Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: Private party
Sound — 8
The factory strings make it sound dead, and its a shame, too. So many people must try it in the store and instantly lose interest because of these strings sounding so "muddled". One $7.00 set of Martins later, though, and it's suddenly a whole different guitar! I added brass bridge pins to mine as well, which I HIGHLY recommend. It adds a nice, bright, "crispy" sound to the whole thing, and coupled with the new strings, you now have a guitar that sounds at least $200 more expensive than it did. The thing about this guitar is that the sound only improves with age due to the type of wood it's made of, so it really can be a keeper.
Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing around eight years, and I picked this one up at a whim. I got a pretty darn good deal on mine, to be honest, and for the price range, it is hands down, the best LOOKING acoustic guitar. I did compare it to a Yamaha acoustic that was priced at $300.00 new (same price as the Hummingbird new) and it definitely sounded better out of the box, but there's something about this Hummingbird that just commands attention. If you're a a homebody who wants pure sound quality for this price range, go for a Yamaha. If you're going to be on stage, however, the sound difference doesn't trump the sheer amount of stage presence the Hummingbird brings to the table. Slap some new strings and pins on that sucker and I can almost guarantee that your average fan couldn't tell the difference as far as sound quality goes, especially in a three or four piece band. When I get compliments on my instrument, it means that I'm getting NOTICED. People remember me and my instrument. And that, my friend is a valuable, valuable thing for a musician.
Reliability & Durability — 8
On one hand, this guitar feels very solid and like it will survive for many, many years of strumming it up; on the other hand, it is very much a guitar geared toward asthetically pleasing people, and as such, there are more things you can bump and scratch and ding on it to take away from that. If I put a ding in my pick guard on my Schecter, oh well, that's why it there. If I put a ding in the pick guard on my hummingbird, I have actually ruined something visually pleasing on my guitar and it will bother me forevermore. In other words I'm not afraid to play it, but I'm afraid to take it out of its case.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup wasn't bad from the factory, but that's just me. The action is quite low and if you prefer high action, it'll take some work. Unlike most Epiphones, the finish isn't layered crazy thick with clear coat and it doesn't kill your sound. Still looks great, but I wouldn't give it to a child to play. The wood feels nice and robust in your hands (giggity) and doesn't feel like a toy, which is important to me. Had some minor fret buzz, nothing serious and it wasn't harsh, more of a natural wood bussing sound, kind of hard to explain.
Features — 7
Made in 2011. Purchased with hard shell case and several accessories s/a strap, capo, and an extra set of strings. Not much I can say that hasn't been said as far as features goes. I will note that the bridge pins, while plastic, did have abalone center buttons, which were nice looking, however, I quickly replaced them with brass/abalone bridge pins. The factory strings were garbage, so I replaced them immediately. The bridge itself seemed to be of decent quality, as did the hardware. The whole thing just looks and feels nice, even to those who don't really know what a "nice" guitar looks like; to be perfectly honest, if you're looking to pick up chicks, you should look no further.