Gibson Hummingbird Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1962)

Gibson  Hummingbird Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1962)
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Item # 12008
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Gibson Hummingbird Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1962), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 82242, sunburst top, natural back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a clean early example of the classic Gibson Hummingbird from 1962, one of the company's most distinctive 1960s flat top creations. This fancy decorated cherry sunburst acoustic was introduced in late 1960 as Gibson's first square-shoulder Dreadnought, nearly three decades after the company's venerable round-shoulder Gibson Jumbos first appeared. This new model was positioned above those in Gibson's line, but below the super flashy 17" J-200. With a nod to Martin's popular Dreadnought shape this new Gibson was timed right for the folk-era acoustic boom; it quickly became a popular model and the even fancier square-shouldered Dove was added to the line in 1962.

This Hummingbird is a fairly early production model from 1962, when 503 were shipped from Kalamazoo. The boxy body shape may have been inspired by Martin but the look is Gibson all the way. The multi-bound top has a subtly shaded cherry sunburst over nice tight grain spruce. The mahogany neck, sides and back have a light cherry stain fading to a natural look. A distinctive "hummingbird in flight" pattern is engraved on the large tortoise celluloid pickguard and filled with yellow toner creating a unique look. The mahogany neck has a 25 1/4 scale, longer than most Gibson flat tops, with a bound double parallelogram inlaid rosewood fingerboard. The rosewood bridge has the adjustable saddle construction Gibson made increasingly ubiquitous at the time as a hedge against warranty repairs.

The Hummingbird was a ground breaking design for Gibson, opening up a new chapter in the company's flat-top history. While a large guitar, it was not as powerful or wide-range sounding as many earlier Gibson flat tops but offered a tight midrange-rich sound that makes them ideal as recording guitars for rock bands, a role they still are prized for today. The Rolling Stones in particular became associated with the model, Keith Richards having been duly immortalized with one on the inside cover of the HIGH TIDE AND GREEN GRASS best-of collection issued in March 1966. This early Hummingbird is ideal for that role, as well as songwriting and recording in general, and can also light up any stage. This is a nicely preserved example, a lovely guitar to play, hear or even just admire.
 
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 15 13/16 in. (40.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

Overall this early 'bird remains in excellent shape, a nice, clean original Hummingbird from the best era for these square shoulder Gibsons. The all-original finish shows typical checking with some small dings, dents and scrapes overall but no really heavy wear. There are scratches and dings most heavily to the back, with some buckle wear mostly into but not through the finish. The cherry sunburst on the top appears to have faded a bit but was likely pretty subtle to begin with. The back of the neck has typical fading to the cherry stain from the hand contact.

The top center seam has been resealed, there is one small sealed stress crack to the back near the upper waist and a small divot in the lower side. Internally the guitar remains original except the bridge plate appears to be an old replacement; it is the same size and thickness as the maple original but made of rosewood. The adjustable bridge with a rosewood saddle is intact including all the bolts and hardware as are the gold Kluson tulip-button tuners. This Hummingbird is a very good player with the crisp, midrangey sound these are known for; one of the better mid-60's 'birds we have heard. It resides in the original yellow-lined original HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.