The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Super 400 Sunburst with McCarty Pickguard, 1935


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This beautiful 1935 Gibson Super 400 Sunburst with McCarty Pickguard guitar has a history. Not only is it from model’s second year of production, it is one of the guitars that the late Ed Bickert used before settling on his Telecaster. The current owner’s late father purchased it from Bickert decades ago.

The guitar in Ed Bickert’s hands can be seen and heard in this video , taken from a 1959 episode of the CBC’s Canadian All Star Jazz Show. The link here is to the complete 58 minute episode, while the clip visible above starts just before Bickert’s first solo.

In the days when giant archtops roamed the earth, the 18 inch wide Gibson Super 400 was the pinnacle of Gibson’s professional grade archtops. Introduced in 1934 as the Super L-5 Deluxe and quickly renamed to Super 400, it featured an 18-inch wide body with carved, X-braced Adirondack Spruce top and carved bookmatched Flamed Maple for the back. The sides and neck were also Maple, with Ebony for the fingerboard. The ‘Y’ style tailpiece is engraved with ‘Super 400’ on the cross-piece, in the same font as is found on the heel cap. The inlays are Mother of Pearl.

Production of the Gibson Super 400 was halted from 1941 to 1947 due to wartime constraints and the non-cutaway fully acoustic model seen here was produced until 1955; the cutaway, electrified version replaced it.

This example dates to 1935 and was built at the historic Parsons Street plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 88 years old at time of writing, it is in overall good and completely playable condition.

Over the years it has had some additions and minor changes, in particular the addition of the ‘Finger-Rest Pickup’, more commonly known as the ‘McCarty Pickup’. This part was introduced at the summer 1948 NAMM show, aimed at archtop players who needed to be even louder, but didn’t want to replace their instruments or alter the acoustic tone. The Grover Imperial tuners with the Deco ‘Stair Step’ buttons may be replacements for the Grover open-gear tuners used until 1938. The installed truss rod cover is not original.

The original brown hard shell case is included.


Price: $17,999.99 CAD $19,999.99 CAD
  • Model: Super 400
  • Year: 1935
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 92463, built during 1935 in Kalamazoo Michigan
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 09/06/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.172lbs 3.26kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 647.7mm
  • Nut Width: 1.649in 41.90mm
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