15 June 2010
There are some guitars that just grab your imagination and don't let go. Ever since I heard Chris Lancry, a French blues guitarist, on a Gibson Hummingbird I have been captivated by this beautiful guitar.
The Gibson Hummingbird is one of the most visually distinctive acoustic guitars around. It's cherry sunburst finish and distinctive decorated pick guard make it stand out from the crowd and its acoustic qualities have ensured it a privileged place in the history of rock and folk music.
Designed For Singers
The Hummingbird is a square shouldered dreadnought introduced by Gibson in 1960. It was designed with the singer in mind, the sound is not extremely loud like some other dreadnought acoustics but has a sweet, balanced tone that supports the singers voice without drowning it out.
The Hummingbird has a rich woody tone and is recognized as playing exceptionally well. In 2000 Acoustic Guitar awarded it Player's Choice and described the sound as "The Hummingbird has a very wide range of sound, from gutsy and loud, to sweet and soft. Superb for all styles of playing, whether just chording or playing intricate solos."
Beneath its eye catching finish lies a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. It has a straight bridge made of rosewood with a plastic saddle and bridge pins. The cherry sunburst finish is surrounded by a white binding.
The neck is made of high quality rosewood with mother of pearl trapezoid shaped fretboard inlays. The headstock is equipped with gold tulip shaped Gibson tuners.
Over the years a few models were made in natural or vintage sunburst finishes too.
Reviewers of the Gibson Hummingbird are unanimous, it is the one guitar they would never part with. Many find some small fault with different aspects of the guitar, but despite this they all admit that it is the most attaching and durable guitar they have owned. This speaks volumes for the guitar's sound, feel and quality.
Vintage Hummingbirds from the 1960 to 1965 period are most prized. But the new models made by Gibson in their Montana factory are very highly considered, Gibson seeming to have renewed with the quality that made it a legend.
One day I am going to get hold of one of these beautiful Gibson Hummingbird for myself, but in the meantime I'm still dreaming of this beautiful bird. Here are a few views of it in action to enjoy.
Gibson Hummingbird Blues
Gibson Hummingbird Layla Acoustic
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