#1
Hey guys, please let me know if this thread is posted in the wrong section.

I wanted to know if anyone could provide an accurate comparison between these two guitars.

The Fender came out sometime in late 2013, so I understand that there aren't many reviews out at the moment, but the reason I ask is because Musician's Friend is having a doorbuster sale and this was one of the guitars listed.

Fender Sonoran SCE Wildwood IV
Regular price - $450
Discounted Price - $280
Savings of about 42%
www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-sonoran-sce-wildwood-iv-acoustic-electric-guitar/j00746

Here's the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro for comparison:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-hummingbird-pro-acoustic-electric-guitar
Last edited by surjerrylee at Jun 24, 2014,
#2
I don't know anything about the Fender, but I had an Epiphone Dove Pro and it was great for the money. I tested it in the store several times against the Hummingbird and it really was a lot better than the Hummingbird to me.
I probably haven't helped at all, but that's my experience as it ralates to the Hummingbird.
#3
Quote by KarateRick
I don't know anything about the Fender, but I had an Epiphone Dove Pro and it was great for the money. I tested it in the store several times against the Hummingbird and it really was a lot better than the Hummingbird to me.
I probably haven't helped at all, but that's my experience as it ralates to the Hummingbird.


No, it's still helpful! I personally own a Hummingbird and haven't yet tried the Dove. I really like my Hummingbird though, but if I could get a $450 guitar for less than what I paid for the Hummingbird I may consider doing a switch.

The one thing I find annoying on HB is that the neck is too glossy that it sort of stops me from sliding up and down the frets.
#4
There have been problems with those Sonoran maple necks in the past (twisting), hopefully, Fender has figured that out! I didn't like the sound of the SOnoran model as much as the CD140SCE I eventually got a couple of years ago.
Current Epiphones are 'iffy', there are good ones and bad ones, much better to try one out in the store than to take a chance mail order (make sure you can return it, so questions asked.
My reverbnation page


2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epi 6830E
72 Fender Telecaster
Epi Dot Studio
Epi LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e uke
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
#5
Quote by MikeBmusic
There have been problems with those Sonoran maple necks in the past (twisting), hopefully, Fender has figured that out! I didn't like the sound of the SOnoran model as much as the CD140SCE I eventually got a couple of years ago.
Current Epiphones are 'iffy', there are good ones and bad ones, much better to try one out in the store than to take a chance mail order (make sure you can return it, so questions asked.


Yeah it seems as though the "bright" tone of the Sonoran is a turnoff for some. I wasn't able to find anything on neck twisting for the Sonoran line. Do you have any articles?

Also would you mind clarifying "iffy" on Epiphone guitars? I like the way my Hummingbird sounds! I've also replaced the stock nut with bone. Sounds great!
Last edited by surjerrylee at Jun 24, 2014,
#6
Quote by surjerrylee
Yeah it seems as though the "bright" tone of the Sonoran is a turnoff for some. I wasn't able to find anything on neck twisting for the Sonoran line. Do you have any articles?
A lot of the "brightness" associated with the Sonoran, is due to the 80/20 brass strings with which it is shipped. Fender was going for vintage "twang", and brass strings are a big step toward that end. Phosphor bronze goes a long way toward taming the guitar's tone.

Quote by surjerrylee
Also would you mind clarifying "iffy" on Epiphone guitars? I like the way my Hummingbird sounds! I've also replaced the stock nut with bone. Sounds great!
Any mass produced instrument is likely to have a fairly wide range of possible tonal structures. I don't think the Koreans or Chinese are tone tapping every top or shaving every brace to perfection, within a run of $200.00 guitars.

However, many people think that Epiphone's quality control is suspect across the board, and that the guitar you're going to buy, should be inspected by a knowledgeable person, (If you yourself don't fit that criterion), before you plunk down any cash.

I have the standard mahogany body Sonoran, and for the life of me, I wouldn't be able to tell you how much difference the "dao" wood alters the tone of the Wildwood model. They're both laminated B & S, and sometimes it's argued that the laminated stock doesn't remain true to the sound of an all solid construction of the same material.

Personally, I think that the tonal character of the wood still holds true, but to a lesser degree than a solid wood example. In other words, solid mahogany will sound more like mahogany, and solid dao will sound more like dao. Which might lead to a greater difference of sound between the two instruments overall. But....,
#7
Thanks for the reply CaptainCranky. Does Fender rigorously test their guitars before they leave the shop? I know Fender is a big name company but are more known for their electric guitars. Also, what genre of music is the Sonoran more geared towards? I'm looking to play more blues and pop (ie Jack Johnson, John Meyers, etc)

Epiphone on the other hand is closely associated with Gibson, who is more well known for acoustics, but this is all just speculation. Has anyone played both guitars? Please offer your perspective, however subjective this may be! Thanks
#8
Quote by surjerrylee
Thanks for the reply CaptainCranky. Does Fender rigorously test their guitars before they leave the shop? I know Fender is a big name company but are more known for their electric guitars. Also, what genre of music is the Sonoran more geared towards? I'm looking to play more blues and pop (ie Jack Johnson, John Meyers, etc)
Allegedly, Fender does the setup and final inspection in California. I'm re-quoting a rumor, so please don't hold me to that.

The Sonoran, given its Strat headstock, and even choice of some colors, is really aimed at "the surfing sound", or at least its aesthetics are directed toward causing nostalgia for that period. So, for the sake of argument, let's call it, "retro pop".

I string mine with an 80/20 brass, "custom light"string set. That gives it a "lively" sound, without a bunch of thud in the bottom. Plus, with a good setup and the lighter strings, it can be made to play similar to an electric. (sort of)

Quote by surjerrylee
Epiphone on the other hand is closely associated with Gibson, who is more well known for acoustics, but this is all just speculation. Has anyone played both guitars? Please offer your perspective, however subjective this may be! Thanks
As my best guess, the Hummingbird is going to be bassier than the Sonoran. Fender calls the Sonoran a, "tight dreadnought", which means that it's a wee bit smallish, but not too small. Plus, it has a cutaway, which diminishes the interior volume a bit more.

I believe, "The Dove", which is almost a twin to the Hummingbird, is maple B & S, as opposed to the Hummingbird's mahogany. If you are indeed looking for a brght-ish guitar, give that a look and listen, if you can.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 24, 2014,
#9
Cap has it correct - Epiphone's quality has been hit-or-miss for a while. the lower the model (cost), the more chance of not getting the best one off the assembly line that day. Don't see me bashing Epi - I've got a 40+ year old Epi acoustic and 2 electrics (Dot Studio and LP Jr I have with high action that works good for slide). I couldn't find any real web matches for the Sonoran neck warping issue, but did see a number of people complaining about bowing (which is usually just a humidity/truss rod thing), but certainly read a few things about it a few years ago.
I'd recommend with your price range to go to a music store and look for some used acoustics, and also try out the Yamahas in that price range - none of the acoustics in that price area have cases, so you can add anywhere from $25 to $100 for a gig bag or hardshell case.
My reverbnation page


2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epi 6830E
72 Fender Telecaster
Epi Dot Studio
Epi LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e uke
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
#10
Quote by MikeBmusic
...[ ]...I couldn't find any real web matches for the Sonoran neck warping issue, but did see a number of people complaining about bowing (which is usually just a humidity/truss rod thing), but certainly read a few things about it a few years ago..[ ]....
Ah maple, it makes wonderful bowling alleys as well....

Anyway, I had a slight truss rod issue with my Sonoran. I think it may have been due to Fender screwing it down too tight, at the time the guitar was setup at the factory.

The neck bent slightly backwards, causing a convex fretboard profile, rather than the desired concave, "relief" geometry.

All that was required was less than a half turn loosening of the truss rod, and it's been fine ever since.

With that being said, given today's shortage of all forms of cabinet grade hardwood lumber, any maker may not be able to pick and choose the exact, perfect, piece, for a, "guaranteed to stay straight forever", neck blank, of maple, mahogany, or other wood. Especially when you're talking in terms of a three or four hundred dollar price point instrument.

As Step showed us in video, Taylor has addressed a major shortage of ebony, by accepting all samples available, including those with mottled color patterns, instead of the pure black ebony, which it seems we have grown accustomed to, and been spoiled by....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 25, 2014,
#11
Good stuff guys. I made a trip to a Guitar Center that was over 100 miles from where I live so I could test the Sonoran. Definitely wasn't enough for me to consider switching guitars, but after playing the Seagull S6 Original I can say that I'm in love...

For now, I'll keep my Epi H'Bird and upgrade the saddle and nut to bone and use D'Addario EXP Light Gauge strings