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1940 Gibson Super 400N
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Serial #: 96112, white oval label, hand calligraphed FON#: 333F-2
Body size at lower bout: 18" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid bookmatched bubble figure maple back and sides; tiger flame maple neck with mahogany centerstripe; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl block fingerboard split-block peghead inlay; fat script Gibson logo; 5 ply headstock and pickguard binding, 7 ply bound body; triple bound neck and f-holes.
Hardware: All original gold hardware includes Kluson Sealfast tuners with amber Catalin buttons, hand-engraved trapeze tailpiece with Super 400 script logo, compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge with pearl wedge inlays, 5-ply bound marbled tortoise pickguard with gold bracket.
Notes: Introduced in 1934, the Super 400 model was the biggest guitar Gibson ever made. And the most costly: four hundred bucks bought you a lot of guitar back in the Great Depression. Gibson went all out to produce this model, right down to the hand engraved Varitone tailpiece, pearl-inlaid bridge and triple bound f-holes. Even the back of the peghead is festooned with symmetrical pearl wedges.
Gibson formally debuted the natural finish option in the 1939 catalog, and this spectacular guitar is one of just 14 blonde examples from the following model year. Carved with extravagantly figured bubble maple back and sides, this blonde behemoth features a dramatic tiger maple neck, and a soundboard tap tuned from hand-graduated quartersawn spruce, whose grain width and coloration strongly suggest an Adirondack origin. This guitar would also be one of the first to offer parallel bracing on the soundboard, for maximum projection and cutting power.
The all gold hardware is 100% original, including the rare and attractive Kluson Sealfast tuners with amber Catalin keys. With their intriguing swirl coloration, the tuner buttons are a highly prized rarity: individually cast and polished, their production soon proved prohibitively expensive. The highly engraved Varitone tailpiece includes a hex-screw mechanism, which allows the string angle to be adjusted to the player's preference as well. Even the heel cap on the neck is hand engraved.
Carefully maintained, the guitar is free of buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and shows only a few light scattered lacquer nicks near the pickguard. The gleaming natural finish was re-applied long ago, and has aged to a warm honey color, with a few light traces of checking to vouch for its advanced age. Forward and direct, the voice has a powerful bark, and a warm sweetness for luxurious comping or chord melody. The neck profile is a smooth gentle "C", pleasantly full, but without the clubbiness or hard vee of many prewar necks. The recent pro fretwork is high and well polished, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup. And all nestled in its original premium plush-lined brown pigskin case.
This gleaming instrument was appraised just months ago by Gruhn for $12K, and we are pleased to be able to offer it to one lucky player at a considerable savings. A pinnacle of design, tone and playability, the Super 400 is always one of the most striking guitars we have the pleasure to present. One only: call now.
Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspectedand recut as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished. Action is 4 to 5/64" at the 12th fret, with medium gauge .013 phosphor bronze strings.
Case: Original Geib deluxe plush lined arched hardshell case, with original leather covering.