Gibson Hummingbird Modern Classic
A true legend of acoustic instruments, the Gibson Hummingbird was first introduced in 1960 as Gibson’s earliest square-shoulder dreadnought. Superb for all styles of playing, with a capacity for rich, first-position folk chords and intricate solo playing, the Hummingbird quickly became the icon of the Gibson acoustic line, and a favorite among legends like Gram Parsons and Keith Richards. Today’s Gibson Hummingbird is made to the specs of the first model produced in 1960, and still stands as one of the finest—and beautiful—acoustic guitars in the world.
Nickel Grover Rotomatic Tuners Grover’s original Rotomatic tuners are an engineering marvel, with abundant style and performance exactly suited for the Hummingbird. With a gear ratio of 14:1, the Rotomatics deliver precision tuning in a durable housing that provides maximum protection for the gear and string post. All moving parts are cut for exact meshing, eliminating the possibility of slippage. A countersunk tension screw lets players regulate the tuning tension to any degree. A special lubricant inside the gear box provides smooth and accurate tuning stability.
Crown Peghead Logo Gibson put the first crown peghead logo on an ES-300 back in 1940, and it has graced the headstocks of many legendary Gibson guitars ever since, including today’s Hummingbird . Over the years, it has also been called a “thistle” because of the group of flowering plants with the sharp prickles, though Gibson has preferred to call it a “crown.”
Pickguard The tortoise pickguard on the Hummingbird is custom-made and features the Hummingbird’s traditional floral and bird design.
Rosette A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most ornamental elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking decorations on any acoustic guitar. The rosette on the Hummingbird is a double-ring rosette, with the main ring consisting of seven-ply binding, and the second ring three-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to the Hummingbird Modern Classic.
Rosewood Fingerboard with Rolled Edges and Split Parallelogram Inlays The fingerboard of Gibson’s Hummingbird is constructed from the highest grade rosewood on earth, which is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled experts before it enters the Gibson factories. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The Hummingbird’s split parallelogram inlays are made of genuine mother of pearl, and are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps. The fingerboard also sports a rolled edge—instead of the usual right angle where the fingerboard surface meets the neck, Gibson Acoustic’s rolled edges are slightly beveled for an extremely smooth and comfortable feel, enhancing the playability of the Hummingbird.
Body Tonewoods (back, sides and top) The body design of the Hummingbird is known as a square shoulder dreadnought. The top is made from AAA-grade Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are constructed from mahogany, giving the Hummingbird a perfectly balanced midrange tone, with unbiased rich lows and clear treble registers. Selecting the right wood, and the formula to dry it out, are two of the most central procedures to Gibson’s guitar-building process. Beginning with its first catalog in 1903, Gibson has assured its customers that every guitar would be built using woods with “the most durable, elastic, and sonorous qualities,” and today’s guitars from Gibson Acoustic are no different.
L.R. Baggs Element Active Acoustic Pickup System Gibson Acoustic’s Hummingbird comes equipped with the popular Element Active Acoustic Pickup System from L.R. Baggs, which features a low-profile undersaddle element—or transducer—that’s proven more stable and durable than many standard ribbon-type pickups. Combined with an onboard preamp with an unobtrusive and volume control mounted just inside the soundhole, the Element delivers performance not previously attainable from an undersaddle pickup. Its sleek and effective design removes unnecessary internal components to enhance the coupling between the pickup and the guitar, and improve the sensitivity of the transducer for a robust, lively, and natural acoustic sound with excellent dynamics and delicate high end. The Element works with a standard 9V battery, which is housed inside the guitar in L.R. Bagg’s new “Battery Bagg.”
Bracing Every acoustic guitar made by Gibson features hand-scalloped, radiused top bracing inside the body, a feature normally found only in limited run, hand-made guitars. By scalloping each brace by hand, the natural sound of the acoustic is focused more toward the center of the body, enhancing the instrument’s sound projection. Inside the body of the Hummingbird, single “X” bracing similar to the pattern in vintage Gibson J-30s delivers a balanced midrange tone, with unbiased lows and rich, clear highs, producing a warm tone that has been a favorite among artists and players alike since the Hummingbird’s introduction in 1960.
Nitrocellulose Finish Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson acoustic guitar — including the Hummingbird — is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. Unlike the polyurethane finishes used by many guitar manufacturers, a nitrocellulose lacquer finish is porous when cured, allowing the wood to naturally “breathe” and mature. Microscopically thin, the finish on a Gibson acoustic guitar first requires seven main coats of nitrocellulose lacquer. After drying overnight, the initial seven coats are then level sanded and given two additional coats. Left to dry for five additional days, the finish is then wet sanded and buffed to its final glass-like sheen. The time-consuming nature of applying a nitro finish has been employed ever since the first Gibson guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. It’s also a softer finish, making it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can’t do the same on a poly finish.
- Color: Cherry Sunburst
- Body Wood: Solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides
- Neck: Mahogany
- Machine Heads: Nickel Grover kidney
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- No. of Frets: 20
- Bridge: Belly up
- Hardware: Nickel Grover kidney tuners
- Scale Length: 24-3/4"
- Case: Hardshell
Purchased 06-17-10 from American Musical Supply. Serial number 10980009
- 06-24-11 Complete setup from GC by Joe. Action lowered to about 6/64" bass side at 12th fret.