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Everything posted by ALD323

  1. I don't care for a guitar that is too loud when not miked. It hides the voice. And it forces constant monitoring of the amp for feed back while performing with an amp. I could use dynamics to control that of course, but why buy a guitar where this is a constant issue? My J-45 and Hummingbird almost play themselves, never overpowering the voice unless I play them to roar..and they can do that easily enough. A quiet puppy that stays quiet and knows when to to bark, that to me, is a guitar whose dynamics are built right into the model.
  2. The Gibson and J-45...and the Gibson Hummingbird..either or both. You hit the nail on the head! Buy them used and save a fortune. Here are two GC links to start looking for a good used one. These two guitars are icons in the Gibson family. You can't go wrong with either. They are great for rythem and strumming and everythiong else you throw at them. And if you happen to be a singer..they are even better. Hope this helps! https://www.guitarcenter.com/search?typeAheadSuggestion=true&typeAheadRedirect=true&fromRecentHistory=true&Ntt=used+J-45 https://www.guitarcenter.com/search?typeAheadSuggestion=true&typeAheadRedirect=true&fromRecentHistory=true&Ntt=used+gibson+hummingbird
  3. Here is a Masterbilt in "rosewood"..( Epiphone AJ-500RCE) (rosewood cut away) it is the same guitar as the aj45me in mahogany...except it is long scale and made of solid rosewood instead of Hog....and it does have cut away and electronics also. Yes shopping can be a thrill..so much to think about! Have fun!!! Remember rosewood sounds different than hog....More overtones in rosewood, but many are thrilled with that and desire it, while others prefer hog. https://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone/Masterbilt-AJ-500RCE-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar.gc http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Acoustic/Electric/Ltd-Ed-Masterbilt-AJ-500RCE.aspx
  4. I fell in love with the big beautiful Gibson AJ rosewood longscale, but quickly found it completely overwealmed the voice for singing. It is loud, beautiful, and rich sounding..but way too loud for singing in my view...had to sell it...bought a J-45. ....Heaven. And for the vocals...a Hummingbird just might be even better. I have both. Love them, adore them. They are like perfect children in a bad world.
  5. Pete yes it took 18 hours of hand buffing to bring the gloss out...but that might have been shortened considerable if I had a power buffer. My arms were sore for 2 weeks because the pressure is heavy and you must press hard to achieve the gloss. As for strings, I always prefer strings that bring out more treble and shine. 80/20 bronze are well know for doing just that..while Phosphor Bronze tend to sound darker. I use Elixir 80/20 nanoweb lights (.12-.53) on all my guitars, they stay sounding bright and clear for months and months, they cost more..but they can last over a year if your switching around guitars like I do. I have 5 guitars..you'll soon have three! You'll be switching around too. You have two great guitars..I LOVE the Epi pro. And the aj-220sce is outstanding for the price. But your Masterbilt will be your best guitar of the three. If sweet tone is what your looking for...short scale might be your best. Your Epi bird is short scale. Almost all Gibsons are short scale for that reason, even the $4000 Gibson Hummingbird is short scale. Very sweet and crisp and clear. The longer scale pushes out greater volume and base..often at the expense of sweet tone and crystal trebs.
  6. Igor, the difference is in the top wood. The 220 has a solid sitka spruce top with laminated sides....while the 210 is all laminated including the top. Solid sounds sweeter but are more costly...laminated is much more sturdy and cost less. Solid wood always cost more, so reflects in the price. The 210 comes with a case which likely can be part of it because the top is cheaper. I think both guitars are great sounding and very good deals. There may also be an upgrade in electronics. But both should work with an amp. Hope this helps!
  7. Pete, The difference in SOUND between the Masterbilt AJ-45me and the Masterbilt DR500mce ..to me is very great. The 500 was deeper, with a lot of resonance, and darker in sound..with less treble and more base..than the aj-45me. The 500 is louder over all by a little, the 45 just slightly quieter to accomodate for the human voice to "fit in" without overwealming it while singing. The 500 is a drednought model, slightly bigger in body...while the aj-45 is a round shoulder guitar and it just snuggles in your lap like a puppy. I sing a lot while I play...and I found the dr500 washed out my voice with the darker louder sound...while the 45-me played just as nice but I was able to not have to fight over it while singing. I would say the 45-me is sweeter in tone than the dr500 which is darker and very full. You epi bird is a sweet guitar, and excellent for singing, the aj-45 is even better, as it mocks one of the greatest guitar icons in the world since the biginning...the famous Gibson J-45 which is nothing short of a legend. Gibson produced the aj-45 to be very similar to the J-45. remember if looks are your thing..the aj-45 will NOT have a gloss finish, but the satin, duller flat finish..still very nice but NO shine on it anywhere. while the dr500 has a wonderful high gloss finish like your epi bird and aj-220. You might consider the Masterbilt aj-45me to be similar to the aj-45, but much richer in tone. The matt finish on the aj-45 has been buffed and polished on mine to a shine gloss on front and looks great but took hours and hours of hand rubbing. And by the way both of these guitars are sapele, a very close cousin of mahogany, also noted to compliment the human voice. If you do not sing, the dr500 might be your best bet. If singing is your thing, you need an guitar that will not upstage your voice in volume and tone. Let us know what happens..any more wuestions, feel free to ask! Hope this helps! You an order either from Sweetwater or from Guitar Center..see Sweetwater links below, where you can choose the ACTUAL guitar you are looking at. They are a good reliable company. The two models are below in separate links. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EMECVSNH3--epiphone-masterbilt-dr-500mce-vintage-sunburst https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EME4VSSNH--epiphone-masterbilt-aj-45me-vintage-sunburst
  8. It was the tone that hooked me first, as well as the beautiful artistic look of Gibsons. The Gibson tone is unlike anything else in the world out there. It is unique. It compliments and supports the human voice in a way I have found no other guitar in the entire world does. And when I discovered the Gibson Hummingbird and Gibson J-45 models, there simply was no looking back. I had hit gold, and there I stayed.
  9. I believe the build quality is about the same as it has always beem. These are all sold wood guitars with bone nut and saddle. You might check the serial number inside the sound hole..if you see a number "23" in the middle of the serial number, it was made in Indonesia. And that is likely where it was made. You might also consider the masterbilt AJ-45me model, which is the Gibson J-45 knock off, and mine is quite good but it does not have a gloss finish, but a flat matt finish, which most do not seem to prefer. The two models you presently have. the Epi bird pro, and the 220sce, are both known to be good for singing. I previously owned the 500MCE and sold it as it overpowered my voice, but had a wonderful chocolate dark tone. Unfortunately it washed out my vocals, so I sold it for the aj-45me, which like your two guitars, is a fine singing guitar, and that solved that problem. But in general to answer you question, the 500MCE should have good build quality, sound beautiful, and at a reasonable cost. Being solid Sapele mahogany wood, it will definately require a good case to protect it from heat and humidity fluctuations. Expect it to need a good set up to play its best. Be willing to pay for the set up, it is well worth the cost indeed. All my Masterbilts needed a set up before they played and sounded their best, but that is true of ANY guitar no matter the cost. Best wishes. Hoped this helped!
  10. Congradulations! Looks like you got what you REALLY wanted, and its absolutely stunning!! The top and the burst look just heavely! What do you bet it sounds just as good too! Good for you!
  11. Great! Remember that if you do drive to GC for a try out..take the guitar you want to trade. They will trade and ship. They will also buy your guitar outright and give you cash...which you could apply to a later GC purchase of the sj-200, or trade your old guitar and have them order the new one right there on the spot, they will subtract the trade amount, and have the new one delivered to your home. I've done that many times! One small thing you might want to consider also here is that...the Studio series are all( "Flat sawn wood.") ..Most quitars are made of (Quarter sawn wood,) which is considered much stronger by many luthiers. The results of flat sawn wood and its strength over time is not not yet known. Quarter sawn wood can last several lifetimes....flat sawn wood...is a bit more uncertain.
  12. I had a 2019 J-45 Studio, walnut and sitka. It was very nice indeed. Beautiful built and great tone....but the walnut tone is different than maple or hog or rosewood tone. And that's where the main difference will be. Walnut to my ear, falls somewhere between mahogany and rosewood. It is brighter than hog, but has less overtones than rosewood. Maple is bright, and walnut will be a tad less bright but very rich sounding in my opinion. In the end I preferred my mahogany tone over the walnut tone and sold the walnut J-45. I did like the thinner body, much less imposing and lighter that the full size model. I see no reason why you would not like the SJ-200 Studio if you are willing accept the tone (slightly different) than Maple. And they are a great price. The burst models are exceptionally beautiful. Guitar Center sells them, and they allow 30 days to evaluate and return. Might be the way to go. Here is the GC link...nice that they deliver it to your door too since you are not near shops to find one and play it. Good luck. Hope this helps. https://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson/SJ-200-Studio-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-Walnut-Burst-1500000227830.gc
  13. Ahhh yes ...and a wonderful J-45 story it is! I also have a J-45 and adore it. Not because it's a Gibson, not because it's a J-45, not because it's beautiful, not because I got it at a good price, not because it plays so easy, and has action so low, notbecause it is an icon in the guitar world....No none of those! I love it because it just sounds so good. As you so aptly put it..an elixir from the Gods. That it is indeed. My J-45 is one of a pair of such guitars...the other Guitar is a Gibson Hummingbird. No singer on earth should be without a pair of these two special Gibson guitars. I've searched far and wide, over many decades to find the perfect guitar. Martins, Taylors, Guilds, carbon fiber, and a host of others. Fourty one guitars ago in all, bought and sold and traded in an endless effort to find that right guitar. Those guitars are all gone now. The J-45 and the Hummingbird are the two staples I have ended up with. I haven't found a better pair on earth that so fits my voice and feels so good, and which sits in my arms like an adored baby. Enjoy it.! You deserve it! You found the right guitar! You may find others that equal it, but you will never find one better. Best wishes!
  14. Strings are a personal preference, and as long as you like them, your good to go. On my Gibson J-45 I use Elixir nanoweb 80/20 lights (.12-.53) they last long and they warm up after several hours of play, then they last me for a year or more. Your doing GREAT! YOU are going to be a great player..count on it, you have the guitars that will highlight the best of your talents for sure! Best wishes!
  15. FemmeParallell, having looked up the 2016 model you own, it would appear you do NOT have a flubber guard, if this is the case, you will need to replace a J-185 pick guard...and you will find one in the below LMI link. they are fully cut and formed..the adhesive is already applied, and are very nice, and you can pick the actual one you want. That just might be your best bet..they are expensive, but quality, and EASY to apply..simply peel off the paper on the under side of the new pickguard..and stick it on, pressing tightly to remove bubbles as you go. Here is the link, they are a good company, I have ordered many from them, and now just select your specific guard you want, you will recieve the exact selection you make..these are deep tortoise guards and very unique. https://www.lmii.com/457-pickguards-pre-shaped/s-164/adhesive-self_adhesive/content-tor_tis/select_a_set-the_one_you_see_is_the_one_you_get/size-j_185
  16. FemmerParrallell...I used the stewmac ..3M pickguard sheets. The size I needed was 8x10 inches for the larger Hummingbird pick guard size. ...which I'm not sure they presently have..but they do have the 6x8 size. So make sure the size of the sheet is big enough for your size pickguard. It gives instructions on how to do it and it is not an expensive item. The above process solved my lifting pick guard and the 3M stick sheet is very good.But it was a lot of work and messy, cleaning the residue of the old adhesive with naptha. Get it on and positioned right the first time in applying it, it sticks instantly and permanently. Clean the top off before hand with naptha ( common lighter fluid)..it will not harm your finish be it nitro or poly. Good luck. It does stink that this happens. Mine has held up for years now after fixing it. I had hoped to trade my present Hummingbird up for the new HB standard in red (yes I love the red cherry, mine is brown)..but I decided to not pay $3800 for a new Gibson in which the same thing will likely happen. My 2015 J-45 did NOT have the flubberguard, and that is why I bought it. Had Gibson put on the flubber guards that year I would not have purchased it. Common sense tells one that you just do not pay between $2500 and $3800 for an iconic guitar with a defective pickguard, so I am done with buying new one. The fix, done carefully, slowly and properly should be a permanent fix for your lifting pick guard. Best of luck! One other tip here it there is heave adhesive residue for your old guard stuck to the top....stuff the sould hole with an old towel or t shirt...wet the top area where it old adhesive is stuck...wet it with the lighter fluid, keep it wet with a small cotton towel, wetting as needed, and within a few minuts, use an old plastic credit card to gently scrape the wetted top and the glue will come off much faster. Gently but firmly scrape it old goo off with the edge of the plastic card...this work ver well and did not harm or scratch the fine finish on my HB. ...also when the old pick guard came off..it left a shadow, an imprint if the pickguard in the nitro, which likely occured when it was applied and the nitro was new, but this will not be an issue IF you use the exact same sized pick guard as the one that came off...it you choose to install a different shaped, or sized pick guard, this could be an issue, and you may see the imprint of the old one after you replace the new and different one. The color of the top had not changed on mine (from light etc) as the guitar was under 6 months old and the top have not darkened yet. ***And as j45nick stated correctly above, this heat de-flexing process is meant ONLY for pick guards made of what is often referred to as flubber guards (the softer thicker plastic guards) NOT for other non flubber guard types! Here is the link https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Pickguard_Materials/3M_Pickguard_Adhesive_Sheet.html
  17. The pickguard is smaller now... just slightly, and fits better than previous ones. I own a 2015 Masterbilt aj-45. It has improves with age, and is a very nice playing and sounding guitar..all wood...bone nut and saddle. It is the perfect compliment to my 2013 Gibson J-45. I love mine, and will never get rid of it. I polished the top and headstock to a gloss finish, and replaced the pickguard with a j-50 batwind style pickguard, resized and installed whiteball ivoroid pins and gibson pearl dots replicas on the bridge. Perfect for singing. It just loves the human voice. I had it set up and it plays even better. You never need to get rid of it, it is a true workhorse! Enjoy your new aj-45, it is the closest guitar to a Gibson J-45 as I have run across.!
  18. My 2013 Gibson Hummingbird did the same thing within just 6 months. I finally pulled it off all together as it looked horrible. I contacted Fuller for a replacement, they wanted to charge me $150.00 for the new pick guard..I ordered it..and sent it back as it was the exact same defective one as just came off. I decided to experment with the old curled one to solve the problem. Here is what I did: After the HB flubberguard guard is removed you will notice that it looks "curled". That i to say, it is not completely flat when lying on a table top, and this is what caused it to pull up in the first place, the curl. When the plastic was made, it dried to fast..it then curled..gibson then installed it anyway and with glue..it held for a while, then the curl eventually over about 6 month to two years, began to pull up. That is why it happens in my opinion. Your milage may vary. Here is the process below which I used to permanently fix it, using the very same pick guard that was on it. So far, the reinstallation has lasted permanently with no pull up ever again at all. It looks like new if the process is done carefully, and will last for years. Step 1. Remove all the glue on the back side of the HB pickguard with naptha (Lighter fluid)..as well as the top of the guitar. Step 2. When it the pick guard is clean and dry and glue free, lie it upon a flat surface or table, and then use a hair dryer to expose the curled pick guard to heavy heat..enough to semi melt the curl back to flat. You will actually see the pick guard begin to lay flat again "before your eyes" as it is exposed to the hair dryer heat. Carefully aim the hair dryer, set on high at the pick guard, moving the dries air all over the guard evenly, and by pulling the dryer closer and away from the pickguard so as not to liquifiy and deform it. Remember however, that your goal is to actually deform the "curl back to total flat." ..so it can be reinstalled. As you proceed, flip the guard back and forth over a few times, and re- expose it to more heat..making sure not to actually melt it..you just want to get it hot enough that the plastic curl "relaxes flat on to the table," and the HB pickguard is now returned to a permanent flat state. It is the curl that forces the pickguard off eventually as that curl constantly and slowly, pulls itself away from the sticky glue. Step 3. After the Pickguard is flat again..and you will clearly see this happen with the hair dryer as you watch it, and also while the pick guard is still hot but not fire hot....place a HEAVY book on top of it for a day....recheck it..if there is still a little curl left, you must hair dryer it again till it lies totally FLAT on a table top of its own volition. This includes all the pointed corners..they too must lie flat. Step 4. I ordered simple pick guard glue backing from Stewmac, and applied the new glue to the now totally flat HB pick guard and re-applied it to my Hummingbird. .....It never lifted again, not even at the pointed corners, and it has been almost 6 years since I reinstalled it this way. The heat will not deform the pic guard or ruin its color or print in any way, and I got mine pretty darn hot from the hair drier..too hot to touch with your finger. It worked for me, I believe this will solve most of these problems people are experiencing with Gibson flubber guards. Ordering a new one guard and same type picguard will not solve the problem, as it will recur.. They sent me another defective curled one exactly like the one that just came off my guitar. It was then that I put 2+2 together considering the curl and pull up. Here is my old 2013 HB with the same pickguard reinstalled with the above precdure, it was done years ago and has lasted without a trace of further pull up.
  19. Hojo199's comment: (( -- but on my Bird TV they sound right -- after a month or so 🙂 Then they last indefinitely....))This is my experience also....a month or so of play in and aging...then they last almost indefinately. You'll have to force yourself to change them. As the tone softens and stabalizes, and remains that way, sometimes a few years.
  20. Elixir nanoweb 80/20 .12-.53 and as was said..OLD, and played in. My current Elixirs are on my bird three years. With a newly installed Elixir set, I particularly love when the Elixir strings first begin to show discolor at the pick contact areas, and the finger positions. For me, that is when the strings are ripe and ready to play for another three years. Depending on how hard my guitar is worked and played, that string change time can vary between 6 months and three years. Ironically, most people remove the Elixirs when the string coating appears to wear or discolor. I find THAT is the prime time to play it for a long, long time, with no further change in tone quality. They soften and mellow, just delicious.
  21. Olie, nice to hear your new set from allparts is on the way, and you have been refunded by the previous seller, can you tell me which button model you slelcted, perhaps with a link? Are they the ones Boyd suggested in his previous link? Thanks!
  22. UPDATE on cracked pins....the seller from Taiwan has agreed to refund me for the broken tuner buttons which had cracked. There fore I would consider them an honest and fair company. I'm sure they will look at the product and improve on it if necessary. Nothing is perfect, and as long as refunds for defective products is made available, this is admirable.
  23. Boyd, I would revise, and down tone my review which described the buttons as junk and a waste of time, to ( "nice looking buttons, honest vender responded with full refund when the button was defective.) That way other guitar buyers would have a heads up when deciding to order these.
  24. Ollie yes I have contacted the supplier by email of my wish for a refund, along with the picture of the broken button sample shown above..I have not yet recieved a response. They had asked me to "revise my negative review of the buttons,"... I told them if I recieve a refund on my order, that I would do so, otherwise a revision of my negative review on the buttons would not be possible. If they respond I will let you know via this thread. If your buttons have not cracked yet, maybe you will be ok, so try not to worry ok?
  25. Boyd, thanks for the link..I may try these white buttons at some point in the future. They look stronger than the ones I ordered, wish I had waited on those..not worth sending back to taiwan so I guess I'm stuck with them! Darn it! The AllParts butons look pretty nice, and I have bought things from AllParts before but didn't realize they sold these. AllParts sells the exact copy of the Epiphone Hummingbird pick guard and I replaced the worn one I had and was happy with that product.
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