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Old 12-16-2019, 12:31 PM
Dilettante Dilettante is offline
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Default 2018 Advanced Jumbo RI or 2018 Hummingbird

Greetings all,

I just joined this great forum.

I am in a bit of a decision-making dilemma and was hoping for feedback/advice/opinion. I also posted this in the Gibson Forum but am also doing so here for varied opinion.


I recently purchased a 2018 Advanced Jumbo RI and a 2018 Hummingbird from the same dealer. He was nice enough to tell me to try both and return one. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to keep both. Therein lies my dilemma! I love them both, theyíre just different.


The AJ is powerful, loud, raw and has more sustain. It also finger picks well. It is a beautiful vintage sunburst. I like the look of it better than the Bird.


The Bird is more mellow, softer, but its voice is richer and more enchanting (to me at least). It is short scale so a little easier to play. The Bird also has a LL Baggs Element VTC pickup which I donít see myself using. It is colored in a heritage cherry burst which isnít my favorite (maybe the color will grow on me?)


By way of background, I am no pro or performer. I will not quit my day job LoL. I just jam (and record) in my studio with some buddies, one of which is a very light handed drummer. A lot of times I will simply play and sing to/with my children and buddies. I play lots of Beatles, Johnny Cash, CCR, John Denver, Neil Young, Stones, Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel and some more modern rock.


Also by way of background, I have (and still love) a 2015 Martin D18 which has been my go-to acoustic since 2015. I recently got the itch for a Gibson sounding acoustic and hence the acquisition of the AJ and Bird. I also have a Fender Strat and a Godin 5th Avenue arch top.


So...I love both the AJ and the Bird for the different reasons listed above. I cannot decide which to keep, and unfortunately cannot keep both. I know that the guitar has to speak to me, but the problem is that they both do! If you were me, which one would you keep, AJ or Bird?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:39 PM
emuhunter emuhunter is offline
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I'm a big fan of my Hummingbird as a vocal accompaniment. I'm of the opinion that the AJ is a GREAT guitar as well, no slight there in the least. That being said if I had a good D-18 already I'd keep the Hummingbird.
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:45 PM
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brencat brencat is offline
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If you are strumming and singing, the Bird hands down. If you are flatpicking fiddle tunes, then go with the AJ. But the AJ is not the “typical” Gibson short scale sound. The J-45 and the Hummingbird are.

I once owned an AJ which I kept for over a year and eventually sold to fund a killer J-45. The J-45 was my strumming and church service guitar for almost 5 years. I think if I ever own another Gibson again, I’d like to try a Hummingbird Vintage with the torrefied Sitka top...that is if I can find one with a nice fat deep neck (almost impossible).

Enjoy!
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:44 PM
ataylor ataylor is offline
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Do you have to keep one? I ask only because based on your comments about both guitars, a J-45 would likely check all the boxes.
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:31 PM
llew llew is offline
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I think the AJ is the unsung hero of the Gibson lineup. I own a custom shop version and love it. Never been a big fan of the Hummingbird. Also have a SJ-200 Standard but I prefer the standard scale length. As Brendan said...a lot of it has to do with your playing style. If you prefer short scale the Hummingbird might suit you better. If I was going with a short scale Gibson it would likely be a J-45/50 or SJ model. Just never played a square shoulder Gibson that made me want to take it home? Just my two cents...best of luck!
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Last edited by llew; 12-16-2019 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 12-16-2019, 04:15 PM
Dilettante Dilettante is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post
Do you have to keep one? I ask only because based on your comments about both guitars, a J-45 would likely check all the boxes.
Ataylor, I did try three J45ís but they left me wanting. Iím sure there are great J45ís out there, Iíve heard great ones. Maybe it was those three particular instruments that I tried, but they didnít speak to me. I found the tone of the Hummingbird and AJ (however different from each other) more appealing.
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Old 12-16-2019, 04:39 PM
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Jim Owen Jim Owen is online now
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Hi Dilettante,
Bird.

So, I’m prejudiced. If I owned one large-bodied guitar, it’d be mahogany, not rosewood. That’s me. But there is no wrong choice, really. AJs are classics.

And welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-16-2019, 04:59 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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In my experience, the Advanced Jumbo is a far more musically versatile guitar than the Hummingbirds typically are. I don't normally use my AJ for flatpicking fiddle tunes - although it's nice to have the option, should I suddenly develop a compelling urge to start doing that. I'm essentially a rhythm guitarist, and fingerpick some and play a few lead lines and intros here and there.

The AJ handles all of it.

If you like the sound of the AJ better, which you wrote you did, the more you play it the richer and lusher sounding it will become. The AJ will also project far better than the Hummingbird will in any group situation, whether it's in a Worship & Praise group with other players of various skill levels thrashing away in an undisciplined way, or in a bluegrass jam session where you can, yes, flatpick fiddle tunes.

I like using it for rock and roll music, as well. It can and does handle any kind of music I throw at it.

So while I realize that we're not actually voting here (not a single person asked to see my voter registration card or picture ID!) but - personally - I think you'll be a lot better off if you hang onto the AJ. It'll only get better the more you play it.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:09 PM
Veeing Fly Veeing Fly is offline
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I own 1 of each, and if I had to get rid of one, it would be the Bird. By your own opinion, you prefer the sound of the AJ.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:36 PM
davidd davidd is offline
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AJ by a country mile.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:51 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidd View Post
AJ by a country mile.
Hummingbird. By two miles.

The Hummingbird seems better suited to your current musical activities, especially if you already own a D-18. Mellow is good, especially in the studio.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:52 PM
ataylor ataylor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilettante View Post
Ataylor, I did try three J45ís but they left me wanting. Iím sure there are great J45ís out there, Iíve heard great ones. Maybe it was those three particular instruments that I tried, but they didnít speak to me. I found the tone of the Hummingbird and AJ (however different from each other) more appealing.
Gotcha. In that case, itís a little trickier! Either way youíll end up with a good one.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:20 PM
Dilettante Dilettante is offline
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What do you guys think of the Heritage Cherry color on the Hummingbird? A little vibrant, to say the least. Not sure if itíll grow on me.
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Old 12-17-2019, 03:34 PM
eljay eljay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilettante View Post
What do you guys think of the Heritage Cherry color on the Hummingbird? A little vibrant, to say the least. Not sure if itíll grow on me.
I like it a lot.

As info, had an AJ; have two Hummingbirds, fwiw.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:58 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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I have a great deal of affection for the AJ having owned and loved one which sadly had to be sold. If I found another good one the D-18 would go to finance it. I dislike short scale Gibson guitars, so I guess that's your answer!
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