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Is this 1960 Bird f/s real?


BluesKing777
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What do you think?

 

YQY9uFqh.jpg

 

Gibson - Hummingbird

Made in Kalamazoo USA1960 in the first year of production. Incredible mellow sound. Incredible low action. A very smooth instrument. Excellent condition for age. Some cosmetic wear from use but no damage. Original adjustable ceramic saddle. Non destructive Schatten pickup installed. Gold Gibson Kluson tuners. w/ hard case

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$12,500.00

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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Usually we see cherry burst or natural, why I asked.....

I played it while waiting for the owner to get back about my offer on my 2005 Dove...we never learn, do we? I didn't really get a good play - I was standing near the phones/cash register and said something like 'Hee Haw...i better not drop it, eh?' and gave it back to him.

Maybe the darker burst is a forerunner of the new Bird dark burst J45 burst thing:

https://www.acousticcentre.com.au/collections/gibson/products/gibson-hummingbird-tobacco-sunburst

or?

https://www.gibson.com/Guitar/ACCVID935/125th-Anniversary-Hummingbird

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

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It's hard to know what color that burst might have been originally, since so much of the red dye used in that timeframe was unstable.  It may have had a lot more red in it than it currently shows.

1960 would have been a first-year 'bird. It's also possible they hadn't settle on a burst color at that point.

Were the back and sides red, or conventional walnut brown?

Did you happen to get the serial number on it?

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33 minutes ago, j45nick said:

It's hard to know what color that burst might have been originally, since so much of the red dye used in that timeframe was unstable.  It may have had a lot more red in it than it currently shows.

1960 would have been a first-year 'bird. It's also possible they hadn't settle on a burst color at that point.

Were the back and sides red, or conventional walnut brown?

Did you happen to get the serial number on it?

 

No and no, Nick. I think I remember being disappointed at $12500 worth of brown back, instead of cherry.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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Nothing there is unreal there 'cept maybe the hue, which of course already has been noticed/mentioned. It's simply closer to a post-slope Southern Jumbo-burst.

Worth a double-check for year of birth for sure.  Would like to hear it. I played an all original 1965 cherry SJ a few weeks ago. Perhaps the best square I ever tried.  But too narrow. . 

Edited by E-minor7
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Yes - too skinny above for my style but I was wondering about the 'look'.

There is no room at my place for another guitar until I get the basement extended out to the fence line!😲

That said, the Bird is certainly a 'one off' looker. I will call them tomorrow to see if they know the serial number - they should as they vet every guitar to see if it has been stolen.

And I will try not to look at it anymore - same price could buy 2 or 3 new Gibsons or possibly the whole Maton collection!

 

BluesKing777.

 

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If it is a 60, it would have an R year designation.  As I understand it, all those early pickguards were hand engraved and they were often signed -- although not always.  Hand engraving is pretty  visible.  I have never done any serious study in that period, but I have never seen that finish.  

I have never seen prices like that particularly on a mahogany B&S instrument.  Also that period had some binding shrinkage.

61 was the first year of the SN craziness -- a true 60 is generally easier to date,

Best,

-Tom

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At a converted USD 8,543.99 (from Australian dollars) the price seems in line with the secondary market (even though the model has overall little collectibility). It's also a consignment piece. The coloration of the guitar is a little strange (or perhaps the colors of the photo are off), as those models usually don't go full tobacco on you over time, even though they can take on a darker hue of sorts. Who knows how the thing was handled or stored! If it was refinished, which I doubt, they got the Gibson burst right, though.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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Yes, everything here is 3x the price of late......

The owner probably said he wants $10K (Aus) when consigning it.....and try to cover the 20-22% consign fee.....$12,500 odd.

So the bucks are for the rarity of a 1960, the Gibson Hummingbird 60s thing, the shop fees......

I can only imagine it will sit for sale until someone gets a small inheritance or small lotto win....enough for a 1960 Bird!

The sensible and canny Aust guitar shopper would run screaming too at that price, don’t worry about that - and screech to a halt as they notice the rather unusual listing - used sapele/sitka Maton ECW80c ‘Heritage’ with Maton AP5-Pro pickup system listed for $1500! You know, a mahogany style dread with sitka top, cutaway and pickup, possibly ready to gig tonight.....for a tenth of the Bird price. But you know, the friends ask what new guitar you bought and you spill the name of the 60s Bird or a .....Maton ECW80c Heritage.......😶

Or buy the 2005 Dove, with writing on it..... ha ha ha......😎

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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11 hours ago, j45nick said:

Pending the serial number, I wonder if that isn't a very early 'bird, before all the characteristics were finalized. It does appear to have an orange label, which may hold the key to answering many of our questions.

 

I phoned the shop for serial number and I was told:

S/N:  A35142

So no "R"....hmmm.

With a closer look at the headstock, it probably says Mel.......😵

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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33 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

I phoned the shop for serial number and I was told:

S/N:  A35142

So no "R"....hmmm.

With a closer look at the headstock, it probably says Mel.......😵

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

That's actually a correct serial number format. The Hummingbird got a serial number rather than an R-prefix FON like lower-end guitars such as the J-45. The last A-prefix serial number was A36147  on February 26, 1961. The first A-prefix orange label instrument was apparently an F-5 mandolin, A20001, shipped in January of 1955.

That serial number is almost definitely sometime in 1960. Apparently, 156 'birds were shipped in 1960. It could well be one of the very earliest Hummingbirds, which could well explain the inconsistencies we see compared to the "classic" 'bird.

Nice find!

Note: I had one of the very earliest white-label A-prefix serial number instruments, A-235, an L-7 from early in 1947. The white label was replaced by the orange label in 1955 on higher-end hollowbodies.

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23 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Usually we see cherry burst or natural, why I asked.....

luesKing777.

 

 

 

I do not think Gibson started offering B45-12s , Doves and HBs with a stock natural top until 1963.  Prior to that you could get them but it would have been a Custom Dept. order.  One of the problems is there are so few 1960 HBs out there it is tough to draw any conclusions about specs.

Edited by zombywoof
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6 hours ago, zombywoof said:

I do not think Gibson started offering B45-12s , Doves and HBs with a stock natural top until 1963.  Prior to that you could get them but it would have been a Custom Dept. order.  One of the problems is there are so few 1960 HBs out there it is tough to draw any conclusions about specs.

 

 

It would be interesting to compare the insides with a later model - I assume they would be fine tuning the specs as they go along....it would be a shame to drop all that cash to find out it is the model that rattles and buzzes.

I can say that it won’t be me going there. With Xmas coming up, getting a car park near the shop would be a matter of real lotto type luck, let me tell you. It is woeful normally!

They have a 2017 Bird...if it is still there after Xmas, I will hold them both up to the light, ha ha! Maybe.

 

BluesKing777.

 

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4 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

 

It would be interesting to compare the insides with a later model - I assume they would be fine tuning the specs as they go along....it would be a shame to drop all that cash to find out it is the model that rattles and buzzes.

I can say that it won’t be me going there. With Xmas coming up, getting a car park near the shop would be a matter of real lotto type luck, let me tell you. It is woeful normally!

They have a 2017 Bird...if it is still there after Xmas, I will hold them both up to the light, ha ha! Maybe.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

A modern 'bird vs the 1960 'bird would be  a really interesting comparison, especially when it comes to bracing, not to mention the bridgeplate for the ADJ bridge. In 1960, other Gibsons were still fairly lightly braced, but the question is what Gibson did with the "new" dreadnought body style.

More modern 'birds I have seen look to have very heavy back bracing compared to the slope-J, but what were they doing back in 1960?

BK, it's time for you to take a look at both the modern and vintage 'birds. The 1960 one is a rare bird, indeed!

How about a little "Love in Vain" on both of those?

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Gibson's first attempt at a square shoulder jumbo was, of course, the Epiphone Frontier.  The early ones I have seen were built with leftover Epi necks.   The main  structural difference between a 1960 HB and a Bozeman version would probably  be the top bracing.  Kalamazoo built then with un-scalloped bracing while Bozeman uses scalloped.

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1 hour ago, tpbiii said:

1962

Hbirdbraces.jpg

Plastic bridge?

That's a great shot of  a plastic ADJ installation: lag screws up into the bridge, plus the brass barrel bolts and lock washers for the ADJ mechanism.

That bridge plate appears to be fairly standard in sice for the period, and it looks to be solid wood rather than ply. The bridgeplate would be a good candidate for conservation (not replacement) like Ross Teigen did on one of my 1950 J-45's.

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