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Country-Rocker

Hummingbird Standard pickguard Colouring question

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Hi All,

 

I was wondering what the colouring on the newer standard Hummingbirds is called? I have been giving a new (2011 model) go in a local shop and find it to be a very nice player (great sound as well), but slightly harder to play than the j-45.

 

Does anyone know if the pickguards on these newer Hbirds are designed not to fade? I researched it here, but I could not find a clear cut answer.

 

I must admit it is hard to choose between a Hbird or J-45.

 

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/Square-Shoulder/Gibson-Acoustic/Hummingbird.aspx

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

 

Country-Rocker

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how come its harder to play ? is that a set up issue ?

 

 

 

It was about the body shape as the set up on both are great. I am used to a small jumbo 000 shape, but I can't sling the neck down as low as I do (bad habit I know) with a dreadnaught...at least I can't lol.... I like the colour of the sunburst, but looks more yellow and orange to me than normal Cherry Sunburst. The guitar looks great in this colour and I like the purple/orange back. I like the original 1960's colour as well, but if I had the choice I'd take the newer colour.

 

The guitar sounds great, kind of like a much warmer, more chirpy Martin D-28 (I mean D-28 not D-18..that is another sound, but not as deep as Hummingbird) Dread sound.

 

 

 

Freddie

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hi,

 

the new Standard HB's have the design etched into/underneath the PB I am led to believe ( a TV wouldn't ), which means the design will not wear away.

 

If this Bird you mention has the design etched into the top..and you can feel it..it will wear away if your playing style causes it too.

 

Good luck

 

edit

 

the coloring is still called cherry sunburst I think...each Bird can be different shades I have found. I had one that was more yellow/orangy... now have one deep red.

The HB standard seems to be more of a yellow/honey colour in general, but I think its still classed as cherry sunburst.Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

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That's the second mention I've heard of the H'Bird pickguard being painted on some layer below the top. Mine is a 2011 build and the etching and paint are on the top surface. My pinkie often drags the edge of the guard and the paint is already thinning in that spot after a month of playing. I don't mind the wear.......I did it, and it's part of playing the guitar. Where did the story of under-painting come from?

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That's the second mention I've heard of the H'Bird pickguard being painted on some layer below the top. Mine is a 2011 build and the etching and paint are on the top surface. My pinkie often drags the edge of the guard and the paint is already thinning in that spot after a month of playing. I don't mind the wear.......I did it, and it's part of playing the guitar. Where did the story of under-painting come from?

 

Hi Buc

 

I have read 2 or 3 posts hear concerning it. Can't remember OP

 

I do remember some one really didn't like the new material these new PB are apparently made of..."like slabs of rubber" or something.... I'm sure ppl have mentioned it more than 3 time actaully..

 

may investigate and get back

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Quote from JoeM

 

"Gibson solved the problem with their latest Hummingbirds. The design on the pickguard is not on the top anymore like it used to be, it's either in or underneath the guard. No way to mess it up now. The Dove still has the design etched into the top, but I sure don't worry about wearing it away, the guitar is meant to be played. "

 

Drathburn

 

"Plus, now that the design is on this underside, you can have the scratches on the pick guard buffed out when you want to restore factory fresh loo"

 

Hogeye

 

"The Dove has three pieces of Mother Of Pearl inlayed into the pickguard. There is no way to inlay MOP into a rubber pickguard so I doubt you will have to worry about seeing that.

Everyone was so upset about the engraved Hummingbirds wearing off Gibson decided to do something about it. They gave you just what you wanted a big piece of sticky rubber on the top of your fine guitar. Hmmmmm. They are using this Asian product on more of their guitars not just the Hummingbird. They found a supplier that makes them for a lot less and since everyone likes the "new" stuff you are going to get a lot more. Does it change the sound? It's a 1/4 inch slab of rubber what do you think?

 

I tend to agree with Hogeye on this.

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I tend to agree with Hogeye on this.

 

I tend to agree with my own eyes when it comes to my guitar. The etching and the paint are on the top of the guard and it is not a 1/4" slab of rubber.

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I tend to agree with my own eyes when it comes to my guitar. The etching and the paint are on the top of the guard and it is not a 1/4" slab of rubber.

 

Yes my HB TV is the usual PG also, made Nov 2011. I personally have not seen this new PG, but if it's as described.. well doesn't sound promising ?

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I have both a 2011 Hummingbird standard and a 2011 Dove. The Dove has the art work engraved in the top of the pick guard as always. My 'bird has the design either under the guard or in it. No way for it to wear away. Buc, if your 'bird is a standard, it's different than mine as far as the guard is concerned. And, as far as the "1/4 slab of rubber" comment, if the guard on my ' bird is indeed rubber, it's the hardest rubber I've ever seen. Looks and feels like plastic to me. I'd like to know what the source of the "rubber" comment comes from?

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I have both a 2011 Hummingbird standard and a 2011 Dove. The Dove has the art work engraved in the top of the pick guard as always. My 'bird has the design either under the guard or in it. No way for it to wear away. Buc, if your 'bird is a standard, it's different than mine as far as the guard is concerned. And, as far as the "1/4 slab of rubber" comment, if the guard on my ' bird is indeed rubber, it's the hardest rubber I've ever seen. Looks and feels like plastic to me. I'd like to know what the source of the "rubber" comment comes from?

 

Interesting,

 

if the new PG's are similar in thickness and material to the original...... sounds like the problem of the Birds design wearing off would be solved ? Seems like a lot of people would prefer the design not to wear off.. I for one would. ( dont want to start the whole..just play it,,, honest wear and tear scenario again :) )

 

seems like different reports on what they are actually like.. cheers Joe for giving some insight from an owner

 

would you say they are similar to the doves guard in thickness and material? are the doves and HB original PG's made of same material/ thickness

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The latest Hummingbird TV I tried was the yellow/orange version, guess it was a 2011. The flora/fauna was engraved as usual with TV's, , , and now Standards also. . . ? (Btw I sense a color difference between engraved and integrated motive, latter has a sharper hue). Bindings on that TV were almost over-yellow, but I liked it. Not as much a the redish version though, which is paramount for me. Well they're both impressing.

Still the real interesting thing, as I see it, is the difference between the thick guards and the thin ones like on f.x. Sheryl Crows. A tradition from the 60's is continued there and the sound variation between the 2 needs focus. What is the impact ?

 

 

.................................................................GibsonSherylCrow.jpg

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I have both a 2011 Hummingbird standard and a 2011 Dove. The Dove has the art work engraved in the top of the pick guard as always. My 'bird has the design either under the guard or in it. No way for it to wear away. Buc, if your 'bird is a standard, it's different than mine as far as the guard is concerned. And, as far as the "1/4 slab of rubber" comment, if the guard on my ' bird is indeed rubber, it's the hardest rubber I've ever seen. Looks and feels like plastic to me. I'd like to know what the source of the "rubber" comment comes from?

Well Joe it comes from me. Have I seen one of the new pickguards off the guitar? Yes. Why do I feel like it's rubber. Well Joe you can roll the pickguard up into a tube. It's very flexible and soft compared to a "real" celluliod pickguard. The original Hummingbird pickguards were made of celluliod poured into a mold and then hand engraved. When Gibson moved from Kalamazoo to Nashville the molds were lost. Gibson then bought the pickguard material from a manufacturer in Italy. It came in 4 foot thick blocks that were 4x8 feet. This was sent to New York to be sliced into the size needed for the pickguards. When Gibsom Montana got the sheets they were hung up to straighten them out and then they were heat stamped with the proper design and then painted.

 

Then several years ago Gibson in Nashville called Montana and said they found the original molds for the Hummingbird and the J-200. Since it was time consuming and costly Gibson only put the molded pickgards on special run Hummingbirds and J-200s.

 

People were unhappy with the stamping and paint wearing off so Gibson explored other ways to provide a pickguard. The "new" material is nothing like the original. Is this good or bad? I don't know. I do know this.

 

The guitars are made of wood. The nitrocellulose finish is made of wood. And the old style pickguards were made of celluloid which is a wood product. The general thinking is that since they are all basically wood they would work together and protect the guitar as well as vibrate with the top. The old style pickguards are brittle and if you try to roll them up they would break. They probably transmit vibration from the top better than the softer new pickguards. The new pickguards probably don't transmit vibration as well as the older ones.

 

I just think the whole cellulose connection should be maintained but if you aren't a traditionalist then it makes no difference. I'm sure your guitar is just fine I guess the point of my thread is; be careful you might get what you ask for.

Let the discussion begin

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Hogeye,

Thanks for the clarification. Honestly, if the pick guard on my 'bird is rubber, I sure wouldn't have known it if I hadn't been told. And I'm sure not gonna take it off to see if it'll roll up... [blink]

 

Bottom line, I'm happy with the guitar regardless of what the guard is made of; is the tone different because its not the same material as the originals, I don't know, and really don't care.

 

Oh, Del, as far as I can tell, the thickness of the guards on both the 'bird and dove is pretty much the same..as far as the type of material, they feel similar to me.....close enough for rock 'n roll, anyway....

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Hogeye,

Thanks for the clarification. Honestly, if the pick guard on my 'bird is rubber, I sure wouldn't have known it if I hadn't been told. And I'm sure not gonna take it off to see if it'll roll up... [blink]

 

Bottom line, I'm happy with the guitar regardless of what the guard is made of; is the tone different because its not the same material as the originals, I don't know, and really don't care.

 

Oh, Del, as far as I can tell, the thickness of the guards on both the 'bird and dove is pretty much the same..as far as the type of material, they feel similar to me.....close enough for rock 'n roll, anyway....

The guards on the Dove are a little thicker than normal because they are inlayed with Mother of Pearl. It really doesn't make any difference what your guard is made of. You bought your guitar because it spoke to you. That's all that counts. You are like the rest of us. Happy....

 

Some were wondering how the "new" guard worked so I made it a mission to find out. I travel thru Bozeman several times a month and have several friends that work at the plant so I visit them every chance I get.

 

I don't care as my Hummingbird is doing just fine. At some point I'll probably put the casted guard on it as it is just about the most beautiful material I have ever seen. My 'bird has the heat stamped guard and I plan on playing it 'til there is nothing left. I'll see if I can get some photos of the three.

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Well Joe it comes from me. Have I seen one of the new pickguards off the guitar? Yes. Why do I feel like it's rubber. Well Joe you can roll the pickguard up into a tube. It's very flexible and soft compared to a "real" celluliod pickguard. The original Hummingbird pickguards were made of celluliod poured into a mold and then hand engraved. When Gibson moved from Kalamazoo to Nashville the molds were lost. Gibson then bought the pickguard material from a manufacturer in Italy. It came in 4 foot thick blocks that were 4x8 feet. This was sent to New York to be sliced into the size needed for the pickguards. When Gibsom Montana got the sheets they were hung up to straighten them out and then they were heat stamped with the proper design and then painted.

 

Then several years ago Gibson in Nashville called Montana and said they found the original molds for the Hummingbird and the J-200. Since it was time consuming and costly Gibson only put the molded pickgards on special run Hummingbirds and J-200s.

 

People were unhappy with the stamping and paint wearing off so Gibson explored other ways to provide a pickguard. The "new" material is nothing like the original. Is this good or bad? I don't know. I do know this.

 

The guitars are made of wood. The nitrocellulose finish is made of wood. And the old style pickguards were made of celluloid which is a wood product. The general thinking is that since they are all basically wood they would work together and protect the guitar as well as vibrate with the top. The old style pickguards are brittle and if you try to roll them up they would break. They probably transmit vibration from the top better than the softer new pickguards. The new pickguards probably don't transmit vibration as well as the older ones.

 

I just think the whole cellulose connection should be maintained but if you aren't a traditionalist then it makes no difference. I'm sure your guitar is just fine I guess the point of my thread is; be careful you might get what you ask for.

Let the discussion begin

That...My man....is an incredible story! You are saying that the original molds were once lost...but then found!????

 

Yes....I once WAS blind....BUT NOW I SEE [thumbup]....Just freakin' incredible....They lost the molds 'in the move'...Jeeesh! [crying]

(edit) How does a large corporate entity, building 30-60 guitars a week ,make a transitional plant move...and "lose the molds"?

This is more absurd the more I think about it.... [lol]

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Hmmmmm

 

The plot thickens. So the the original molded PG's are still used on some Birds and J200's ? The stamped kind are used on others.... and now this new "rubber" kind is being used on still others.

 

How would you tell the difference between the original molded and the stamped... if possible... some pics would be great Hogeye.

 

I wonder if the TV line would use the original molded type.

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I tend to agree with my own eyes when it comes to my guitar. The etching and the paint are on the top of the guard and it is not a 1/4" slab of rubber.

They don't build enough lefty HBs to justify a run of rubbery lefty HB pickguards, so you get a one-off from the pickguard room. (Much as they don't build enough leftys to justify having Graph Tech mold lefty TUSQ saddles, so you leftys always get bone.)

 

-- Bob R

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They don't build enough lefty HBs to justify a run of rubbery lefty HB pickguards, so you get a one-off from the pickguard room. (Much as they don't build enough leftys to justify having Graph Tech mold lefty TUSQ saddles, so you leftys always get bone.)

 

-- Bob R

 

Bob, that's interesting. I played a new Hummingbird 12 string at a local dealer about a week ago, and despite being a right-handed guitar, it had the "heat-stamped and surface painted" Hummingbird pickguard.

 

Since it's a rightie, I wonder why?

 

--Scott T.

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Hmmmmm

 

The plot thickens. So the the original molded PG's are still used on some Birds and J200's ? The stamped kind are used on others.... and now this new "rubber" kind is being used on still others.

 

How would you tell the difference between the original molded and the stamped... if possible... some pics would be great Hogeye.

 

I wonder if the TV line would use the original molded type.

Go to the Gibson website. Look for the acoustic section and click on the Hummingbird TV page. There is a section headed features. There is a very good photo of the "Real" Hummingbird pickguard. This came from the original molds used back in the 60's. If you look closely you will see very little pattern in the material and you can see right thru to the rings of the rosette. This is what a real pickguard should look like and yes it should cover the rosette. I'm not sure what the thinking is on the J-200 pickguards but I believe the Pete Townshend J-200 also has a cast pickguard. The J-200 TV does not???? They has a very jewell like look to them and when viewed next to the other guards makes you understand how far from the original Gibson has strayed over the years. It's no ones fault and Gibson is evolving just like everyone else.

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Go to the Gibson website. Look for the acoustic section and click on the Hummingbird TV page. There is a section headed features. There is a very good photo of the "Real" Hummingbird pickguard. This came from the original molds used back in the 60's. If you look closely you will see very little pattern in the material and you can see right thru to the rings of the rosette. This is what a real pickguard should look like and yes it should cover the rosette. I'm not sure what the thinking is on the J-200 pickguards but I believe the Pete Townshend J-200 also has a cast pickguard. The J-200 TV does not???? They has a very jewell like look to them and when viewed next to the other guards makes you understand how far from the original Gibson has strayed over the years. It's no ones fault and Gibson is evolving just like everyone else.

 

Aha,

 

I have a HB TV so was wondering about this subject. Looking at the different HB models available on the site it is clear to see the difference in the guards, i had not noticed this before.

 

The HB standard now has this new guard also interestingly the 60th anniversary model. And Wildwoods New Vintage model makes a case of stating their PG is made using the original 1960's castes.. When i a/b'd a standard with a TV recently the difference in tone was significant, which you would expect from the different build, but the PG must make a difference also. (not sayin adversely)

 

Edit

I'm musing on how one would compare the sound characteristics of each guard. The only way would be to take the guard of a MC or TV Bird and replace it with the new guard... ... hmmmmm, I'll leave that to someone else

Cheers hogeye

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That...My man....is an incredible story! You are saying that the original molds were once lost...but then found!????

 

Yes....I once WAS blind....BUT NOW I SEE [thumbup]....Just freakin' incredible....They lost the molds 'in the move'...Jeeesh! [crying]

(edit) How does a large corporate entity, building 30-60 guitars a week ,make a transitional plant move...and "lose the molds"?

This is more absurd the more I think about it.... [lol]

I guess you have to think back to when the move to close the Kalamazoo took place. The employees were losing their jobs. They just threw stuff into boxes and never labled them or anything. They weren't happy about things and they just had the bad task of burying the Gibson the knew and loved. The molds were in a bunch of boxes in a storage facility Gibson was cleaning out in Nashville. When the folks at Gibson found them 30 years later they were going to toss them in a dumpster. One guy had the presents of mind to call Ren and asked if he could use them. Can you imagine? I just wonder how much Gibson history went into that dumpster?

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Aha,

 

I have a HB TV so was wondering about this subject. Looking at the different HB models available on the site it is clear to see the difference in the guards, i had not noticed this before.

 

The HB standard now has this new guard also interestingly the 60th anniversary model. And Wildwoods New Vintage model makes a case of stating their PG is made using the original 1960's castes.. When i a/b'd a standard with a TV recently the difference in tone was significant, which you would expect from the different build, but the PG must make a difference also. (not sayin adversely)

 

Edit

I'm musing on how one would compare the sound characteristics of each guard. The only way would be to take the guard of a MC or TV Bird and replace it with the new guard... ... hmmmmm, I'll leave that to someone else

Cheers hogeye

I guess this underlines how really lame the Gibson Marketing dept. is. You own a very cool guitar with a remarkable feature and they didn't even make you aware of it. How sad for them. Well now you know what you paid for....

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I am responding as A) an owner of a 2011 SJ-200 Standard stamped on May 18, 2011 with the new pickgaurd design, B) educated/experienced in mechanical design and fabrication of wood and plastics and C) have seen and owned enough Gibsons over the years. First these pickgaurds are not 1/4" thick; mine measures in at 9/128 of an inch. They are translucent; you can see the rosette through it and the design is etched into the backside of the gaurd so that it won't scratch off. People are claiming that they are rubber which they are not. Rubber (even hardend) has some push and this pickgaurd does not. While this new material might be rubberized plastic and roll up when off of the guitar this would be a good thing. Having a pliable pickgaurd material versus a solid material would dampen less of the soundboard's vibration because it has more freedom to move.

 

I traded a '91 SJ-200 in towards my new one and have also owned an '02 L-200 Emmylou with the old design and can say that I'm partial to the new pickgaurd. Another change on the new SJ-200 Standard is that the height of the bridge is lower; it's top is 1/4" above the soundboard where the '91 and L-200 were almost twice that. There is plenty of saddle height at 11/64" for a healthy break angle and room to lower the action as the years take its toll with top bellying. Currently my action is 6/64" at the 12th on the low E and 5/64" for the high E. The '91 with its tall 4 ribbon bridge had a bottomed out saddle; many people including Frank Ford find the original bridge design to be poor. The L-200 was a heighty 2 ribbon but it also had an almost bottomed out saddle. These guitars were way too young for a neck reset but because of poor design it is typical.

 

Worth noting; my 2011 is the cleanest built of all my Bozeman built Gibby's. Ren might have left the building but he has left them building guitars that equal the Kalamazoo classics from the early '50's and before. If you prefer the vintage way the TV's are true to form but if you want a modern design not repeating the mistakes of Gibson past the Standard is it.

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