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Gibson J-30 Montana - a stripped down version of a Hummingbird?


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I'm considering the purchase of a used Gibson J-30 Montana that was made in 1994. Information on this model is really scarce, unlike the J-45s and J-50s, and I hope to find out a bit more about the J-30 before deciding.

 

Outwardly, it seems to be very similar to the Hummingbird - a stripped down version of the latter, if you will. Are there any major structural differences between the J-30 Montana and a typical Hummingbird? Would it sound very different than a Hummingbird?

 

And is the J-30 Montana's specification different than the earlier version of the J-30? I do know the J-30 has been discontinued for some years now so any information would be most welcome.

 

Thank you so much.

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I'm considering the purchase of a used Gibson J-30 Montana that was made in 1994. Information on this model is really scarce, unlike the J-45s and J-50s, and I hope to find out a bit more about the J-30 before deciding.

 

Outwardly, it seems to be very similar to the Hummingbird - a stripped down version of the latter, if you will. Are there any major structural differences between the J-30 Montana and a typical Hummingbird? Would it sound very different than a Hummingbird?

 

And is the J-30 Montana's specification different than the earlier version of the J-30? I do know the J-30 has been discontinued for some years now so any information would be most welcome.

 

Thank you so much.

 

The J-30 is essentially a stripped down version of the Hummingbird, yes.

 

In Montana, these were made starting maybe 1991-ish and I don't know if they continued past about 1995/6, at latest.

 

And you're right, I believe they made a J-30, of roughly the same specs, in the 1980s, in Nashville, say 1983-5 (ish). Don't know, but I would guess the scale length would have been the same.

 

Fred

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I'm considering the purchase of a used Gibson J-30 Montana that was made in 1994. Information on this model is really scarce, unlike the J-45s and J-50s, and I hope to find out a bit more about the J-30 before deciding.

 

Outwardly, it seems to be very similar to the Hummingbird - a stripped down version of the latter, if you will. Are there any major structural differences between the J-30 Montana and a typical Hummingbird? Would it sound very different than a Hummingbird?

 

And is the J-30 Montana's specification different than the earlier version of the J-30? I do know the J-30 has been discontinued for some years now so any information would be most welcome.

 

Thank you so much.

 

 

Hi and welcome to the forum!

 

[wink]

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Have you checked the scale length ? I tried a sunburst one from the early 90's last summer and remember it as long scaled. It sounded good, but there was a Martin flavor to it. In fact more than it leaned towards classic Bird – maybe a mix. The seller even mentioned the D-35 echo in the ad - very robust.

 

Good to have you around Jtan - let's hear from you and don't hesitate to post photos of whatever you find and decide. . . .

 

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I've owned 2 of these and both of them were really fine guitars.

They are the same as the Hbird, minus the bling.

However - they are long scale (both of mine were).

I think this is one of Gibson's most underrated models.

They are usually a bargain and if you find a good one, you're

in for a treat.

Good luck - and welcome to the forum.

Geoff

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Thanks for all the replies. Just one more question. Does it really lose a lot of its Gibson thump if it's long scale, as compared to the Hummingbird which has a short scale? Will it generally sound more Martinesque or is it really down to the individual guitar?

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  • 3 years later...

Zombie thread....

Picked up a mid 90s J30 and having owned a modern era HB as well there are similarities and differences. My J30 is a Banner Logo and 25.5 scale. Because of the longer scale, to me there was more sustain and more depth in tone, meaning more bass and more trebles. The HB had a very complex tone (good thing) and was rich in the rhythm type playing it was made for. What it lacked in sustain that J30 has it makes up for in the rich overtones, more in the midrange.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have owned 2 J30'S,the first I thought sounded really Dylanish(which I liked)but the neck really didn't like capos (thick C

shape)The second one I bought on Ebay at a really good price,but when it turned up it was in as-new condition,but I just couldn't take to it.

I thought the J45 style teardrop pickguard didn't look right on a square-shoulder guitar.

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