If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site ,you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ... Domenic

Important Note : Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully some of our viewers can help you out ... Thank You

Gibson Super 400

1937 gibson super 400Gibson Super 400 ( 1934 - 1955 )
Acoustic Archtop Guitar

One of the finest and most prestigious guitar gibson ever made was introduced in 1923 and was called the gibson L-5 ,

it was the earliest archtop guitar with f-holes and therefore considered the backbone of not only for their own line of archtop guitars but pretty much all archtop guitars you see on the market today .

It is fair to say that the l-5 is probably the worlds' most important guitar historically . It was a favorite amongst many professional musicians then , and a favorite ever since .

In 1934 gibson famoused the music world over with another extraordinary guitar which was thelargest and most expensive archtop guitar ever produced by any manufacturer or company.

This guitar was called the gibson super 400,its grand auditorium body shape shares the same characteristics like the Orville Gibson Style-O model of 1902 .

In 1934 the gibson super 400 had an 18" wide body , an adjustable bridge with triangular designs , it was assembled with figured maple wood back and sides , fitted with a Y shaped tailpiece , had triple bound f-holes , brown pearloid pickguards , ebony fingerboard with pointed ends ,

had double split-block fingerboard inlays , diamond peghead inlays , open back grover tuners , gold plated hardware, most of them had the model name engraved on the heel cap , and were made in brown sunburst finishes .

Important : The very first super 400 batches had " Super L-5 " engraved on the truss rod cover and " Deluxe L-5 model " written on the label . These guitars are extremely rare and are known today as the "super 400 intro models" or " Super L-5 Deluxe " .

In 1939 the gibson super 400 P ( premier ) originated , it had a single rounded cutaway , kluson tuners with amber tulip-shaped buttons , were made in sunburst finishes , natural finishes were also available and named ( Super 400 PN ) .

In 1940 gibson introduced the super 400 N which was a natural finish version of the original super 400 .

In 1941 production halted and was resumed after world war 2 in 1948 , the original super 400 and 400N stayed the same , but the 400p was renamed the gibson super 400 C ( C for cutaway ) .

In 1951 gibson introduced an electric version of the 400c and named it the super 400 CES , it was equipped with 2 p-90 pickups and were the first gibson electric guitars to feature the classic 2 pickup circuitry ( 2 volumes , 2 tones , and a 3 way switch for pickup combination ) , this was another turning point for gibson as electric guitar amplification evolved after world war 2 .

In 1952 a natural finish version of the 400 CES was available and named the 400 CESN ( N for natural )

In 1955 all super 400 non cutaway guitars were discontinued ( super 400 and 400N ) , the super 400 c and the super 400 CESN was discontinued in 1982 and the super 400 CES was discontinued in 1987 .

Some reissues and different versions were made later on through out the 90s as historic collection guitars or custom shop super 400 guitars .

Vintage Price Value For 2009 :
1934 - 1934 > $35 000 to $40 000 ( Super 400 Intro Model )
1934 - 1941 > $14 000 to $18 000 ( Super 400 )
1947 - 1955 > $9 000 to $13 000

1940 - 1941 > $14 000 to $15 000 ( 400N )
1948 - 1955 > $10 500 to $14 000

1939 - 1941 > $30 000 to $35 000 ( 400P )
1939 - 1941 > $45 000 to $47 000 ( 400PN - Natural )

1948 - 1957 > $12 000 to $15 000 ( 400C )
1958 - 1965 > $9 000 to $13 000
1966 - 1969 > $9 500 to $10 000
1970 - 1982 > $6 000 to $9 000

1951 - 1953 > $16 000 to $19 000 ( 400 CES - P 90 pickups )
1954 - 1956 > $16 000 to $20 000 ( alnico )
1957 - 1962 > $25 000 to $30 000 ( PAFs )
1963 - 1964 > $16 000 to $18 000 ( Pat# )
1965 - 1987 > $7 000 to $10 000

1952 - 1956 > $25 000 to $28 000 ( 400 CESN )
1957 - 1962 > $28 000 to $35 000 ( PAFs )
1963 - 1964 > $17 000 to $21 000 ( Pat# )
1965 - 1969 > $11 000 to $15 000
1970 - 1982 > $8 000 to $11 000

guitar price guideAvg Upward Trend Of 14% A Year Since 2000 ( for all )

Prices are according to 4 different vintage guitar price guides and rounded off to the nearest dollar . ( picture courtesy of gruhn.com )

Buying Advice For Used & Vintage Gibson super 400 Guitars

If your lucky and you want to buy the super 400 , you can find gibson super 400 for sale on ebay from now and then , make sure you read the descriptions carefully before you bid .


  1. Anonymous10:53 PM

    wow , great over all review .. thank you , after reading your review ill definitly never sell my 400 ces.

  2. Thanks for gathering and offering all this information. This is a valuable resource.

  3. Hey, this is some great information you've compiled here! My grandpa and I are wondering if you know much about the value of the last guitars to come out of Kalamazoo. He worked at the factory and got one of the last Super 400 C models that they produced before closing. I love it!

  4. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Hello everybody, i'm from italy and i'm gonna buy a super 400 in next days. The only problem is the serial number with 7 digits instead 8. The guitar was built in 1986 but seems with a wrong number inside and the number stamed on peghead is hard to see because is covered by vsrnish. The guitar is really good but i can't understand why there is a 7 digit number . after 1977 should be 8 digits for serial. Any help?


  5. Anonymous12:44 PM

    I own a Super 400N. The serial number indicates it was built in 1937, but the price guides say the
    "natural finish" did not see production until 1940.
    How can I determine the correct date? Also interested
    in selling the guitar to a collector. How do I go about finding them?

  6. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Great site! Very informational and resourceful. Thanks for your hard work. I would like to link to your site if possible.


    John Nystrom

  7. SELLERS: I will buy your vintage guitars!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Email me at:

  8. Anonymous2:06 PM

    The j-50 ADJ was made in the mid 1960s,the adjustable bridge was not a good idea for gibson for this hurt the sound that gibson was famous for.Not a big collectors vintage value $1000-1300 in excellent condition

  9. Anonymous3:03 PM

    THere is a nice Super 400 1934 on eBay right now. Anyone think that $12,900 is a god deal for first year?

  10. Anonymous5:15 PM


    prsently Gibson's Website doesn't list the Super 400 CES

    Is it discontunued now ?

    Any background information?


  11. Anonymous4:21 AM

    I have 1949 Blonde Gibson super 400 non cutaway...I was told only 15 made that year Blonde..any idea on value????

  12. Anonymous3:30 AM


    I am french and I leave in the south. I am looking for a super400 blonde naturel. I sell also my guitar http://www.joel-laplane.com/.
    Ifsomeone is interesting I, add in cash the differnce between his super400 and my guitar.
    Thanks for your attention
    Best regards

  13. I have a set of tuning keys from a 1939 Super 400 Gibson. I recently bought a music store in Chattanooga and found these in the shop. I'll send pix if you'd like to see. Thanks. Dennis Massengale

  14. Anonymous9:17 AM

    My Dad got one of the 39 super cutaways in blonde when he was 18 right from their offices in New York. The also engraved his name on the truss rod cover but because it was Saturday they had no techs in. they sent him down to a little guitar maker not far from their office. The guy engraved his name and did a real nice job. That store was D'angelico.

  15. Anonymous8:20 PM


  16. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I think I will leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  17. Anonymous7:41 PM

    I have a 1938 natural finish L-5. Walter Carter at Gruhn Guitars looked up the serial number and it is one of the earliest or earliest natural finish L-5's. Original case also. Jeff Kelly j_kelly28@msn.com

  18. I really liked your page is very good and I get a lot of information in it is the only website and found it very complete

  19. Great site,this information really helped me , I really appreciate it.Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.lots in costa rica

  20. Anonymous11:09 PM

    How many Super 400's were made ie Accoustic versions upto when they were discontinued and CES ones which started in 1951 - Is there any way of making an educated guess

  21. Anonymous8:30 AM


  22. Anonymous2:30 AM

    My father bought a black acoustic guitar with f holes and plastic pick guard in 1941-1942. Cannot seem to find any info?

  23. Anonymous12:48 AM

    I have a 1992 Gibson Super 400 and I love it to death....... Every note has this beautiful bell clarity. I was just wondering what the value of it is now?
    Great Channel............

  24. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Is it very difficult to fit an ABR - 1 bridge on a Gibson Super 400?
    I just got it and the guy before me had changed it to a wooden one.
    I like the original bridge,
    Thanks guys,

  25. Anonymous11:37 AM

    In the description at the top of the page you state the 1934 Gibson Super400 had an 18" lower bout. This incorrect. In the earliest few years the Super 400 had a 17" lower bout, which was extended to 18" in 1939

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  28. I am selling my father-in-laws 1939 Gibson Super 400. He was a jazz musician his entire life starting in Kansas City and including Chicago, LA, Las Vegas and finally Charleston (where he was in a band until his death at the age of 88). He also played jazz violin and sang. This has a lot of sentimental value, but it would be an honor to find a musician who would play and appreciate it. Do you have any interest in buying it or know of anyone? Thanks for your kind consideration. mickey@joeandmickey.com