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Keith's 60s Hummingbird

#1 User is offline   sookwinder 

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 04:35 PM

Hello to all.
Been wondering for a while about Keith Richards' 1960s Gibson Hummingbird. The guitar was used on Street Fighting Man, Jumpin' Jack Flash and a whole myriad of classic Stones tracks.
But what year is it? Maybe a 1965. 1965 is the date on the earliest photos I can locate of the Hummingbird.
If it is a 1965 model, what is the scale length? 24.75" or 25.5"

Anyone here with a knowledge of this guitar ?
Thanks

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#2 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:51 PM

Keith and Mick got one ceramic saddled cherry sunburst each - I think in 1965. Jones picked a J-200.
They might have been from that year or the one before. Both Birds are 24,75'ers.

1968 ~
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#3 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:16 PM

 E-minor7, on 27 March 2017 - 08:51 PM, said:

Keith and Mick got one ceramic saddled cherry sunburst each - I think in 1965. Jones picked a J-200.
They might have been from that year or the one before. Both Birds are 24,75'ers.

1968 ~

Nice job of answering! How'd you find out the scale length? I've wondered, but never came across the answer until now....
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#4 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 10:54 AM

I agree with Em7 on scale length and have no reason to doubt the '65er.
My eye is calibrated to see the distance from pickguard to bridge to pretty accurately guess scale. I think Mr 7 sees something pretty similar with the parallelograms when guessing nut width.
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#5 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:34 AM

 aliasphobias, on 28 March 2017 - 10:54 AM, said:

I agree with Em7 on scale length and have no reason to doubt the '65er.
My eye is calibrated to see the distance from pickguard to bridge to pretty accurately guess scale. I think Mr 7 sees something pretty similar with the parallelograms when guessing nut width.

I am in awe of both of you - and I suspect you both shoot a far better pool game than I could ever hope for!
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#6 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:58 PM

View Postaliasphobias, on 28 March 2017 - 10:54 AM, said:

I agree with Em7 on scale length and have no reason to doubt the '65er.
My eye is calibrated to see the distance from pickguard to bridge to pretty accurately guess scale. I think Mr 7 sees something pretty similar with the parallelograms when guessing nut width.

Very well remembered - for yes, , , it's possible to zoom in on the 3rd fret splits to long-distance-check nuts.

Regarding scale it's something I sense from the tons of pics seen of those Stones-Birds on the web (btw. they had more than these two).

Okay, tons and tons, , , but more or less all there are then. Besides there weren't many longies out in that period.
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#7 User is offline   Zentar 

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 06:49 AM

It's a trip reading how Richards got those sounds on record. Don't expect to go buy that same guitar and hear the same sound. He ran them through the darndest things to get unique tones. He cheated you might say.
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#8 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:09 AM

View PostZentar, on 11 June 2017 - 06:49 AM, said:

It's a trip reading how Richards got those sounds on record.

The paradox about the Hummingbird history and average H-bird fans is while there's consensus regarding the adjustable saddle being a bad idea -
people always mention the 60's Stones-recordings as the sonic ideal for the model. I personally like those sounds a lot too and know what they mean.


Things is that those tracks were done with ceramic saddles - and the big 1973 Bird-anthem Angie probably even with porcelain in a hollow plastic bridge.
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#9 User is offline   Zentar 

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 05:55 PM

Richards ran acoustics through a cheap cassette player because it gave a bizarre distortion sound.
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#10 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:13 PM

Folks like to b!tch about the adj saddles, but a good'n is still a good'n. The plastic bridges were a bit over the line, but if they haven't warped or broken, they'll work Ok as far as that goes.
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#11 User is offline   Martin 1940D28 

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 03:47 PM

You have been listening for years to the genius sound engineers, don't understand why you can't see and understand it!
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#12 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 07:35 PM

View PostMartin 1940D28, on 24 June 2017 - 03:47 PM, said:

You have been listening for years to the genius sound engineers, don't understand why you can't see and understand it!

I don't know who don't understand this - certainly not me. I think it obvious the big bands at the time hired the best available techs.
Btw. remember there wasn't too many, who could be labeled rock-engineer back then.

Now let's listen to this one - which most of you know so well.
No proof, but something tells me it could be a plastic-bridged Bird. There's a non-wooden flavor there. Yet it sounds damn good.
What d'ya think. . ?

1969 ~
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#13 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 07:32 PM

Okay, tons and tons, , , but more or less all there are then. Besides there weren't many longies out in that period.
[/quote

I'm all ears. I have heard the same, that the longs were maple bodies meant for the other bird. I haven't any evidence of the solid variety. My pockets won't take me back that far.
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