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NighthawkChris

Nighthawk CST3 Seeker First Post

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Hello fellow forum members! I am posting here for the very first time to see how the Gibson community that is online is doing. I have a Gibson Nighthawk SP3, Epiphone NH (ST3 replica essentially), and have always had some sort of Gibson/Epiphone in my possession since I started playing years ago. I started music when I was 9 with piano lessons and migrated towards guitar playing when I was 14. My first guitar was a used Epiphone SG replica I purchased for $230. I loved this guitar and eventually explored the other models of the Gibson family. One day, I ran into my Epi-Hawk and ever since then, I loved the guitar. I loved its tone, the look, just a wonderful piece of work! Anyhow, my true intention is to see if it is possible to poll the community if there is a better way to attain a chance at getting my hands on a 90's Nighthawk CST3. Whether or not it has FR bridge, not interested as much. This I gather is more rare, but I would be happy with a great condition CST3. I really like the ebony fretboard, the binding on the neck, body, and headstock, and of course the versatility and tone it provides when plugged in. My SP3 is quite nice and I see some important differences between the actual Gibson and the Epi-hawk... I'll take the Gibson, thank you. Nonetheless, what would be my best bet to run into this guitar? Should I try to suggest it on this forum? I regularly check the typical places online (eBay, Reverb, Letgo, etc.). Currently there's nothing of interest to me, but that may change day to day. Is this my only chance of getting this prized guitar, or can I send the word out here to get someone interested in making a sale? Any advice is welcome. I figured before I start "spamming" this forum for potential sellers, I might ask if there is some sort of etiquette to follow as not to abuse the forum rules. Thanks for reading this!

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Welcome Chris there is a place on here to sell guitar/gear look under the trading post

 

 

 

4H

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Welcome Chris, I'm a big fan of 'Hawk type guitars too. The CST3 is one of the best for sure. Problem is they were built 20 years ago and getting harder to find all the time.

Best advise I can offer is "Patience grasshopper"

2nd best advise is check all the smaller shops with online sales constantly and have your cash ready because if a nice one does show up, it won't last long.

 

Good luck in your search.

 

Question. Was your 1st Epi-Hawk the early version with the bolt on neck or the newer setneck?

Edited by dReit1

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Welcome to the forum Chris! Detroit is a great place to be from. I was just out there last week. Cool choice of guitars as well. I always wanted a real deal Gibson Nighthawk but settled for an Epiphone because I can't find one in the stores out here in Pennsylvania.

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Very cool. I got my first Les Paul out of the Roachville Guitar Center back in 1995. I still go back there every time I head "home". That GC, ABC and coney islands are must dos in Detroit. My life is pretty pathetic though...

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My question would be. If you are playing all of your 'hawks, do you really want the same pup in all of them? I understand the desire to have them factory stock specs if you are collecting or if you were going to sell them. But if you're going to be rawking them do you want them all to sound the same?

 

The SD pups are both really well thought of pickups. You should be able to identify them with a multi-meter.'59=8.13K Ohms, JB=16.4K Ohms. Both are great pups and many a tune have been done with them. Which ever you have I would guess it is a nice pickup.

 

Since you have a ST3 and a Sp3. Both with the Gibson slanted pup. Why not leave the SD in the CST3 for a bit of variation?

 

You already have the extra Gibson M-pup and can change it any time you need to but leaving it in the drawer for awhile would probably be my suggestion for now.

 

Rawk on! [biggrin]

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dReit1, thank you for sharing those SD PU values. Via resistance measurement, I have determined that my CST3 came with a SD '59 PU - obviously slanted for the NH. Put PU coils in series while being disconnected entirely from guitar electronics and was in 8k range give or take. Well, I have options... I own an unused original NH PU (measured ~16k), a SD '59, and a brand new SD JB.

 

Maybe when I refinish that "scrap" NH, I can put one of the SD's in there. It has a slight headstock crack that was partially repaired, but I believe I will take to luthier to do the professional fix. I mean, its finish is bad right now. I want to do a total re-image of this guitar by taking off all pre-existing finish - that's what previous owner was trying to do. BTW, I got this 94 NH from "the bay" in auction for around $300. Has original bridge and all PU's are genuine. I figured the PU's are not readily available, so for less the price of an Epi-Hawk, I got genuine Gibson stuff and a project NH body. Previous owner has sanded down the neck and back of headstock around the SN (which I can still read fortunately - event he "made in USA" or whatever it says is there). There are several dings and dents and all sorts of things that can be fixed with refinish. Simply stated, it needs a COMPLETE refinish - sanded to the bone and new covering. Just wait until I get my concept of refinish physically realized... It will be killer! Thinking all black with red binding (why not replace binding at this point - I'm willing to pay for it), and repaint neck as well. Not looking for any burst coloring as the NH was an SP3 - not as "pretty" wood as the ST or CST models. It was originally solid black with white binding. I am wondering if I want to paint neck different color or do a colored wood grain look like Gibson does for some models. I also want to replate the HW with 24K gold. This will be the finishing touch!

Glad those numbers helped out Chris. I had that information from when SD 1st came out with the slanted pups and I considered changing the pickup in the then new Epi Nighthawk RI. Never changed them but kept the information. Glad it was useful. Looks like the SD JB is pretty close to the oem in your NH.Only you will be able to decide if you like one better than the other.

As for the refin of the extra NH, It's your opportunity to have anything you want. So enjoy it. But it may not be necessary to sand all of original paint and fill off. Talk to your painter and see what he suggests. If the guitar is solid, I would probably just do all necessary repairs, scuff the shine off the existing finish and prime it. Then color with whatever makes you smile.

But if all the Gibson stuff is still on the back of the headstock, I would not attempt to do anything more than clear coat over that part.

However it goes, I'll be looking forward to progress reports and pics.

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