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removing the bling from a hummingbird


uncle fester

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Folks,

 

In one of my guitar searches (for a traditional, non cutaway dreadnought) I'm looking at Hummingbirds and J45s.

 

If I have to jump now (because I've got the money now, and don't expect it to be available for this type of thing for quite awhile (college years right around the corner)) and i decide on a newer Hummingbird (2015 or newer) - is it blasphemy or will it mess with the sound or cause other quality issues if I swap out the pickguard for something a little plainer?

 

From the few i've played, I'm liking the sound of the Hummingbird (both feel awesome) but it's a little fancy for me. The looks of the Hummingbird Vintage is really calling me and have seen a few on Reverb in the $3500 range, so i'm optimistic i can find a few to play.

 

(PS - I've got to go back and give the J45 a more serious look though, haven't given it a fair chance yet ; )

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I'm reasonably sure there will be opinions on both sides about bling removal. I throw up (pun) a couple personal notions for your examination:

First - if you like the guitar, why change it?

Second - it's yours, so unless it's vintage, do what makes you happy.

Third - Square shoulder SJ aesthetics might make you even more happy.

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Nothing wrong with changing the pickguard. If done correctly, the original can always be put back. Also, are you aware that a Hummingbird with a plain guard is known as the Country and Western model. So, what you are looking for is available.

 

Lars

 

Here is a link.

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/2016/Country-Western.aspx

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Nothing wrong with changing the pickguard. If done correctly, the original can always be put back. Also, are you aware that a Hummingbird with a plain guard is known as the Country and Western model. So, what you are looking for is available.

 

Lars

 

Here is a link.

http://www.gibson.co...ry-Western.aspx

 

Adj saddle??!!! Gibson still peddles that garbage? Are they kidding?

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If I have to jump now (because I've got the money now, and don't expect it to be available for this type of thing for quite awhile (college years right around the corner))

 

So does this mean you're currently a high school student? And in another thread your thinking about going to Nashville or Austin and spending $5000 to $8000? Why not step back and think this over. If you can't afford it in a few years, why can you afford it now? Wouldn't it be better to put the money in the bank for the times ahead and settle for something more modest?

 

$3500 is still a lot of money - the most I've ever spent on a guitar is $2000. I understand that you *want* an expensive guitar, but what do you really *need* ? :)

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I think that's a great idea ! j A good compromise. You can't go wrong with a standard H'Bird, and except for the cut away issue - it should meet all your other requirements.

There are a few threads here on how to do it and where to get suitable replacements aftermarket.

Since you mentioned you are looking at starting college soon, I'd get this decision behind you so you can focus on ones that will more permanently affect your life.

A lot easier to change guitars down the road than to change majors.

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Removing a Hummingbird’s iconic pick guard? That’s like buying a Ford Mustang and removing its iconic horse ornament on its grill. Leaving one to question where it is and why is it missing?

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

The ornament doesn't make the car, It's still the car - doesn't matter much to me who knows it.

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I think that's a great idea ! j A good compromise. You can't go wrong with a standard H'Bird, and except for the cut away issue - it should meet all your other requirements.

There are a few threads here on how to do it and where to get suitable replacements aftermarket.

Since you mentioned you are looking at starting college soon, I'd get this decision behind you so you can focus on ones that will more permanently affect your life.

A lot easier to change guitars down the road than to change majors.

 

 

Hah - wish i was starting college, i've got 3 boys that are going to start looking. as soon as my wife realizes that - there will be no more excess funds! I do appreciate the input on the pickguard... if i find the right one and when played all else is right, that would get me to perfect. Rgds!

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So does this mean you're currently a high school student? And in another thread your thinking about going to Nashville or Austin and spending $5000 to $8000? Why not step back and think this over. If you can't afford it in a few years, why can you afford it now? Wouldn't it be better to put the money in the bank for the times ahead and settle for something more modest?

 

$3500 is still a lot of money - the most I've ever spent on a guitar is $2000. I understand that you *want* an expensive guitar, but what do you really *need* ? :)

 

Apologies all, i've got 3 boys - the oldest is about 6 yrs away from college, and the youngest is 10 yrs from college. i've already asked two of the duller ones if they enjoyed working with burgers and fries, but that didn't go over too well. so as soon as the cost of college realization hits home - there will be no window to spend money in other directions.

 

So my story is - i can get a chunk of change right now but probably not again for another 15 / 20 yrs, so want to do it right, but at least end up with something trade-able if i miss my personal mark.

 

The more i think about it (and all i do is think about it) i want a hummingbird vintage w/ the pickguard changed, and a CF100. If i pull that off - i will never ask for anything ever again lord (i swear!)

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Nothing wrong with changing the pickguard. If done correctly, the original can always be put back. Also, are you aware that a Hummingbird with a plain guard is known as the Country and Western model. So, what you are looking for is available.

 

Lars

 

Here is a link.

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/2016/Country-Western.aspx

 

Thank you Lars - i prefer a darker burst over the natural - but this has lead to looking at adjacent models. opened my eyes that other things do exist. thanks.

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The natural topped square shouldered motif-less-p-guard 'Bird' is and always was called Country Western - the burst dittos are Southern Jumbos.

Bozeman recreated a version of a 1967 Southern J in 2016.

It had thinner lacquer and lighter (back)bracing than the contemporary light braced Birds/CW's and seems very promising to me. (Haven't played one yet)

My herd contains 2 contemporary H-birds (April'n'May) at the moment and one of these siblings has no guard.

I removed it last year and haven't regretted it. Take a look.

 

 

2012 ~ AU3cp9g.jpg

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The natural topped square shouldered motif-less-p-guard 'Bird' is and always was called Country Western - the burst dittos are Southern Jumbos.

Bozeman recreated a version of a 1967 Southern J in 2016.

It had thinner lacquer and lighter (back)bracing than the contemporary light braced Birds/CW's and seems very promising to me. (Haven't played one yet)

My herd contains 2 contemporary H-birds (April'n'May) at the moment and one of these siblings has no guard.

I removed it last year and haven't regretted it. Take a look.

 

 

2012 ~ AU3cp9g.jpg

 

Now that'swhat i'm talking about - really is a sweet looking guitar!

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Now that'swhat i'm talking about - really is a sweet looking guitar!

If you think so then go ahead - but be prepared for a minimal sonic change.

 

I'm not the one who thinks too much about future sales, but if you purchase a TV, remember the guard is hand-painted and therefor will fade.

In case you want to pass it on further down the line, a clean untouched guard will be attractive for the new owner.

Even if he/she must re-glue it with own hands.

 

Most important factor however is your feeling when you grab and get behind the guitar. The closer, the better.

1 to 1 (wildlife or not) is worth goin' for if it's within reach.

Look forward to follow your hunt - Good Luck

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If i pull that off - i will never ask for anything ever again lord (i swear!)

 

Liar...

 

However, since this never ends, get what you want.

 

I lucked out with my J-45. I never really wanted anything else. I just traded into a J-15 because I'm playing much more, and the J-45 was already 14 years old and showing fret wear and bangs. I wanted something with the same shape and scale to beat up a little and let the J-45 rest.

 

I'll never need another guitar.......................................................

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This is a great thread! I'd figured that OP was looking at college from the parents' end of the deal; my advice on that is to get the guitars now - while you still can! And don't 'settle' for anything less than what you really want. You'll have lots of years to play that game with no choice about it.

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It is no secret that I am no fan of the Gibson cherry burst although even I would prefer it to the 1970s clown bursts. So I just avoid that burst and seek out natural top versions of the guitar. My 1963 B45 12 was a natural top. But I agree with an above post in that I would no more likely to strip off say the HB's pickguard than I would remove that on a J-200.

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Billroy, I feel your pain. With sons aged 8, 10 and 12 - you have car insurance, college and lots of 'surprise' bills that will come up. Braces yet? We have 3 boys, approximately 1 year apart in age. Grown and gone now. When they were back around 10 years old I was too busy dealing with day to day issues to consider getting a much better guitar than the Lg1 I kept under the bed. It wasn't until they'd all left (permanently) that I felt I had some time and money I could get one. I was wrong, of course. I should have bit the bullet back then, got a decent used Gibson J45 and hung it on the wall just out of reach of their grimy little fingers and grabbed in at least for an hour or two on Saturdays. I commend you on your foresight. Focus on playing and enjoying it and getting better. You don't need 2 guitars to do that. Worry about 'The Holy Grail' later. If I were me, I'd just grab a good one off the wall you've personally played, put down and found it calling you back. I would think you'd find one that is a great fit at GC, Don't worry about if it's the best of the best. You can deal with that down the road. You can lose a lot of valuable family time and guitar time (and money) if you embark on a quest to build 'a herd'. And it's not fun if you really bond with a guitar and have to sell it to get a new set of tires.

 

Of course - this free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

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..................

.......................................................................

.................................................

 

I'll never need another guitar.......................................................

 

 

:blink:

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Yeah - kids, wouldn't trade them for anything, but they do cost an arm and a leg... or a Hummingbird and a CF100.

 

Regardless, I realized there's no easy way to find a line up of guitars - so came up with the ultimate road trip plan to check a bunch out (map attached). To even have a snowball's chance at buy in - i needed to mask it as a family venture. And that way when I spend our life savings on a vacation, another $6k on guitars doesn't sound so bad.

 

(PS - your advice of just grab something off the wall, i believe you're right - i will end up doing that, and will get something nice and will be happy with what i get, but for the meantime i'm dreaming big!)

 

post-88847-040105400 1513013798_thumb.png

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Yeah - kids, wouldn't trade them for anything, but they do cost an arm and a leg... or a Hummingbird and a CF100.

 

Regardless, I realized there's no easy way to find a line up of guitars - so came up with the ultimate road trip plan to check a bunch out (map attached). To even have a snowball's chance at buy in - i needed to mask it as a family venture. And that way when I spend our life savings on a vacation, another $6k on guitars doesn't sound so bad.

 

(PS - your advice of just grab something off the wall, i believe you're right - i will end up doing that, and will get something nice and will be happy with what i get, but for the meantime i'm dreaming big!)

 

post-88847-040105400 1513013798_thumb.png

 

Some good potential guitar-shopping stops there. In Houston, Fuller's is an absolute MUST.

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Funny but I have never had to go out looking for guitars. I have lived in six states and no matter where I am they just tend to show up. I have lived here in Ohio now for four months and I have already received emails and pics of a 1951 Gibson J-50, 1959 Epi Frontier (the prototype of the Hummingbird), a blockie Harmony 1203 Sovereign, and a Dearmond 210 pickup still in its box with original sales literature all up for grabs. I will say that Frontier was in particular mighty tempting.

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Fantastic trip, on your way back east after Portland add a stop in Bozeman Mt (close to Yellowstone must see) check out where the wood is turned into guitars and Music Villa great shop lots a good wood there.

Gibson is doing custom orders again so order it your way and pick it up yourself......

Happy hunting!!

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