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Okay which one would you own?


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Hi everyone,

 

Here's the subjective question of the day. Apples, oranges, & banana's comparison I know, but give it your best!

 

I've got some fold'n money burning a hole in my pocket. I have a Gibson J-160E 1962 Reissue and a Epi Hummingbird & Dove. Also, a mid 70's Guild F-47. Love them all and the look of the Dove & Bird too. Now for the question:

 

Looking at a Gibson Dove & Hummingbird to add to the keeper collection. Also, never played, but wondered about a J-45 (don't know what the fuss is about them yet). Which one would you get and more importantly WHY?

 

With regards to the J-45 it may be great sounding to the ear, but seem very boring to the eye if you know what I mean. Don't mean to trash talk it and anyone that owns one, just my ignorants and process to learn what I'm missing out on. Best looker to me and like the brighter tone is the Dove IMHO. Music style is mostly everything but country so far. Old 60's, 70's rock & want to get into some bluegrass now too.

 

Thanks in advance for the information & opinions. All are welcome & helpful. I have played a HB in a store and didn't like it much better than my Epi (sorry to say). Did I just have a dud?

 

HHH

 

Aster

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My ex father in law owns a GIBBY hummingbird and his friend has a GIBBY dove...I played them both and for some reason the dove sounded more bass, more full than the hummingbird. maybe its me, I dont know.

 

In either case, I would happily own either one if it were in my hands [biggrin]

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Hi Aster,

 

Always great to be in the position to choose between some fine instruments. I have never played a Dove, only a couple of Hummingbirds and a J45. Both great guitars. When having the same choice I preferred the mellow sound and kitsch looks of the Hummingbird over the J45. But while I am saying that I don't rule out the option of buying a J45 once when I would be in the position to do so.

 

As far was the bass thing, that might me connected to single copies of both guitars too instead of being related to the models. My Hummingbird has plenty of bass, while my previous bird had very little. Overall guitar models do have a certain sound, but there is some variation in sound from copy to copy.

 

What it comes down to I suppose - if you are in the position to do so - is to try them and pick the one that suits your taste and main music style best. That made me decide to choose a more bassier guitar over a more sustaining one for example.

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If you like the sound of the J45 and the bling of the HBird, then consider a Southern Jumbo. For sheer variation you really should try a slopeshoulder, and some are less plain looking than others...

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Since you like your Epi Hummingbird and Dove, the first question you should ask yourself is how much you feel they sound like the Gibson versions. If you feel the Gibsons are radically different (and if that difference is pleasing to you), focus on collecting those, first. If not, try a J-45 for a while, and see whether you like that type of sound and guitar's simpler aesthetic.

 

For Bluegrass, consider the Advanced Jumbo, too. Plenty of bling, and plenty of power and projection.

 

Red 333

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I recognize that looks play a part when choosing a guitar (have some severe difficulties with too pale tops). But the main factor has to be the sound, , , and next the feel- the way you sense what you got in your hands. If there's some sort of indefinable barrier between your instinct and the instrument, even the best chiming 6 strings on the planet won't do.

 

I don't know too much about maple guitars, but I've tried a very good Firebird Custom (same as the Dove I'm told).

 

Apart from that I'm lucky enough to have both the J-45 Standard and a Hummingbird TV in the house at the moment and I am comparing back and forth like a pendulum to understand their natures. And they are different – obviously in the same family, but different. Let's talk sound only : The 45 is darker, muddier and slower. It has a fat bass (fantastic with new strings) and seems to be born in a rather serious mood. By slower, I mean a 'funny chewy' side to its response and tone*, probably due to the bracing. Hard to describe, but this flavour really makes the 45 Standard something else.

 

The H-bird, which is new for me, has a tremendous singing high E and B string. They are so clear and positive that they almost rhyme with the motive on the pick-guard and it gives the guitar a lighter soul than the 45. The mids are strong and full of vitamins - a lot of core there - but when it comes to bass, it falls behind. It's my plan to give it a fair chance and see if it opens, gets more relaxed and bassier over time. The guitar deserves it and it would be a shame if it doesn't happen (or happens without me being there to witness it).

 

All this said, there is one considerable vari-factor above everything else. Have to underline the J-45 projects more. It is as if it sends from a deeper chamber than the Bird. There is an extra layer to the sound that can't be denied – even though it is carried by this fundamentally muddy voice. Of course no one can be sure that the Bird ain't goin' to follow as it breaks in, but I doubt it will reach the level of the Horse**. However if something like that should occur, we surely would have a happy affair here. Let us hear what you decide. Be glad. . .

 

  • * My friends Historic Collection is nothing like that – it's more normal hehe -

** Excuse me, but I still can't call this lyrical tool a Workhorse -

 

 

 

P.S. The 45 isn't boring. Like a jeep or a all in one gas-station workers/air pilots suit isn't boring !

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Thanks for the tips so far. I don't intend on keeping the Epi of which ever guitar I would get. If I get the Gibson Dove or H Bird I'll get rid of the same in the Epiphone. Maybe I'll try to replace both Epi's with the Gibson version eventually. :rolleyes: I just didn't know what the fuss about the J-45 was and E-minor7 thanks for the detailed and colorful explanation on the HBird vs. the J-45. Of the two Epi's I have I like the ring of the Dove the best. Bright, but controllable with string choice, and then I pickup and play the Hummingbird and fall in love with that too.

 

Guess I could just flip a three sided coin or just run back 10 yrds., punt, and buy a Gretsch Cadillac Green Duo-Jet with Dynasonic Pups and be done with it [biggrin]

 

Aster

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Just to let you all know what I did. Almost ordered the Gretsch green caddy Duo-jet. But then I found out that Gibson has now just discontinued the "Standard" Dove and will only be making the "Doves in Flight" or some rot like that. Don't care for that one at all (too busy looking for me) Found a new Dove in stock and got 15% off so it's on the way. If it isn't great (by that I mean really kicks the Epi Dove's butt) back it goes and the Green Caddy is mine now. I can always get the H. Bird & the Duo-Jet later, on the next 15% off deal [love]

 

Thanks for the help. Will post some photo's and my impressions when it gets here Weds. if anyone is interested. I think it will be a great addition to the stable.

 

Aster

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If you decide the Dove is not for you, and send it back, I highly recommend a Martin HD-28 for you, because you said you wanted to play Bluegrass, thats the very reason I own a HD-28 I play a lot of Bluegrass you will be hard pressed to get a dove to be heard,, with a banjo playing!!! if you want something fancy and even louder a Martin D-42 should do it!!! By the way I own a Gibson true Hummingbird and it's a fantastic sounding guitar I play it when performing Southern Gospel music and it's a real dream to look at, plus it so easy for me to match my voice to when singing. If I preform mixed sets of Bluegrass Gospel and Southern Gospel I will often play my Martin D-45 But my favorite guitar to play anything other than Bluegrass while singing is my Gibson true Hummingbird!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

 

I received the Dove about a week ago and let it ease into the new climate for a few days before opening. Just as a quick review I have this to say about that:

 

Epi Dove vs. Gibson Dove. Not even a close horserace. Epi loses by 1/2 the track. I thought it sounded "pretty good" for a cheap guitar (and it does) but the Gibby kicks it behind all over the place. Much Much better bass, crisp/clean highs, more volume, easy to fret, overall BIG guitar sound & drop dead beautiful finish/appointed. Couldn't be happier (unless I could have got another $1000 off the price) ](*,) And dang it, it should sound much better too. 10x the selling price is quite the difference. This Dove is rather loud to me anyway, but if I need MORE volume I can plug into it's Pup output jack. Overall, with the few sessions that I've been able to play the new Dove, I just love it and it should sound better as it ages in too. One thing that I did notice is that the maple top finish is rather "white" if you will on the newer ones vs. compared to ones that I've seen/played even 8 yrs. ago.

 

Dumb guy question, is it just a finish change, or do they warm up and "suntan" with some time and light shining on them? This one has spent all it's short life in a tight guitar case to day.

 

Thanks again to all that responded. [biggrin] Will post some photo's of the new addition. After I played the "which guitar" game that SpotonDrums so wonderfully setup on another post, I'm glad I picked the Dove and I think it sounds much like the Country Western in the test. It was my favorite pick of the 4 with the J-45 maybe 2nd. Check that out if you haven't played and just start off and do the test before you read any further. Really cool job and again, hats off to Spoton!! Just for the record, after I got hit with the withdrawals from passing on the Caddy Green Gretsch Duo-Jet, I ordered it when a deep discount coupon arrived and couldn't resist. :rolleyes: Next will be to retire the Epi Hummingbird with a Gibby HB. YeeeHaw. Got to go sell a bunch of stuff at work to do that.

 

Aster

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There's no such thing as a dumb guy question. Your guitar will probably get darker over time, just because of the paint and the wood doing their thing. No sun needed. My bird came with orange back and sides which will get more brownish over time...hopefully :-)

 

Congrats on your dove. Fine guitar!

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Man.... I feel like this is a personal thread to me!

 

I fell in love with th H'Bird back in the mid-60's. Got a Dove back in '80, and it's a GREAT guitar. Tons of bass, and dominates any other guitar

who play with me at the same time.

 

A little over a year ago I bought a DIF, (too "blingy" for some, but it's what I wanted). It's a 2003. Not "aged" as much as my Dove, and is a TOTALLY different guitar. Much more

mellow, not as much projection, but, oh...what a pleasure to play...and sounds as sweet as honey.

 

Just bought a H'Bird Koa, (haven't picked it up yet). Am looking for a brighter sound than I get from either Dove. Again, it's kind of "blingy", but I'm planning on leaving them to my grandkids one day, (not too soon).

 

I'll know more about the sound in a couple of weeks, (I pick up the H'Bird tomorrow).

 

I think your choice of a Dove is great. I bought a "pair of Epi's" for my son and DIL. I have him the Epi Dove and her the Epi H'Bird. I thought both of them were fantastic guitars for the price....but the key is "for the price".

 

They don't come even CLOSE to what I hear from Gibson Doves and H'Birds. (kids have since divorced, so the Epi H'Bird went away!)

 

Bob

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Man,

 

I hate it when the matched set gets broken up! [cursing] It's a shame that folks just can't work things out better but it takes 2 people wanting to do that.

 

Triumph, that's what I understood about the Dove and Gibson doesn't even show one on the products page anymore. Don't know exact date when they stopped making. Someone like Fullers Guitar in TX will maybe have a run custom made to a 19.. whatever year that was the "best" for a Dove. I do love my J-160E 1962 from them and it's really not a bad price, somewhat. [crying]

 

I Doves in Flight is a good looker but I just didn't want to drop THAT much cash into one. Fed the meter enough already with the other Gibson's, Ric's, and now the Green Gretsch.

 

Aster

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You know....I dont like posts like this because if I choose one guitar over another it could be conceived as a "dis" to all the guitar owners of the one I didn't pick. Some might even see it as "BASHING" the entire Gibson company, so I shy away from posts like this. Also, I have heard that certain tonewoods, who shall remain nameless (Mahogany) are VERY sensitive, and again, choosing one tone wood over another may offend, So best to avoid that!!! Who knows even Honduras might get up in arms if I chose Maple!!!!! So best not to tread on tender toes....lol...unbelievable that we have to think like this...so silly

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You know....I dont like posts like this because if I choose one guitar over another it could be conceived as a "dis" to all the guitar owners of the one I didn't pick.

 

Well, since I'm about as concerned with "political correctness" as I am about wasting gas for joyrides on one of my Harley's, I would presume that this is a "tongue in cheek" comment about the question? I will end up with a J-45 & a Hummingbird ASAP. Just wanted the Dove higher on the priority list of must haves.

 

We all like different sounds, looks, shapes, and have reasons why. To get feedback on the sound or appointments a guitar, car, or bike has is just a technique of research and also fun. If anyone thinks that picking a Dove over a J-45 is a slap or dis, then, too bad. We're getting to be way too big of "BABIES" over here in the States. [flapper] Everyone takes too much offense to things. Let's get some thicker skin and not worry about everything all the time. Life's too short. Pretty soon we'll be just like France if we're not careful. [scared]

 

Personally, if I had the scratch I'd have one of each of the Gibson guitars. They are all good & different. I look at the Epiphone line as good for the $. But so far I have found that the Gibson's are always much better than the Epiphones. No dis to the Epi owners "cuz I are one." But when I can scrounge up enough $$ to replace an Epi made look-alike of a Gibson model I will do it.

 

Thanks again for the comments. Still love the Dove!!

 

Aster

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... Gibson doesn't even show one on the products page anymore. Don't know exact date when they stopped making. ...

 

Relax. Just because a model is not on the products page doesn't mean that they've stopped making them. They're still making them, and any dealer can order you one.

 

-- Bob R

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Man,

 

I hate it when the matched set gets broken up! [cursing] It's a shame that folks just can't work things out better but it takes 2 people wanting to do that.

 

Triumph, that's what I understood about the Dove and Gibson doesn't even show one on the products page anymore. Don't know exact date when they stopped making. Someone like Fullers Guitar in TX will maybe have a run custom made to a 19.. whatever year that was the "best" for a Dove. I do love my J-160E 1962 from them and it's really not a bad price, somewhat. [crying]

 

I Doves in Flight is a good looker but I just didn't want to drop THAT much cash into one. Fed the meter enough already with the other Gibson's, Ric's, and now the Green Gretsch.

 

Aster

 

I gotta admit...when they broke up..... the fate of the Epi H'Bird was the LEAST of my concerns!

 

I'd heard that Gibson had "discontinued" the H'Bird Koa....but 'taint so..... mine was built on April 5, 2011.

 

The DIF might be a better looking guitar than the H'Bird....but not by much!

 

I played them both EXTENSIVELY last weekend.....(as much as I had time for)..... and they are so TOTALLY different, I am amazed!

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