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How do you figure a Gibson Hummingbird differs from a Gibson Dove ?


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Originally posted by Dr. Tweedbucket

.... I have a 1999 Hummingbird RI, but have always wondered about the Dove.


The Hummingbird is rather dark sounding, but with bright strings it can sound really nice.


Is the Dove naturally brighter or darker than the Hummingbird ?
:confused:

 

If your talking "vintage" models (ie 1960-69) both guitars featured sitka tops while the Dove was made with maple back and sides and the Hummingbird was almost always constructed of mahogany. I say "almost always" because there were some Hummingbirds done in maple in the 1960's. For the most part maple would impart a brighter sound to the instrument than mahogany so a typical Dove would be brighter sounding than a typical Hummingbird. Check out this website for more details about the vintage models:

 

http://www.provide.net/~cfh/gibson6.html#dove

 

I believe that the current models made in Montana these days are using the same woods as the vintage models mentioned above so the maple vs mahogany comparison would be valid for them as well.

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I have owned a '73/'74 Hummingbird since it was new--actually, it was a floor model, so had some dings...and now it has lots more because I have played that guitar a LOT.

 

Mine has never sounded "dark" with any type of strings, but I have played a few Doves and I believe the maple does make them brighter and boomier, but less "mellow" and less sweet. Not sure about Doves, but I know there are big differences among Hummingbirds of different eras. I think the early 70s ones like mine are less highly regarded because of the bracing method; '60s era 'birds and the new Montana ones are supposedly of superior construction.

 

I do love my 'bird. Doves are very cool as well. I was reading a biography of Tom Petty recently, and he says that his Dove was often the only instrument he kept at hand at home, and that many of his famous songs originated on that guitar.

 

(TP is one of my songwriting heroes and if you like reading about how music gets invented, I highly recommend that book--extensive interview section provides fascinating insights--don't recall title but saw it at a Borders just a few months ago, so must be recently published)

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Originally posted by Michael Martin

I have owned a '73/'74 Hummingbird since it was new--actually, it was a floor model, so had some dings...and now it has lots more because I have played that guitar a LOT.


Mine has never sounded "dark" with any type of strings, but I have played a few Doves and I believe the maple does make them brighter and boomier, but less "mellow" and less sweet. Not sure about Doves, but I know there are big differences among Hummingbirds of different eras. I think the early 70s ones like mine are less highly regarded because of the bracing method; '60s era 'birds and the new Montana ones are supposedly of superior construction.


I do love my 'bird. Doves are very cool as well. I was reading a biography of Tom Petty recently, and he says that his Dove was often the only instrument he kept at hand at home, and that many of his famous songs originated on that guitar.


(TP is one of my songwriting heroes and if you like reading about how music gets invented, I highly recommend that book--extensive interview section provides fascinating insights--don't recall title but saw it at a Borders just a few months ago, so must be recently published)

 

 

yeah, I am a Tom Petty fan too.

 

My bird is a 1999 and seems to be of exceptionally good quality.... I wonder if that is a Montana guitar? :confused:

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  • 14 years later...
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I've had a Dove since July and it's phenomenal in every way. It came with light gauge Gibson strings. I've owned a bunch of Gibson acoustics so I put on Elixer strings. That made a huge difference in volume. I also have a J15 Gibson and although the price was nowhere near the Dove the J15 is one rocking guitar. For just finger picking and singing the J15 is a great one and not so bad on the pocket. But, I've got to say the Dove is super special for songwriting and recording. The beauty of the Dove with it's Cherry Sunburst and Dove pick guard can't be disputed. Elvis had one, do you need more information? 

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On 2/2/2021 at 11:43 AM, carguy said:

I have both, and I too find the Dove a little brighter and a little boomier. If had to choose only one, I think I would take the Dove.

Hello Carguy (cousin Freddie).  Longtime no see.  Do you still have your Gibson Songwriter?  I seem to remember that you owned one, though I may have become confused over the years.  I think they were basically a Hummingbird but with a bit less adornment.

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