Anastasios Stathopoulo was the son of a Greek timber merchant and a builder of fine lioutos (a Greek stringed instrument) mandolins lutes and violins in the latter part of the 19th century. He and his wife eventually moved their wares and their aspirations to Turkey where they set up a small instrument factory and set about starting a family. The year 1893 brought them a beautiful son who they named Epimanondas (later to be known as "Epi") followed by three other unruly children, Alex, Minnie and Orpheus (later to be known as "Orphi").
1903 brought another upheaval of the Stathopoulo's family this time redirecting them and their instrument business to the lower side of Manhattan, New York. Epi and Orphi began learning their illustrious father's craft and gained invaluable knowledge concerning the production and sale of fine instruments. Epi was just 22 years old when he was thrust into a position of great power and responsibility when his father died tragically of carcinoma of the breast. Epi's keen sense of business, in combination with his insightful knowledge of instrument design and production came together to make him a tour de force in the developing music world and subsequently, the company thrived.
By 1917 Epi had changed the name of the company to "House of Stathopoulo" and adapted the product line to reflect the needs and desires of the population which at that time had their eye on the banjo. The company rolled with the changes and continued to increase their economic base continuing to grow under the leadership of their self-named president and general manager, Epi Stathopoulo. In 1923, Epi made the final shift to the company's current name, an amalgamation between his nickname, and the Greek word for sound. And although Epi sadly passed quietly in the night during the conflagration of World War 2, the Epiphone company has continued to grow and thrive into the 21st century renown for its replicas and signature edition guitars.
The Epiphone Hummingbird is an old Epiphone classic and incorporates a solid Spruce top with Hummingbird pick guard (see photo), laminate Mahogany sides back and neck, and a rosewood fretboard and bridge. Of mention here, the bridge is a standard flat top which allows you to lower the action as much as you see fit. The hardware on the guitar is chrome and employs Grover tuners, and the body is finished in what Epiphone refers to as "Heritage Cherry Sunburst." There is also a very decorative multi-ring rosette as well as parallelogram inlays on the fingerboard.
The Epiphone Hummingbird falls under the classification of the dreadnought body and measures 19 3/4" long by 15 and 1/4" wide (at its widest point). Width at the nut is 1.68" and the fingerboard contains 20 frets, 14 of which are readily accessible.
The Epiphone Hummingbird is currently available for around $350 and can be acquired either through your local music store or on-line. This particular acoustic is considered a classic among acoustic guitars and has a facade that is truly unforgettable. In addition to the use of high quality materials and excellent construction, you also have over a hundred years of experience and the Epiphone name to back up the guitar which makes the $350 dollar price tag a steal. Keep in mind though, the original Hummingbirds were made in America but the current models are produced in Korea and are made differently than the old classics.
The Epiphone Hummingbird has a crisp, tight feel to it when first you strum. It also has amazing resonance especially compared to guitars in the same price range. Overall sound is balanced well from treble, to mid, to bass tones and has an impressive large "boomy" projection. One of the first things I noticed about this guitar is how well the sound filled the room and this is probably due, in part, to the dreadnought body. The action of this guitar was fantastic and smooth all the way up the fingerboard, and the sustain was more than impressive. Frankly, between the physical beauty of the guitar and the great playability, the Epi Hummingbird is a fantastic buy and seemingly well worth the paltry $350 buck price tag.