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MichaelT

Gibson Hummingbird advice

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I've been playing guitar a long time and have had Gibson electric guitars since 1984 (4 Les Pauls, 3 Flying V's.

Recently, I played an Epiphone Hummingbird and it played really nice, looked really good. Then I played the Gibson Hummingbird and there was a HUGE difference in sound. It sounded incredible. I've always liked the look of the Hummingbird and now the sound made it even more appealing.

It's $3849 for a new one and the 125th anniversary one is $5499.00.  I thought about getting the 125th anniversary one but that's considerably more money. There are only going to be 125 made. I'll certainly play them both but not as much as my electrics, since I play lead guitar in the band and we gig regularly. I've never owned a really nice acoustic guitar and I'm going on 55 years old and it's a bucket list kind of thing.  I can afford either one. All things being the same, as in sound and construction, playability and all being the same, would the 125th hold its value or go up in value more than the regular version? What's your opinion? I'm not looking for reselling it but for passing it on to my sons.

I have played many other Gibson acoustic guitars and this one just blew me away. It is definitely on my list of guitars to buy this year.

Links:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SSHBHCN19--gibson-acoustic-hummingbird-standard-vintage-cherry-sunburst

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SSHAABG19--gibson-acoustic-hummingbird-125th-anniversary-autumn-burst

Thanks in advance.

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Hey - if you have fallen for the H-bird and is willing to pay that kind of price, it would be wise to try other examples  before take-off. 

Have you encountered any Vintage versions fx (w. torrefied tops), , , or the 'old' True Vintage models. 

Search high search low - second hand and new. These are pretty individual guitars and vary quite a lot. 

Of these 2 I would go for the warm hued Anniversary with the binded headstock and  nicer pick-guard.  Hmmm, , , wonder why it has the black, not white rosette. 

Good luck

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Let this be the opportunity to zoom in on a detail not mentioned here for a while :  Neck-binding covering the fret-ends. 
None of these 2 have it.  A bit surprising regarding the 125'er. High flying Birds normally this feature this luxe. 

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Hey MT - what type of music are you thinking of playing with it (out of curiosity)...  a bird is awesome, so is a J45.  Really though, if you fell in love with one, I would still try some others if possible - but you're not going to go wrong following your heart if you decide to jump sooner rather than later.

Edited by billroy fineman

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On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 12:17 PM, MichaelT said:

I've been playing guitar a long time and have had Gibson electric guitars since 1984 (4 Les Pauls, 3 Flying V's.

Recently, I played an Epiphone Hummingbird and it played really nice, looked really good. Then I played the Gibson Hummingbird and there was a HUGE difference in sound. It sounded incredible. I've always liked the look of the Hummingbird and now the sound made it even more appealing.

It's $3849 for a new one and the 125th anniversary one is $5499.00.  I thought about getting the 125th anniversary one but that's considerably more money. There are only going to be 125 made. I'll certainly play them both but not as much as my electrics, since I play lead guitar in the band and we gig regularly. I've never owned a really nice acoustic guitar and I'm going on 55 years old and it's a bucket list kind of thing.  I can afford either one. All things being the same, as in sound and construction, playability and all being the same, would the 125th hold its value or go up in value more than the regular version? What's your opinion? I'm not looking for reselling it but for passing it on to my sons.

I have played many other Gibson acoustic guitars and this one just blew me away. It is definitely on my list of guitars to buy this year.

Links:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SSHBHCN19--gibson-acoustic-hummingbird-standard-vintage-cherry-sunburst

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SSHAABG19--gibson-acoustic-hummingbird-125th-anniversary-autumn-burst

Thanks in advance.

Get it now if you can afford it. I just sold a D-35, D-28 and D-18 to get a D-41. No regrets. All were guitars I would buy again in half a heartbeat, but the D-41 is super pimpin. Kinkda like a D-45 but 5k less.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Since you've spent years kicking the tires - considering different brands and models, it certainly sounds like you should have your finger on the trigger at this point!  And the H'Bird is what many folks select as an entry on their bucket list. Used across all genres, including rock, etc.  But, you already know this. And, you know there are 'posers' :  Hummingbirds in name only that have different back and side woods, different body shapes, etc.  Both the two you've identified are the real deal. Both have electronics on board, which I'm sure is important to an electric guy. Both do have the fretboard binding.  The bursts are different - a matter of taste. But I don't think the Anniversary version is worth the extra money - unless you're going to put it in a vault for 50 years and then sell it as an investment.  If you're going to actually PLAY it - it will soon be around the same re-sale value as the 'standard' a couple of decades from now.  The "Vintage" and earlier "True Vintage" models are no longer produced,  so would be lower price used.   The True Vintage which came first didn't have electronics.  Currently, however, there is a '1960s' version if you want New With A Warranty - that has many of the features the2 you've identified had as well as the 2 Vintage iterations -  including the torrified top of the 'Vintage'.  Since this is in the same price range - you might consider it.   https://www.gibson.com/Guitar/ACCA45535/1960-Hummingbird-Fixed-Bridge/Heritage-Cherry-Sunburst  

At Musicians Friend (ask for a discount ! )       https://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/gibson-1960-hummingbird-with-fixed-bridge-acoustic-guitar

G'luck. 

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I'd also go with the standard "bird" if the idea was to use it as a working guitar.  I'm also not sure the extra 2K in the anniversary is worth it unless it was a true "bucket list" item.

Then again. I'm no bird aficionado here.

mostly I'd be going with my gut instincts. 

But I will say you wont regret this, do it while you can.

The prices are only going to go UP from here.  While I twaddled over my decision to be an SJ200, I wound up paying over $1k more than I would have if I'd have bought it the first time I thought I was ready.   I'd wanted one for sometime prior...

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On 2/24/2020 at 12:17 PM, MichaelT said:

......I'm not looking for reselling it but for passing it on to my sons.

I hope they get along!  🙂

Was the one you played an aged/vintage model, or some recent Standard? I REALLY like my 2018 Standard. It's hard to put away. There was this one late 60's model in a store nearby, however, that still sort of haunts me from 5 years ago. Mine is still a baby in guitar-years, but it's opened up and settled in mighty nice-like.

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Though I also vote for trying a vintage/true vintage model first, after reading the OP again, maybe you should just go with the one you played that blew you away. 

 

 

Edited by littlejohnny

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11 hours ago, littlejohnny said:

Though I also vote for trying a vintage/true vintage model first, after reading the OP again, maybe you should just go with the one you played that blew you away. 

You have a point. The poster doesn't mention if the many Gibsons he tried in past included Birds, , , well hog-squares in general.

If so this one obviously stands out.  If not it's worth seeking further down square street to set the perspective. Something tells me previous experiences with Birds aren't overwhelming. 

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I'm going to try to respond and answer all questions and responses. But first, thank you everyone who has responded. I really appreciate all your input.

First of all, the one I played was a newish Hummingbird Standard, probably a 2018 or 2019 but I don't recall. There were two things that blew me away. One was the feel of the neck, the action and general playability. Second was the sound because it had such a deep and rich sound. Third was just the sunburst look and the pickguard and the overall look of the guitar. I played a 60's Hummingbird back in the early 80's when a guitar student of mine brought one in. It's been on my list for a long time but I'm primarily an electric guitarist.

This guitar will mostly be one for me to enjoy playing with friends and just around the house. If I get an acoustic gig from time to time, I'd play it. I might play it on a song or two my band does since it does have the electronics for it. It really is just one of those guitars I've wanted for decades. I have played many other acoustic guitars, Gibson, Taylor, Martin, etc. I prefer the Gibson acoustics in general simply because they feel a lot like my other 7 Gibson electrics. My experience with other acoustics in general is pretty extensive but I've never owned a good quality acoustic guitar. The look, feel and sound of this one blew me away. A big part of the reason I want the Hummingbird is for the look but if it looked great, played terrible and sounded terrible, I wouldn't want it. The Epiphone version just didn't make the cut, although my lovely lady agrees that it would have been easier on the wallet.

I think I'm going to go with the Standard or one of the vintage/true vintage models or at least check them out. Any guitar I own gets played regularly since I play a few hours a day.

Apparently, from what I'm reading, there's a different feel and sound with the squared acoustics? I think that may be what I liked about them and this one in particular. Then again, it could be because most of my life I've been on stage with loud stacks of amplifiers.

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Micheal, Just to say you did,  if you have yet to.. consider going to try a J45, and if you can an SJ200.  

SJ200s have a life of their own once you start getting them moving some air.  I love mine to death and back.

I am just saying before you pull the trigger,  check those out too.  Then if you still are leaning toward that bird, then she is the one, go catch it.

and no surprise the Epi didn't seem the same,  they are nice guitars, but I must add "for the money"... 

What ever you decide, this is one purchase you will not ever regret.  Gibson acoustics are Awwwwwwwwwwwsome....

 

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3 hours ago, kidblast said:

Micheal, Just to say you did,  if you have yet to.. consider going to try a J45, and if you can an SJ200.  

SJ200s have a life of their own once you start getting them moving some air.  I love mine to death and back.

I am just saying before you pull the trigger,  check those out too.  Then if you still are leaning toward that bird, then she is the one, go catch it.

and no surprise the Epi didn't seem the same,  they are nice guitars, but I must add "for the money"... 

What ever you decide, this is one purchase you will not ever regret.  Gibson acoustics are Awwwwwwwwwwwsome....

 

Great advice! I would add the Dove to that list, if you can find one?

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12 hours ago, Paul14 said:

Great advice! I would add the Dove to that list, if you can find one?

yea,,  tru dat,   Maybe the experts here can help,  since the dove is also a square shoulder dread, maybe a note on what are the differences here would help our pal Michael  spend his money..

 

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I've got a standard "bird."  If I've got a proverbial "go to" guitar, the Hummingbird is probably it.  I don't know if it sounds better than my other Gibsons (they're all pretty cool too), but "the bird" has always represented what the ideal acoustic is to me.  Like all my Gibsons, "the bird" is an extension of who I am......and, it just happens to also be a Hummingbird........Buy what you want and can afford.  Definitely look-around at different guitars and get the one that calls your name.

The Dove?  It's a different beast.  Both guitars can be gentle or loud, but a Dove can roar like Bart the bear.  All boils-down to what fits you.


 

Edited by MissouriPicker

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As you have a quiver of electrics like I did do what I ended up doing ditched one of my vintage Les Pauls and bought a '64 Hummingbird. It was the best move I ever made. I still have a couple LPs and a couple Strats but I end up playing my bird most often. 

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1 hour ago, Holiday Hoser said:

 I ended up doing ditched one of my vintage Les Pauls and bought a '64 Hummingbird. It was the best move I ever made. 

My guess would be that it's this one - don't know if you are the player though. . 
 

 

I'll take the film down if it's unwanted. 

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The loudest Gibson guitars  I’ve ever played were two Hummingbirds.

 

The only guitar in volume that has come close to those two is the new Slash J 45 which has a very unique 1958 fat neck.

 

I’ve played Advanced Jumbos , A Rosewood SOuthern Jumbo, J 200’s ,and  a Dove.But the Hummingbirds were louder than all of those.

 

I’m a die hard maple guy. 
 

But if I could only ever have 1 guitar I always say the Hummingbird would be it.

 

JC

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JCV,     I agree.  A hard choice - which I hope I never have to make.  But my H'Bird would be the one -  not because it's Loud, but because it's Clear.  Perfectly balance Hi's,  Low's and Medium's.  Sort of a  "Sophie's Choice" between my other 2 - but it is what it is. 

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I agree with all above. Try as many as you can before buying and if none are available buy from reputable dealer with a liberal return policy.  I had a couple birds but they didn't do much for me. I recently picked up a Dove and like it but I seem to be partial to maple and rosewood.

Enjoy the hunt! 

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12 hours ago, JuanCarlosVejar said:

The loudest Gibson guitars  I’ve ever played were two Hummingbirds.

The only guitar in volume that has come close to those two is the new Slash J 45 which has a very unique 1958 fat neck.

I’ve played Advanced Jumbos , A Rosewood SOuthern Jumbo, J 200’s ,and  a Dove.But the Hummingbirds were louder than all of those.

I’m a die hard maple guy. 
But if I could only ever have 1 guitar I always say the Hummingbird would be it.

Aha, , , then wait till you meet the rare Firebird. Humongous .

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2 hours ago, Holiday Hoser said:

That's the one. Not my best performance though. But the sound of vintage wood, oh  the sound!

Do you mean a Firebird?

 

edit: Never mind. You were answering the one regarding a guitar from a video. I didn't retrace back far enough. My bad.

Edited by PatriotsBiker

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