The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Super 400 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1954


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The Gibson Super 400 strode above most others when giant archtops roamed the earth, and is still one of the largest production guitars made. Making its introduction in 1934 as the ‘Super L-5 Deluxe’, the non-cutaway model was quickly joined by a cutaway model, initially named the Super 400 P for ‘Premiere’. The ‘400’ designation was originally a reference to the price.

These were top of the line for acoustic archtop guitars, and were played by many top artists – Merle Travis being one.

Here we’re looking at an all-original 1954 cutaway model Gibson Super 400 Archtop electric, carrying the just-released AlNiCo ‘Staple top’ pickups, which were also used in the neck position of the ‘new’ Les Paul Custom.

The tuners are gold-plated Grover Imperials with plastic keystone buttons, and the tailpiece is specific to the Super 400 and engraved with that name. The label is in good condition and quite readable.

The Gibson Super 400 features a large body – 18 inches wide – with a solid, carved Spruce top (by this point with tone bar bracing), Figured Maple sides, a solid, carved Figured Maple back and a Maple neck with, at this point, an multi-bound Ebony fingerboard. The bridge base is Brazilian Rosewood and the top is an original ABR-1 ‘tune-o-matic’. The pickguard is unbroken and original.

The finish is in good condition, and shows wear from the original owner’s technique – he rested his right thumb above the neck pickup and it looks like the left thumb went over the fingerboard, wearing the neck finish more on the bass side than the treble.

This 1954 Gibson Super 400 is very nice to play. It’s big, but it is comfortable and relatively light. Strung with flatwounds, the action is relatively low, and the guitar is quite resonant and lively.

The original brown Gibson hard shell case is included.

These models are currently out of the standard Gibson catalogs; they don’t seem to be completely discontinued but are not advertised.


Price: $19,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Super 400 CES
  • Year: 1954
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: A 17095, dated to late 1953 at Kalamazoo Michigan.
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 12/07/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.14lbs 3.70kg
  • Scale Length: 25.35in 644mm
  • Nut Width: 1.669in 42.41mm
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