Up for sale, a 1992 Gibson Super 400 CES in near-mint condition and in perfect working order. Complete with the original hangtags and hardshell case, this stunningly well-kept Gibson was distributed in Japan by Gibson USA's distributor, Yamano. The Yamano instruments are often considered among Gibson's best, featuring the highest quality woods hand-picked for Gibson's discerning Japanese audience.
The largest Gibson archtop ever produced with an impressive 18" lower bout width, this Super 400 CES boasts a fine grained carved and bookmatched Sitka spruce top, a highly figured carved tiger flame maple back, curly maple sides, and a three-piece flame maple neck capped with a bound ebony fingerboard. Tonally exquisite and currently strung with flatwound 12s, this Gibson offers singing, articulate tones with a breadth and depth befitting the Super's dimensions and tonewood complement. Outfitted with the original '57 Classic PAFs, there's enough top end zing and sparkling snap in the bridge position for spirited, up-tempo lead work, while the neck pickup is smooth glass, soft enough to sit perfectly in a small combo while retaining an articulation ideal for dense chording. The guitar weighs 8lbs 10oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and dialed in for low action and spot-on intonation.
The three pieces of flame maple comprising the neck are joined by thin walnut stringers, and the modestly slender C-shaped carve has full shoulders in every register, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .930" at the 9th. The ebony fingerboard boasts multi-ply binding and pearl split block inlay with flawless medium jumbo fretwire. The guitar plays effortlessly in every register up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1.725" in width, and the headstock has all the hallmarks of a Super 400, with multi-ply binding, split diamond pearl inlay, a Custom truss rod cover, and Kluson Sealfast tuning machines.
All of the electronics function flawlessly, with untouched solder on the pickup covers and small PAF decals intact on the baseplates. The gold plating is positively gleaming save for patina on the treble-side edge of the bridge pickup, and the tailpiece has been substituted for a Bigsby B6 complete with curved Chet Atkins arm (in-line with Merle Travis' Super 400). The hardware complement is rounded out by a carved ebony bridge with compensated saddle. Plastics include the bound tortoise pickguard and a quartet of amber bonnet knobs. One original oval Gibson label is visible through the F hole and signed by the builder, and there is a tiny area on the other side of the back where a second label was at one time affixed.
The high gloss Wine Red nitro lacquer finish highlights the tight, straight bookmatched tiger flame which extends liberally across the carved maple back, while the maple sides have broader ripples of curly figuring. Cosmetic wear is limited to light pick scuffing across the subtly transparent tortoise pickguard, some pinhead-sized marks and a few faint finish scratches on the back, and sparingly little additional wear on the body as a whole.
The original brown Gibson USA hardshell case is included, along with the original Gibson/Yamano paperwork and case candy.