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Buc McMaster

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Ventured off to my friends' lefthanded guitar store this morning to see what Jimmy might have to tickle my fancy in a new guitar. Well, he had several that were all top-notch instruments and it was honestly difficult to choose one. I must say every guitar I picked up had good strings on it and was in tune, ready to play. Good on you for that, Jimmy! I took my CJ165 for trade bait - I'm of a mind that I do not need more than one guitar at a time.


This 45 was interesting. I had seen photos of the run of goldtops but had never had the opportunity to play one. This particular one was bad, very flat and dull sounding with zero sustain. There were about six other J45's in various configurations and all of them sounded better than this goldtop.......but it deserved a photo for cool factor. The Southern Jumbo and the SJ200 on the right were out-freaking-standing! The 200 was labeled as a "5 Star Quilt" and the maple on the back and sides was incredible (should have got a picture of it!). Big, loud and crisp in tone......very nice. The SJ made it to the final two......




There was a very nice Collings SJ that had me shaking my head in disbelief in the tone it produced. Played a HD28V and a D18GE for awhile to clear my head and make mental notes of the tonal differences between Martin & Gibson. Tried out and very nice Advanced Jumbo, but it's rosewood and long scale, two things I wanted to stay away from. Also played a nice used Hummingbird from '04 that was spanking new, not a mark on it. There were two Doves and two brand new Hummingbirds. The Dove doesn't hold much appeal for me so I tried both of the H'birds. One was natural top and quite nice, but then I played this one..........




This H'bird and the Southern Jumbo were the two contenders for the ride home. I was at the store for nearly five hours and at least two of those were spent alternating between these two instruments in a little back room off the sales floor. So now I am the proud owner of a brand new Gibson Hummingbird! Woohoo! Within 15 minutes of arriving home with it I had the pickup out and had a coat of Virtuoso rubbed in. (Can't hang with an on-board pickup system anymore.....it had to go.) Polished it out, strung it up with the Pearse lights I had on-hand and took this photo on the back porch. Now it's time to wear some of that paint off the pickguard!!

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Nice picture of what I'm sure is a nice guitar - like that even burst. I sense you are in the something deeper falls into place with a Bird in the house squad.

The dilemma of choosing either a slope SJ or a Hummingbird is quite a big one for a trained played. There must have been hints of inner drama there in the back-room.


By the way – did you ask the sales-person if he had any views on the difference between Standard and TV bracing ?




Anyway – Congs ! , , , 1 bird in the hand. . . .

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Wicked ! The Bird is THE most beautiful guitar on the planet, no matter what other works of art Gibson throws at us.


Great choice, Im loving my HB reincarnation and was gigging tonite to amazing feedback on the tone from the audience.


You will have a lot of great times Buc, trust she inspires you to start writing and sharing ,were looking forward to it !

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I guess it's a "standard"........just says "Hummingbird" on the label. I don't pay much attention to things like bracing differences. For this swap I knew I wanted to stay with a short scale and I wanted mahogany or maple as a b/s wood. Beyond that it was just play them all and choose the one that worked for me. After the scale/mahogany criteria, the guitar must have a better than average neckset and be reasonably well balanced across its' tonal voice. This H'bird has a superior neck set, is quite loud and is very tonally balanced. The used Bird was very nice but had a less than stellar neck set; the Southern Jumbo was right there tonally, but this one has a far superior neck angle. The SJ200 was fabulous and it would have been my choice had it not been for long scale guitars not being so good for my hand anymore - the guitar thundered! The Collings Sj was awesome - its' body is a bit smaller than a Gibson super jumbo, very nice neck profile, not as loud as the Gibson - but long scale again. I was very impressed with the Gibson pieces........all had pretty good necksets and were very close to great setups right off the wall. For my hands and my ear, this H'bird was the best guitar in the store and beyond removing the pickup it needs no further tweaking to be excellent for my style of play. I do hate the Grover machines cosmetically, but they are quite smooth and work very well. They can stay for now.


(Silver: yes, it was Southpaw. Been shopping with Jimmy since he opened his doors back in the late 80s. Scary to think of how many guitars he and I have passed between us over the years!)



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Some good news at last msp_thumbup.gif

My friend, I am really happy about what you did.

I'd love to have a H-bird too, but there is no more Gibson shop in my country, and I will not buy a gibson on e-bay nowdays...

Really, really glad!

And I am also inpatient to hear it's sound eusa_clap.gifeusa_clap.gifeusa_clap.gif

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