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Denis57

TV Hbird

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Hi all !

 

I'm starting to feel my Bird does not always sound that great...Maybe it's the strings (Elixir Phosphor bronze lights) . I recently changed from Elixir 80/20 and still something is not great. The higher strings are a bit too bright at times and thin and the lower ones not deep enough , so I'm not getting a good sweet and rich sound. Maybe I need to switch to medium gage ? And if so, would I need to adjust the neck ?

 

Thanks!

 

p.s. perhaps this has been answered before but my search did not worked [sad] so

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Try Gibson Masterbuilt strings... 80/20 or PB lights... before you make judgement. Also seems to me the old "standard get a good setup" applies... Correct saddle heigh... truss adjust... nut slot height...

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From the way you are characterizing the sound, you may want to try a set of DR Sunbeam mediums. These are actually the same gauge as most lights, but with a slightly heavier (.054) low E. These are warm strings, like a lot of PB's, but have great clarity and sustain. They should go pretty well with that typical 'Bird "chorus" that makes it such a good strummer and flat-picker.

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Hmmm. ......does not always sound that great..... higher strings are a bit too bright at times..... So it's an on-again, off-again thing with a pleasing tone? Might try to determine if there are some different circumstances when it does sound great. Different room? Different pick? I suspect it's your ear waffling around what is being heard........your audio perception, for some reason, changes rather than the guitar. I know there are moments when my guitar sounds perhaps a little weak, but an hour later it's perfect again...........

 

Strings? As many answers as there are makers of strings. Tried a bunch on my Hummingbird Vintage and went back to the set the factory installs: Masterbuilt 80/20 lights.

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Do you use a humidifier in the guitar? I find bass, responsiveness, trebles, all the good stuff seems to go out of whack when the guitar is either to wet or dry. Another thing you could do is check the relief, your neck might be a little too straight and that's an easy way to kill the sound of any guitar.

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Honestly .... Elixir 80/20's would be the very last strings Id recommend for a Hummingbird. Just way, way too bright and sucking all that honey nectar tone.

 

I strongly suggest going for some PB strings, DR Sunbeams and my HBTV love each other, and the tone is full, rich ... yet still with a ray of sunbeam.

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if its a new sympton since your string change, likely its strings, agree that humidity could be involved,its wetter up here these days, if its high humidity I have allways notice a change in tone, not for the better, j

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Stick a mirror in your sound hole; maybe your ball ends aren't seated ('hate when that happens).

 

 

As Nick and EA have suggested, give the short-lived DR 12-54 Sunbeams a try; great warmer tone before they go to mud on a dreadnaught.

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No secret that the guitars I play and enjoy the most probably are my square mahogany Gibsons - not least the 2012 Birds.

However when I get tired of them and really need something else, it's often due to exactly the factors you describe above : Too thin trebs and lack of real bass.

 

This is one of the reasons especially these guitars are so suited for goin' that half step down where I breathe most of the time. The maneuver dampens the highs and increases the lows.

 

Yes, as mentioned in the comments above different string types must be tried, , , but I have to say/ask : If this continues it may be that the Bird isn't your instrument at all - are you sure ?

The Birds aren't known for the virtues you seem to sometimes miss as they haven't got the deep roomy projection found in fx 45's, AJ's and Doves.

That's how the Birds provide their wonderful but merciless clarity and ideal strumming-force.

 

Not trying to shoot your flier down here, it's just a thought. But maybe you should recall it next time you encounter a J-45 and notice what happens.

 

Let's hear how it develops. Exciting it is.

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Stick a mirror in your sound hole; maybe your ball ends aren't seated ('hate when that happens).

 

 

As Nick and EA have suggested, give the short-lived DR 12-54 Sunbeams a try; great warmer tone before they go to mud on a dreadnaught.

 

 

My experience with the life of Sunbeams has been the exact opposite. I just finished a two-year (!) experiment with them on my Fuller's 1943 SJ re-issue. They certainly lost a lot of clarity and sustain over that time, but they grew progressively funky and growly, and were still pretty articulate. I only replaced them a couple of weeks ago to see if I would still like their sound when new. I still do, and marvel at the sustain. B and high E ring forever.

 

Won't need to repeat that experiment on the SJ, however.

 

Still have two-year-old Sunbeams on the L-OO Legend, and they suit that guitar pretty well. Sound a lot like newer strings on vintage Gibson small-bodies, for what that's worth. Dry, old, dark.

 

Em7's interest in very old strings sent me down this rabbit hole. It's not for everyone.

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Em7's interest in very old strings sent me down this rabbit hole. It's not for everyone.

 

My faible for old to real old steel must be seen as an homage to the guitars themselves. Still there is an approx 2 year limit.

 

Rabbit hole, , , okay, , , but I sense you kind of enjoy it down there. .

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My experience with the life of Sunbeams has been the exact opposite. I just finished a two-year (!) experiment with them on my Fuller's 1943 SJ re-issue. They certainly lost a lot of clarity and sustain over that time, but they grew progressively funky and growly, and were still pretty articulate. I only replaced them a couple of weeks ago to see if I would still like their sound when new. I still do, and marvel at the sustain. B and high E ring forever.

 

Won't need to repeat that experiment on the SJ, however.

 

Still have two-year-old Sunbeams on the L-OO Legend, and they suit that guitar pretty well. Sound a lot like newer strings on vintage Gibson small-bodies, for what that's worth. Dry, old, dark.

 

Em7's interest in very old strings sent me down this rabbit hole. It's not for everyone.

 

Much agreement in how the DR's may work well on a small bodied guitar; all of the dreads are currently on hiatus here due to current health limitations. I grabbed the short, short-scale non-G guitar which has had the Sunbeam 12-54's on it for three+ months now, and even though that brand of guitar tends to be notoriously bright, the old DR's sounded passable.

 

Nick- 'Hopefully you had been using the Cargo on the boat, and the SJ re-issue has been tucked safely out of service during the live aboard days on the water.

 

To OP Denis: Many things can affect the perceived sound of a guitar; even one's mood. And also- just noticed you're in Montréal- got some dustings of snow, yet? Temps below freezing and wintertime heating can certainly change the sound (among other things) of a guitar. Hopefully, you're staying on top of humidity levels.

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Nick- 'Hopefully you had been using the Cargo on the boat, and the SJ re-issue has been tucked safely out of service during the live aboard days on the water.

 

 

 

Yep, the Cargo lives on the boat in the summers, and tucked in the office closet (with a couple of others) in the winter.

 

The SJ has become a particular favorite. It's almost too sweet in voice to be a Gibson. Took me a long time to adapt to that wide Luthier's Choice neck, but I like it now. I've been eyeballing the Smecks, wondering if that even wider neck might work for me.

 

Don't have a single rosewood Gibson in the stable. Maybe it's time to let the Clapton 000-28 go for another Gibson.

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I know a few folks that have only changed strings when they broke.. and just those strings..

 

I think the only way your going to get lively guitar.. is to keep playing it.. Not all come out of the factory as cannons..

 

I chose d adarrios phos bronze for my guitars.. for me they work just fine.. hope you find what your looking for in yours..

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As mentioned by a couple other, humidity has been the most dampening affect on my guitars. I find a few months locked up in a case with some humidipaks bring them back,

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Wow thanks to all of you with your input guys [thumbup] !

 

I will definitely check the strings mentioned. Looks like going from light to medium is not an option then.

 

When it was too humid, the Bird stayed in its case. Nowadays the humidity goes between 52 and 48 %, and yes mr. 62burst, we just had a white carpet last Monday.

 

A set-up is something I did not think; will mention it to my luthier [smile] .

 

I think I just got tired of Elixir and putting back the strings such as Masterbuilt and the likes will do the trick. Besides, I have very dry hands so they will stay clean and fresh for a while [smile] .

 

Could be my ears too like mr. Buc said. Anothing thing to check.

 

Well, thanks again for your lanterns folks !

 

Keep pickin' !

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Gibsons do seem to like their own brand of strings--the Masterbilt lights that they say come on them. For one thing, those strings seem closer to mediums to me- You might also try Martin 4150 Medium Lights or Martin Retro mediums. Both should beef up the low end of the EQ and both play like a low tension medium, which works pretty well for me.

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