If you wanted a handmade acoustic guitar with gorgeous paua, pink heart and green abalone ornamentation, along with stunning mother-of-pearl inlay work and rare Hawaiian koa back and sides, you’d probably expect to pay a small fortune, right? Created by the best luthiers at the Gibson Custom Shop in Bozeman, Montana, the Hummingbird Custom Koa is based on the company’s original Hummingbird, which was first released in 1960. This instrument features a headstock and bridge bearing custom-inlaid hummingbirds in flight, each hand-engraved and made of solid mother-of-pearl, not a laminate. The top of the Hummingbird Custom is constructed of the finest solid Sitka spruce, which is getting harder and harder to obtain, while the back and sides are hand-selected flamed koa, a slow-growing timber that is found only in the Hawaiian Islands, which means there are no vast reserves of koa stored away somewhere.
The binding is 8-ply on top with brilliant, colorful abalone that looks backlit in the right light, and 5-ply binding on the back. The soundhole rosette shimmers with more rainbow-hued abalone while elegant Orpheum-style inlays of real pearl and abalone contrasts beautifully against an African ebony fretboard. Finally, the pickguard of the Hummingbird Custom is easily suitable for framing with its ornate pearl and abalone hand-engraved inlay work. Each Hummingbird Custom is created with elaborate gold tuners, personally engraved by Gibson’s master luthiers. The neck is constructed of solid tropical mahogany with a comfortable round profile that will please most musicians. As discriminating guitarists in the 1960s immediately discovered, underneath the Hummingbird’s flashy ornamentation is a solid, high-quality guitar with a superbly balanced sound. This inspired example of Gibson’s master craftsmanship comes standard with a deluxe plush-lined, Custom Shop hardshell case and ships directly to your door via FedEx absolutely free. Why spend a small fortune on a one-off when there’s the Gibson Hummingbird Custom Koa?