Gold Grover Mother of Pearl Keystone TunersGrover tuners are an engineering marvel, with abundant style and performance exactly suited for the Hummingbird. With a gear ratio of 14:1, these Grover tuners deliver precision tuning in a durable housing that provides maximum protection for the gear and string post. All moving parts are cut for exact meshing, eliminating the possibility of slippage. A countersunk tension screw lets players regulate the tuning tension to any degree. A special lubricant inside the gear box provides smooth and accurate tuning stability.
Custom In-Flight Hummingbirds Peghead Logo
The new Hummingbird Custom Koa from Gibson Acoustic sports a beautiful, custom designed and hand-crafted inlay of three in-flight hummingbirds, made from genuine abalone and mother of pearl. It is one of the most beautiful peghead inlay logo on any Gibson acoustic, and is exclusive to the Hummingbird Custom Koa.
The tortoise pickguard on the Hummingbird Custom Koa is custom-made and features the Hummingbird’s traditional floral and bird design, all expressed in genuine abalone and mother of pearl. As with all Gibson’s pickguards, the coloring, inlay, binding, and engraving are all done by hand.
A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most ornamental elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking decorations on any acoustic guitar. The rosette on the Hummingbird Custom Koa is one of Gibson’s finest. It is a double-ring rosette with an abalone-filled middle. The main ring consists of seven-ply binding, and the second ring is three-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to the Hummingbird Custom Koa.
Ebony Fingerboard with Rolled Edges and Orpheum-style Abalone InlaysThe fingerboard of Gibson’s Hummingbird Custom Koa is constructed from the highest grade ebony on earth, which is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled experts before it enters the Gibson factories. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The Hummingbird’s Orpheum-style inlays are made from genuine abalone and mother of pearl, and are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers. The fingerboard also sports a rolled edge—instead of the usual right angle where the fingerboard surface meets the neck, Gibson Acoustic’s rolled edges are slightly beveled for an extremely smooth and comfortable feel, enhancing the playability of the Hummingbird Custom Koa.
Body Tonewoods (back, sides and top)
The body design of the Hummingbird Custom Koa is known as a square shoulder dreadnought. The top is made from AAA-grade Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are constructed from highly figured koa, giving the Hummingbird Custom Koa a balanced tonal palette with clear, bright highs and warm upper midrange response. Selecting the right wood, and the formula to dry it out, are two of the most central procedures to Gibson’s guitar-building process. Beginning with its first catalog in 1903, Gibson has assured its customers that every guitar would be built using woods with “the most durable, elastic, and sonorous qualities,” and today’s guitars from Gibson Acoustic are no different.
Every acoustic guitar made by Gibson features hand-scalloped, radiused top bracing inside the body, a feature normally found only in limited run, hand-made guitars. By scalloping each brace by hand, the natural sound of the acoustic is focused more toward the center of the body, enhancing the instrument’s sound projection. Gibson Acoustic’s Hummingbird Custom Koa sports a single “X” bracing pattern similar to the design inside vintage Gibson J-30s. This traditional pattern delivers a balanced midrange tone, with unbiased lows and rich, clear highs, producing a warm tone that has been a favorite among artists and players alike since the original Hummingbird’s introduction in 1960.
The Gibson name has graced the most innovative and revolutionary acoustic guitars of our time—the Super Jumbos, the J-45, the Hummingbird, the Dove. There is no mistaking the classic, mother-of-pearl logo, pressed onto the face of the headstock. It represents more than a century of originality and excellence. There is simply no equal.
- Gibson Logo
Tapered Dovetail Neck Joint
The dovetail neck joint is one of the oldest—and best—ways of securely joining the neck to the body of a guitar. It is also a complex and expensive neck joint to build, but the result is a tight, locking connection that supports the neck at the proper neck-pitch angle, allowing the body and neck to become one solid piece of resonating wood, with no metal to impede vibration. This process is done entirely by hand, requiring patience and skill.
- Tapered Dovetail Neck Joint
The top of many “flat-top” guitars are under a lot of stress from the pull of the strings, which can eventually compromise the top. So, while most acoustic guitars are true “flat-top” guitars, all of the acoustics produced by Gibson in Bozeman, Montana have a radiused, or “tuned” top. Instead of being perfectly flat, a radiused or “tuned” top is raised slightly, and a special instrument is used to shape the top braces to the radius of the top. This process adds tension and strengthens the top, creating a less stressful joint where the top meets the sides and reducing the stresses of string pull. It also results in a “speaker cone” effect that maximizes sound projection, adding a significant boost to mid-range levels for a more balanced acoustic tone.
- Radius Top
Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson acoustic guitar — including the Hummingbird Custom KOA — is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. Unlike the polyurethane finishes used by many guitar manufacturers, a nitrocellulose lacquer finish is porous when cured, allowing the wood to naturally “breathe” and mature. Microscopically thin, the finish on a Gibson acoustic guitar first requires seven main coats of nitrocellulose lacquer. After drying overnight, the initial seven coats are then level sanded and given two additional coats. Left to dry for five additional days, the finish is then wet sanded and buffed to its final glass-like sheen. The time-consuming nature of applying a nitro finish has been employed ever since the first Gibson guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. It’s also a softer finish, making it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can’t do the same on a poly finish.
- Nitrocellulose Finish
In general, a guitar’s binding serves as a cosmetic feature, adding a subtle elegance to any Gibson acoustic while hiding the joints between the top, back, and sides, and helping to protect the guitar’s body from any nicks or dings. But to see the process of putting the binding on a Gibson acoustic is to really appreciate the effort and attention put into each instrument. After the body has been glued together, the excess from the top and back are trimmed off and a groove is cut for the binding. The binding is then glued on and held on to the body using tape, and hung to dry. When the tape comes off, any excess glue is removed and the body is moved into the next phase of production. It has been done the same way for over 100 years, and is a fundamental part of Gibson Acoustic’s rich guitar-making history.
- Body Binding