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NMM 6073.  Guitar by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, 1936.  Super 400, Super Grand Auditorium Size (18").
"Small" scale.  Serial number 93759.  Factory order number 777 5.
Board of Trustees, 1997.

NMM 6073.  Guitar by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, 1936.

The Gibson Super 400 was an aptly named model daringly introduced at the end of 1935, during the Great Depression. Selling for a princely $400 when new, the Super 400 was a top-of-the-line guitar made from fine materials, with a large body for projecting through the bands of the era. It was eagerly embraced by professional guitarists employed by radio stations, movie studios, and with big bands playing pre-War jazz and popular music across the country.

Neck heel

Front, Side, and Back Views

NMM 6073.  Guitar by Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, 1936. Treble side of NMM 6073 Bass side of NMM 6073 Back of NMM 6073

This guitar features Gibson's Sunburst finish.

Peghead, Tuner, and Fretboard

Front of peghead Engraving on tuner Back of peghead

This Super 400 guitar features an inlaid mother-of-pearl design on the peghead and ebony fretboard.


Soundholes, Bridge, and Pick Guard


Soundholes (above)

Close-up of Bridge (below)

Pick Guard

Pick Guard (above)

The Super 400 was introduced at the same time as several other arch-top guitars with f-holes, the L-7, L-10, and L-12. The 18-inch body width of the Super 400 prompted other arch-top makers, such as Elmer Stromberg and John DíAngelico, to begin producing giant instruments.


The Super 400 was distinguished from Gibsonís other arch-top models by sumptuous details, such as gold-plated metal parts (as seen here on the tailpiece), engraving, highly figured maple, and choice spruce.

Super 400 engraving on tailpiece

Super / "400" is engraved on the upper end of the tailpiece.


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