I'd like to ask for some help, so I will. I have never owned a Gibson 6-string acoustic and believe it's about time I did. No - this is not one of those "please decide for me" requests. I'll decide what I like when I try them out. What I'm asking for are the reasons you like your various Gibsons. I'm looking very closely at possibly a Hummingbird or a J-200, but have not ruled out any others. I love the look of both of these but have never had the pleasure of playing either.
Since there are none in a store within 700 miles of where I live, I would like to cut the field down when I go into stores and ask them to get some in for me to try (if they will do that).
I like the sound of the Hummingbird from recordings I have heard - this one seems to be a good choice for fingerpicking as well as rhythm accompaniment to singing. Doesn't need to be loud, but a good, sweet sound.
Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance,
Hello Michael... I have owned my Hummingbird since 1962. I bought it used for $300 when I was a kid. The instrument still looks great, and sounds and plays fantastic. I have never had any problems with it. I cannot vouch for the new ones, althought I've played several in various music stores and they feel about the same as mine... smooth neck and fingerboard and fast action. I play fingerstyle and it just right for this kind of 'picking'. It is very comfortable to hold and play. Either one of your choices gets my vote... I like 'em both!
Man, that's a beautiful guitar! Obviously loved and well cared for. I'll buy her for $325 (you gotta make some profit, I understand).
Thanks - m
Michael, I have had a couple of different Gibson acoustics from time to time. The one I've had the longest is my 1993 J-200 Maple, made in Bozeman - after they started making the right again. It has a sweet tone, kind of bright, which puts some folks off, but I find it great for strumming rhythm and vocal accompanyment.
Also, used a Gibson Dove for a bit, close cousin to the Hummingbird, it has a pretty nice sound too, and at the time ran into a bit of a money problem, so I had to trade it for an electric I needed more. I helped a friend pick out a Gibson Hummingbird a few months back. It's a great feeling and sounding guitar.
Another Gibson, that I really like is the Advanced Jumbo. I spend a lot of my "Guitar Center" time getting that one down and playing it. I'd love to get one of those guitars - real warm sounding, it has great volume but not overwhelming, and feels really easy to play, along with a warm tone. While I love my J-200 and would not trade it, I'd love to get one of those Advanced Jumbos. The one Gibson I did not like was the LG-1 Robert Johnson model - just disappointed me, as far as sound and playability. The jumbo is just a tad to big to play comfortably for me, but I've never regretted getting that J-200, my father had one years ago when I was a kid, but it was accidently destoyed before I could even play. Good luck, and folks tell me quality control is an issue at Gibson these days too. My local shop won't order any guitar, as they have to pay for them, so they are not inclined to order anything special unless someone commits to buying it.
Cheers - Phil
Thanks, Phil. I plan on asking Guitar Center if they can get some guitars in for me to try. I don't know if they will do it, but I've spent a lot in that store in the past few years and the manager seems willing to do a lot for me and has offered in the past. Right now, no GCs within 50 miles of me has any.
Reckon it's time to go to the Gibson site and do some research...
What's your spending limit, M?
Wow. what a cool guitar. I have to wonder how she sounds and plays. I do mean "wonder" since there is no way I can afford the ticket to ride.
Hi Michael. My favorite acoustic guitar is the Gibson J 185 EC Rosewood. it's a shorter scale, (24.75"), made with rosewood back and sides, looks cool, and sounds excellent. I have small hands and suffer from arthritis so the shorter scale works perfectly for me. I can easily play finger style as well as picking/strumming. I chose the 185 over the J 200 as the 200 is all maple and too tinny sounding for my taste. The J 185 also comes in an all-maple configuration but I preferred the rosewood much better as it had better bass and a clear frequency response from low to high. I must admit, though, that during my shopping, I did come across a used Hummingbird that played and sounded fantastic. Since it doesn't come in a cutaway version or contain electronics, I decided not to get it. But if I am ever in the market for another acoustic guitar, the Hummingbird is at the top of the list. In any case, check out a J 185 EC Rosewood. I bought mine for about $2600 in 2009.
On my list... Thanks, Sandy
Consider woods and scale...two very important things in my mind. I have both a Gibson J100 extra, (kinda like a J 200 but with less ornamentation and Mahogany back and sides whereas a typical J200 has maple back and sides) and a J160E, a shorter scale neck that joins the body at the 13th fret and dread size body. I love them both but they do sound and feel very different! The dread I find works best for strumming, especially when I did in, and the J100 sounds great for strumming but especially nice for fingerpicking, which I do a lot of! You really have to play them and choose for yourself! And even though Gibson quality stepped up quite a bit since they moved to Boseman, they are quite inconsistent, another reason to try before you buy!!! Living far from a store with a selection is a real problem! Good luck with your venture and please keep us posted as to what happens along the way...and of course we will be looking forward to your final choice!!!
1994 J100 extra
Edward - Do you find that you get a more fuller sound, more mellow, out of the J-100's rounded body (as opposed to the flat bottom)? Or maybe it's hard to tell with the different woods?
Thanks - m