Hummingbird Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 02/03/2015 category: Acoustic Guitars
Gibson: Hummingbird
The Hummingbird features a solid sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, 24-3/4" scale length, dovetail neck-to-body joint, scalloped bracing.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (4) 17 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Hummingbird Reviewed by: dakotajoe, on january 08, 2010
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2400

Purchased from: Russo's Music Trenton, NJ

Features: My Hummingbird is a 2008 built in Boseman Montana U.S.A. The Gibson Hummingbird is an acoustic-electric guitar that has 20 frets. The Hummingbird features a solid sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, 24-3/4" scale length, dovetail neck-to-body joint, scalloped bracing. The pickup system is the L.R. Baggs Element system. // 9

Sound: I play mainly Folk music and some bluegrass. The guitar has a very even sound overall. Highs and mids come through quite well but the bass response is superb. Loud and man I mean loud unplugged. The pickup system could tone down the bass a tad can seem to drown out the rest of the sound somewhat when playing certain things. Unplugged it is the best guitar I've heard. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I was the only one to ever test this guitar out at the store and it was setup perfectly for my tastes. It may be a tiny tiny bit high for some players. The pick up may need to be adjusted some it picksup too much bass on some songs. No flaws what so ever anywhere that I could find. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Seems quite durable. Played a few gigs with it. Has been dependable so far I've only had it about a year. Only has one strap button, solid as a rock. Finish is still looking great after a year of me beatin on it, normal pickwear above the soundhole. The pickguard has a tiny piece of the corner that seems to be pulling up of the soundboard but barely noticeable. // 9

Overall Impression: I have found that I am very partial to the Gibson acoustic sound. I think it matches my playing style to a "T". I have been playing for about 15 years. I own one other acoustic worth mentioning it is a Gibson DSM-CE. I would be heartbroken if this thing were to be lost or stolen. Someone would also have a deathwish for takin my baby. I played about 20 other Hummingbird before finally deciding on this one. Each had their own sound and character but I would definitely find another one to replace it. I played about 1,00 high guitars and this one takes the cake over all the Martins, Taylors, Guilds or any of the other Gibsons I played. Basically I love everything about this guitar. It is my most prized possesion. // 9

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overall: 9.2
Hummingbird Reviewed by: Dawgman51, on july 04, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: My Hummingbird is a 1998 model and I bought it brand new that same year. U.S. Made, in Bozeman, MT I had previously owned an original Michigan-made Epiphone Hummingbird back in the 70's which I played half to death before it was stolen out of my car. I had the money, and was offered a great discount on it (at that time), so I jumped on it. Still own it today. It features the standard 20 frets, with a solid spruce top and mahogany neck and sides, also solid. No plywood in this baby! Dreadnought body style, with square shoulders. Grover Rotomatic tuners, just like the 60's models had. It has a pretty cherry sunburst finish, with the distinctive Hummingbird etching on the pickguard which signifies its name. Full white binding on the body and neck, rosewood fingerboard with real mother of pearl inlays. It came with a Gibson hardshell case in which it sleeps when I'm playing one of my other guitars. For the price, it had BETTER come with a case! In '98 the Hummingbird model (there was only one back then) didn't come with the factory pickup/preamp system that they do today. I had a Fishman unit installed in mine by the dealer and except for a couple of battery replacements over the years have had no problem with it. It sounds great amplified, although with no tone or volume controls on the guitar you have to do some "playing around" with the amp controls. // 10

Sound: I play a mixture of oldies, blues, light rock, and country, mostly, on Acoustic guitar and my 'Bird is adequate for all those types of things. I both fingerpick and use a flatpick, depending on my interpretation of a given song. This guitar sounds really great flatpicked, but leaves a little to be desired with unamplified fingerpicking. It really isn't as loud as I'd like when I play it in that style, unless I use a thumbpick and banjo fingerpicks. It sounds sweet as ever, but the volume just isn't as good as I'd like with the "bare meat" fingerpicking that comes so naturally to me. Grab a flatpick, though, and the sound is sweet and singing - even better than the old Epi 'bird I had years ago! // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: My 'bird was set up great at the factory, but having the Fishman pickup unit installed made a difference in the action height, of course. But the guitar tech at my dealer cut a new bridge saddle for it and did some tweaking on the neck adjustment and the action since then is about as low as you can get on an acoustic, without encountering string buzzing. I absolutely LOVE the way it plays! Easy to finger and pretty easy to bend the strings for the "bluesy" stuff I do. The neck and fingerboard fit me like a glove. Gibson's workmanship and finish are as excellent as one might expect from a company with their reputation. I have yet to find a single flaw anywhere in this guitar, except for a few inevitable belt buckle scratches that I put on it myself. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've never played mine live, as I'm not in a band, or performing solo at this time (but, ya never know, y'know?). I see no reason why it would't hold up to road use, though. It is a strong, well-constructed guitar and it's an eye-catcher as well. Gibson acoustics don't seem to be very popular with performers, but that's only another reason why it would probably attract some attention if I ever played it onstage. I wouldn't be a bit afraid to use it in a gig as my sole Acoustic guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: My 'bird is a great match for the country and light rock stuff I do and it does pretty well on the blues things, too. I do use my Fender Statocaster on some songs and my Takamine acoustic/electric is better suited to some things than the 'bird is, mainly because of its superior pickup system (I'm writing a separate review on my Takamine). I have been playing, off and on, since the mid 1970's and the Hummingbird is definitely one of the best Acoustic guitars I've owned. // 9

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overall: 9.2
Hummingbird Reviewed by: steve_121, on august 02, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 2099

Purchased from: Guitar Village

Features: Made in the USA in 2012 at their Montana factory, the Hummingbird is a classic guitar. Spruce top, with mahogany neck, back and sides. Rosewood fingerboard, joins the body at the 15th fret. No cutaway, with the Hummingbird motif engraved into the scratchplate. An internal Piezo pickup, a single volume control, placed discretely just inside the sound hole and a 9v battery pack good for 1000 hours is located inside the guitar against the heel of the neck. The guitar came with a shaped hardcase (made in Canada) and the standard Gibson booklet. 22 frets, and a wide slim neck with good clearance at the edges. High quality Grover style tuners, in a natural finish. Also available in Vintage sunburst. // 9

Sound: The sound is warm and rich. I believe the Hummingbird was made to complement the voice - and it does. My wife (it's her guitar) has a contralto range and this guitar is a great accompaniment. I'm a tenor and it suits my voice also. I think it's because of the rich sound, not sharp in the attack but mellow and full with lots going on. The body is pretty big too so you can get quite a bit of volume and the action is light and forgiving - making it easy to play. It's a guitar for folk, blues and country - best as an accompaniment to voice and for mellow rather than harsh sounds. If I amp it I use an AER Alpha - so I just get the sound of the guitar, nothing added - the piezo is great, works a treat and the sound reproduction is top quality. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Beautifully made. I may be biased but right now I think the Gibson Acoustics are way ahead of their electrics for build quality, finish and wood selection. This guitar is faultless in set-up, wood, matching, finishing and stability. I cannot find a single bad thing to say. That said, we tried a couple when we bought this, and some others too. There are (as you'd expect) minute differences in the neck and sound. So it is a case of trying a few side by side if you can. The one tricky thing is replacing the battery for the pickup. It's fiddly and you need to take off at least half the strings (well I do) and on an acoustic I prefer to always change one at a time. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Incredibly stable, both the tuning and the sound. We keep it in a stable environment, but even when we move it the guitar just keeps tune and tone. The hard case is light but strong and protects the guitar well in transit. The finish is tough and the scratchplate durable. The finish on the neck and back are scratch resistant and the scratchplate is also hardy enough for tapping without damaging the top wood. It's the sort of guitar that will age well and get better with age. Wouldn't need a backup. It's a top quality acoustic. Cannot fault it at all. // 10

Overall Impression: For an acoustic set you'd be hard pressed to find a better accompaniment to the human voice. It just works for whatever you're playing. It doesn't have the attack of some other guitar so isn't suited to some fingerpicking styles. The guys at Gibson did a great job on this guitar and you can see why it's a classic. If it was stolen I'd buy another tomorrow. I've played for over 20 years and the thought of not having a Hummingbird is just not something I'm prepared to put up with. I tried it next to Taylors, Martins and Gibson J200's and Doves, and while some of them had more "bite" the Hummingbird was the most mellow and warm. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Hummingbird Reviewed by: seytin, on february 03, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 1986 Gibson Hummingbird. I inherited this guitar from my father and it is a true beauty. The Gibson Hummingbird stands alone in it's unique feel and sound. It didn't come with any bells and whistles originally and was acoustic only. My only complaint is that it didn't have a pick up originally so I had to install one. Drilling a hole in this guitar made me quite nervous but I had it done at an excellent shop. The mother of pearl inlays on the fretboard are just gorgeous, as is the the Hummingbird design on the pick guard. My Hummingbird has a custom brown sunburst as opposed to the standard red sunburst. I far prefer the darker look myself. // 10

Sound: I play in a progressive indie alt-country/folk band. This guitar is absolutely perfect for the sounds we create. In the studio this acoustic is an absolute beast. It has such a dark rich sound that stands in great contrast to your Taylors and Martins. I am not a fan of a punchy ultra-bright acoustic sound and this guitar is anything but that. I usually play this through a direct box live, I wouldn't include that sound in this review though because the pick up is not original. I play hard and fast, using a lot of hammer-ons, pull-offs, and bends. The frets have really held up in spite of me beating it to death for years. The sound quality is astounding. Everyone who hears this guitar has to comment on how beautiful the tone is. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on the Hummingbird was originally a little high for my tastes, particularly on the upper frets. I had this adjusted to my preference and it works like a charm. The tuning pegs are fantastic and have stood the test of time. After about 15 years of heavy use the bridge did need some work, it was starting to slightly separate from the body. Also after about 20 years of heavy use the peg holes were getting pretty loose. It came as acoustic only originally. Because I play live so much and this is the only acoustic I will play I did have a hole drilled in where the strap peg was and had a nice pick up installed. The only thing that could have made this better originally would have been a pick up. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have played this guitar live relentlessly in a variety of settings and it has held up so well. For being almost 30 years old, the guitar is still in amazing shape and the tone is better than ever. I never use a back up guitar as this one has consistently been reliable. The finish has worn of in one spot from my right forearm due to sweat on stage. If you want to protect the finish, makes sure you are wiping it down or wearing long sleeves without buttons. Overall though this guitar has stood the test of time. I would recommend it to anyone who plays acoustic regularly live or in the studio. // 10

Overall Impression: I will never play another acoustic guitar. I am so completely in love with my Hummingbird. I have been playing this guitar for 20 years and it is still my baby. If you can afford a vintage Hummingbird, do it. The comments on the tone and appearance alone are enough to constantly remind you that you have something special. Everyone who notices my guitar comments on how beautiful it looks and how awesome it sounds. The few people I have let play it never want to put it down. It has become such a part of my sound that it is difficult for me to force myself to switch to other instruments. I do all of my writing, first and foremost, on my Hummingbird. It's never let me down. // 10

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