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Hummingbird Scale Length


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I've been reading specs on the Epiphone Hummingbird. The non-electric model recently retired was a 24.75 scale according to the Epiphone web site. The new Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is listed at 24.75. The limited Edition Ebony Hummingbird is listed at 25.5 scale.


Question is...which one is right? Or all they all right and Epiphone just varies on the Hummingbird scale depending on model and year made?


I are confused...

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They vary.


For many years, the Epiphone Hummingbird mostly came in the 25.5" scale length, like a late sixties Gibson Hummingbird.


A Brief Gibson Hummingbird History

While the short-scale is thought to contribute to the Hummingbird's honey-dripping tone, not all Gibson 'Birds were built that way. The first Gibson 'Birds (1960) were short-scale, but changed to long scale and very heavy bracing, as did many other iconic Gibson models during the company's dark period under Norlin control. The Hummingbird remained that way until Gibson moved from Kalamzoo, MI to Nashville, TN in 1984, when the scale-length was changed back to the original 24.75 scale length. When acoustic guitar production moved again from Nashville to Bozeman, MT in 1989 (under Gibson's present ownership), the Hummingbird switched around between long and short scale for a few years, until finally (mainly) settling down to a short-scale spec. Some long-scale editions are made from time to time, though, and variants (like the Gibson Songwriter/Hummingbird Pro) are produced regularly.


Back to Epiphone

Other than the EL-00, it's only recently that Epiphone and its subcontractors have been building short-scale with any regularity. Not that you can't find a short-scale Epiphone. Certain models were built short-scale sporadically, probably depending on whether the factory building that model had the equiptment to build a short scale neck and fretboard. For years, until Gibson opened their own factories to build Epiphones in China, Epis were made by subcontractors who also build many other brands and models of guitars, the VAST majority of these being long-scale, so many did not have the tooling to build in alternate scale.


So, as a general rule of thumb, most (but not all) Epiphone acoustics have been long-scale until fairly recently, and the dimensions of their bodies and bracing patterns have (usually) varied significantly from the Gibsons they are named after (one exception always being the Elite/Elitist models).


Red 333

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