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About shuvalkin

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  1. I recently purchased a Gibson Hummingbird Pro, which I am in love with. As some of you may recall if you read other posts about this, I was having some problems with buzz on the top string playing an open d (certainly in DADGAD and DADFAD tuning, but even with the guitar still in standard tuning and just dropping the top string). I tried a variety of solutions, but reluctantly settled on the conclusion that the action on that particular string was just a tiny bit too low. Rather than fill and then re-slot the nut, I thought I'd just go ahead and replace the bone nut (stock) with tusq since I was curious about whether I'd be able to tell if there was a tonal difference. Mission accomplished. No more buzz, though I think I might still sand the tusq down just a bit more. The action is just about right, but still feels just a bit high at the first fret. (As for the tonal difference, I can't hear any difference at all between bone and tusk at the nut. And that's not really a surprise. I've read that the material for the saddle and bridge pins make more difference than the nut.) Anyway, this got me wondering... how often do y'all replace or do repair work on your saddles or nuts. Obviously it will depend on how much play the particular guitar gets. But I've only had to replace one other nut, and that was an instance where a heavy gauge bottom broke off the end of a plastic nut on an electric. I also once replaced a tusq saddle on an acoustic with a bone saddle. The tusq had been on the guitar for a couple years with moderate playing (several times per week), but the saddle was still in good shape, and the replacement was mainly to try a bone saddle with that particular guitar (which I think did improve the tone perhaps ever so slightly... or maybe that's just wanting it to be that way since I spent so much time sanding the new saddle to fit it in the guitar). So it seems like tusq and probably even bone can last a number of years before needing any replacement. Or maybe this is like that question about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop.
  2. I also second the recommendation for Colosi's pins. From Bob you can also get stained bone pins. The T1s fit perfectly in my new Gibson. They were just a bit too big for my Seagull, but sanded down very quickly. Based on these two experiences, I'd say that Bob's sizing recommendations are on the money.
  3. My memory may be playing tricks on me, since I must have bought a few cassette tapes before I bought a CD player--and maybe my memory isn't so much playing tricks on me as it is protecting me from embarrassment. But the first two albums that I can remember purchasing for myself were the two CDs that I purchased when I bought a portable stereo with a CD player: Legend and Are You Experienced. This must have been sometime around 1988.
  4. So it turns out there's a profile setting that can be used to ignore posts from specific members...
  5. I hope we're on the same wavelength here, number 6. We're all in The Village.
  6. I hope we're on the same wavelength here, number 6. We're all in The Village.
  7. I wish I could give you an expert answer on this. This is the first acoustic I've owned with a built-in pickup, so I don't have a reference point against which to judge it. But to my inexpert ears (and using nothing more than a borrowed Marshall AS50D), I'm pleased with the Prefix. The contour frequency controls are pretty nifty (one slider for setting a point on the contour spectrum to boost or cut; another slide to increase or decrease output to that point). Phase switch, notch control, etc. But I'd bet that there are other forum topics that focus on the Prefix (or the Fishman Blender, to which the Prefix is frequently compared).
  8. Action isn't too low, and this isn't fret buzz. Actually, for whatever reason, that open D was causing a harmonic vibration that I thought had something to do with the nut since the only time I've heard such a buzz from open strings was from an incorrectly installed nut. But, in this case, I reset the guitar string in the peg hole, and that seems to have taken care of the problem.
  9. Thanks, Hogeye. I appreciate your note. I'm delighted with the guitar! The bone saddle may or may not make any difference, or I might end up preferring the tusq. I was just surprised that it didn't match up with the website. At the end of the day this is a pretty minor issue, but I appreciate the feedback people have given about this. I am relieved to hear that you think Gibson is more responsive than others have suggested. The other responses were a little disheartening. The odd thing is that the nut is bone (as per the website specs), rather than tusq like the saddle. (EDIT: Though perhaps that isn't so strange in light of your point about the likelihood that the tusq was chosen in part because of the improved balance in the pickup. I wouldn't have thought of that, so I appreciate the insight.) In fact, I'm having a strange buzzing on the first string, but only playing the string open when tuned down to d (that note). Not sure why. I cleaned the nut groove and added graphite lubricant, but that didn't seem to help (I also went ahead and checked the other grooves -- there wasn't any lubricant in the bottom four strings for some reason). It sounds as if the groove isn't parallel to the fingerboard, but, as I said, it only happens while playing an open d. So I'm having some trouble trying to diagnose this, and would like to find a fix that doesn't involve replacing the nut. Anyway...
  10. The Hummingbird Pro is supposedly a Guitar Center exclusive, and so most stores should have one in stock. But, in reality, you can get them at a few other places. Someone already posted a link to Musician's Friend. Amazon also sells them. There's a sale at Guitar Center right now (until Aug. 5). Slight markdown to $2049.99. Probably can talk the price down to about that even after the sale expires.
  11. I never even checked the saddle on the one in the shop... By the time I decided to get the HB Pro, the one in the shop had seen some abuse, and it didn't occur to me to be too concerned about the saddle issue until I ordered the new one. As for the website, it's not the GC website that I was referring to as giving the specs as bone saddle; rather, it's the Gibson website (see original post). Also, as far as the question both here and earlier in the thread about whether the HB Pro is a GC Exclusive. Well, Guitar Center likes to say that it is, but there are other places you can get them (including Amazon). So probably most brick and mortar guitar stores don't carry them, but there may be some other than Guitar Center that do.
  12. Well, I'm certainly not going to return the guitar just because the saddle isn't what I expected. Not that anyone would descripe me as an overly optimistic sort, but the upside is that, had it come with bone, I wouldn't have had the chance to compare with tusq, because I wouldn't have gone looking for tusq replacement. Now I'll be able to compare because I will order a bone replacement and simply decide which I like better. As for contacting Gibson, from what y'all are saying, I guess they aren't likely to do more than shrug their shoulders if I make a stink about it. Bobouz's story about the Martins is appalling. But even for something as minor as a discrepancy between specs on a saddle and what ends up leaving the factory, I don't understand why Gibson (or other makers) bothers to say it's one thing if the fine print says it may not be. I have a mental image of a luthier in the Bozeman factory flipping a coin to decide how to finish a guitar before getting it ready to ship out. Since they evidently don't care about causing minor irritation over something like this, perhaps they should just say on the website that they'll put whatever accessories on the instrument that they feel like putting on that day and anyone who has a problem with it can go suck eggs.
  13. This is a new thread related to http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/123401-getting-a-new-hummingbird-pro-advice/ But the question is more basic (I think). I just bought a hummingbird pro (see the other thread if you're curious about that). According to the Gibson website, the HB Pro is supposed to come stock with a bone saddle (see here: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/Square-Shoulder/Gibson-Acoustic/Hummingbird-Pro/Specs.aspx). But the saddle that came with the guitar (manufacture date on the card is March 2015) is obviously tusq. I wouldn't mind this at all if Gibson had simply advertised the product as tusq saddle. But I'm just slightly irritated about this. So what's your advice? I'm very happy with the guitar, and replacing the saddle with one from Bob Colosi (http://www.guitarsaddles.com/) wouldn't be a huge expense or effort. But I'm a little irritated that the product doesn't match what is billed on the website, and I would have ordered the bone saddle in advance if I'd known I'd end up with tusq. So... should I call Gibson about this or just simply put it behind me and order a replacement from Colosi?
  14. Thanks, Dave. Interesting point, and thanks for the reassurance about the general quality. Given your experience with the Pro, I'd love to hear more about your preferences on the scale length and nut width. As I mentioned in my original post, I do love the Hummingbird sound, but I knew I wasn't going to get a Hummingbird for a variety of reasons. For me the nut width isn't that big of a deal. Maybe I'd prefer a wider nut in a custom build, but I'm used to switching between guitars of varying sizes. But... the scale length is a different matter. I think that, all things considered, I probably fell in love with the Pro in part because, without paying attention, the increased length did something for the mahogany that sounds noticeably different from the Bird. Here, I'm guessing GuitarLite has a point about the Martin D-18... mahogany, but longer scale than a true Hummingbird. The sound on the HB Pro might be more like the D-18 than the Hummingbird, all things considered. It certainly isn't as twangy as a rosewood Songwriter (or anything Taylor makes). Then again, I think most Martins I've played (D-18 included) are a little less delicate in their sound than the HB Pro... but, aside from the Hummingbird, Martins are seem to be just a bit more stable than comparable Gibsons (if that makes sense; as a metaphor, I guess I might put it this way: the Martin is the kind of artist that pays the bill on time; the Gibson is the one that will do so, too, but might cut off its own ear and put it in the mail with the check just to make a point). Anyway, maybe that's build quality, or maybe it's the ebony fingerboards [EDIT: on the Martins, I mean]... I don't know. But, in any case, the Pro has a shimmer (even in Mahogany) that a Hummingbird doesn't. That's not necessarily good or bad (and, if I'm right, I'm sure that there are circumstances where I'd have a clear preference for one as opposed to the other), but it's my impression after (only) a day of playing that the HB Pro is just a little hotter and (but) less full in its sound than any Hummingbird I've ever laid hands to. Based on your comment, I would guess that a lot of that difference has to do with the scale length... Just a thought. So, what, for you, explains the preference for the shorter scale? Also, love your comment about being more picky than when you were younger. For what it's worth, when I was younger, I played saxophone... I got pretty picky about that after a while. Now I don't know if I'm picky or not... probably picky about some things and willing to explore about others... generally easier for me to listen to other points of view, anyway, than when I was younger. Again, thanks for the input, and please do feel free to share your story about preferences regarding scale length etc.
  15. I love the Hummingbird pickguard, and I guess it makes sense that it might improve tone a tiny bit. But I would bet that changing it voids the warranty. And, in any case, the HB Pro isn't really a Hummingbird. So I think it's appropriate to replace the guard on an Artist (and yours is a beauty that way, no doubt), but I think that the same maneuver on my Pro might just eat away at my conscience... putting on airs, as my kinfolk might say... or maybe just the cognitive dissonance of having a guard that matches the GC name, but not the reality... I dunno. But don't get me wrong on this... if I'd wanted a Hummingbird, that's what I would have done, even should it have required another six months or year of scrimping and scrounging for the pocket change.
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