The faithful recreation of a classic
Super 400 CES
"A crowning achievement! Developed through years of research, the luxurious Super 400-CES has been acclaimed by outstanding musicians everywhere as the finest electric Spanish guitar. Superior materials and superb Gibson craftsmanship produce its clear, clean-cut powerful tone and dependable performance." — Gibson catalog, circa 1959
There are few guitars as important to the history and development of Gibson as a major manufacturer of six-stringed instruments as the Super 400 and Super 400-CES. The model first appeared in 1934 as an archtop acoustic with no cutaway, simply named the Super 400. As it was then – and still remains today in the Super 400-CES – the Super 400 was the largest guitar the company had ever produced, with an astounding body width of 18 inches. But as Gibson has evolved over the years to adapt to the industry’s ever-changing advancements, so have its Super 400s. The earliest Super 400 models were quite similar to Gibson’s other archtop acoustic, the L-5, and featured a hand-engraved tailpiece and hand-engraved finger rest support, along with an “L-5 Super” truss rod cover. In 1939, the guitar underwent several changes that still remain with it today, including an enlarged upper bout, a new tailpiece similar to the one on the L-5, enlarged f-holes and a venetian cutaway option that is now a standard feature. Although the Super 400s were discontinued during the mid-1940s because of the supply shortages of WWII, Gibson reintroduced the model in 1949. And as Gibson strived to gain an upper hand in the electric guitar market in the early 1950s, the model continued to progress with the eventual introduction of the first electric version.