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Advice on a Dove

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I've got a beautiful Custom Shop SJ-200, which is my favorite guitar, until I play my new Doves in Flight.......then that is my favorite.....until I play the SJ again.  I also have a Jumbo Martin, a J-40, which I like allot, and when I play it I really miss it, appreciate it, glad I played it, but it never feels like the SJ or Doves in Flight.  Not even close.  Right now I'm in my Dove's phase, but I'll probably pick up the SJ in a day or two and go WOW!  I did read one comment about the scale length being the same, and he's right, so that aspect feels the same, however, the neck is completely different, and if you've been playing an SJ, or a big dreadnought, the Dove will feel very different.  My SJ is a Custom, but is still Maple, just like the Dove, but with the box being different sizes, I can hear a difference.  I almost went with a Hummingbird for different wood and a scale length the same as a Les Paul which is the easiest guitar to play, but wanted the DinF for lots of reasons, and I'm more than happy.  Go find one and play it, compare it with a Hummingbird, which is my next Acoustic........good luck.450408350_GibsonswithMartin3.thumb.jpg.3a31f62a12e753fc38601b68c7b54da6.jpg

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Thanks for all the great ideas and advice everyone.  I have ordered a used DIF that should be here next week!  Will add a NGD thread following.  Cheers!

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:34 PM, Razorpig said:

I've got a beautiful Custom Shop SJ-200, which is my favorite guitar, until I play my new Doves in Flight.......then that is my favorite.....until I play the SJ again.  I also have a Jumbo Martin, a J-40, which I like allot, and when I play it I really miss it, appreciate it, glad I played it, but it never feels like the SJ or Doves in Flight.  Not even close.  Right now I'm in my Dove's phase, but I'll probably pick up the SJ in a day or two and go WOW!  I did read one comment about the scale length being the same, and he's right, so that aspect feels the same, however, the neck is completely different, and if you've been playing an SJ, or a big dreadnought, the Dove will feel very different.  My SJ is a Custom, but is still Maple, just like the Dove, but with the box being different sizes, I can hear a difference.  I almost went with a Hummingbird for different wood and a scale length the same as a Les Paul which is the easiest guitar to play, but wanted the DinF for lots of reasons, and I'm more than happy.  Go find one and play it, compare it with a Hummingbird, which is my next Acoustic........good luck.450408350_GibsonswithMartin3.thumb.jpg.3a31f62a12e753fc38601b68c7b54da6.jpg

 

Know what you mean ... I have a J-150, Dove and J-40 and they get most airtime in that order ...with the J-40 quite a bit down behind the other two. Although the Martin Jumbo has a very unique voice, incredible depth and tone sustain, but just not as fun and versatile as the maple big birds.

Im right now moving and was wondering if I only had to take three guitars with me it would be the J-150, Dove and Southern Jumbo.  And it had to be just one guitar Id be pretty satisfied just with the J-150.

 

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How does the Dove compare against the Hummingbird?  I've been surprised when i read that the Dove is loud, that's never been my experience with maple guitars.

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2 hours ago, jw3571 said:

How does the Dove compare against the Hummingbird?  I've been surprised when i read that the Dove is loud, that's never been my experience with maple guitars.

I’m have a Dove, & an SJ-200. I’m kind of surprised when I hear the Dove described as loud too. It’s a very different guitar than the J-200.  Definitely not Advanced Jumbo loud. I’m really not sure if it’s any louder than a J-45. However it’s loud enough, & the tone is outrageously beautiful!

can’t compare to a Hummingbird. I had one once in the early 2000’s but liked my J-45 more, so I sold the Bird.

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Is there a tonal difference between the DIF and the normal Dove or are you just paying the extra money for the bling?

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I asked the same question about bling and tonal differences and every answer from someone who played or owned both claimed there were differences.  I have noticed that myself between standard versions of great Gibson acoustic and the vintage or custom shop models.  Was definitely true when I bought my limited SJ200.  All that said, the barely used DIF I selected came in very close to the price of a new Dove so I went that way.  Will post what I think after I have spent enough time with it.  

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On 4/16/2020 at 7:41 PM, jw3571 said:

How does the Dove compare against the Hummingbird?  I've been surprised when i read that the Dove is loud, that's never been my experience with maple guitars.

That's interesting...my Dove is definitely louder than any of the four Hummingbirds I've owned, it projects very well in a smooth way. My Maple AJ is hugely loud and brash, easily the loudest guitar I've ever played, and will overwhelm a singer entirely when hit hard with a pick. My SJ200 is somewhere between the two. 

I've always gravitated towards Maple instruments and have owned a fair few of them (2x SJ200s, 3x Doves, 1x CJ165, 1x J180, 1x AJ and probably a few I've forgotten!), and I've found they need the right strings to bring out the power. I have always used at least 12s on my Maple instruments and find they really like round core strings such as Newtone Masterclass and similar. Put 11s on a Maple box and it almost disappears, thin and lifeless. 

I'm cutting a new album at the moment and have found that I've reached for my Maple guitars for everything, only one track has Mahogany on it...they sit in a mix so nicely and cleanly. The Dove does flatpicking duty, the SJ200 strumming and the AJ fingerstyle. Wonderful combination!

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3 hours ago, Jinder said:

That's interesting...my Dove is definitely louder than any of the four Hummingbirds I've owned, it projects very well in a smooth way. My Maple AJ is hugely loud and brash, easily the loudest guitar I've ever played, and will overwhelm a singer entirely when hit hard with a pick. My SJ200 is somewhere between the two. 

I've always gravitated towards Maple instruments and have owned a fair few of them (2x SJ200s, 3x Doves, 1x CJ165, 1x J180, 1x AJ and probably a few I've forgotten!), and I've found they need the right strings to bring out the power. I have always used at least 12s on my Maple instruments and find they really like round core strings such as Newtone Masterclass and similar. Put 11s on a Maple box and it almost disappears, thin and lifeless. 

I'm cutting a new album at the moment and have found that I've reached for my Maple guitars for everything, only one track has Mahogany on it...they sit in a mix so nicely and cleanly. The Dove does flatpicking duty, the SJ200 strumming and the AJ fingerstyle. Wonderful combination!

I know we're on two different ends of the music making food chain, but my SJ is first choice in my "studio", too. My other Maple makes it sometimes for picking things, but doesn't get out of the way like Gibson Maples do.

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Well.  Bummer of bummers.  My new to me DIF arrived today.  Beautiful guitar.  Pick guard is lifting in two places.  In the lower spot, it has lifted so much that it scrapes my picking hand when I try to play.  Very reputable dealer told me to press it down or try some glue. I requested a return authorization...  onward with the search.

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Seriously- that's it? Sometimes we end up having to do an unexpected 10% more effort. Of all the bad surprises one can have with used, even slightly used guitars, a lifting pickguard would never be a deal breaker for me. Yes, it should've been disclosed- you didn't see it in the photos? Could be weather related, then. An R & R on a pickguard would be a nice Saturday morning job, taking less than 2 hours (see Kelly Campbell's recent "removing a pickuard on a J-45" thread). Less risky than going to the courier's. 

re: lifting pickguards in general- definitely something not to be glued hard to the top. The top has to expand & contract with the weather. Best to have to press it down sometimes, and play on, than to have a cemented guard drag the grain open (the "pickguard crack") from a weather change. And the guards on the Doves and Hummingbirds do cover some real estate. 

 

So, as you'd mentioned your primary focus in playability and tone in the OP- how do you like the guitar, otherwise? Snap some photos. If nothing more, 'hope you'll press the 'guard down & get the feel of a Dove if and when it flies away. 

 

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Hey.  Actually, yes.  That’s it for me on a late model guitar.  I read through lots of posts about failed pick guard repairs of all sorts and simply not inclined to go there.  Anything I would do would only drop the value even further.
 

I did press it down.  Several times and held it.  It popped back up immediately and was at least a centimeter off the top

I don’t mind paying for a high -end instrument but am not looking for a project.   The return policy is only 48 hours and anything I did would have automatically voided it...

The seller claimed the pick guard was not lifting when they packed it for shipping and I believe them.  Also, it was lifting in 2 places. 

Also, right next to the damaged dove was my deluxe SJ200 ready to play.

still hunting a dove but will travel need be to play it first.  Cheers!

Edited by EDP

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“Hey.  Actually, yes.  That’s it for me on a late model guitar.  I read through lots of posts about failed pick guard repairs of all sorts and simply not inclined to go there.  Anything I would do would only drop the value even further.”

How would repairing the pick guard drop the value?

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If the repair failed I would not be able to return it and would now have a guitar that was more damaged when I received it...

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Hi All,

 

Thanks for all the comments.  Somewhat fascinating the difference in answers between this thread and some of the older threads where most of the advice leaned towards returning the guitar.  I allowed the guitar to acclimate in a properly humidified room and have noticed that the guard is also lifting at the pointy edge under the strings.  that makes three places.  I assume it has started to curl and will continue to do so.  Maybe it could be removed, flattened and re-applied.

Towards the advice of 62Burst, i have played the guitar and absolutely love everything about it except when the point of the pick guard strikes my hand. 

Financially, it is an interesting conundrum.  the price i paid was a bit higher than what I would pay for a brand new Dove Standard but significantly less than what a new DIF would cost.  I could go down to the standard, save a few bucks and have the factory warranty/guarantee as an original owner.  i could ask the seller to fix this one I could buy a new DIF but am unlikely to shell out that much cash.

Hmmm,...

 

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1 hour ago, EDP said:

Hi All,

 

Thanks for all the comments.  Somewhat fascinating the difference in answers between this thread and some of the older threads where most of the advice leaned towards returning the guitar.  I allowed the guitar to acclimate in a properly humidified room and have noticed that the guard is also lifting at the pointy edge under the strings.  that makes three places.  I assume it has started to curl and will continue to do so.  Maybe it could be removed, flattened and re-applied.

Towards the advice of 62Burst, i have played the guitar and absolutely love everything about it except when the point of the pick guard strikes my hand. 

Financially, it is an interesting conundrum.  the price i paid was a bit higher than what I would pay for a brand new Dove Standard but significantly less than what a new DIF would cost.  I could go down to the standard, save a few bucks and have the factory warranty/guarantee as an original owner.  i could ask the seller to fix this one I could buy a new DIF but am unlikely to shell out that much cash.

Hmmm,...

 

Sorry to hear about your situation. Really annoying when something looked forward to as a celebration turns out to be a drraag. . 

Apart from that, you might be the right person to ask : 

I got both the Dove and the Firebird here and it still surprises me how remarkably different they sound - especially when knowing they both are scalloped X-braced long-scale maple squares.  But what about the DIF vs the old Dove Std. Have you made that comparison ?

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4 hours ago, EDP said:

Somewhat fascinating the difference in answers between this thread and some of the older threads where most of the advice leaned towards returning the guitar. . 

. . .  I could go down to the standard, save a few bucks and have the factory warranty/guarantee as an original owner.  i could ask the seller to fix this one I could buy a new DIF but am unlikely to shell out that much cash.

Hmmm,...

There was a thread where someone returned a guitar because the pickguard was lifting? 'Don't recall that, but easy to find a thread of the p/g lifting, and easy enough to fix, as well.

2 hours ago, E-minor7 said:

Sorry to hear about your situation. Really annoying when something looked forward to as a celebration turns out to be a drraag. . 

Apart from that, you might be the right person to ask : 

I got both the Dove and the Firebird here and it still surprises me how remarkably different they sound - especially when knowing they both are scalloped X-braced long-scale maple squares.  But what about the DIF vs the old Dove Std. Have you made that comparison ?

Sometimes we encounter a surprise when we're so close to the finish line, and just have to put a little more effort into something to achieve satisfaction. It makes it worth it all the more. 

Your Dove and Firebird sounding different, despite having similar specs, really isn't that much of a surprise when we repeat the mantra of how each guitar is it's own animal. This is something that was why it would've been good for  OP EDP to get a deep look at that one that was visiting with him: play it soft, play it hard, check the cut of the nut and look at the string break at the saddle, which effects how the guitar will sound, and is changeable to an extent, but is limited by the angle of the neck set, which can vary from guitar to guitar (Dove to Dove). A problem I'd encountered with the J-45 12 fret was how the natural place the right hand falls when playing the slope '45 14 fret now becomes semi-over the fretboard extension, occasionally slapping against the top of the metal frets (there are 7 frets over the guitar's top on the 12 fret, yet only 19 frets total). Not a good sound. The action was electric-guitar-low, and played well, but a taller saddle was able to be swapped in after this photo, and after the neck angle was checked with a straight edge:

PpMMcYN.jpg?1

. . . a slightly overset neck angle not only buys you time, but it gives the ability to go to a taller saddle, which changes the dynamics of a given guitar. Just one of the things that might be different on the next Dove.

Edited by 62burst

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41 minutes ago, E-minor7 said:

Sorry to hear about your situation. Really annoying when something looked forward to as a celebration turns out to be a drraag. . 

Apart from that, you might be the right person to ask : 

I got both the Dove and the Firebird here and it still surprises me how remarkably different they sound - especially when knowing they both are scalloped X-braced long-scale maple squares.  But what about the DIF vs the old Dove Std. Have you made that comparison ?

Thanks.  I have not played a standard Dove.  i have played standard and true vintage etc higher end hummingbirds and felt there was a significant difference in playability and tone.

I have now done a bit of a tour of the recent model DIFs currently on Reverb.   Specifically, I looked at late model DIFs that were listed at roughly 65%-80% list cost of a new DIF, which still prices them higher than list price of any brand new Dove standard model.   In all but one, close examination of the photos show the pick guards curling up. 

I inquired about an exceptionally pretty custom model and the seller got back to me that they had not noticed it in the pictures until I pointed it out.  Specifically, they have offered to have it fixed locally and to send the guitar back to me with supplies to keep it attached if it starts to lift over time.    Not a bad approach...

I love the way this guitar plays but am really struggling as a working head of household to justify keeping a $5k guitar that is going to have a chronic issue that does affect playability when i can get a new one with full factory support for $4k...

That said, i have a call in to the seller to see if he has any suggestions before i ship it back.  What a gorgeous guitar...

Here is a picture of the specifics.

Thanks for all the helpful comments and ideas!

 

 

 

EDP_DIF_guard_lifts.jpg

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9 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Sometimes we encounter a surprise when we're so close to the finish line, and just have to put a little more effort into something to achieve satisfaction. It makes it worth it all the more. 

Your Dove and Firebird sounding different, despite having similar specs, really isn't that much of a surprise when we repeat the mantra of how each guitar is it's own animal. .

 

You have some sort of point - still we don't want to receive a treasure (any product) that got reduced between buying and arriving. And a double-lifting p-guard is a pretty serious issue. . 

Sure enough - but this is more than variation over the same formula (which btw. always is intriguing). The Dove'n'Firebird are significantly different creatures down to their very souls.
Ever tried the 2. .   

 

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Thanks.  I have not played a standard Dove.  i have played standard and true vintage etc higher end hummingbirds and felt there was a significant difference in playability and tone.

Well, as seen in my response to burst, the differences between my maple-fliers are bigger than the ones experienced between my (now gone) yellow Std. Bird and the TVs here. The Dove really is a character of it's own - so dovish. Without losing the maple-syrup, the F-bird comes across more neutral. A member here once described the model as being closer to a Mart. That's going too far, but as said, it's straighter - should we say high-class-middle-of-the-road.  I had my  good friend in for a kitchen A/B between the 2 last fall. Not a maple-guy, but a fine player, who knows'n'feels a lot about guitars. Though clearly noticing the difference,  he couldn't decide which one he liked best. . 

I have now done a bit of a tour of the recent model DIFs currently on Reverb.   Specifically, I looked at late model DIFs that were listed at roughly 65%-80% list cost of a new DIF, which still prices them higher than list price of any brand new Dove standard model.   In all but one, close examination of the photos show the pick guards curling up. 

Must say it's pretty hard to see. . 

I inquired about an exceptionally pretty custom model and the seller got back to me that they had not noticed it in the pictures until I pointed it out.  Specifically, they have offered to have it fixed locally and to send the guitar back to me with supplies to keep it attached if it starts to lift over time.    Not a bad approach...

 

I love the way this guitar plays but am really struggling as a working head of household to justify keeping a $5k guitar that is going to have a chronic issue that does affect playability when i can get a new one with full factory support for $4k...

That said, i have a call in to the seller to see if he has any suggestions before i ship it back.  What a gorgeous guitar...

Here is a picture of the specifics.

Thanks for all the helpful comments and ideas!

✓✓ good luck - keep us reported

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55 minutes ago, EDP said:

 In all but one, close examination of the photos show the pick guards curling up. . .

. . . I love the way this guitar plays but am really struggling as a working head of household to justify keeping a $5k guitar that is going to have a chronic issue that does affect playability when i can get a new one with full factory support for $4k...

Just looked at every Reverb listing. Did see the one at Eddies lifting. They would make it right, no doubt.

Also- totally understandable about trying to justify any $5k guitar lately/anymore. However, the "chronic issue" would not be chronic to me, and would be solvable in less time than it takes to carefully pack, video document, travel to the shipper's location, and return home.

1 hour ago, 62burst said:

There was a thread where someone returned a guitar because the pickguard was lifting? 'Don't recall that . . . 

Still wondering where that was, EDP.

48 minutes ago, E-minor7 said:

 

Sure enough - but this is more than variation over the same formula (which btw. always is intriguing). The Dove'n'Firebird are significantly different creatures down to their very souls.
Ever tried the 2. .   

If one accepts the notion of how varying differences in the build and wood selection can explain how two guitars with the same specs can sound different, it makes it difficult to attribute and quantify differences that may emanate from their souls because they look different from each other.

Was on a Dove hunt for a while, testing a few,  but became more into appreciating the short scale sound. The Firebird's been elusive, as of yet, but will keep an eye out.

Edited by 62burst

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