Gibson Super 400
|Gibson Super 400|
A Super 400 Red Wine.
|Body type||Archtop, hollow|
|Bridge||Fixed, with tailpiece|
The Gibson Super 400 is an archtop guitar, "the biggest, fanciest, and most expensive archtop ever built," and a highly influential model guitar which inspired many other guitar makers (including Elmber Stromberg and John D'Angelico). It was first sold in 1934 and named for its $400 price.
The Super 400 was the largest guitar that the Gibson Guitar Corporation had produced. Until 1939, it had a hand-engraved tailpiece and a hand-engraved finger rest support. During the very early production stock the truss rod cover had engraved "L5 Super"; on later guitars this was changed to "Super 400".
In 1939 the guitar was changed. The upper bout was enlarged, and the hand-engraved tailpiece was replaced with the one fitted to the current Super 400s. The f-holes were enlarged, and a cutaway option was available. This was called the Super 400P (for Premiere), later changed to C for Cutaway.
During the 1950s, Gibson released the Super 400 CES. This had a slightly thicker top to reduce feedback, two P-90 pickups, and individual tone and volume controls, along with a three-way toggle switch. Later the P-90 pickups were replaced with Alnico V pickups, then in 1957, humbucking pickups.
There have been variations in the form of limited edition custom models. In 2000 Gibson offered the Super 400 with a Charlie Christian pickup. The Super 400 is still available today, with two humbucker pickups. The full acoustic version is not available.
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