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Hummingbird 1994 Cherry Starburst, Flaming Maple "SP" label


KirkinSonoma
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HI, I posted several days ago with an intro that said - A Great Gibson Story. It is a great story and I have listed the guitar for sale but I have been learning more about it and I have more questions than when I started.  I posted pictures last time so I can't upload more than a couple here. If you want to see more please find my previous listing or contact me.

I thought the guitar I had was a standard production model that the maker had just taken great care with. It turns out that it might be something much more special. First the cherry starburst on the front is gorgeous, the wood grain is impeccable. The quality of the finish front and back appears exceptionally lustrous.  

The back and sides, which I assumed were mahogany turn out to be flamed maple- very rare and evidently not typically seen on Humminbirds since the 60s. 

Finally the sticker inside has "Hummingbird SP".  I am thinking this may refer to "Custom Made."

From the serial number I assumed that it was made in Nashville or Memphis. Now I am not so sure.

I would appreciate any comments and information regarding this beautiful guitar.

Thanks, Kirk

back -angle-sm.jpg

pickguard-front-closeupsm.jpg

Edited by KirkinSonoma
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They as in Gibson Montana did small batches of  there guitars.   Eg Montana specials , so on.  Sometimes a dealer would request 12 guitars each one a little different from the other.    Alot of that was devoted to highend dealers that had high Gibson acoustic sales.   Its the right time frame for the Custom shop.    But those would of been floor run guitars.   I had a Maple bird just like yours given to me from John Walker one night when Ren, John and a few others were sipping on a few playing Foozeball.   Excellent evening. 

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53 minutes ago, slimt said:

They as in Gibson Montana did small batches of  there guitars.   Eg Montana specials , so on.  Sometimes a dealer would request 12 guitars each one a little different from the other.    Alot of that was devoted to highend dealers that had high Gibson acoustic sales.   Its the right time frame for the Custom shop.    But those would of been floor run guitars.   I had a Maple bird just like yours given to me from John Walker one night when Ren, John and a few others were sipping on a few playing Foozeball.   Excellent evening. 

You bet - must have been quite a high flying nite - one of those you never forget. . 

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3 hours ago, KirkinSonoma said:

HI, I posted several days ago with an intro that said - A Great Gibson Story. It is a great story and I have listed the guitar for sale but I have been learning more about it and I have more questions than when I started.  I posted pictures last time so I can't upload more than a couple here. If you want to see more please find my previous listing or contact me.

I thought the guitar I had was a standard production model that the maker had just taken great care with. It turns out that it might be something much more special. First the cherry starburst on the front is gorgeous, the wood grain is impeccable. The quality of the finish front and back appears exceptionally lustrous.  

The back and sides, which I assumed were mahogany turn out to be flamed maple- very rare and evidently not typically seen on Humminbirds since the 60s. 

Finally the sticker inside has "Hummingbird SP".  I am thinking this may refer to "Custom Made."

From the serial number I assumed that it was made in Nashville or Memphis. Now I am not so sure.

I would appreciate any comments and information regarding this beautiful guitar.

Thanks, Kirk

back -angle-sm.jpg

pickguard-front-closeupsm.jpg

Did you know that some of the early 60s Hummingbirds were Maple back and sides as well.   Fairly Rare to find one. 

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That's quite a story you have up in the Introduce Yourself section. And apparently a mystery as to what the "SP" stands for on the label. It even stumped SlimT. 

If you'd like to post more photos, you can post all you want here if you upload them to imgur.com first, then select the blue BBCode button to copy them to your computers clipboard & that can be pasted/embedded directly into your post here... as done with this favorite maple bird pic here:

 

WCsxaqi.png

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16 minutes ago, E-minor7 said:

Regarding photos I just searched Gibson maple Hummingbird - got this and copy-pasted and placed it on the page. 

Gibson Maple Hummingbird | Keymusic

That style back on a bird always does it form me. I know that I will have to do my homework if I ever see one for sale, because they did a similar B&S on that counterfeit that was posted twice in the past few years. <sigh>  Shore is sumtin to look at.

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8 hours ago, KirkinSonoma said:

HI, I posted several days ago with an intro that said - A Great Gibson Story. It is a great story and I have listed the guitar for sale but I have been learning more about it and I have more questions than when I started.  I posted pictures last time so I can't upload more than a couple here. If you want to see more please find my previous listing or contact me.

I thought the guitar I had was a standard production model that the maker had just taken great care with. It turns out that it might be something much more special. First the cherry starburst on the front is gorgeous, the wood grain is impeccable. The quality of the finish front and back appears exceptionally lustrous.  

The back and sides, which I assumed were mahogany turn out to be flamed maple- very rare and evidently not typically seen on Humminbirds since the 60s. 

Finally the sticker inside has "Hummingbird SP".  I am thinking this may refer to "Custom Made."

From the serial number I assumed that it was made in Nashville or Memphis. Now I am not so sure.

I would appreciate any comments and information regarding this beautiful guitar.

Thanks, Kirk

back -angle-sm.jpg

pickguard-front-closeupsm.jpg

That's quite a guitar and quite a story. I was saddened to see that you can't play any longer. That Arthritis factor will do the same to me one day. It's factored into me being in sort of a rush mode to get a few heirloom / iconic type guitars while I can enjoy them. For now, keeping them very well set up with low action, along with some arnicare cream for my knuckles, makes it so that I can play for an hour or so at a time.

I can't imagine you'll have much trouble seller her. I hope she lands in a good home. More so, I hope your continued youthful 73 health continues, the Arthritis notwithstanding.

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4 hours ago, 62burst said:

That's quite a story you have up in the Introduce Yourself section. And apparently a mystery as to what the "SP" stands for on the label. It even stumped SlimT. 

If you'd like to post more photos, you can post all you want here if you upload them to imgur.com first, then select the blue BBCode button to copy them to your computers clipboard & that can be pasted/embedded directly into your post here... as done with this favorite maple bird pic here:

 

WCsxaqi.png

Ya it has me stumped. I can ask a insider.  He will know.   
The SP could stand for special run. For a dealer like Guitar center.  
 

the made so many different  models back then for dealers.  We never seen most of those up here.   

Edited by slimt
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20 hours ago, KirkinSonoma said:

Thanks everyone for the great information. E-Minor-7 the flaming maple back you posted is an absolute killer knockout! What a beauty. Slimt- what a beauty as well.

PatriotsBiker- mine is for sale, let me know if it rings your bell.

 

All the best, Kirk

As much as I'd like to do so, this is not happening this year. Not after the things I've done. I'm not complaining, mind you....   🙂

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Beautiful guitar, loved the sneaky 63' originals that came out with maple back and sides, as too many Dove bodies made and Hummingbirds were needed, now. Yours is a solid body, while the 60's were usually laminate, or a combination. Saw a solid back and lam sides, so mismatched it was beautiful.

The SP was the special production ,as these followed the Centennial Series in 1993 which was 12 months of year/special model each month. A guitar store(Colorado?) has the complete 12 guitar series for sale now I believe. During this time period those special run Epiphones came out,  Excellente,Frontier and Texan.

I mention this because I hade a 1994 Epi Frontier from this series with real smackin' flame like yours, long scale. Gibson was obviously dipping into some prime maple and getting their swagger back. Hitting their stride with Ren and friends, this is one of the few Montana mades' that suggests desirability because of specs/and builders involved.

 

Of course, it's the sound that will matter to a player. My Epi Frontier sounded like crap and left shortly after. A new Epi Masterbilt covered that urge cheaply. with the sound the other unfortunately couldn't .If yours have any sentimental value keep it's not a model year you'll  find again likely. If not make someone else happy.

 

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Gorgeous Hummingbird! I have a '95 Dove which looks identical from behind, I'd wager it came from the same batch of Maple. Mine has the thick, bevelled pickguard like your Bird, too. 

I love my Dove...it's not the loudest guitar but is SO balanced and records incredibly well. I ended up using it for most of my new album as it just went down to tape so smoothly and fitted into the mixes with barely any EQ or squish. I'm sure your Hummingbird is similarly lovely. I'm sorry you have to part with it...if I had the funds I'd give it a home, but with the whole year's touring canned due to Covid, the times don't allow. 

I'm sure it will find a loving new home in short order though!!

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