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  • Tough acoustic decision...

    I'm about to pull the trigger on a nice new acoustic after saving up for awhile. I've played a TON of different instruments, have it narrowed down to two and am in the middle of a dilemma though...

    I had some money problems about 6 months ago, and I had to part with my '03 J-45 to make ends meet. Lo and behold, it's up for sale again! I loved it, lots of good memories with it, beautiful guitar, worked well for me etc.

    At the same time, I've wanted a Hummingbird for quite awhile (almost 10 years to be exact) and a Modern Classic 'bird came along that I REALLY love playing at a price I can deal with (a good bit more than the J-45 I'm considering but still...).

    Of course, it's apples and oranges to compare them both since they're really different vibes and sounds. I can't figure out which one I want more, so I'm in a holding pattern and going back and forth on this... I'd love some outside perspective.

    Oh, and in case it helps inform the decision... I'm a singer-songwriter who's started doing the solo acoustic thing recently. Some of my big influences as a writer are Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Jeff Tweedy.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I'll admit, that IS a toughy. Of course, any opinions you get are going to be just that......opinions.

    Personally, I like the J-45 more than the Hummingbird. It wasn't always that way. At one time my DREAM guitar would've been a Gibson Hummingbird. My taste in how much "bling" a guitar should have has changed over time.

    You yourself said about your old J-45; "I loved it, lots of good memories with it, beautiful guitar, worked well for me, etc." If your J-45 was "The One", it had to have been one of the good ones and they don't come along all that often.

    I get the feeling that you really missed that J-45 after you sold it. If it was me, I'd have to buy it back because the chance to do it may never come up again. But.....that's just my opinion.......I don't envy the decision you have to make. Hope you make the right one.
    Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 YamahaA fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox "Big Ben" wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.

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    • #3
      You can't make a wrong decision either way; both guitars would be excellent for singer/songwriter stuff. The J-45 is my favorite Gibson model, and you did say that yours worked well for you. That's the one I'd pick, but you might be hankerin' for something new... and there's nothing wrong with that, either.

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      • #4
        Thank you so much for taking the time to share your opinions thus far!

        My problem is I'd really love to have both but don't have financial means to do so at this point short of selling an electric, but I finally have my electric collection balanced to where I feel like I don't really NEED anything else (a few I certainly wouldn't mind owning of course, but I figure I'll feel that way until I'm 6 feet under hehe).

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        • #5
          This is a "less than" informed opinion, but I kinda get where you are coming from.

          A long time ago, I wanted a Gibson J45, but could not afford it...so I bought an Epiphone AJ-35S (solid woods) aniversary model (1997) It was and still is a "nice" guitar for the price, with a similar intimate and warm tone to the J45, but NEVER nearly as captivating as the real thing. Over the years, the Epi opened up a bit, aged well and became an old friend. I had a new bone nut and saddle made for it and replaced the plastic bridge pins with Ebony, so all of the "plastic" was gone.

          From time to time I would play a J45 or similar model at a store, and dream. Then, last year it was my 40th birthday and I decided I would finally buy myself the "real thing" - after playing everything, I found myself more and more attracted to the Gibson SONGWRITER guitar - it wasn't nearly as intimate as the J45, but it had a bit more top end snap, and it worked as well with fingerpicking as it did with a pick. The body was a little less comfortable than the J45 or my Epi, but it sang and vibrated and projected much more. In the end, I bought the songwriter, and I still have my Epi.

          I guess the bottom line is if you love that particular guitar, go back and get it, because nothing will replace it. Shop around for a suitable "less expensive" option for the other set of sounds you are wanting from the hummingbird, or just continue to save up. There are plenty of Hummingbirds out there that you haven't had a love affair with yet, but that ONE PARTICULAR J-45 isn't coming back if you let it go.

          .02
          Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

          Creativity is a Work Ethic

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          • #6
            I'd have to agree with Opa John. Don't let the J-45 slip away from you again. You saved enough money to buy something at this point, you can save it up again and get the Hummingbird in the near future.
            - Rob

            YouTube (GuiTuber)
            Proud Member of the Alvarez Alliance & Yamaha Player's Guild

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            • #7
              Another J-45 vote...
              God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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              • #8
                Another J-45 vote...


                Ditto. You wanna' take the chance that lightning will strike twice?

                IMO.....it's fate. You're GASSING and sounds like the one that you let slip through your hands with some apparent regrets is now available again......don't hesitate. If you don't do it now, you'll most likely NEVER have another chance.
                Martin D16RGT
                Washburn D10SCEB
                Ovation Celebrity GC 057M
                Applause AE 128
                Epiphone LP Std. Plus Top
                Guild Pilot Bass
                Squier VM Fretless Jazz Bass
                Frankensquier P-Bass
                Michael Kelly Dragonfly 4-string fretless A/E Bass

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                • #9
                  I'm about to pull the trigger on a nice new acoustic after saving up for awhile. I've played a TON of different instruments, have it narrowed down to two and am in the middle of a dilemma though...



                  Well, emuhunter......does it STILL look like a dilemma? So......when're you picking up the J-45?
                  Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 YamahaA fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox "Big Ben" wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.

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                  • #10

                    At one time my DREAM guitar would've been a Gibson Hummingbird.


                    I've wanted one of those since 1967. Always wound up buying other stuff.
                    Guitars, Guns, Cadillacs, Fishing

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                    • #11
                      Once upon a time, I had to sell my Guild D4. Certainly not in the class of your J45 (my dream guitar) but still the nicest one I'd ever owned and one of the few NEW guitars I'd ever bought. When I sold it, I knew I'd made a mistake, but needs must. I did ask for buyback rights.

                      Three years later, I put a post on CL to the buyer asking if I could buy it back. Turns out he was moving and had never really bonded with it. I gave what I got for it, took it home, re-stringed it, hit a G chord, and was "home."

                      I still lust for a J45, and I've been saving for one for five months. In the meantime, I own the guitar that made me love the instrument and made me want to be a guitar player.

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                      • #12
                        Shocked to see so many J-45 players on here!
                        Unless the humbird blows away your old guitar, this is a no brainer. I lucked into my J-45: a rich, highly playable instrument that fit me like a glove. After years of gassing and buying and selling I've never felt the need to audition another acoustic since.
                        Good Day. I said Good Day!

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                        • #13
                          Haha hearing all this makes my decision a LOT easier actually, I've been thinking a ton about it so it's pretty helpful to get other perspectives that actually...happen to be the same perspective!

                          BryanMichael mentioned the idea of getting a less expensive substitute for the sounds one would get from a Hummingbird, which I think is a great suggestion. Any ideas where I could start looking for that sort of sound on the cheap?

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                          • #14
                            a less expensive substitute for the sounds one would get from a Hummingbird, which I think is a great suggestion. Any ideas where I could start looking for that sort of sound on the cheap?


                            Hmmm... maybe a GAD 40? $700 street.

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                            • #15
                              Which one would fit your new solo acoustic act? Perhaps you should base your choice there. Aside from that, wanting something for ten years is a long time and if the opportunity comes up - go ahead and grab it! Otherwise you might never know.

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