It’s been a while since we last did acoustic-electric review. If you recall, our last review was on the Jameson Guitar, and we talked about how underrated it was. Today’s star, however, is not really underrated in terms of popularity. It was born from a brand name, and has carried a lot of praise and recommendations. Ladies and gentlemen, our article today will be an Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Review. Let’s see if this guitar is any good.

Product Description

These are the specifications from Epiphone’s website:

Top solid spruce
Body select mahogany
Neck select mahogany
Neck Profile SlimTaper™ “D” Profile
Fingerboard
Fingerboard Radius 12″
Truss Rod Adjustable
Binding -fingerboard 1-ply (white)
-body top 5-ply (white/black)
-body back 1-ply (white)
Fingerboard Inlay pearloid parallelogram
Scale 24.75″
Frets 20, medium frets
Nut 1.68″
Bridge reverse belly
Saddle compensated, imitation bone
Pickguard imitation Tortoise with traditional Hummingbird artwork
Hardware nickel
Machine Heads Grover™ 14:1
Electronics Shadow™ ePerformer™ Preamp
Controls -master volume
-treble eq
-bass eq
Typical Weight (+/- 5%) 5.0 lbs
Strings D’Addario® 12, 16, 25, 34, 41, 53
Epiphone hummingbird body

Solid Spruce Tonewood

The Hummingbird PRO Acoustic/Electric features a solid spruce top. Spruce is a rich and complex tonewood that begins to breathe and improve with age. The more you play, the better it sounds! The body and neck are made from select mahogany. The Hummingbird PRO neck has a classic SlimTaper™ D profile and features a 24.75″ scale and is attached to the body with a glued-in dovetail joint.

The fingerboard has pearloid parallelogram inlays, 20 medium frets, a 12″ radius, and a 1.68″ nut. There is single ply white binding on the fingerboard and 5-ply white & black binding on the body top while the back of the body has single ply white binding. The Hummingbird PRO has the classic sloped dovewing headstock has the “Epiphone” logo in white.

The Hummingbird PRO Acoustic/Electric’s reverse belly bridge has a compensated saddle for smooth action and intonation. The Shadow NanoFlex™ pickup system is under the saddle and the classic Hummingbird/flower tortoise shell style pickguard is easy to spot on stage or across a room.

Electronics
Shadow Pickup System
Epiphone and Shadow Germany have worked together for over a decade at perfecting ways to amplify an acoustic guitar on stage. The Hummingbird PRO is just one of many Epiphone guitars that feature a cutting edge pickup system that can handle any size gig and still produce an “acoustic” sound. The Hummingbird PRO’s controls for the Shadow™ ePerformer™ Preamp are on the upper bout and include controls for Master Volume, Treble and Bass EQ, Mute, and a Dynamics control adjusted via a frequency curve.
There is also a low batter indicator. The preamp is powered by two 2032 batteries. The output jack and strap locks are nickel and the Hummingbird PRO Acoustic/Electric is strung at the Epiphone factory with time-tested D’Addario Phosphor (12-53) strings. The Hummingbird PRO comes in a beautiful Faded Cherry color finish.

 FAQ (from Amazon)

-Is this guitar too “much” (in terms of price) for a beginner? I want something nice and I have full intentions of sticking w/ it and taking care of it

I teach guitar lessons, primarily to kids, and this is always a tricky question. If you can afford $300, then this is a guitar that you will never outgrow. It is an excellent instrument, in build quality, sound and playability. Many parents don’t want to spend “too much” on a beginner guitar, but if you get something too cheap, then you may have an instrument that’s unplayable, doesn’t tune properly or just isn’t fun to play.

I’ve been playing for 30+ years and recently purchased one of these Epiphone Hummingbirds. Mine was pretty much perfect out of the box and I couldn’t be more pleased. Just a beautiful looking and sounding guitar, and so much fun to play. The pickup sounds good, too, which is a nice bonus. You may or may not have plans to ever perform or plug it in, but that may change in the future.

-Is the design etched into the pickguard, or does it come off if you remove the protective covering?

Etched, feel free to remove covering, Epiphone / Gibson make quality products. Any pick guard will show signs of wear, which adds character to your guitar. Knock yourself out. 

-Does this come with a cloth case?

No, unfortunately it doesn’t come with a “gig bag”. Most high end Gibson, Fender, etc…guitars will come with a hard shell case. Most medium price range guitars will come with at least a “soft shell or what’s know as a gig bag”. As this instrument is on the lower rung “price wise” Epiphone offered neither. It’s an AMAZING guitar…well built, incredible sound (a bit on the “bright” side), with a smooth easy breezy neck action. Well worth much more money than Epiphone asks for it. So, don’t let the lack of a case dissuade you from purchasing it!! You can get great cases (hard shell or soft shell) on Amazon, American Musical Supply, Sweetwater, or Guitar Center for a very reasonable price

Opinions

The buyers’ opinions on the Hummingbird Pro where mostly positive. Well, as far as from what I have seen on Amazon. Take a look:

#1

Since I bought both the Hummingbird and the Dove guitars at the same time, I am going to do a review on both of them. There seems to have been a lot of questions about which one is “better”, or which one is “easier” to play. Since I have been playing both of these guitars for a couple of weeks now, I will do a review on both of them.

First of all, one is not “better” than the other. They are both quite different from each other.

The Hummingbird came fully set up and ready to play right out of the box. The playing height, and intonation were spot on right out of the box. I only needed to tune the guitar and start playing. The guitar is strung with D’Addario light strings. This is what Epiphone puts on the Hummingbird, and on the Dove guitars at the factory.
The Hummingbird has a smaller diameter neck than most full size guitars, so it is very easy on the hands, and easy to play most chords. It is very light weight, and this makes it very easy to hold and play – especially for smaller frame people (like women, or children) who either already play, or want to learn to play guitar.

The Hummingbird has a very bright, vibrant sound when playing. It is much louder than I expected when playing without an amplifier. I was surprised at the clarity and brightness of the sound when playing. Being light weight, and small neck, it makes it very easy to pick up and start playing every time I walk by it! It has now become one of my favorite guitars to play.

The on board pre-amp and pickup are very good quality too. When plugged into my Behringer acoustic amp, the sound is very clear, bright, and loud. I am very pleased with the electronics.
The finish on the guitar is spotless. The Hummingbird and flowers are engraved into the pick guard, so they will not wear off from playing.

The Dove guitar had a few small issues right out of the box. The strings on this guitar were completely worn out – this was either someone’s return, or a demo guitar in a store somewhere. When strings are played for a while, they get wear spots on the surface – think about a keypad for an alarm system. The more times you push a key, the more it gets worn.

After a long while, you can see the keys that you have been pushing are more worn than the rest of the keys. Same holds true of guitar strings. The surface areas where the most frequent chords are formed have a more worn appearance. Also, after strings have been heavily played for awhile, they become dull and “dead” sounding.

That is basically the condition of the strings when I took the guitar out of the box. Also, all of the paperwork, and tags were laying in the bottom of the box. They had been removed from the guitar, and removed from their plastic bags. The Hummingbird had all of the tags attached to the guitar, and the paperwork was secure in a plastic bag.

For me, this was nowhere close to a deal breaker, and did I did not even consider returning the guitar. I simply put new D’Addario light strings on this little beauty, and started playing. There was a lot of string vibration/rattle when I played it, so I checked the playing height, and the neck.

I needed to make a small adjustment on the neck truss rod, and after that this little beauty plays beautifully. Might be worth your while to get a professional setup done if you decide to buy the Dove. Most music stores have a guitar tech that can do a pretty nice setup job for $30 or so.
Another issue that came up was the pre-amp and pickup. This particular pre-amp is in the sound hole, and has two small thumbwheel controls (volume and tone).

I really do not like these setups, but they are quite common now.
When I plugged this guitar into my Behringer acoustic amp, the only string that was being picked up was the High E. All of the other strings were not being amplified at all. This would have been a deal breaker for me, but I had another pre-amp and pickup assembly on hand, so I changed them out.

The guitar sounds very nice now!! If you are not able to do this yourself, then you would either have to return it and hope you get a guitar with a good pre-amp/pickup assembly, or get it replaced professionally. Replacement by a professional will cost you a good chunk of change.

The Dove neck is a little larger than the Hummingbird. It is still smaller than a full size guitar, but is not as easy to play as the Hummingbird. The chords are still easy to form, and the neck is easy on the hands.
The sound of the Dove is more closely related to a Gibson guitar – a deep, warm tone versus the bright, vibrant sound of the Hummingbird. Both sound incredibly good, especially for the price of these guitars. They both sound even better when plugged into an amp!

In conclusion

Bottom line is that both guitars are well made, have great sound, and both are lightweight – especially compared to a full sized guitar. They are both a pleasure to play, and this is what keeps a guitar player coming back and picking up the instrument frequently. I have several acoustic guitars, and right now the Hummingbird is my favorite to play, followed closely by the Dove. These two guitars get more than 50% of all of my playing time right now. The remaining guitars I have get the other 50% of the playing time.

The Dove is a little larger, heavier, and has a deeper tone than the Hummingbird. In my opinion, it is better suited for older players (neck size and weight factor into this). The Hummingbird is better suited for younger, or smaller players – especially if they have small hands.
Both guitars are a real bargain at this price, so you really can’t make a bad decision on buying either one.

I know this was a long one, but I feel like it gets the point through and explains this guitar thoroughly. Some buyers complained of the lack of tone, others on the finish of the guitar. Here’s one example:

#2

In my opinion, I don’t think this guitar is quite worthy of all of the rave reviews here, based on the thin sound. I bought this because my Zager needs to go in for new frets and I have to wait until May to get it worked on, so I wanted to get something inexpensive to use in the meantime. This is a beautiful instrument, no doubt.

The finish is stunning, it’s very nicely made and ready to play out of the box, so on that level I would give it 5 stars. But soundwise, for me I’d say 2 and half stars. The bottom end is nowhere to be found. I tried to switch to the same strings I am using on my other guitar and it’s no different. This guitar has about the same dimensions as my Zager, but nowhere near the same bass response. It’ll do fine as a second guitar, and for cases where I want a brighter sound, but this would not do it for me as my daily player.

Price

You’re probably guessing that this Hummingbird Pro costs something above 500 dollars.

Wrong, lucky you. This guitar costs around $280, which isn’t very expensive.

Get the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Now!

Conclusion

I give this guitar a 4.5 rating out of 5. Oh, and a for the finish. I really liked the artistic colors and finish on this particular one. You may have a different point of view, and I respect that. Also, make sure to tell  us your opinion in the comment section below! Are you having any plans to buy it or try it out?

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See also: Baby Taylor BT2 Review