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NGD: 2003 Music Machine Stinger-Series Gibson Hummingbird

Ed Driscoll

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
4,677
When I went to the Dallas Guitar Show at the start of the month, I knew I wanted to buy a Gibson Hummingbird. If Gibson had been there, with their usual trailer full of instruments, I would have likely bought one of their new reissues of the 1960 Hummingbird. But they, and Fender, were no-shows, presumably as this was the first big guitar show as the pandemic winds down. The best example of a Hummingbird that I saw at the show was at the Jimmy Wallace booth, labeled as a Gibson Hummingbird with “Brazilian rosewood back and sides, and an Adirondack spruce top.” It had Grovers as its tuners, and I thought it looked and played great -- so I bought it. I noticed it had a stinger painted on the headstock, and I remember telling my wife that afternoon back in the hotel that “I remember there was this big reissue series of Les Pauls that were popular at the LPF right around the time I joined,” and started googling to read threads at the LPF and elsewhere to refresh my memory of the old Music Machine Stingers. But then I started to get cold feet – what if I had bought a Chibson? (While I was in this Schrodinger’s Guitar phase, I thought, if this is a Chibson, it plays and sounds fantastic!)

So I emailed Gibson photos of the guitar, didn’t hear anything back, waited a week, and ultimately I called the Gibson customer support number. I got a hold of someone who found my photos, and started researching the serial number, telling me it was made in Bozeman in 2003.

Stinger. 2003. Is this a Music Machine Hummingbird?! I was able to get in touch on LinkedIn with former Music Machine owner Rick van Heel, who verified the guitar for me, telling me it was one of five Hummingbirds Music Machine had commissioned from Gibson, with a Brazilian back, sides, and fingerboard, and provided the COA.

Somehow, I’ve lucked into a very rare, great sounding guitar – thanks Rick for verifying it, and for being part of the team that commissioned it in the first place!

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2007 Gibson Everly Brothers, 2003 Gibson Music Machine Hummingbird, 2019 Nashville-Strung Taylor Mini.

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2003 Music Machine Stinger Series Brochure.
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,230
So you blurred the SN on the COA, but left it on the pic of the guitar|?
Just checking -
But looks great.
 

Ed Driscoll

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
4,677
So you blurred the SN on the COA, but left it on the pic of the guitar|?
Just checking -
But looks great.
Thanks! The photo of the back of the headstock on the COA is a stock Music Machine shot of (presumably) one of their Les Pauls' headstocks, so there didn't seem to be any need to blur it out. (Note that the guitar on the COA has Kluson tuners, whereas mine, as well as the Hummingbird in the MM brochure has Grovers.) The back of my Hummingbird's headstock, presumably like all of the MM's acoustics, doesn't have a serial number. This was one of the features that made me nervous, and led to my contacting Gibson. Instead, It's printed on the Gibson sticker inside the soundboard. But it's also stamped in another location inside the soundboard, which Rick told me about. Finding that was that last detail to be verified that it was indeed a Music Machine Stinger guitar.
 
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Ed Driscoll

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
4,677
Sweet! I'd love to hear that thing!
Here you go -- it's double-tracked on this:

https://soundcloud.com/eddriscollcom%2Fout-where-i-am-living-now
“Out Where I Am Living Now” was a song I originally wrote in 2007 on a Roland VG-88 and the software version of Korg’s M1 synthesizer with some Sony Acid drum loops, when I was getting bored by Northern California’s winter rainy season. Last month, I thought this would be a fun tune to replace all those modeled guitar sounds with the new Hummingbird and my 2019 Nashville-Strung Taylor GS Mini. I spent a very pleasant couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon in late May overdubbing new parts. When I later double-tracked the Hummingbird and hard-panned them in stereo, I thought it sounded fantastic. Plus I replaced the lead vocal, and the guitar solo with the 2000 R9 run through the Strymon Iridium, and added my 1983 Fender Precision Bass. The synths and the drums are from the 2007 recording.
 
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