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My Hummingbird TV .... three years on.


EuroAussie

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With all the Bird vids flying around I thought Id throw my hat into the ring and do an update on my HB TV, some 3.5 years since purchase.

 

Since that time the Bird has been one of the three guitars Ive regularly rotated at our weekly gigs (other two being SJ and J-150) and suffice to say it has been getting a thorough workout during the gig at at home.

 

When I first bought her I did a sample to illustrate the tone, and Ive tried to repeat the same sequences some three years later, to see if you can hear a major difference.

 

In terms of conditions its pretty much all the same, camers, mike position (the zoom is on so looks closer), player, and guitar. Main difference is that in the first sample three years ago the Pyramid PB strings were fresh, now they are still Pyramids but quite well played in (about 2 months old). I personally prefer the tone of played in strings on the Bird so dont change it too much.

 

What I hear personally is a guitar that has opened up quite a bit, the bottom end is looser and overall its starting to have the beginning of that old, lazy loose tone that older guitar seem to hold.

 

Personally l like the way she is developing and can only imagine how much more looser and funkier she will become in the next 10 years or so. I very much like the folky tone the Bird delivers fingerpicked like the Led Zep referance, I think its a really distinct sweet tone that only the Bird can deliver like that. (but also a nasty bottom end when you give her a kick)

 

What about you ... where do you hear the difference, do you prefer the tone at the beginning with the fresh strings or in this update with the older strings and a more looser vocabulary ?

EA

 

HB TV: Oct 2015

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGRz7XGceX0&feature=youtu.be

 

 

HB TV: May 2012

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcf_kRLWEaw

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I like both recordings ...to be honest .

To me there has always been something about the gibsons squares that I really dig.

You have an awesome guitar !!! I think Jimmy Page would be content with that bird .

 

 

Gibson really built these the right way and the sound is glorious imho.

 

 

Play it in good health

 

 

 

 

JC

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There is just enough difference in the recordings that it complicates comparisons a bit. Are you actually using the same mic and the same settings in the two recordings? I'm getting more "room ambience" in the first recording, and a bit more "guitar" in the new one. In other words, I think the recording technique is a bit better on the new recording. There's also a bit of a volume difference between old and new that I believe is part of the set-up.

 

You've also changed techniques a bit--flatpicking the Zep snippit three years ago, fingerpicking it (with good skill, I might add) now. That makes quite a bit of difference, when it comes to bare fingers vs a pick.

 

Nevertheless, you can say that this is a really good 'bird that is living up to its potential.

 

She's a keeper.

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There is just enough difference in the recordings that it complicates comparisons a bit. Are you actually using the same mic and the same settings in the two recordings? I'm getting more "room ambience" in the first recording, and a bit more "guitar" in the new one. In other words, I think the recording technique is a bit better on the new recording. There's also a bit of a volume difference between old and new that I believe is part of the set-up.

 

 

Actually your right Nick with the recording. In the original one i was sitting a bit further and the mike had a bit more gain on it. In the new one Im closer to the mike (but not too much) and hopefully the player has improved a bit also..

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EA,

I can't hear that much difference... Diff strings? The first recording is louder, and they both sound flipping amazing.

What a great post. Here is the sad part... I never tried playing Angie before. WTF is wrong with me... It is such a natural song for th Bird.

 

Time to get the Bird out and start practicing the intro to Angie Sal, dont you know its in the contract of any Bird owner, otherwise it gets repossessed by the boogie man..

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That's a very nice bird !

 

I for one think that the new strings on the 2012 vid gives a little more brightness and i can not help to hear the difference in the 2 videos caused by strings ageing.

In other words, when you change the strings, it would be nice to see what this beast sounds like with fresh strings for a more accurate comparison.

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That's a very nice bird !

 

I for one think that the new strings on the 2012 vid gives a little more brightness and i can not help to hear the difference in the 2 videos caused by strings ageing.

In other words, when you change the strings, it would be nice to see what this beast sounds like with fresh strings for a more accurate comparison.

 

Do you prefer the tone of the Bird with the fresher or played in strings ? Curious what is the preferance of others.

 

Personally i like the played in string more unplugged, but fresher strings plugged in for a bit more bite.

 

Actually .... when i think about it the orginal video may have had the MB 80/20's that it orginally shipped with, but not fully sure.

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Do you prefer the tone of the Bird with the fresher or played in strings ? Curious what is the preferance of others.

 

Personally i like the played in string more unplugged, but fresher strings plugged in for a bit more bite.

 

Actually .... when i think about it the orginal video may have had the MB 80/20's that it orginally shipped with, but not fully sure.

 

The strings can make a huge difference in tone, but i also find my hummy to change a lot depending on conditions (humidity, weather etc...), i try to always keep it in the case when i'm not playing, with the humidifiers. Strings, weather, your skill progression throughout the years can all affect what you hear when playing.

 

I am convinced that it sounds better now than it used to, but to me the video does not reflect it because of these things (string changes especially). I find that having too old strings on my hummy make it sound too dull. Best sound i got so far is from 80/20 Martin SP Lights (not lifespan, but uncoated ones), they sound very nicely out of the box fresh new and for a while i keep a nice bass response and balance tone while still having the warm and mellow from hummy. After a while, bass response decrease (dull?). On your vid i find the bass response lower on your new video, and this is probably due to old strings.

 

However i'm sure your feeling is not in your head, your guitar probably sound and vibrates more than it used to in the past. Would be nice to hear it with new strings! If you have time when you change strings please update your post, it is interesting to make such experiment.

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Comparison videos are a challenge to decide a "best", but I love them just the same. There are so many variables, we have to standardize the things we can control, like strings, and the recording details. Now add to the mix a time difference of 3.5 yrs... very tough indeed.

 

As to your question to age of strings; how 'bout old for the chord chunkin'/singer-songwritery stuff, and fresh wires for the fingerpicking stuff? To better enable jumping back n' forth between the 2 vids, a 2nd window was opened, and, headphones in use, volume of the louder vid was reduced to ~75%. Mostly focused on the Angie section, as it had a good bit of ring to it (pay no mind to the centered Nazarene interloper):

 

Screen%20Shot%202015-10-25%20at%205.22.13%20PM_zpsqskfyvkk.png

 

Most parts of the 2012 clip were preferred here, but the guitar shines strong in both. Some folk put a curious amount of weight to demo videos in making purchase decisions. Seems to be the shorter (even down to 3-5 seconds between a/b ), the more simple musical phrase, or even a single chord, can make for a better sound sample. The forum's Tom B (tpbiii) shows this in many of his more effective demos, as opposed to flat-out performance videos which showcase the player's talent more than the voice of the instrument.

 

Thanks for taking the time to put that together.

 

Oh- and nice case.

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Yes, i guess the strings play such a big part that its hard to compare overall development of the guitar. I might do another demo during the next string change, which is due pretty soon.

 

 

Comparison videos are a challenge to decide a "best", but I love them just the same. There are so many variables, we have to standardize the things we can control, like strings, and the recording details. Now add to the mix a time difference of 3.5 yrs... very tough indeed.

 

As to your question to age of strings; how 'bout old for the chord chunkin'/singer-songwritery stuff, and fresh wires for the fingerpicking stuff? To better enable jumping back n' forth between the 2 vids, a 2nd window was opened, and, headphones in use, volume of the louder vid was reduced to ~75%. Mostly focused on the Angie section, as it had a good bit of ring to it (pay no mind to the centered Nazarene interloper):

 

Screen%20Shot%202015-10-25%20at%205.22.13%20PM_zpsqskfyvkk.png

 

Most parts of the 2012 clip were preferred here, but the guitar shines strong in both. Some folk put a curious amount of weight to demo videos in making purchase decisions. Seems to be the shorter (even down to 3-5 seconds between a/b ), the more simple musical phrase, or even a single chord, can make for a better sound sample. The forum's Tom B (tpbiii) shows this in many of his more effective demos, as opposed to flat-out performance videos which showcase the player's talent more than the voice of the instrument.

 

Thanks for taking the time to put that together.

 

Oh- and nice case.

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Decided to hold back the response and see what others thought, but my first impression from just after the thread was launched, stands unaltered.

 

The '12 clip is louder and more pronounced, and whether it's the strings or the touch, I don't know - guess both.

But judged from the sssssshhh-sound just after the button is pushed, the '15 is recorded on lower level that the '12.

And how about picks, , , can't really see if or when it's there.

 

I remember the '12-video from when you originally presented it (came a couple back then) and there was never doubt about this being a great guitar.

 

We followed your growing urge for the TV and enjoyed the excitement as it flew in.

Shortly after it was clear it had landed in the right nest - even though it took that quite big scratch on the back just after touch down ;-)

Still sounds very good - yes, perhaps a bit looser (and bassier according to earlier reports). YOUR flier indeed - a real Hummingbird.

 

The '15 chord sequence between 3:54 and 4:05 shows another dimension in the Bird almost never mentioned.

This highly praised strummmer simply has a slight jazz-quality if you ask for it.

If that's the reason John McLaughlin chose it for his debut-album, I don't know. Haven't yet found and heard that record.

 

Finally - regarding Angie, you are so right. Sal must learn that piece of A-minor-E-G-F-C then at some point D-minor-music if he wants be a real birdy.

You for your part, EA, should try and play it with a four/forth beat in mind - tight and focused. That would get the intro together now. .

 

Post us again around New Year

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Hi. My first post on this forum, and nice to see one of the many guitars I really fancy getting when I have the cash! I think the second clip, though recorded quieter, is better. Your playing has improved, the sound of the slightly older strings is nicer on the ear, and Pyramid are great strings for acoustics.

Have you tried Thomastik-Infeld? I just put them on my D28 and it's like the cliche, but true: I can't stop playing the thing, they sound so gorgeous. Also had great luck with Pyramids, though.

I have a Gibson Les Paul which I love, but really thinking about a Bird after playing one in a local store a few years back. It was so different from the D28 and would really complement it.

Keep up the good work and don't ever, ever sell this beautiful guitar!

:)

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Welcome to the board, first and foremost. Im sure you will sell your D-28 within 6 months if you hang around here too much. I did try the Thomastiks, liked the tone but they die on me really quick. The low E and A start sounding like spaghetti by the second week.

 

Stick around and dont be scared to throw in your 5cents worth or me .... dont worry, many of us own Martins also.

 

Hi. My first post on this forum, and nice to see one of the many guitars I really fancy getting when I have the cash! I think the second clip, though recorded quieter, is better. Your playing has improved, the sound of the slightly older strings is nicer on the ear, and Pyramid are great strings for acoustics.

Have you tried Thomastik-Infeld? I just put them on my D28 and it's like the cliche, but true: I can't stop playing the thing, they sound so gorgeous. Also had great luck with Pyramids, though.

I have a Gibson Les Paul which I love, but really thinking about a Bird after playing one in a local store a few years back. It was so different from the D28 and would really complement it.

Keep up the good work and don't ever, ever sell this beautiful guitar!

:)

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I was wondering where you disapperead Em7 ....

 

Talking about disappearing, i just remembered i did still have ANOTHER TAKE from this session (did three rounds) and this version had a stronger gain in the mike, its much louder now and more pronounced.

 

Perhaps now its a better comparisement. I should have posted this version from the very beginning, its more defined and I think the playing is a bit better.

 

Last round..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp4AFrvfswE&feature=youtu.be

 

Decided to hold back the response and see what others thought, but my first impression from just after the thread was launched, stands unaltered.

 

The '12 clip is louder and more pronounced, and whether it's the strings or the touch, I don't know - guess both.

But judged from the sssssshhh-sound just after the button is pushed, the '15 is recorded on lower level that the '12.

And how about picks, , , can't really see if or when it's there.

 

I remember the '12-video from when you originally presented it (came a couple back then) and there was never doubt about this being a great guitar.

 

We followed your growing urge for the TV and enjoyed the excitement as it flew in.

Shortly after it was clear it had landed in the right nest - even though it took that quite big scratch on the back just after touch down ;-)

Still sounds very good - yes, perhaps a bit looser (and bassier according to earlier reports). YOUR flier indeed - a real Hummingbird.

 

The '15 chord sequence between 3:54 and 4:05 shows another dimension in the Bird almost never mentioned.

This highly praised strummmer simply has a slight jazz-quality if you ask for it.

If that's the reason John McLaughlin chose it for his debut-album, I don't know. Haven't yet found and heard that record.

 

Finally - regarding Angie, you are so right. Sal must learn that piece of A-minor-E-G-F-C then at some point D-minor-music if he wants be a real birdy.

You for your part, EA, should try and play it with a four/forth beat in mind - tight and focused. That would get the intro together now. .

 

Post us again around New Year

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I'm thinking more about how much it sounds like mine! Would be fun to A/B and find out if that torrefied top really does anything. If mine does not sound older than yours and "only" sounds as old as yours, that does not say much for torrefication. :) Of course, I can't tell from here with internet sound clips, but the general vibe I get is really similar to mine.

 

I think I preferred the broken-in strings. They sound nice!

 

I'm about to try some D'Addario EJ16 PB on mine. Had planned to tonight, but I think I might be running out of time... drat.

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Youre forgetting one very important think Jesse. Your guitar is new and mine 3.5 years old and they sound similar now. But Ill bet your toriffied Bird will sound significantly richer and deeper than it sounds now in 3-4 years as this process i believe helps also in developing the tone qicker.

 

The Furch OM I have also has a torrified top, they were one of the earlierst adopters and that guitar has developed in tonal complexity more than any other guitar Ive owned.

 

So think of torrification as a great start, that will only accelerate the maturity of the guitar over time.

 

 

I'm thinking more about how much it sounds like mine! Would be fun to A/B and find out if that torrefied top really does anything. If mine does not sound older than yours and "only" sounds as old as yours, that does not say much for torrefication. :) Of course, I can't tell from here with internet sound clips, but the general vibe I get is really similar to mine.

 

I think I preferred the broken-in strings. They sound nice!

 

I'm about to try some D'Addario EJ16 PB on mine. Had planned to tonight, but I think I might be running out of time... drat.

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I'm thinking more about how much it sounds like mine! Would be fun to A/B and find out if that torrefied top really does anything. If mine does not sound older than yours and "only" sounds as old as yours, that does not say much for torrefication. :)

 

Was in a shop here 2 days ago. They had several Gibsons (hummy 2014, sj-200 2012, j-45 etc).

They had a J-45 vintage with terrific top. Tried them briefly, and none of the gibs could compare to this j-45 with this torrefied top. There was just a whole world between them, in my opinion.

It could be that it was the guitars themselves (they are all unique and some are just better than others) but this j45 was exceptionnal in my opinon.

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Youre forgetting one very important think Jesse. Your guitar is new and mine 3.5 years old and they sound similar now. But Ill bet your toriffied Bird will sound significantly richer and deeper than it sounds now in 3-4 years as this process i believe helps also in developing the tone qicker.

 

The Furch OM I have also has a torrified top, they were one of the earlierst adopters and that guitar has developed in tonal complexity more than any other guitar Ive owned.

 

So think of torrification as a great start, that will only accelerate the maturity of the guitar over time.

Good point! I wish there was some way to be scientific (well, at least a little) for me. It's really sounding great with the D'Addario EJ16s, even though I hate new strings. :) I am so tempted to say "it's really breaking in" but...!!! Who knows! We will know in 3-5 years, though, yes. Maybe that's the thing of it--like you said, a head start in the "age" department, but not necessarily in the "played-in" department.

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Love the warmer sound of the later video , the played in strings really seem to suit the guitar . Your playing has really improved over the years , I love the sound of the Hummingbird played softer really seems to bring out more of an even balance . Gibson. Guitars seem to suit played in strings rather than fresh ones . I used to change my J 45s strings every 2- 3 weeks but I have kept the last set on for a month now and have noticed real benifits of doing so .

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Gibson guitars seem to suit played in strings rather than fresh ones . I used to change my J 45s strings every 2- 3 weeks but I have kept the last set on for a month now and have noticed real benifits of doing so .

 

Plus 1 - not seldom have I turned to a G with the intention of changing strings, strummed a few lines then thought :

 

Wow this sounds too good to do anything, old lad.

 

It's as if there is a point where steel and wood meet their symbiosis and thereafter create access to the true nature of the instrument. That's how excellent these guitars are.

 

 

 

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