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Why does this Hummingbird sound so GOOD?!


mikeselmer

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If I'm not groovin' in a smoke-filled Mexican bar getting to the buttom of a bottle of butterfly larva booze with trumpet folklore ringing in one ear and strip-tease dancers singing in the other, this is a short scale guitar. .

 

Haha, vivid image! I quess it's me in the bar...how can it be short scale? Did I measure it wrong?

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If I'm not groovin' in a smoke-filled Mexican bar getting to the buttom of a bottle of butterfly larva booze with trumpet folklore ringing in one ear and strip-tease dancers singing in the other, this is a short scale guitar. .

 

 

Sorry, but his technique is correct, and that's a long-scale guitar. I measured my three short-scale Gibson acoustics, and the corresponding measurement (bearing surface at nut to center of 12the fret) averaged 12.3125", or 312.74mm. Double that, and you get a scale length of 24.625". which is pretty much the average Gibson short-scale length.

 

We may need to re-think the timeline on the details of the square should Gibsons.

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Sorry, but his technique is correct, and that's a long-scale guitar. I measured my three short-scale Gibson acoustics, and the corresponding measurement (bearing surface at nut to center of 12the fret) averaged 12.3125", or 312.74mm. Double that, and you get a scale length of 24.625". which is pretty much the average Gibson short-scale length.

We may need to re-think the timeline on the details of the square should Gibsons.

 

But that's what we see in the pic !??! -

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But that's what we see in the pic !??! -

 

No, what I see in the picture of the 'Bird is a measurement to the 12th fret of about 12.625", or 320.675 mm. Double that, and you get a scale length of about 25.25". Nominal long-scale is 25.5, Gibson short scale is nominally 24.75", but more typically about 24.625".

 

Sort of like nut width: slight variations from the nominal dimensions.

 

Somewhere recently, I saw a timeline of Gibson "short scale" lengths at various points in time. As I recall, that scale length has varied from just over 24.5" to the full-length 24.75". Not that we're talking big differences. We're talking about 1/4" (about 6.35mm) here.

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Your good pics show the same measure as my same-period G's.

 

Guess we need a third part with inch-expertise to chime in now. .

 

Well, , , , my turn to measure again and they were all 1 cm shorter - 30.2 - don't have an inch-ruler here.

 

 

So Mr. Selmer has a long scale 1967 Kalamazoo Hummingbird - sure don't hope that 1 centimetre comes between you and your joy with the old guitar.

 

Keep us informed.

 

 

 

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No, what I see in the picture of the 'Bird is a measurement to the 12th fret of about 12.625", or 320.675 mm. Double that, and you get a scale length of about 25.25". Nominal long-scale is 25.5, Gibson short scale is nominally 24.75", but more typically about 24.625".

 

Sort of like nut width: slight variations from the nominal dimensions.

 

Somewhere recently, I saw a timeline of Gibson "short scale" lengths at various points in time. As I recall, that scale length has varied from just over 24.5" to the full-length 24.75". Not that we're talking big differences. We're talking about 1/4" (about 6.35mm) here.

 

You mean this site? There's some info on wavering Gibson scale lengths over the years due to changing production equipment:

http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Fretting/Scale_Length_Explained.html

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Well, I am happy that this thread with the scale length discussion now has common interest to all Gibson fans :-) Maybe we can all learn something here (to me it's basically all new stuff, as I am new to vintage Gibsons).

 

Getting back to the original title of this topic and Tim Christensen's super 1967 Hummingbird: can your tired and old, but more experienced eyes recognize if his Hummingbird is short or long scale? Here's a pretty good look at it (some neck closeups at around 2mins):

 

 

By the way, for once the Hummingbird doesn't sound so brilliant here! haha!

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Well, I am happy that this thread with the scale length discussion now has common interest to all Gibson fans :-) Maybe we can all learn something here (to me it's basically all new stuff, as I am new to vintage Gibsons).

 

Getting back to the original title of this topic and Tim Christensen's super 1967 Hummingbird: can your tired and old, but more experienced eyes recognize if his Hummingbird is short or long scale? Here's a pretty good look at it (some neck closeups at around 2mins):

 

 

By the way, for once the Hummingbird doesn't sound so brilliant here! haha!

 

The difference between long-scale and short-scale is so small visually that without being able to measure, you can't tell by looking at it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am still and continually experimenting on how to make the long-scale 1967 Hummingbird in this thread sound the best it can...what an interesting quest!

 

Here's what I've found out so far:

 

THE EFFECT OF A LONG SCALE:

I think this is as expected: the tone is somewhat tight and focused, as opposed to the rounder and looser tone of a short scale Hummingbird (I haven't tried a short scale, but that's what I've read). The bass and trebles are forward-sounding and focused, and full chords stay nicely intact. For fingerstyle, a short scale might suit better, as the notes pop out a bit too boldly and loudly with the long scale - short scale might sound more relaxed.

 

STRINGS:

I got the most balanced tone with the basic D'addario EJ16 strings. With these strings, nothing really stands-out EQ-wise, and that's great with this guitar. Maybe a tad more bass would be nice, though. The runner-up strings are the Thomastik Spectrums with their woody and fundamental and warm tone...if only they had more sustain.

 

BRIDGE PINS:

This really has an effect! I tried replacing the original plastic pins with bone and ebony pins. Bone pins (together with the installed bone saddle) accentuate the sound of the long scale even more: sound becomes even more focused and tight. I didn't really care for this. But ebony pins are just great for this guitar: they tame the forward-nature of the tone a little bit, just shaving off some of the highest highs, and make the basses sound less tight. It feels like they affect the feel and attack too: the tones don't stand out so brightly and fast, which I really dig.

 

So far so good!

 

But what next?

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