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bertrandbrebis

Disappointed By Hummingbird

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Hi,

I've just tested 2 Standard Hummingbird guitars in a shop, a 2018 and a 2019 models.  I was ready to buy one but finally decided to wait and think about my project.  Here's why:

- The string action at the 12th fret was really far too high, close to unplayable after the 10th fret.   The neck was straight so I guess I'd need to take the brand new guitar to a luthier so that he sands the bridge saddle, which in my opinion is not acceptable with a new guitar in that price range.

- The pick guard already started to lift off the wood top, which again is not acceptable.  How come with a guitar of this price?

I  really wanted a Hummingbird but I'm not so sure now.  Recently I tested a Chinese Harley Benton guitar costing 10X less and it was nearly perfect, just the sound of it was not as good as I wanted (but not bad at all).

Cheers

Edited by bertrandbrebis

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So Martin are not the most disappointing brand? You better watch what you say. Forum members may be at your house right now with pitchforks and burning torches.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
  • Haha 1

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I bought a hummingbird back around 2005. It was a nice guitar, & I liked it, however I liked my J-45 more. I returned the hummingbird a few days later. 

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Yes the J45 sounds great and looks great too.  For me it's just the fact that I had a Hummingbird a long time ago but it was stolen from me in the 70s and I've always thought I'd buy another one when I can afford it.  Maybe it's a way of going back somehow to my youth, I don't know :-)

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1 hour ago, bertrandbrebis said:

Hi,

I've just tested 2 Standard Hummingbird guitars in a shop, a 2018 and a 2019 models.  I was ready to buy one but finally decided to wait and think about my project.  Here's why:

- The string action at the 12th fret was really far too high, close to unplayable after the 10th fret.   The neck was straight so I guess I'd need to take the brand new guitar to a luthier so that he sands the bridge saddle, which in my opinion is not acceptable with a new guitar in that price range.

- The pick guard already started to lift off the wood top, which again is not acceptable.  How come with a guitar of this price?

I  really wanted a Hummingbird but I'm not so sure now.  Recently I tested a Chinese Harley Benton guitar costing 10X less and it was nearly perfect, just the sound of it was not as good as I wanted (but not bad at all).

Cheers

It is easier to lower a saddle that to make it taller. There are options to making it taller (shim it or buy a new saddle and start over). Let me ask you a question, how does Gibson , Martin, Taylor ect know who the guitar is going to and what their preference for action is? That is why action is left high on new guitars.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Yes you're right and I understand the principle but there should be reasonable limits to it. 

I don't know any guitarist willing to play with the strings that high.  Comfort should be taken into account much more, like other guitar brands (I had a Martin HD28 for 15 years I've just sold and the action was nothing of the sort).

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Ya. Most guitars are set up to a selling point.  Then usually each guitar that is sold to every customer has a different take on how they would like the action to be for there playing style.   So you do have the option to have it set up to your style after purchase.    Get a luthier to set it up. Im sure youll find satisfaction after its been done. 

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I dont have a lot of experience with Gibson and its been a long time since I bought new,  

But when I was buying new guitars, I always preferred high action,  for simple reason no guitar builder can 

come up with a perfect setup, like everything else we are all different,  I would give my guitars  3 to 6 months 

before doing a setup that would suit my needs.  IMHO

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4 minutes ago, slimt said:

Ya. Most guitars are set up to a selling point.  Then usually each guitar that is sold to every customer has a different take on how they would like the action to be for there playing style.   So you do have the option to have it set up to your style after purchase.    Get a luthier to set it up. Im sure youll find satisfaction after its been done. 

There are sellers who will set up a new guitar to your liking also. Just another option. But I Agee, that a simple setup could easily remedy the problem.

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9 minutes ago, bertrandbrebis said:

What about the pick guard lifting off on 2 new HBs?

Seems to be an ongoing problem. There are older post dealing with this, but I personally find it ridiculous that you would even have this problem in the first place. Gibson should fix this problem, it shouldn’t be a problem for the buyer in the first place. Imho

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14 minutes ago, bertrandbrebis said:

What about the pick guard lifting off on 2 new HBs?

Never seen anything like it - must be the climate there or something the 2 went through together during transportation.                                                                                                                                                                                             Of course unacceptable - and a reason to make a deal or get out of there. . 

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4 minutes ago, E-minor7 said:

Never seen anything like it - must be the climate there or something the 2 went through together during transportation.                                                                                                                                                                                             Of course unacceptable - and a reason to make a deal or get out of there. . 


Im pretty sure its a pickguard problem. I was at a dealer saturday. Three birds a couple of 45s , all with the guards lifting.   Maybe the issue could be the polish they use after the clear has been applied. The polish might have a silicone base where the glue from the guards are not sticking    

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1 hour ago, E-minor7 said:

Never seen anything like it - must be the climate there or something the 2 went through together during transportation.                                                                                                                                                                                             Of course unacceptable - and a reason to make a deal or get out of there. . 

I have one little section of my SJ200 pickguard lifting up.  (the pointy tip part.)  it's a problem and has been for a long time.  Could be due to climate, but when you have been passing guitars in and out of ones possession for a life time, and the only one to every have this issue is a Gibson...   I love my J200 (it's awseoms) and love my other gibbies as well (5 others)  but Really.. They need to fix this!

Edited by kidblast
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As far as I’m concerned, it’s another reason to buy used. I don’t want flubber pickguards, I don’t want ritchlite . I’m sure new Gibson’s are great guitars, but they’re about to improve them to death.

 

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Perhaps your expectations are unrealistic ?

How much playing do people do around frets number 10 and 12? 
 

if the action is high a competent luthier can adjust that for you.

 

The pickguard  issue is something common in standard series instruments since Gibson changed to what people call the “flubber” material. Gibson should issue you a new guard if you are buying from an authorized Gibson dealer.Gibson made the change because people would always complain that the artwork on guitars like the Hummingbird or SJ 200 would wear off.

 

 

JC

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Not sure how the guys at the factory are supposed to know how you like your guitars setup.  I automatically assume any guitar that comes into the house will need a full setup to get it the sweet spot that I like.  Just par for the course.  Now if the high action is caused by an underset neck that would be a different matter.

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29 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

Not sure how the guys at the factory are supposed to know how you like your guitars setup.  I automatically assume any guitar that comes into the house will need a full setup to get it the sweet spot that I like.  Just par for the course.  Now if the high action is caused by an underset neck that would be a different matter.

10-4

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Apart from the reasons mentioned above, doesn't the shop you buy the guitar from have a hand in it, so to speak?

There are 2 kinds of guitar shops near me - one where you 'get what you get',  no matter what brand, and the other shop has every single guitar in the shop presented perfectly and ready to play today, again, no matter what brand.....they have a 'show workbench' at the front counters and most of the staff do a bit of tweaking.......they have a brand new 'Original' Bird natural finish for $AU6,699 today and for that money you can buy 2 or even 3 of the local made dreads, so that Bird had better play well! And it will, at the (2nd) shop. Checked, adjusted, new strings, polished! A lot of work for every guitar! Catch is, they are more expensive....

 

BluesKing777.

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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5 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

So Martin are not the most disappointing brand? You better watch what you say. Forum members may be at your house right now with pitchforks and burning torches.

You're such a hoot. I seem to get the impression that any one here who deviates from what you think is not up to snuff. 

An intellectual bully is a way of describing you.

 

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11 minutes ago, olie said:

You're such a hoot. I seem to get the impression that any one here who deviates from what you think is not up to snuff. 

An intellectual bully is a way of describing you.

 

Olie,

You could easily attach that label to some of the adherents of Gibsonism  who inhabit this forum. You're only picking on Sgt. Pepper because he goes against the Orthodoxy that is espoused here, and you don't like it.

RBSinTo

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I've had two Hummingbirds. Nice guitars, never took to them. I'd like to get a nice vintage or one of the new thermal tops to see if it changes my mind. I like their looks. I especially like the dark sunburst ones.

Lifting guards are a nuisance but as long as they're not too bad, I just push them down and keep on going. Would not keep me from buying the guitar. 

I never expect a guitar to be setup even close to what I want. I've had a couple but they were few and far between. As long as the neck angle looks good, I'm happy.

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8 minutes ago, RBSinTo said:

Olie,

You could easily attach that label to some of the adherents of Gibsonism  who inhabit this forum. You're only picking on Sgt. Pepper because he goes against the Orthodoxy that is espoused here, and you don't like it.

RBSinTo

Perhaps, but I think I can address my concerns in my own way.

I appreciate your sentiment but my reason for this statement was more about the condescending tone and rudeness that seems to escape criticism here.

A bit of civility would be welcome. There certainly exists an "old boy's club" which doesn't want any dissenting atmosphere.

That's fine, but the lack of respect for anything going against the "Orthodoxy" is strange coming from a seeming rebel.

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4 hours ago, kidblast said:

I have one little section of my SJ200 pickguard lifting up.  (the pointy tip part.)  it's a problem and has been for a long time.  Could be due to climate, but when you have been passing guitars in and out of ones possession for a life time, and the only one to every have this issue is a Gibson...   I love my J200 (it's awseoms) and love my other gibbies as well (5 others)  but Really.. They need to fix this!

Agree, , , and of course know of the problem. What I meant was that I never encountered the infamous lift in real life - and certainly not side by side on a shop wall.                                                                         slimt suggests they polished them with something wrong, tiger-saliva or wicked-witch-tears - hmmm, , , would be highly amateurish, but you never know.                                                                                                  I would get pretty cold feet in a store like this. 

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