, and then the 3M glue would do the rest for the next 30 years hopefully! Sorry to be so long winded but since you seemed interested in how this came to be, I thought I would share it with you. Thank you for asking. And so it was no big deal for me, just simple logic in developing the simple procedure.
  7. ALD323

    NGD

    Simply stunning! Love the natural finish on yours too! Beautiful run out free top also! I also just bought a new Hummingbird just two months ago, a heritage cherry model. Gibson is really shining a bright light on an absolutely iconic guitar! Enjoy it, I can't put mine down either! And here it is!
  8. I have noticed that people are still having trouble with lifting flubber guards and so have decided to post this procedure. It is a simple procedure and quite easy to do. Those who have used this procedure in the past, please let us know how it worked so that others can benefit from it. There is no need to buy a new pick guard. Follow this simple procedure and your lifting flubber guard will be fixed...permanently! ....Best wishes....Alan (ALD323) I fixed my badly lifting 2013 Hummingbird flubber guard years ago by developing the following exact procedure....and it worked. I could not stand the peeling corners, so I removed it, cleaned both it and the guitar top with naptha to remove all traces the old glue. Then I followed this procedure... #1 lay the pickguard flat on a clean dry counter top..... #2 use a hair dryer and blow it directly onto the hummingbird guard till it "softens just enough to relax. " #3 Flip the pickguard over from time to time as you heat it with the hair dryer. It wil need to get just hot enough to cause the curl to drop and begin to lay flat. #4 Do not heat it to melting...It may need to be heated a few times and a little patience. Move the hair dryer evenly all around the entire pick guard heating it evenly, particularly on the curled up areas, the whole pick guard needs to relax and delflex from the even moving swirling heat of the dryer. .....and after the curl is FLAT, you apply the 3M sticker, it will say on and never peel off. Take special note that you do not melt it in any area. It will get very warm, if you need to stop to let it cool down do so...then reheat it again. I held the top of the hair dryer about an inch to two inches away, ...use plenty of light as you do this so you can monitor that it does not melt. As I said, when it begins to get hot enough to deflex....it will actually flatten before your eyes. Keep the hair dryer moving and not focused in a beam of heat, this will avoid all melting and make it just hot enough to flatten. #5 Immediately after heating it flat, (you will actually be able to see it deflex under the heat, and before it cools, place a heavy book on top of it. It will cool slowly and remain permanently flat. It will then be ready to re-install on your guitar. ...it will then STAY on the guitar permanently without curling or pulling off. ****Please note that If you decide to re-apply the pickguard without DEFLEXING it with the hair dryer first, it will pull up again from the guitar. The hair dryer WILL cause it to deflex flat the instant it reaches the temperature to do so. Immediately after heating it flat, and before it cools entirely, and do let it cool a bit, then place a heavy book on top of it for a while till it completely cools. It will cool slowly and remain permanently flat. It will then be ready to re-install on your guitar. Done correctly it will never curl again or pull up. Good luck..if u wish to reinstall your hummingbird pick guard..this is a guarenteed way to do so. I ordered a new one and it came with the same curls so....I returned that one as it was a curled as the old one I took off and yet it was beand new. and then reinstalled the old one after de-flexing it...very easy to do...and it lasted for years and never pulled up again. Good luck. Let us know how it went!
  9. Virtuoso. Clean cotton guitar polish cloth. I personally never use a mictofiber cloth. ...I find they work great when brand new as they have no particles imbedded in them...as microfiber ages however, and collects the smallest of particles, those tiny partilcles get caught deep inside microfiber, where they often remain locked and can not be shook out, and often are not even removed easily by washing. I use a flannel cotton cloth which can be shook to disperse the partilcles, and the particles washed out in the washer as the material is not as thick, so the particles are removed. ...these invisible tiny particles are the enemy of a nitro finish.
  10. My 2015 AJ-45ME is short scale, 24.75 ....and it is one great round shoulder guitar for the price. Solid woods, bone nut and saddle, and just 1/4 the price of a Gibson J-45. !!! I quickly bonded with mine! Enjoy it!
  11. I think lubing strings is a slick idea!!😇
  12. Sounds like a beautiful guitar! Virtuoso as others have mentioned..particularly for Gibsons. But wait several months to a year so the finish can cure as mentioned above. If it gets really sticky use it lightly in the mean time. I use absolutely nothing but Virtuoso on all my Gibsons. And use it sparingly, it does not need to be cleaned and polished often. ..maybe once a year with light touch ups in between. It restores the nitro finish to a sheer glass finish, removing all smudges from arm contact, and on the neck when applied and used as directed. Use the cleaner first..then the polish. You will need both. Amazon sells it and here is the virtuoso web site which also sells it. It's expensive. ...The really good things usually are lol! And Virtuoso is good...really really good for restoring and maintaining a nitro finish. Good luck with that fabulous guitar, it will sound even better when it breaks in and ages a bit! An added note..Virtuoso is for gloss finishes not matte finishes. ...Al https://virtuosopolish.com/
  13. ALD323

    flubber, hmm.

    You are very welcome! Just glad I could help. There is now finally a real fix for lifting flubberware guards.
  14. ALD323

    flubber, hmm.

    Follow my description above and your lift guard will be fixed better than if you order a new one. As I stated, I ordered a brand new Gibson Hummingbird pick guard from a company who carried them...it cost $150.00...and it arrived more curled than the one I took off...sent it back for refund..then used the old curled pick guard and applied the method described above.....it workedperfectly and held for many years before I traded it for a new Hummingbird...which will likely peel off also..at least I know how to fix this permanently now....it is not hard to do, and the guard picture will not fade or warp if done carefully. Below is a picture of the restored pick guard on my old 2013 Hummingbird...the only reason I traded it was because I wanted the Heritage cherry red color which was what I wanted instead of the honey color....non the less I re-installed the non curled pick guard and traded it, the buyer had not the fainted idea the guard had come off and was reinstalled..it looked just like new...just be careful to reinstall it exactly over the faded shadow of where it came off, and it will be..and remain perfect.
  15. ALD323

    flubber, hmm.

    I fixed my lifting 2013 Hummingbird guard in the following manner...and it worked. Like you I could not stand the peeling corners, so I removed it, cleaned it and the guitar top with naptha to remove all the old glue. Then I followed this procedure... #1 lay the pickguard flat on a clean dry counter top..... #2 use a hair dryer and blow it directly onto the hummingbird guard till it "softens just enough to relax. " #3 Flip the pickguard over from time to time as you heat it with the hair dryer. It wil need to get just hot enough to cause the curl to drop and begin to lay flat. #4 Do not heat it to melting...It may need to be heated a few times and a little patience. Move the hair dryer evenly all around the entire pick guard heating it evenly, particularly on the curled up areas, the whole pick guard needs to relax and delflex from the even moving swirling heat of the dryer. .....and after the curl is FLAT, you apply the 3M sticker, it will say on and never peel off. Take special note that you do not melt it in any area. It will get very warm, if you need to stop to let it cool down do so...then reheat it again. I held the top of the hair dryer about an inch to two inches away, ...use plenty of light as you do this so you can monitor that it does not melt. As I said, when it begins to get hot enough to deflex....it will actually flatten before your eyes. Keep the hair dryer moving and not focused in a beam of heat, this will avoid all melting and make it just hot enough to flatten. #5 Immediately after heating it flat, (you will actually be able to see it deflex under the heat, and before it cools, place a heavy book on top of it. It will cool slowly and remain permanently flat. It will then be ready to re-install on your guitar. ...it will then STAY on the guitar permanently without curling or pulling off. ****Please note that If you decide to re-apply the pickguard without DEFLEXING it with the hair dryer first, it will pull up again from the guitar. The hair dryer WILL cause it to deflex flat the instant it reaches the temperature to do so. Immediately after heating it flat, and before it cools entirely, and do let it cool a bit, then place a heavy book on top of it for a while till it completely cools. It will cool slowly and remain permanently flat. It will then be ready to re-install on your guitar. Done correctly it will never curl again or pull up. Good luck..if u wish to reinstall your hummingbird pick guard..this is a guarenteed way to do so. I ordered a new one and it came with the same curls so....I returned that one as it was a curled as the old one I took off and yet it was beand new. and then reinstalled the old one after de-flexing it...very easy to do...and it lasted for years and never pulled up again. Good luck. Let us know how it went!
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