Unlike the other flat-top Gibson acoustics, the Hummingbird was Gibson’s first square-shoulder dreadnought, similar to the dreadnoughts produced by C.F. Martin & Company. Introduced in 1960, the Hummingbird was Gibson’s second-most expensive acoustic guitar, behind the Gibson J-200, until the introduction of the Gibson Dove in 1962 which was a blend between the Hummingbird and the J-200. The Hummingbird has remained in production ever since.
Gibson’s goal was to create an instrument designed for vocal accompaniment, one whose warm and honeyed tone would complement the voice, not overpower it. In reaching this goal Gibson employed a radical design that resulted in an instrument more square shaped than its round-shoulder predecessors. The price and quality of this new model were appropriate for a guitar priced just under that of the J-200. The new model was not only more visually stunning than the competition of the time (especially that of other guitar companies), it offered superior playing capabilities.
Fine-grain spruce top
Mahogany back and sides
Nut width of 1 9/16 inches
Scale length of 25 1/2 inches
One-piece mahogany neck with a medium profile
Single-bound rosewood fretboard
20 medium jumbo frets
Inlaid pearl split-parallelogram position markers
Black headstock with inlaid pearl “Gibson” logo and pearl crown inlay.
Three-layer (black/white/black) plastic bell-shaped truss-rod cover.
Gibson closed back tuners
Brown celluloid pickguard with hummingbird, butterfly, and flowers etched in white and yellow.
Rosewood tailpiece with fixed saddle
This Hummingbird was bought by its current owner in Denmark Street, London in 1989. It is in excellent original condition. There is a mark on the top above the sound hole, some fine checking on the top and sides of the guitar and a few miniscule surface marks on the sides. The binding and areas of the body have developed a nice patina giving the instrument a beautiful vintage look. The wood grain in the top has some gorgeous natural variegation that has a 3-dimensional appearance when held in the right light.
It is structurally sound with no splits, cracks, damage or repairs. Tuners are strong, intonation is good and original frets have lots of life left. It has a fine sounding Fishman pickup installed.
There are few guitars more suited to song writing than the Gibson Hummingbird. The Hummingbird has been used on countless songs over the years, in part because they record exceptionally well and because they play as smooth as silk. This one is a great player and comes with thousands of songs already installed.
Keith Richards has used Hummingbirds throughout his career. His Hummingbird can be heard in many Rolling Stones songs including ‘Let it Bleed’, ‘Love in Vain’, ‘No Expectations’, and ‘Dead Flowers’. Other notable Hummingbird players include Jimmy Page, Brian Jones, Marc Bolan, Sheryl Crow, The Edge, Bono, Mick Jagger, John McLaughlin, Gram Parsons, and Ryan Adams.
This is a beautiful sounding vintage Hummingbird with a well matured voice, fantastic playability and a great vintage vibe.
Comes in a later quality hard case in excellent condition.