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Lamar Fandango

Newer Bird Years?

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I’ve read various threads about which vintage Birds are best. I’m looking to buy a newer Bird and I’m wondering if there are coveted years and/or certain years to stay away from.

 

I would buy a brand new one, but the new very red bursts are a hard no. I like the subtler bursts from 2017 and before. I’ve seen a 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2017. Everything about thd same these years? Is there a year Bozeman got its act together? Maybe everything from Bozeman is good (save the occasional QC problem)?

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Hi - try and focus on the ones from 2010 and forward.

And be aware that they changed drastically in 2016 where the 'true' in True Vintage was dropped

and the torrefied tops plus new reliced tuners and pleked treatment was introduced. (there might be a small handful of burned from 15 too).

 

Start a research on these things and write back if questions occur.

 

Good Luck ^

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As a man hunting Birds for a while, and who has played "catch and release" with my fair share... I can offer a little bit:

 

1) All of the quality control is excellent - fit, finish, etc.... Definitely consistency exists on that front. But that doesnt mean the tone does not vary.

2) I bought three standards... all with the honeyburst finish I think you like. one was gifted, two sold off. All good.... none were "the one".

3) the Hummingbird Vintage is a fantastic, although very expensive model. Very light weight. I wonder if that contributes to the great tone.

4) I bought an older standard from about 2001 - an "early sixties reissue". It was a fine guitar - very heavy. LOUD. but not the Bird honey tone.

5) I currently own a 2012 Hummingbird True Vintage. I am still playing with the setup, but I think it's fantastic. Hope I am not jinxing myself. Playing it more and more.

 

I think if you can find a True Vintage model, or a recent Hummingbird Vintage model and you like the price, I would go there first before experimenting with the standard models, which are definitely heavier.

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I’ve read various threads about which vintage Birds are best. I’m looking to buy a newer Bird and I’m wondering if there are coveted years and/or certain years to stay away from.

 

I would buy a brand new one, but the new very red bursts are a hard no. I like the subtler bursts from 2017 and before. I’ve seen a 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2017. Everything about thd same these years? Is there a year Bozeman got its act together? Maybe everything from Bozeman is good (save the occasional QC problem)?

 

 

I was in a music shop last Saturday and played the very red new one you don’t like and then a burst 68, then a natural 68. I have never owned one, preferring 00-OM sizes, but have played them in shops over the years. But I kept thinking last Saturday that I wanted the 68 Burst, only with the new neck put on it...... (My second cousin was saying he picked up a 66 with a wider neck, and he uses it for fingerpicking). But I think they are generally strummer guitars....

So which ones have the widest nut/fattest necks?

 

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777

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As you already sense finding the right Hummingbird is a quest extraordinaire.

Thing is that the model is so spezial that it kind belongs in the category before 'alternative'.

I underline it's not an alternative guitar, but the specialties about the Bird - the nectar, the honey glaze, the sugar oil plus the variety of bursts -

are so sublime'n'subtle that they mean different things to different people.

We all have a highly personal almost mythical auditive picture to go for and exploring if this mirage actually exists can take time.

 

I can only wish you the best. From now on the mission is yours and yours alone.

As mentioned in post #2 you are welcome to ask, but the real vital themes are hereby right between your own hands and ears.

You must trust your intuition - believe your feelings - connect mind-heart-soul as you travel. Expect bliss, but be prepared to fail, , , even fall.

 

Don't worry though, this Board will catch you.

We will recognize your experiences, the highs and lows, , , the traps, the illusions, the confusion - and it'll all be a part of learning to fly.

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I have a 2010 model that I came across on eBay. It was a very nice price too. It has a bit of buckle rash on the back and a small ding on the front lower bass bout, very near the binding. It's a honey burst, just. There is barely any difference between the burst and the centre, but it looks very nice. It's by no means a loud guitar but the tone is smooth, like a good malt or pure maple syrup. The pick guard has been a pain, lifting at the front points. I tried holding then down with small pieces of double sided tape but that did not last. Eventually I bit the bullet and took off the scratchplate and refixed it. I have to say, even though I followed many hints from YouTube, it was still a pain in the arris. I wanted a hummingbird for years, this one will do nicely.

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I have a 1990, which is one of the best acoustic guitars I’ve ever played. My #1 songwriting guitar and an absolute treasure. I’ve owed a few later period Birds (from the ‘05-‘08 era) and whilst they were very good, the 1990 is the best. Don’t discount the early Bozeman Birds (‘89-93), according to a guitar dealer friend of mine they’re becoming more sought after now as their reputation for being great “sleeper” guitars is growing.

 

By all accounts, the modern torrefied top Vintage models are very good indeed too.

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I have a 1990, which is one of the best acoustic guitars I’ve ever played. My #1 songwriting guitar and an absolute treasure.

 

Would that happen to be one of the long scale Hummingbirds? From the Forum Hummingbird File, Mr aliasphobias shared the following:

 

"Gibson switched to the 24.75 in '97. From what I have been able to cipher the Grover Rotos came with the short scale change".

 

And more year-by-year info was given on the forum in this post by Father of Pearl:

 

"- In the 90’s and 2000’s there was just the Hummingbird, wich is pretty much the same as the current « Standard Hummingbird ».

- In the mid 2000’s, Gibson made some very limited runs of reissues like the « 1960s Hummingbird Reissue » with Tulip tuners, lighter back braces and engraved red pickguard (no adjustable bridge, no pickup).

- In 2007 they launched the True Vintage Line besides the Modern-Classic or Standard Line. The TV is basically the same guitar as the previous reissue but with a cali-girl case (brown-pink), lighter orangish sunburst, black-white-black rosette ring and binding.

- In 2009 they dressed up the True Vintage with a reddish sunburst, white-black-white rosette ring and a VOS finish which emulates an aged patina. (at the same time, they made custom editions for Wildwood Guitars, called « New Vintage » which only differs by aged bone nut and saddle, white-black-white trim binding, and shinny gloss finish)

- The True Vintage line ended in late 2012, coming back every now and then as limited custom shop runs.

- In late 2015 they started the « 2016 Hummingbird Vintage » as a standard production line. That one is basically the very same as the latest True Vintage but with the white-black-white trim on the top and back binding, aged tulip tuners, and most of all, the Torrified Top.

- Only Sitka spruce has been used on all True vintage or Vintage Hummingbirds. Some custom shop limited runs of Hummingbirds have Adirondack Spruce top but they’re not part of the TV or Vintage family."

 

In reference to the mention of the earliest runs of the Vintage model in 2015 by M.O.P above, and by E-min7 earlier, from the Ones-that-Got-Away file is this 2015 Bird that I missed by wondering if it was just a bit too TOASTED:

 

02KZxgK.png?2

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Would that happen to be one of the long scale Hummingbirds? From the Forum Hummingbird File, Mr aliasphobias shared the following:

 

"Gibson switched to the 24.75 in '97. From what I have been able to cipher the Grover Rotos came with the short scale change".

 

And more year-by-year info was given on the forum in this post by Father of Pearl:

 

"- In the 90’s and 2000’s there was just the Hummingbird, wich is pretty much the same as the current « Standard Hummingbird ».

- In the mid 2000’s, Gibson made some very limited runs of reissues like the « 1960s Hummingbird Reissue » with Tulip tuners, lighter back braces and engraved red pickguard (no adjustable bridge, no pickup).

- In 2007 they launched the True Vintage Line besides the Modern-Classic or Standard Line. The TV is basically the same guitar as the previous reissue but with a cali-girl case (brown-pink), lighter orangish sunburst, black-white-black rosette ring and binding.

- In 2009 they dressed up the True Vintage with a reddish sunburst, white-black-white rosette ring and a VOS finish which emulates an aged patina. (at the same time, they made custom editions for Wildwood Guitars, called « New Vintage » which only differs by aged bone nut and saddle, white-black-white trim binding, and shinny gloss finish)

- The True Vintage line ended in late 2012, coming back every now and then as limited custom shop runs.

- In late 2015 they started the « 2016 Hummingbird Vintage » as a standard production line. That one is basically the very same as the latest True Vintage but with the white-black-white trim on the top and back binding, aged tulip tuners, and most of all, the Torrified Top.

- Only Sitka spruce has been used on all True vintage or Vintage Hummingbirds. Some custom shop limited runs of Hummingbirds have Adirondack Spruce top but they’re not part of the TV or Vintage family."

 

In reference to the mention of the earliest runs of the Vintage model in 2015 by M.O.P above, and by E-min7 earlier, from the Ones-that-Got-Away file is this 2015 Bird that I missed by wondering if it was just a bit too TOASTED:

 

02KZxgK.png?2

 

Mine isn’t one of the long scale ones from the same era...it has a Brazilian fretboard and bridge which I believe wasn’t standard at the time, so it may be a custom order or similar. It’s not particularly light but has plenty of volume and a remarkable 3-D shimmer to the tone which I’ve never heard in another guitar. Love it!

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I can’t thank you all enough. This is the info I was hoping to get. I know that I’ve got to play a bunch of guitars to find the one, but I also want to avoid buying a great sounding 20xx model year only to find out that 20xx was the year they did some weird thing and everybody’s bracing fell out and caught fire when they tried to get a pick out of the soundhole or whatever.

 

My experience is with an 80s Nashville era ES-347. Figured maple top, ebony fretboard...stunning and a great player. But the original pickups and wiring are bonkers. It’s not a 335 with a fancy neck. It’s a high output ceramic bruiser stuffed into a 335 body with weird value pots trying to tame it. I guess I’m saying that it’s easy enough to swap out the pickups and harness on an electric, but I want to avoid getting caught up in some similar fad weirdness on a pricey acoustic. The torrefied “Vintage” tops scared me for the same reason...but I’m coming around to the idea.

 

I can spot ocasional QC problems. What scares me are known issues that I don’t know about. I’m saving this thread as a reference. Thanks!

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Anybody want to hazard a guess as to how many versions of the Hummingbird Bozeman sent out in the 2010s? The mind wobbles.

 

One gets proficient in skipping past the birds-in-name-only. Hummingbird Pro, Walnut AG, Rosewood AG, Koa, Eric Church, Supreme, Regal, Rosewood, Artist, Quilt Maple, Mystic, Wildfirebird. I’m sure they are all great.

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I finally settled on a 2017 Hummingbird Vintage. I’m going to use the 14 day return period to test it out against a few guitars in the local big box stores (H’Bird Standards, J-45, etc). When I bought it I was able to play it next to a SJ-200 Vintage. Both very nice, but the H’bird got my affection.

post-88728-059316200 1533474487_thumb.jpeg

post-88728-019609400 1533474499_thumb.jpeg

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Hey ? ! Congrats! That NGD deserves a thread of it's own . . . feel free to start one- the posts aren't exactly pouring off the page lately.

 

And kudos for putting it up against a big bad '200V for an a/b- 'curious to know what you heard when you did that. That is great that you plan on using the return period to hear it against a few others- when that sort of coin is involved, best to know your ear will be happy- years back when doing a long-distance J-45 TV GC purchase, I took the guitar to a more local Guitar Center that had a TV, and had them transfer in another True Vintage (a big temporary addition to the credit card bill) to the same store and brought my main music partner along to help w/ a major J-45 TV a/b/c. You do hear and see a good bit of difference when there are more than one.

 

Also notice in your pics (any chance of a pic of the headstock, showing the cut of the string slots for the nut?) that your new Bird almost seems to have a more satin-like finish (?); all the toasted top Gibsons I've seen still carry a gloss to the finish.

 

Happy NGD weekend to you.

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What a beautBird. 62burst is right - don't hesitate to dedicate a new thread to this flier. With sounds if possible, , , and lots of pics.

 

Be happy ^

 

 

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There was a snag with the H’bird Vintage. I already returned it. There was a mysterious bulge in the fretboard up where the neck meets the body. My luthier quoted a hundred bucks or so to fix it, but I didn’t want to start off with a very expensive messed up fretboard.

 

I’ve always heard of sloppy fit and finish from Gibson, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it. Or maybe the fretboard started bulging recently...it was a 2017 guitar. It doesn’t show up well in photos. Sorry....

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Maybe this one:

Ooooh, a rather rare Bird. Close to standard burst and with an Adirondack top (are they sure). Plus a black-ring rosette.

Exciting - but do notice the logo and crown/thistle areas are checked.

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I’ve never even seen a Dove in person! Still, I like the scale length of the Bird.

 

I sent a message to the seller of the 2007 True Vintage on eBay. Wanted pics of the headstock and info on the adi top. Probably won’t hear back until tomorrow or Tues.

Edited by Lamar Fandango

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I heard back. Turns out the 2007 H’bird TV doesn’t have an adi top, the checking on the peghead logo real (not a photo or lighting issue), and there might be another issue. How common is finish checking on the logo? I’m not sure I’ve seen that.

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I heard back. Turns out the 2007 H'bird TV doesn't have an adi top, the checking on the peghead logo real (not a photo or lighting issue), and there might be another issue. How common is finish checking on the logo? I'm not sure I've seen that.

Wouldn't say it's common. But it isn't that unusual either.

Happens due to changing temperatures, which makes the materials - wood, MOP - and nitro-cellulose lacquer react out of sync.

Therefore you never see it on fx the trad. J-45 golden logo - opposed to the contemporary Standards that features the Mother of Pearl.

 

I have it on a couple of guitars and it's no big deal. Wouldn't want it to crack further though.

 

How are things developing in your camp . .

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I gave up on the Vintage models. The "worn" finish is not to my liking. It seems like a bad grain filler job. I also didn't like the grains in the top woods. They had some weird inconsistencies (like knots?) that seemed out of place on a fancy guitar. It didn't help that every 2016 Gibson acoustic I've looked at has been screwed up in some way. I played a 2016 "Figured Mahogany" Hummingbird, and it was OK, but the mahogany on the back was asymmetrical and bad....like they went out of their way to find a bad grain. That guitar was too expensive for what was essentially a standard Hummingbird with an ugly piece of 'hog on the back. I tried a 1993 H'bird, and I really wanted that one to work out...but it was splitting apart literally. It was the nicest of the bunch....except the splitting apart part!

 

I ended up buying a 2014 standard Hummingbird and I'm very happy. The finish is exactly what I wanted. I'm thinking I will switch to a compensated bone nut (instead of Tusq) and bone saddle. The only other change would be from nickel Grover rotomatics to the Klusons. Both the bone and the tuners were things I liked on the Vintage model.

 

HBird_3_small.jpg

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Nice to hear you got it home. Looks like a fine strong guitar from here.

So fascinating to see the whole firebow of bursts on Board - from this solid Std. to (newbie) Grifter's new absolutely red version.

 

Have to say I prefer the mid-caramel-TV/Vintage, but that matters less.

 

Regarding tuners you could switch to 6 tulips. It's not an uncommon maneuver and would do the Bird good.

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