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hojo199

1967 Hummingbird vs. New Montana Hummingbird Specs

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Hi All:

Here is yet another annoying Hummingbird question from me. What's the different in specs between a '67 Hummingbird and a new "Montana" model (aside from the annoying "adjustable" saddle) I know they both have sitka top, hog body and sides, but what about bracing and other particulars?

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Modern 'birds have scalloped top bracing. Vintage 'birds should have straight bracing with tapered ends. Top bracing layout should be similar, but not necessarily identical. This bracing difference may be a pretty big deal, and may in part explain the versatility of the modern 'bird, which seems to do everything well based on the Hummingbird Vintage videos and sound samples we have seen.

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Modern 'birds have scalloped top bracing. Vintage 'birds should have straight bracing with tapered ends. Top bracing layout should be similar, but not necessarily identical. This bracing difference may be a pretty big deal, and may in part explain the versatility of the modern 'bird, which seems to do everything well based on the Hummingbird Vintage videos and sound samples we have seen.

 

Interesting; then is it safe to say that the scalloped bracing gives the newer HBs a bigger bass bottom? Stands to reason, right?

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As Nick says, the bracing patterns are the same, but the 2 approach the less-mass-light-weight differently.

Contemporary Birds are scalloped where the oldies have thin more ruler-like braces.

 

You can find very good photos of the interiors on the net.

 

Besides there could be crucial saddle differences - adjustable vs ordinary straight ones. Plus of course the nut-width.

 

Remember the new ones aren't copies, rather loyal pictures of the originals.

 

And then look out for the just born SJN 1967's, (which contradict their name by being sunburst).

They are in fact accurate copies of the old ones from that year and seem to sound better than good.

Not many made, but I already saw one for sale on some site.

 

So there's your opportunity to meet in the middle.

Have an interesting investigation

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Interesting; then is it safe to say that the scalloped bracing gives the newer HBs a bigger bass bottom? Stands to reason, right?

 

 

I don't know exactly how it affects the balance, but reducing the bracing mass may produce a somewhat louder guitar by making it easier for the top to vibrate. Just a change in volume is likely to impact on the apparent balance. In my experience, the original 'bird would not be considered a particularly loud guitar, but the best vintage ones have remarkable balance, without an accentuated bass or treble. That's why they're such great rhythm guitars in good hands, and great all around guitars in the best hands. Just ask Keef.

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Interesting; then is it safe to say that the scalloped bracing gives the newer HBs a bigger bass bottom? Stands to reason, right?

 

Not necessarily so - a ceramic saddled vintage square guitar would have an excellent bass. Fixed saddles aren't bad either.

But generally the new ones are more robust and simply modern sounding. A tooth louder too.

Still you clearly hear the family-DNA. As expected they stand in line. The exception here would be the 70's versions - but that's a whole other story.

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Not necessarily so - a ceramic saddled vintage square guitar would have an excellent bass. Fixed saddles aren't bad either.

But generally the new ones are more robust and simply modern sounding. A tooth louder too.

Still you clearly hear the family-DNA. As expected they stand in line. The exception here would be the 70's versions - but that's a whole other story.

 

Yes, I think your "Family-DNA" analogy is the right answer. I have a '06 J-45 Historic Collection and it's a modern guitar with the DNA firmly intact. I had a '67 J50 that sounded like a cigar box when the two were side by side (it was just a "bad one"). Luckily the '67 Bird is in my state and the guy is returning from the road early next week and has agreed to let me "meet" the guitar in person. As you probably know, there are occasions when our best research still lands us a "bad one."

 

HJ

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The narrow nut puts many off - interestingly, it attracts others (though I'm not one of them). I would expect the '67 to be relatively quiet and rather balanced. With the proper saddle, an adj bridge can, indeed, enhance both bass response and volume. I don't much care for the '66-'67-'68 Hummingbirds, but that's not a meaningful factor to anyone else☺

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With Gibson's less than precise numbering system back in the '60s, it's also possible to be in possession of a '66, '67, '68 or '69 despite what the numbers tell you. As the owner of one such devil -- general consensus here and elsewhere was '66-'68 -- I can say mine is plenty loud, lighter on bass than my '64J45 and OK by me since I like narrow nuts.

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