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Hummingbird Owners. Which pick thickness is your preference for that nectar tone?


ALD323
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I've been experimenting with thin, medium and hard picks on my Gibson bird. I'm finding that medium and hard picks give it a richer  deeper tone, but missing a bit ot the sweet nectar tone. But when I switch to a light/thin pick the nectar come through, but the depth of tone does not. Perhaps I'm not attacking the strings correctly?  So I ask, which pick thickness do other Hummingbird owners use to accentuate that sweet nectar tone which these guitars are so famous for. And is my situation considered the norm for these Hummingbird guitars. Either way my Hummingbird is a gem, just wanting to get the most control out of it...I use .12-.53 strings, 80/20 if that matters, which is the thickness this Gibson came with. What is the best means to get that nectar tone from a Hummingbird..that sound is just awesome!

Edited by ALD323
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I have to admit to not knowing what that nectar tone is, though I'm sure I've had to have heard it somewhere at some point in my life.

Mine, before experimenting with titaniums, I've been using mostly .75 thru 1.25. My plectrum choices have been mainly Taylor's (less bright), Cool Picks(more bright) , Dunlop Ultex and the Sam Ash Guitars of Distinction picks(deeper) they pack in the cases when I have them ship to me instead of the store pickup. The Ultex and Taylors are usually first. The 0.88 Ultex seems to be a great starting point for me on the HB. For me, it's a nice combination of deep, but bright and quick through the strings. A little less bright on the Taylor, but similar speed. I think it's the 1.0MM

FWIW, .012-.053, Martin Silks(80/20), D'Add NBs and ClearTone EQs were last three string choices.  

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Thanks Patriot, I tried the ultex .73 the sharp pointed ones and the regular, I like them a lot. Its just that the fender thins seem to give more chime and honey nectar, but I'm not sure if I'm imagining it. lol! I love a deeper warmer sound on most of my guitars, but the hummingbird, I want the sweet nectar, so I'll keep trying!

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Ahhhh! E-minor I was hoping you would respond! What you say seems so true for that nectar tone. The harder medium pick does indeed seem to be too loud and not delicate compared to the thinner lightly held pick but only on my Hummingbird!!!!  So then the Herco pick is 50mm I'm assuming, and the Nylon..I have some of those grey nylons in thin and medium, I'll have to try those, I haven't done so yet! Thank you! I'm really craving the discovery of the nectar tone on the HB. I've had it several years but always used a medium pick, it sounded nice but the nectar was missing. This is a discovery for me!

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45 minutes ago, PatriotsBiker said:

Can anyone point me to a good example of that nectar tone?

Patriot....I describe the nectar tone as ....sweet, clear but not shrill, almost electric, resinating, delicate, not basey. Not deep sounding, but not tinny, not deep, but light and airy, whispy, alluring, almost tempting, even daring you to listen closer as it pulls you in. Here is one of the best examples of that sound...the rolling stones..Angie...done with humming birds. Listen closely to the intro and beginning of the song as Mick begins to sing "angie"....the hummingbirds chime it.  you will find it particularly at precisely 0.23 in the video.

 

Edited by ALD323
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45 minutes ago, ALD323 said:

Ahhhh! E-minor I was hoping you would respond! What you say seems so true for that nectar tone. The harder medium pick does indeed seem to be too loud and not delicate compared to the thinner lightly held pick but only on my Hummingbird!!!!  So then the Herco pick is 50mm I'm assuming, and the Nylon..I have some of those grey nylons in thin and medium, I'll have to try those, I haven't done so yet! Thank you! I'm really craving the discovery of the nectar tone on the HB. I've had it several years but always used a medium pick, it sounded nice but the nectar was missing. This is a discovery for me!

It's exciting territory to explore and we all have our own personal preferences when it comes to nectar-nuance. I hope you get closer this summer - and believe you are on the right track when not trying to bang it forward. Your description of the attractive N (which we also know as the honey glaze) seems to point in a promising direction.                                                                                                                           Have fun discovering - and do revive this thread to tell what happens.  

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1 hour ago, PatriotsBiker said:

Can anyone point me to a good example of that nectar tone?

PB and ALD323 - I hope EA and not least father_of_pearl would chime in here. They're are both experts and could guide you further. 

Meanwhile an opportunity to re-run one of my favorites on the Tube.  
It's related to the Stones-birds - but !! , , please remember the Stones' legendary and highly praised Hummingbird-sound may have been generated by a ceramic insert in a plastic bridge. Richards playbacks one of those in the film above - shocking, isn't it. . 

 

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9 minutes ago, E-minor7 said:

PB and ALD323 - I hope EA and not least father_of_pearl would chime in here. They're are both experts and could guide you further. 

Meanwhile an opportunity to re-run one of my favorites on the Tube.  
It's related to the Stones-birds - but !! , , please remember the Stones' legendary and highly praised Hummingbird-sound may have been generated by a ceramic insert in a plastic bridge. Richards playbacks one of those in the film above - shocking, isn't it. . 

 

Just out of this world! Nothing like a Hummingbird. It's in a class all its own..thank you for posting it. Utterly intoxicating HB and tone. I really cherish mine.  More honey glaze please!!!

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Thanks for the clarifications. The HB does have much to offer as far as variety of tones. I was not thinking of the same thing. I was thinking(guessing, as it turns out) that the term referred to the thicker, chimey tone with good bottom end support pushing it up through.  Related to the actual tone being optimized byALD323(OP) , scratch my thoughts on the Cool Picks, SAGOD swag picks and the Dunlop Ultex.

The thinner of the Taylor Thermex darker tone picks should be tried if you ever see one in a friend's pick bowl. Especially if current efforts are ending up on the thin side of things. (Blue Swirl and Tortoise, in case color batches resulted in random tone changes...)

I'll jump back into this in a few weeks when my HB gets back onto the stand before and after string change from the Martin Titaniums. Kind of curious to see if the Titaniums let me get that "nectar" or "honey glaze" thing.

I do remember Nylon as being a helpful material for the tone being sought. I have the .75MM version of Herco shown above. It can be aggressive, but it can also be controlled. I'll have to get a pack of .50s to try.

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On 7/14/2020 at 10:28 PM, E-minor7 said:

The Herco Flex 50 does it for me. 

rb24LDs.jpg Medium - a harder pick is too loud to develop the percussive touch, which is the secret ingredient in the nectarish voice. 

!! hold it a bit loose and don't play too heavy. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the tip.  I was in Sweetwater yesterday and picked some of these and I like them..I have not tried it on the "Bird" yet that will be today. Thanks again.

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On 7/14/2020 at 11:35 PM, PatriotsBiker said:

Can anyone point me to a good example of that nectar tone?

I think it is meant to be funny as in he has a H'Bird and those real birds look for nectar. I only have CFM tone. Wasn't Nektar a Prog Band?

I like Blue Chip picks and V-picks.  From .8 to 1mm.  

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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On 7/15/2020 at 6:54 AM, E-minor7 said:

PB and ALD323 - I hope EA and not least father_of_pearl would chime in here. They're are both experts and could guide you further. 

 

The Hummingbird nectar glaze ... saturate, saturated mids, warm, spaghetti like bass, thick trebles, slightly blunted ... thats how i would describe.

I reckon this vid I recorded, jeez, 8 years ago now captures that HB tone i describe above rather well.

I reckon strings have as much to do with getting that tone out as much as picks. Preferably well worn strings, PB's. In terms of pick, always used a Gibson mid, but recently found I like the tone of my Bird TV with a thick 1.0mm pick ... but i might try Em7's suggestion to try the light 0.50mm ..

Quote

 

 

Edited by EuroAussie
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On 7/15/2020 at 12:12 AM, ALD323 said:

Patriot....I describe the nectar tone as ....sweet, clear but not shrill, almost electric, resinating, delicate, not basey. Not deep sounding, but not tinny, not deep, but light and airy, whispy, alluring, almost tempting, even daring you to listen closer as it pulls you in. Here is one of the best examples of that sound...the rolling stones..Angie...done with humming birds. Listen closely to the intro and beginning of the song as Mick begins to sing "angie"....the hummingbirds chime it.  you will find it particularly at precisely 0.23 in the video.

 

Is that the sound of muffled snickering I hear in the distance?

Gibson nectar????????  Really?

Wonder if it is similar to the Martin Ambrosia, or the Taylor Honeysuckle?

Sounds like those absurdly pretentious descriptions of the aroma and taste of wines.

Too silly.

Oh. And picks?

Jim Dunlop nylon .60mm, in grey, because they just feel better in my hand, give me more control than thicker, stiffer picks.

And the grey ones because they produce a better sound than the other colours.

 

RBSinTo

 

Edited by RBSinTo
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3 hours ago, EuroAussie said:

The Hummingbird nectar glaze ... saturate, saturated mids, warm, spaghetti like bass, thick trebles, slightly blunted ... thats how i would describe.

I reckon this vid I recorded, jeez, 8 years ago now captures that HB tone i describe above rather well.

I reckon strings have as much to do with getting that tone out as much as picks. Preferably well worn strings, PB's. In terms of pick, always used a Gibson mid, but recently found I like the tone of my Bird TV with a thick 1.0mm pick ... but i might try Em7's suggestion to try the light 0.50mm ..

I follow your definition and remember the video well. A lot of Bird there, , , as if I'm not too off this was before the bass began to bloom. 

Regarding the Herco, then try not to hold it too tight. The nectar of course comes from the box, but it has to be groomed forward with attention and care.                                                                                                                                                              It's a series of factors combined right around the special nature of these guitars. And as we know some of them have more than others.

Let me hear what you get out of it in case you find a Flex 50.

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On 7/15/2020 at 7:59 AM, MissouriPicker said:

The tone is dependent on the ears doing the listening.  What I like, someone else may think it sucks.

 

Hey MP, How are you?  Hope you are doing well.  I just wanted to tell you I was listening to some music today in my library and came across your CD..Still enjoyed it..thanks again.   Old Photographs...

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12 hours ago, kelly campbell said:

 

Hey MP, How are you?  Hope you are doing well.  I just wanted to tell you I was listening to some music today in my library and came across your CD..Still enjoyed it..thanks again.   Old Photographs...

So you’re the one...lol....Thanks for the kind words, my friend.  I’ve been told it works better than counting sheep....We’re doing well here in Hell (90+ everyday).  Aside from the heat, summer has been decent.  It’s funny how when we’re kids we play baseball at 2pm when it’s 102 and have a blast.  Now, if it’s in the mid-80s, “Damn, it’s gonna be a hot one.”......

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16 hours ago, EuroAussie said:

The Hummingbird nectar glaze ... saturate, saturated mids, warm, spaghetti like bass, thick trebles, slightly blunted ... thats how i would describe.

I reckon this vid I recorded, jeez, 8 years ago now captures that HB tone i describe above rather well.

I reckon strings have as much to do with getting that tone out as much as picks. Preferably well worn strings, PB's. In terms of pick, always used a Gibson mid, but recently found I like the tone of my Bird TV with a thick 1.0mm pick ... but i might try Em7's suggestion to try the light 0.50mm ..

 

Nice version of “Hurt.”  Good vibe with the bird and your vocal.

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Nice videos. Listening to these on top of what I already know from Hummingbord tones do illustrate the guitars versatility.

EA, that was a nice performance of Cash's version of Hurt, which I find difficult song to sing & convey emotion properly. (well, for me, anyhow)

A couple of notes on the Herco pics. Prior to this discussion, I had just the silver "Flex 75" pics. I now have two marked "Flex 75" due to my lack of inspection on amazon.. One is called "Holy Grail" and is off-white in color instead of silver. The differences, tonally speaking, are quite remarkable despite sounding almost identical when dropping them on a table-top.  The "Holy Grail" version as a softer sounding attack while the gray version is considerably brighter. Not annoyingly bright, though, but I don't think it's a match for the topic at hand. 

I also ordered and received a pack of "Vintage '66". They feel a teensy bit thinner than the two .75mm versions I have. These have some brightness, but are as distinctive tonally different as the others. More so than the differences between thin/med/heavy of some common celluloid pick commonly used some time ago. 

I also ordered the Flex 50's, which should be here next week. I put a link to the ones I ordered below the two I've received. This link had an option for the silver flex-75s, but I do not know for sure if they are the same as the ones I have. I'll do some experimenting in 9 days when the Hummingbird comes back out to play. I still have the Martin Titanium string to finish experimenting with, so I might to additional experiments with a more traditional string later in the week. 

Herco Holy Grail

Herco Vintage 66

Herco Flex 50

Guitars quite fun to explore on many levels.

 

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25 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Just found 2 Flex 75's I had in my stash of picks. They have great grip. If I dug them I would be using them but I'm not and I don't. I think Jimmy Page used them and many others.

I wrote above that they(the Silver ones) were aggressive in nature, but were controllable. Basically, If I got sloppy with volume control, they could get too loud in quick fashion.   

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