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Everything posted by Hummingbird2000

  1. This is half of an answer to the question, "How was Gibson able to make the original Hummingbird pick guard so the engraved, paint-filled design would last?" I had originally done a Google books search for Gibson Hummingbird guitar, and after half a day of poking around, here is what came up: However it's a pretty safe bet that, whether he's from Liverpool or Lyme Regis, that ubiquitous instrument the guitar will be there with him. ... Gibson Inc. of Kalamazoo, Michigan obviously thought of this when they were designing their “Gibson Hummingbird' (top) and “Epiphone ... in tough, stable Tenite Butyrate (where else but in the Tenite range could you match a colour designated as “Cherry sunburst'?) ... The snippet above came from a 1965 book called "Engineering Materials and Design - Volume 8, Issues 1-6, Page 383" The maker of Tenite Butyrate is Eastman Chemical Company, of Kingsport, Tennessee. Eastman Chemical is still very much in business, and they still make various forms of Tenite Butyrate cellulosics, all derived from softwood pulp. If anyone wants to duplicate the search results to verify independently, the search phrase in Google books is Gibson Hummingbird guitar AND Tenite Butyrate. I wonder why Gibson simply quit using the Tenite Butyrate? Of course, this leaves the other part of the puzzle untouched. There have been threads here over the years by knowledgeable people which discussed the idea that Gibson Kalamazoo sourced some paint from West Germany to fill in the engravings on the guard. The paint must have had a high lead content, because they referred to its toxicity as the reason the paint was discontinued. None of this may mean anything except as trivia, but I would love to get a pick guard for my Hummingbird made from the original material, engraved deeply enough for paint to sink into the engraved lines.
  2. I've owned a Breedlove since 2000 (bought new). It's a model N-20, a nylon string crossover guitar, made at Breedlove's original Tumalo, Oregon location. I wanted the sound of a nylon string guitar but couldn't easily trade off between the nut widths on my Hummingbird and Martin SWD, and the standard 2"-plus classical guitar. Except for its 1 3/4" nut and bolt-on neck construction, the N-20 pretty much is a classical guitar: 12-fret non-cutaway body with a solid cedar top (fan braced, not X-braced), solid East Indian rosewood sides and back, 1-piece mahogany neck, bound ebony fretboard (radiused, not flat), and a Brazilian rosewood bridge (which is a pinless, tie-block design, but not the lightning-bolt shape, it looks relatively normal). I like this Breedlove very much; it is a beautiful guitar which is easier to hold more closely to the player's body than a dreadnought, and wonderful to play late at night when a light touch gives a very satisfying sound while staying quiet enough to not wake up the rest of the house. Except for steel strings vs. nylon, the closest Gibson equivalent today is the Montana made 1928 L-1, with a 12-fret neck and a body with very rounded upper and lower bouts. I keep meaning to try one out locally to see if the playing experience is close to the Breedlove N-20.
  3. Denis, I don't know if you will only buy locally in Montreal, but if you want a Hummingbird that seems closest to the early production Birds, take a look at these two limited edition 1960's Hummingbirds at Wildwood Guitars in Louisville, Colorado: http://tinyurl.com/knewb93 and http://tinyurl.com/ljno6kv I don't have any affiliation with Wildwood, but I keep staring at these two guitars, they are beautiful!
  4. It's no joke. It's a rope, Tuco...
  5. Bob R. didn't say so specifically in his post on a previous Hummingbird PG thread, but I suspect/guess that the reason for banning the special German-manufactured, fade-and-scratch resistant Panzer paint was that it contained lead, arsenic, depleted uranium/radium (kidding!) or various other heavy metal nasties. At first, I thought it was the combo of lead paint and the fact that the old 'Bird guards were made of celluloid (solid nitrocellulose, camphor and alcohol) which would allow paint with some solvent qualities to bite into the grooves and adhere better, but Bob's comment makes me think that the real secret all along was the paint, and we ain't gonna get it back.
  6. Bob, that's interesting. I played a new Hummingbird 12 string at a local dealer about a week ago, and despite being a right-handed guitar, it had the "heat-stamped and surface painted" Hummingbird pickguard. Since it's a rightie, I wonder why? --Scott T.
  7. Joe, I haven't done this myself, but here's what I plan to do for my Hummingbird before the end of this year. The TonePros Kluson tuners are drop-in replacements for Grovers, and they use a bolt bushing, just like the Grovers do. I am going to have my local (Gibson authorized) warranty and repair center install them in place of the Grovers. The TonePros Kluson tuners do call for two screws per tuner, but if you're concerned about the extra hole to be drilled, I don't see why they couldn't be installed using only the existing (bottom) screw hole currently used by the Grover tuners. Rather than have an empty screw-hole at the top of each Kluson tuner, it should be simple to saw or Dremel off most of the length of the screw, and thread the shortened screw into place, using non-permanent Loc-Tite to keep them there.
  8. It looks to be one of the quilted maple Hummingbirds. Bozeman did two runs of the model, one in bright cherry burst and the other a teaburst finish. Both had gold plated Grover keystone tuners and truss rod covers that said Custom. Curiously, I think both colors also did not have binding that extended over the fret-ends, which has since become standard for non-TV 'Birds.
  9. It should not happen at all on current standard (non True Vintage, non 50th Anniversary) Hummingbirds. If you have access to a current regular Hummingbird, feel the surface of the pickguard: smooth, with a slight give to the material. The artwork is completely protected beneath this transparent top on the guard.
  10. If your new Gibson is simply a standard Hummingbird (nickel Grover tuners, under-the-saddle pickup, endpin doubles as a standard output jack socket), no worries about the artwork on the pickguard rubbing off from cleaning or polishing, as the artwork is protected underneath the clear top surface of the pickguard. Enjoy your new guitar!
  11. You can get TonePros Kluson tuners that look exactly like the old Kluson Deluxe tuners, but have a bolt busing so they are almost a drop-in replacement for Grover Rotomatics. (You do have to drill a small pilot hole for the top mounting screw for the TonePros Kluson tuners, the bottom screw goes goes into the existing Grover screw socket.) See them at http://www.toneproskluson.com, and the specific model to do the drop-in replacement for Rotomatics is the TPKB3.
  12. As far as I know, the "R" stands for "reissue", and the single digit stands for the original year of production, so in a Les Paul Standard model, R9 is shorthand for a reissue of the 1959 Les Paul Standard. I'd love to be able to buy a Hummingbird R0, as close to an exact replica of the original 1960 Hummingbird as Bozeman could make. This would include the dreaded adjustable ceramic-insert bridge and casting the pickguard in the original celluloid instead of styrene plastic. I know they would not be allowed to use Brazilian rosewood for the fretboard and bridge, but I'd like some type of rosewood that looks more like Braz than the current stash of Madagascar rosewood. Dream on, like the man says in the song...
  13. Has anyone heard (at the 2010 Homecoming in Bozeman, or elsewhere) if Gibson is planning to release a Hummingbird "R0" (similar to the Les Paul R8, R9 and R0 reissues from the Custom Shop) during 2010, since this is the 'Bird's 50th anniversary? Or will we need to be content with the Hummingbird True Vintage VOS?
  14. Fred, I'm curious about your preference for the older L-200 body style vs the newer one. Did the older body style sound better, or was it a difference in feel? Thanks, Scott
  15. Official Gibson press release, as follows: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Official Gibson Statement Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Gibson Guitar Corp. received Notice that a Tax lien has been filed against the company by the IRS. This tax lien is associated with certain penalties and interest claimed due, but unpaid for the company’s tax period of 2006 to 2008. Gibson Guitar believes these returns, prepared by the company’s previous outside independent tax and auditing firm, contained multiple errors which resulted in delayed payment for taxes due for each of these periods. The company is currently amending each of these returns and believes that once amended returns are filed, substantial tax refunds will be due and that any penalties or interest claimed due will be abated. The company was already in communication with the IRS on this issue and is confident this will be resolved shortly. Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Gibson's HD.6X-PRO Digital Guitar and the Gibson Robot Guitar represent the biggest advances in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, Baldwin, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson's website at www.gibson.com or www.gibson.com/press. Gibson, 1-800-4GIBSON (1-800-444-2766); www.gibson.com Yes, Virginia, there are pre-Fender Gibsons...I own one of them!
  16. The softest feeling, most comfortable strings for your Hummingbird would be Martin silk & steel acoustic guitar strings or something similar. Tuned up to concert pitch (A=440Hz), they pull on the top of your Hummingbird with a force of 122.2 pounds. (By comparison, a set of medium gauge phosphor bronze acoustic strings exerts 186.2 pounds of force.) However, silk & steel strings normally don't have enough tension to properly drive the top of a Hummingbird, so my suggestion would be to get a set of Elixir 80/20 Bronze strings with the Polyweb (not Nanoweb) coating. The Elixir Polywebs are available in gauges ranging from medium (.13's) down to extra light (.10's) The Polyweb coating on the wound strings will hurt your fingers much less than anything else, and a set of lights (.12's) would be my best guess for you. Two final notes: people will warn against the Polyweb Elixirs because they are too dull sounding, and I've found that they can be a little too mellow on a Hummingbird. Still, if it hurts less, you'll play more. Second, do get a qualified guitar tech to look at the nut of your Hummingbird; a lot of times the discomfort comes from nut slots that haven't been properly cut (not low enough), and even the most wimpy strings won't cure pain from a badly cut nut. Hope this helps...
  17. It looks like a Gibson Everly Brothers model, based on the J-185. Body dimensions are the same on the Everly Brothers (aka J-180) as on the J-185, except the body depth is shallower. Spruce top, maple back and sides, mahogany neck, black finish, two oversize pickguards (dark tortoise color, hard to see in the SNL clip against the back lacquered top of the guitar), rosewood fretboard with five pointed MOP stars for position markers, and a rosewood oversize pinless bridge that was designed by Ike Everly, Don and Phil's father. The official Everly Brothers signature guitar has been discontinued for some time now, and IIRC Gibson Montana made the J-180 model as recently as the early 2000's.
  18. Have you tried T. J. Thompson? Frank Ford of Gryphon Strings and FRETS.COM said this late last year: "Martin quit supplying bar fret wire a while ago, and at that time, they more-or-less turned the bar fret wire business over to T. J. Thompson: 43 Bradford St Ste 2, Concord, MA 01742-2972 Phone: (978) 369-3359 While Martin supplied the stuff in three thicknesses, T.J. has a rolling mill and offers a dozen, I think."
  19. Gibson has done the work for you: go to http://www.gibson.com/press/ and scroll down until you see a link for Acoustic Guitars on the right side of the page. Click the link for Gibson Montana, and let the page fill in. There are mp3 and aiff sound files for most of the models that Gibson produces. The clips are short, averaging 20 to 28 seconds, but they'll give you a reasonably good idea of the sound of each model.
  20. All of the Modern Classic guitars have white oval interior labels, the True Vintage models all have orange oval interior lables, and the split into True Vintage and Modern Classic lines occured (I believe) in January 2006. Examination of the serial number of the J185TV will tell the buyer the year and date of manufacture, and if I recall correctly, the True Vintage models do not have "Made in USA" below the serial number on the back of the headstock. These things should be enough to let your buyer know that he got the TV instead of the MC J185. ...real acoustic guitars are cherry red and have little birds on the pickguard...
  21. You got the standard production Hummingbird (Gibson Montana didn't introduce the "Modern Classic" and "True Vintage" versions until 2007, and yours was made in 2006.) 2006 standard production Hummingbirds had the three features you describe: under-the-saddle pickup, "protected" pickguard, and nickel Grover rotomatics. ...real acoustic guitars are cherry red and have little birds on the pickguard...
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