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Hummingbird & J-45 Standard

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I'm both a musician and a collector, I'm looking for the iconic models, but I'm also interested in models that sound different enough to own them.


My gibson accoustic collection currently contains the J-45 and the SJ-200.


I also own martin guitars (D-28, D-18, OM-28, 000-28, 000-18)


I'm interested in the hummingbird mainly because it's a really iconic/relevant Gibson model.


But since I never was able to test one, I can't tell whether or not the differences compared to the J-45 are big enough to justify having it.


Does anyone own both? What do you think?


If anyone has further tips on which Gibson I should have based on my criteria, you are welcome to post them.


I only have room for about additional 3-5 guitars.

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MacK, I feel your pain!

Seriously, I commend your logical approach to dispelling GAS. Yes, there is a big difference in sound between a Standard J45 and a Standard H'bird. You would think, since they share everything in common except body shape and bracing, they'd sound very similar. Nope. I guess that's why Gibson 'invented' the H'Bird back in the early 60s. The H'Bird is more mellow. If you've got space for 3 more, you absolutely have to make one of them an H'er !

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Hi Mack,


Yes, in my opinion at least the J-45 and Hummingbird are different animals.

What they have in common are the wood types (usually Sitka spruce top over mahogany back and sides) and a short scale length.


Tonally however, while they reflect the greater note clarity and directness of mahogany guitars generally (compared to their rosewood brethren which usually fill out the sound with more harmonics - for better or worse depending on taste and application) they are different.

This may be down to the body shape (square versus round shouldered) but to generalize for a moment (assuming you are playing a good example of each):


J-45: Dark, deep, woody and serious - a finger/flat picker for your moody mind


Hummingbird: light, broad and blending, sweet and pretty - a harmonious companion for your singing soul


Like the minor and major scale of the same root key if you will. :-)


I own an excellent J-45 and will probably be an owner of a Hummingbird Vintage in the next few days so I am putting my money where my typing skills are. :-)

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I own a J50 and a Hummingbird (see sig below), and to my ear these are two very different sounding guitars. I guess you would have to hear both to decide for sure yourself, but I would not hesitate to own both - especially if you're looking to put together your iconic collection.

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