The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Super 400 Archtop Guitar Natural, 1948


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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 1935 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’.   

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

Production of the non-cutaway Super 400 ran from 1935 to 1941, halted for the duration of WW2,  and resumed in 1947 until 1955.   At that point, the demand for cutaway models overwhelmed non-cutaway.   From that time, pickups started to be added, initially on the ‘McCarty pickguard’ which put one or two P-90 type coils and controls on a black plastic, retrofit pickguard.   Tuners are gold-plated Grover Imperials, and the tailpiece is specific to the Super 400 and engraved with that name.

The Gibson Super 400 features a large body – 18 inches wide – with a solid, carved Spruce top, Figured Maple sides, solid, carved Figured Maple back and a Maple neck with, at this point, an multi-bound Ebony fingerboard. In 1949, Rosewood was used for Super 400 fingerboards. The bridge is also Ebony.   Here, the top is braced with parallel tone bars, but some years had an X brace system.  

Here we are looking at a Gibson Super 400 dating to 1948 and built at the Gibson Parsons Street plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This example apparently started its life as a Super 400 N, for Natural finish; Sunburst was the option. It has been nicely refinished in gloss natural some time ago, and the finish is in good condition. A Bartolini pickup has been added to an accurate reproduction pickguard; there are no controls, but a 1/4 inch jack is attached to the bottom end of the pickguard.    The label is largely intact, but unfortunately there is some scuffing in the serial number area that restricts readability.  

This 1948 Gibson Super 400 is very nice to play. It’s big, but it is comfortable and relatively light. The action is relatively low, and the guitar is quite resonant and lively.

The original hard shell case is included.


Price: $5,999.99 CAD
  • Model: Super 400
  • Year: 1948
  • Finish Gloss (refinish)
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: A?001
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 21/08/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6/38lbs 2.9kg
  • Scale Length: 25.35in 644mm
  • Nut Width: 1.69in 43mm
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