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2016 HUMMINGBIRD VINTAGE


BirdMan81

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Hello all. This is my first post and I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm 35 years old, male, from Maine. I've been playing guitar for the past 15 years (played in a band in college) and now just play for fun. I am by no means an EXPERT but I can strum, have rhythm and can finger pick and can noodle around in some scales. My musical influences are Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Beatles, Pink Flyod, Johny Cash, Rolling Stones, and some newer stuff like Sublime, Lumineers, Pearl Jam etc etc. (Too many great artists to list here)

 

When I played in the band back in college, we mostly did original rock with a few covers. I have a nice Martin D-16RGT and a Standard Tele with a mint condition 1964 Fender Deluxe Reverb Amp. I sold all my gear after I stopped playing in the band 10 years ago and have been playing on an Appluase plastic round back guitar that cost $100.... Funny enough it actually sounds somewhat ok. Anyways, I'm in the market for a guitar that I'll have for the rest of my life and will be able to pass on to my son (currently 9 months old) assuming he even likes to play.

 

I'm looking at the following guitars:

 

2016 Hummingbird Vintage

J45/Southern Jumbo

Martin HD-28 or HD-35

 

I know they are all different animals and Any feed back on these above would be gladly appreciated, but the reason for this post is the Hummingbird. I have the following questions:

 

1: Pickguard- I once owned a Gibson J-160E that I bought used. For some weird reason it had a hummingbird Pickguard on it. After 1 year of use, the hummingbird design wore off. I'm not sure if it was an authentic bird guard, or maybe a cheaper Epiphone Bird guard. But this has me concerned enough now in my search for a new guitar . So I did a little research and found some people online have had similar issues. Has anyone experienced their bird design wearing off? If I remember correctly, the design was painted right on top of the Pickguard. Seems kinda dumb. Anyone with finger time on a new 2016 vintage know if the design is actually inside the Pickguard or painted on top? Also anyone here have first hand experience with their bird guard wearing off?

 

2: Strings- what are you guys using on your birds? Back when I played my Martin d-16RGT I used Elixer Nanowebs. They were very easy to play because of the coating and sounded ok too.

 

3: Electronics- I'm also entertaining a 2016 Hummingbird Standard because it comes with the LR Baggs system. Not sure how I feel about paying the 4K for the Vintage and then having to install a pickup system (Most likely the Baggs VTC). Thoughts on this. I have to believe installing anything would change the tone of the guitar...and besides looks that the only other reason to shell out the extra 1K on the Vintage 2016 Bird.

 

4: Sound- my understanding is that the "cooked" top gives the Vintage model a more round warm sound then the standard. I have listened to a lot of demos and it's hard for me to hear the difference through a computer. I need to hear it live I guess. Does anyone want to elaborate on their experiences? Looking for a nice sound that won't overpower my voice while playing.

 

5: Price- I haven't bought a guitar in a long time. MSRP is $4249 I think? I found a guitar center that was able to transfer one (never been played new in box) from another store. Is there any haggling to be done over price or should I just expect to pay MSRP?

 

6: Authenticity - how will I be able to tell is the model at guitar center is truly a 2016 Hummingbird Vintage and not an older 2015 or below True vintage version?

 

Anything else I need to know about these bad boys before I drop some serious money?

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I should start by saying I've never held a Hummingbird in my hands and can't offer any insight as to the value of that guitar for the money they bring but hey..it's a Gibson [thumbup] Since you asked....For my money I'd look a lot harder at a J-45, Half the price of the Bird and a great all around guitar. That being said (I live in Maine too) Uncle henry's has a near new Martin D-28 listed and is in Freedom, if that is near you it could be a great chance to try the guitar out hands-on and make a better determination about the martin and save a few bucks too. no affiliation here so the link is : http://www.unclehenrys.com/search/Instruments?sr=39022013, it's near the end of page 3. Although I like the Martin sound I have grown to love the Gibson sound more, I have both brands and very rarely take the martin out of the case, my 94 J-45 (which I bought on Ebay for $1160.00 delivered to my door) is my weapon of choice. happy hunting.

 

I use the elixirs mediums on all my guitars and like the way they sound/play on all of them.

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