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NGD - Epiphone Inspired by Gibson Hummingbird Aged Cherry Burst


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I picked one up at Guitar Center yesterday.  Been keeping an eye out for one in town since they were announced and this was the first "Inspired by" Hummingbird I could get my hands on.  I've played plenty of Hummingbirds and the new Sheryl Crow CW Supreme in the past and knew I wanted to add one to my herd (have a Gibson J200 and J45 Vintage) but it's been cost prohibitive.  Sal's review and song postings did me in.  First impressions are it's well built with nice fit, finish and playability.  I dig the aged gloss finish.  My only nitpicks at this point are there are several rough spots on the binding around the body that could have been easily smoothed out.  Also, the binding at the neck is choppy where it meets the fretboard up and down the full length of the neck.  I recognized these issues at the store but it didn't stop me from purchasing because the tone and playability is great.  I agree with what Sal has shared about them having "a little treble shaved off compared to a real Bird".  I was able to A-B this one against a Gibson Hummingbird Standard.  The Gibson was definitely smoother, more refined, more treble, better attention to detail, better setup, better pickup and lighter than the Epiphone.  But the real deal is $3,000 more than the $800 Epiphone too.  I would estimate the Epiphone gets you 70% of the Gibson at a fraction of the price.   It's just a fun guitar to play and sing with.  I like the rounded C neck on it, which seems a little fuller than the Gibson (a good thing IMO).  Unfortunately, when I got it home and played it for a bit, I noticed the pick guard is lifting under the strings near the bridge.  Not sure that I'll keep it at this point due to this.  Need to call customer service and see what they can do to remedy it.  If nothing, then I'll return it and look for another.

 

One "Inspired by" J45 popped up a couple weeks ago, which I was able to play as well.  The J45 was very well built with nice fit, finish and playability as well.  It didn't have the binding issues that the Hummingbird does.  I would have walked out with it if not for a poor setup.  The nut slots were too low and there were a couple high frets which caused some rattles and sitar sounds on the treble strings.  

 

These are very nice guitars and I'm hoping Epiphone will continue the trend with an Inspired by Dove & J-185.  I'd grab one of both in a heartbeat if they sounded as good as the two examples I've been able to play. 

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Congratulations! Looking forward to some pics.

Two of you in this thread speak highly of these who have other, much higher priced guitars. I think that alone speaks volumes. TheGreatGumbino, if yours sounds anything like Sal's, they're going to sell a lot.

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Definitely get the setup right... straight neck.  proper saddle height. nut slots.

Again, I took out the ribbon Fishman UST $20 pickup and put in a new K&K SBT pickup. New bone nut. It really sounds fantastic. I think the only drawback (for some) is that the nut width is narrower than the typical Gibson. It is more like a Martin 11/16, or an Eastman guitar.

Last thing... The finish is poly, and not nitro; However, it is thin, and is dulled. It is not high gloss like most asian imports. It looks great.

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Correct, I bought it.  Spoke with Gibson warranty support today and they’re sending me a new pick guard.  A local authorized repair shop will install it for me.

Sorry for the delay.  I’ve been dealing with insomnia and vertigo and haven’t been checking in much or playing it much since pick it up.  Will post some more thoughts, pics and hopefully a recording soon.

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Very revealing review. Would love to see pics of this guitar! This is the second review I've read about lifting pick guards (once again) and rough binding, and bad nuts and saddle and very rough set ups. Perhaps just a coincidence? I would expect this baby not to sound exactly like its Gibson counterpart because of the price. But the issues mentioned above seem like Deja vu.

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14 hours ago, thegreatgumbino said:

Correct, I bought it.  Spoke with Gibson warranty support today and they’re sending me a new pick guard.  A local authorized repair shop will install it for me.

Sorry for the delay.  I’ve been dealing with insomnia and vertigo and haven’t been checking in much or playing it much since pick it up.  Will post some more thoughts, pics and hopefully a recording soon.

Best of luck with your disruptive issues and the pending pick guard replacement.  

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On 4/20/2021 at 1:09 PM, BoSoxBiker said:

Best of luck with your disruptive issues and the pending pick guard replacement.  

Thank you!  Vertigo is gone, thankfully.  

I've had a couple extended opportunities to play this new 'Bird and can say the tone and playability is fantastic.  It's incredibly fun to play.  I'm amazed how great this guitar is for the price and re-iterate my desire that Epiphone will issue an "Inspired by Gibson" Dove and J185.  I would be all over those in a heartbeat if they're anywhere close to this 'Bird.  I tune my guitars to standard D and am currently using the the stock strings.  Will switch them to Martin Retro mediums in the near future.  The rough binding issue appears to be caused by portions of the lacquer that weren't fully removed in the clean up.  Running my fingernail over them has smoothed them out.  

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On 4/20/2021 at 10:52 AM, ALD323 said:

Very revealing review. Would love to see pics of this guitar! This is the second review I've read about lifting pick guards (once again) and rough binding, and bad nuts and saddle and very rough set ups. Perhaps just a coincidence? I would expect this baby not to sound exactly like its Gibson counterpart because of the price. But the issues mentioned above seem like Deja vu.

The bad nut was on the Epiphone "IBG" J45 I played previously.  No issues with the nut on this 'Bird.  I'm quite happy with the setup on it.

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Man I just ordered myself one of these yesterday and can't wait!   Went ahead and got an open box model from Guitar Center website for $703.  Figured it must either be a floor model or a  customer return.  I'm happy to trade a couple little marks on it for $100 off!

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On 4/18/2021 at 9:06 PM, Salfromchatham said:

I invested in a pro setup, took the pickup out and replaced with a K&k.

Congrats on your guitar!
 

I am very happy with mine. I will likely sell my 00-15M, because I love the sound of this much more.

Noooo 

don’t sell it

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On 4/18/2021 at 4:06 PM, Salfromchatham said:

I invested in a pro setup, took the pickup out and replaced with a K&k.

Congrats on your guitar!
 

I am very happy with mine. I will likely sell my 00-15M, because I love the sound of this much more.

Is the that one you had some custom inlay stuff done at the bottom of the fretboard? 

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  • 3 months later...

I've had mine for a month now - ordered it with a hard case and set up from The Acoustic Centre in Melbourne, Australia - they did a superb job.

MrfdfJrm.jpg  4kJMl2xm.jpg

 

4kJMl2xm.jpg   dSqa9Avm.jpg

 

Took these pictures as unboxed it - that's a factory fitted humidity control thingy in the sound hole. The only change I've done is swap the plastic bridge pins to bone (nut & saddle are already bone)

eDHKm8im.jpg  jy5DjyPm.jpg

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33 minutes ago, Brucebubs said:

I've had mine for a month now - ordered it with a hard case and set up from The Acoustic Centre in Melbourne, Australia - they did a superb job.

MrfdfJrm.jpg  4kJMl2xm.jpg

 

4kJMl2xm.jpg   dSqa9Avm.jpg

 

Took these pictures as unboxed it - that's a factory fitted humidity control thingy in the sound hole. The only change I've done is swap the plastic bridge pins to bone (nut & saddle are already bone)

eDHKm8im.jpg  jy5DjyPm.jpg

Nice!

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