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1998 Gibson 1939 Super 400 Reissue
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Serial #: 1998003, orange oval label
Body size at lower bout:18". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Materials: Handcarved bookmatched quartersawn fine grain solid spruce top; solid bookmatched AAA quilted maple back and sides; flame maple neck with mahogany centerstripes; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl block fingerboard split-block peghead inlay; 30's style fat script Gibson logo; 5 ply headstock and pickguard binding, triple bound body and neck, hand-engraved heelcap with Super 400 logo.
Hardware: All original-style hardware including compensated rosewood bridge with pearl wedge inlays; hand-engraved gold trapeze tailpiece with Super 400 script logo; 5 ply bound marbled tortoise pickguard; gold Kluson Super tuners; medium-jumbo frets. PUTW Powerstrip piezo pickup under bridge, with endpin jack.
Notes: It's the biggest guitar Gibson ever made. Fanciest, too. Four hundred bucks bought you a lot of guitar back in 1939. Hand engraved tailpiece. Pearl-inlaid bridge. Bound f-holes. Even the back of the peghead is festooned with handsome pearl wedges. And the kind of 3-D northern Michigan flame maple they hoarded for decades. The Gibson Custom Shop went all out to produce this model, right down to the hand-inscribed heel cap. The back and sides are hand-carved of eye-popping bookmatched quilted maple of the deepest intensity, and the top is tap tuned from fine grain hand graduated spruce with plenty of crossgrain silk. The neck is slim and elegantly playable. The Gibson folks even recreated the signature marbled tortoise pickguard (the coveted "head-cheese" nitrocellulose plastic.)
Combining the best of traditional design and modern craftsmanship, this guitar shows the peerless styling of a prewar archtop, while offering the smooth neck profile, ultra-precision fretwork, and pristine finish and plating found only on the finest contemporary instruments. Of all Gibson Historic Reissue archtops we have seen to date, this stunning example is by far the lightest in weight, with a soundboard carved distinctly thinner than on others we've played. Accordingly, the voice is audibly superior as well, with a power and clarity unexpected in instruments of recent vintage. The bass register is open and resonant, the mids warm and full, and the highs sparkling and precise. No pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, all original hardware and finish, with just a bit of light checking on the back and neck heel area.
Finally, a PUTW Powerstrip piezo pickup has been positioned under bridge foot, and connected to a gold endpin jack. (A thin strip of piezo film, the pickup is held in place by bridge pressure only, and may be removed in seconds.) The bad news is that Gibson no longer offers this model, and only produced perhaps a dozen or so of these meticulous reissues, which are rarely offered for sale. The good news is we have this art-deco masterpiece, in spectacular condition, available now at a fraction of the new price. Our last one was years ago, and went fast, so don't dawdle if you've been searching for one of these big beauties.
Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as necessary; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.
Case: Gibson 1939 Lifton reissue deluxe plush hardshell case.