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drathbun

The Hummingbird Gets Out

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The Hummingbird 12 string got a rare outing in the sunshine yesterday at our annual BBQ with friends. 

In spite of playing "Even in the Quietest Moments" and "Hotel California", I received NO cease and desist orders from copywrite lawyers of either SuperTramp or The Eagles.

Here I am playing "Where Do The Children Play?" for my friend Annie who is a big Cat fan.

5vfgAyw.jpg

 

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Nice. Birds and bursts look best outdoors.

Did you bring a 6 string, or was it all of those strings?

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3 hours ago, 62burst said:

Nice. Birds and bursts look best outdoors.

Did you bring a 6 string, or was it all of those strings?

I limited myself to just the 12 string. That of course, did NOT stop a friend from requesting almost all of my James Taylor and Jim Croce fingerstyle songs! I even played the lead solo to "Til There Was You" on the  12 string. What a workout!

1 hour ago, Hall said:

Fine guitar.  No  Lightfoot? 

OMG of course! I can't hold my 12 string without playing Lightfoot. I played "Early Morning Rain" (capo 2, drop D)

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Man, that's a super 12-string, and that's coming from a 12-string guy.  Great photo, too!

 

 

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5 hours ago, Cougar said:

Man, that's a super 12-string, and that's coming from a 12-string guy.  Great photo, too!

 

 

 

Thanks, Cougar. She's a beauty!

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Nice guitar, nice setting...  your friend looks like she's staring at you intently to see where you were going with a conversation - and it could go either way, were you causing some mischief up there?

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Doug, that really is a gorgeous guitar  and  one which I've drooled all over my keyboard a few times....

 

 

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5 hours ago, billroy said:

Nice guitar, nice setting...  your friend looks like she's staring at you intently to see where you were going with a conversation - and it could go either way, were you causing some mischief up there?

Annie has been a good neighbour of my wife and I for 30 years. She's a big Cat Stevens fan. She's had a hard year and I wanted to brighten her mood a bit so I said "This one is for Annie" and started playing "Where Do The Children Play?" and her expression is closer to tearing up a bit than an actual smile. 🙂

4 hours ago, kidblast said:

Doug, that really is a gorgeous guitar  and  one which I've drooled all over my keyboard a few times....

 

 

Thanks, kidblast. Sometimes a connection with a guitar is kismet. I was not planning or intending or in a position to need, want or look for a new guitar. I had a wonderful Taylor 12 string that served all my 12 string needs. Then one day I was chatting with my son in the acoustic room at Long and McQuade (he works there in charge of store operations and I retired four years ago) and I turned and saw the back of the headstock of this 12 string with a custom shop decal and gold tuners and said to my son, WTF is that??? 

Having two children employed at this store (my daughter is in the band department and band instrument repair) and being a former salesperson there, I tend to know everyone and everything that happens with people and with stock - especially in the acoustic room and most especially with Gibson acoustics! How a custom shop 12 string Hummingbird got by me, I'll never know. It had been in stock in the store for months and was marked down. I picked it up and even with DAF (dead as f***) strings on it, it was amazing.  Within seconds I calculated in my head... this discount, my son's employee pricing, selling my Taylor GA12... hmmm gets me in the ballpark for a killer deal. The guitar manager made an even better price for me (great guy) and I bought it. 

It took about six months and a couple of guitar doctor surgeries to get it playing properly but now it is not only amazing looking but it will make your heart soar when you strum a full G chord on it! My guitar tech had discovered that the guitar had been build incorrectly at the factory with the scale length off by  about 1mm and had the nut end of the fingerboard reduced by those 2mm and the nut moved, again at the factory, which caused the intonation to be off by some huge amounts. He reshaped the saddle and now it plays perfectly.

Long story but that's what makes a very special guitar in my opinion. 🙂

You can see the gap between the nut and the headstock face plate in this close up:

gQm2Wpt.jpg

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That's an excellent story!  thx for sharing!   Very cool that to have those kind "Alliances" at that store, I'd be all over that s---t too.!

I know that all fretboards are not always as precise as they should be.  my 96 USA Strat had the same problem.  The tech I took it too found it in like 10 minutes, prior to that, I never knew this could even happen with the tools that are used in the mfg process these days,, but indeed it does.   Same thing for that strat, the intonation improved 10 fold when I got it back.  (I still have that one,  as much of a gibson guy I am  that one I'll never part with..  it's a player and then some)

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2 hours ago, kidblast said:

That's an excellent story!  thx for sharing!   Very cool that to have those kind "Alliances" at that store, I'd be all over that s---t too.!

I know that all fretboards are not always as precise as they should be.  my 96 USA Strat had the same problem.  The tech I took it too found it in like 10 minutes, prior to that, I never knew this could even happen with the tools that are used in the mfg process these days,, but indeed it does.   Same thing for that strat, the intonation improved 10 fold when I got it back.  (I still have that one,  as much of a gibson guy I am  that one I'll never part with..  it's a player and then some)

 

Yes, I was dumbfounded when my tech said it was shortened at the factory. I've been through the Bozeman facility on a personal tour by Jeremy Morton. I saw, up close, all of the details of the manufacturing of these instruments. The necks, fretboards and fretslots are all cut with CNC machines and have registration holes. The neck angles are done with a precise neck jig and the dovetails are fit with extreme precision by hand and measured to the micron. How a 1mm error in the length of the neck managed to get through to the end of the line is beyond me. Perhaps one of our former Bozeman plant employees here can shed some light on how this was possible. Not that I'm concerned, the instrument, once intonated properly is awesome. I'm a bit perplexed at how the end of the fretboard could be shaved and the nut relocated without setting the intonation at the saddle, but again, the instrument is almost perfect right now.

Compared to acoustics, Strats are such great workhorses that you can adjust them almost while you're playing them. My Strat is a 50th Anniversary 2004 American Deluxe with the micro-tilt neck and getting that guitar playing like butter it dead simple by comparison. 

I consider myself a Gibson guy but I have Rickenbacker, Gretsch, Martin, Godin, Epiphone, Taylor, Yamaha, Fender and Squire as well. 

Here is Jeremy Morton showing me where he placed a post-it note indicating the back, top and neck were missing on this Gibson acoustic. Good quality control catch! (just teasing - Jeremy is a great guy - not there anymore but still a great guy)😉

x8uZM98.jpg

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I remember Jeremy, he used to post on this forum now and then.  Too bad he's gone,  he was always helpful and kind.

The tour sounds like a blast, if I am ever in Bozeman or Nashville...

the tech that fixed my strat told me this has been happening for ever,  just not ALL the time, and said he expects it always will.

Were there is a always a bit of "humanity" touching these machines, I guess always room for error.

I say I'm a Gibson guy, but at heart I'm a guitar guy.   6 of the guitars I use are gibsons,  But I've got 3 fenders, 2 Epiphones, 2 Taylors, and a vintage Yari Dy74 (born in 1978) and a Guild 12 string acoustic.   I play the Les Pauls and SG's more than the others, I'm in a covers/originals band, as well as do solo stuff when the opportunity arises.

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Doug, I love your DAF acronym, never heard it before, but I'll be using it from now on when I talk about strings, and other things. 🤪

Oh, great guitar, and even better story about how you got it to sing just right...

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15 hours ago, kidblast said:

I remember Jeremy, he used to post on this forum now and then.  Too bad he's gone,  he was always helpful and kind.

The tour sounds like a blast, if I am ever in Bozeman or Nashville...

the tech that fixed my strat told me this has been happening for ever,  just not ALL the time, and said he expects it always will.

Were there is a always a bit of "humanity" touching these machines, I guess always room for error.

I say I'm a Gibson guy, but at heart I'm a guitar guy.   6 of the guitars I use are gibsons,  But I've got 3 fenders, 2 Epiphones, 2 Taylors, and a vintage Yari Dy74 (born in 1978) and a Guild 12 string acoustic.   I play the Les Pauls and SG's more than the others, I'm in a covers/originals band, as well as do solo stuff when the opportunity arises.

Gibson does the "Homecoming" tours every May I think. I'm not sure with the new structure that it will be continuing. My tour was a favour that Jeremy did for me as I was driving through Bozeman just a day before our Long & McQuade official tour (I was selling Gibsons at the time). Jeremy gave me and my wife a personal tour of the factory and it was a special honor.

14 hours ago, Joe M said:

Doug, I love your DAF acronym, never heard it before, but I'll be using it from now on when I talk about strings, and other things. 🤪

Oh, great guitar, and even better story about how you got it to sing just right...

Hehe.. I just made that up. But I will continue the legacy! 😉

13 hours ago, kelly campbell said:

Beautiful Guitar

Thanks, Kelly!

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I have a great deal of difficulty playing 12 string guitar, but that one would make me want to try. 🙂

 

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4 hours ago, Tekboy said:

I have a great deal of difficulty playing 12 string guitar, but that one would make me want to try. 🙂

 

The trick to being able to play a 12 string is to get one that is setup properly. They are a bit of a bear for techs to get playing with low action, no buzzing and good intonation. It takes some skill and perseverance by a tech to get them tuned (meaning adjusted) perfectly. I've played a couple of Gibson custom shop 12 strings that were adjusted so they play and sound like butter. One was a Songwriter Deluxe 12 string that our L&M tech adjusted for a local performance by the guitarist in Matchbox 20. After the performance, it came back to the store and I got to play it. Wow!

The next one was my Hummingbird after Jim did his magic to it. It took him a couple of attempts but now it is effortless to play.

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That guitar is just stunningly good looking!

I read over at the UMGF the other day that very early Banners often had small scale length issues at the nut. I remember Wiili Henkes of Antique Acoustics, who did work on my old J-45, said he had to shim the nut ever so slightly. So the problem on your guitar is a vintage feature! 😀

Lars

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On 7/18/2019 at 12:49 PM, drathbun said:

The trick to being able to play a 12 string is to get one that is setup properly. 

The next one was my Hummingbird after Jim did his magic to it. It took him a couple of attempts but now it is effortless to play.

Doug - I feel you kind of owe it to the forum to take the bird on a tour N. America (US and Canada side...) to give us all a chance to try 'er out.  This thread is GAS inducing.

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