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is $1500 for hummingbird that has some cracks a deal?

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  • is $1500 for hummingbird that has some cracks a deal?

    i came across a new gibson hummingbird at a local guitar center for 1500. Its not a used guitar but somewhere in the process of transportation and handling it has developed what looked like a 2 inch scratch. the reason i say scratch is i didnt feel it had a crack through the body,

    do you think its a good deal. it has a pickup installed and i played for an hour and really loved the sound.

     


  • #2

    If you're positive it's not a full crack and it's just a scratch, go for it. But i woulnd't spend $1500 on a guitar if there was a chance of it not holding up.

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    • #3

      Gibson makes several Hummingbirds: The regular Hummingbird (around $3050), the Hummingbird Artist (around $2000) and two models they call the Hummingbird Pro, one a cutaway ($2300) and one a non-cutaway ($2100) as well as several other higher priced models. I'm assuming from the $1500 price that it is an Artist marked down from $2000. A crack in the top can be reapired of course, but it involves some expense and probably wouldn't be cost effective to fix. Make sure the "scratch" is just that - not through the wood. If you like the guitar otherwise, and don't mind the scratch, it would be a good deal. The Artist doesn't have the fancy pickguard with the hummingbirds on it, and the finish is not as bright or as red as the regular Hummingbird. I personally would rather have the regular Hummingbird. I would also suggest that you try an Epiphone Hummingbird (they also make an Artist model as well as the regular Hummingbird) that is actually quite close to the Gibson in sound, at considerably less money (around $300). Hope this helps.

      carguy

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      • Freeman_Keller
        Freeman_Keller commented
        Editing a comment

        Listen carefully to Carguy, but let me ask two more questions.   Where exactly is the scratch/crack?    Does it run with the grain of the wood or across it?   Is it by any chance the center seam?   (That is one question)

        Second, what does GC say about the warranty if it truely is a crack?   I.e., if it opens up at some future date, is it covered by the manufactures warranty? ( Cracks can be repaired, you just shouldn't have to pay for it)

        The reason I am asking those questions together is that often minor finish cracks (which can look like a scratch) are humidity related and that can imply some other problems.   OTOH, if it is simply a scratch from handling or the guitar being played in the store, then I think they are doing the right thing by discounting it and you probably are by buying it.


      • Michael Martin
        Michael Martin commented
        Editing a comment

        carguy wrote: I would also suggest that you try an Epiphone Hummingbird (they also make an Artist model as well as the regular Hummingbird) that is actually quite close to the Gibson in sound, at considerably less money (around $300). 

        Based on my experience, there is no comparison between the Epi and the Gibson Hummingbird. The Gibsons I have played (I own a '74, and I like to play newer ones in guitar shops whenever possible) vary quite a bit, but they typically have a rich and distinctive sound that I assume derives from the mahogany back/sides. The Epi looks like a true 'bird from a distance, but they do not sound or feel the same and up close they do not look the same at all. Much too glossy for my tastes.

        But the sound--a much chunkier and dull tone. Not bad as rhythm instruments but pretty lacking for FS playing or any single-note stuff. But yes they are way cheaper!

        Edit: BTW I'd say go for it on the scratch. You're probably going to nick it up yourself here and there through the yrs so why not save some $$$.


    • #4

      The acoustic guitar market is way down, which is great for buyers. There are a lot of really great used guitars available in the $1500 range. If you live in, or anywhere close to a decent sized population, you should have an amazing choice of guitars to look at in that range. Even new guitars wthout scratches or cracks.

      Having said that, a scratch or even a surface finish check is nothing to worry about. But unless you know the difference between that and an actual crack, have someone you trust look at it. I would never pass up a guitar I want at a good price (?) because of a finish check. I am not a Gibson acoustic guy so I can't comment on the price.

       

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