-- Museum of Musical Instruments
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   Just as Gibson's L-5 arch-top guitar, introduced in the mid-1920s, quickly became a model everyone else copied, so too did their Super 400 model after it debuted in 1934. With an eighteen-inch-wide body, enormous headstock, and engraved metal tailpiece, it was bigger and better than any arch top of the time. Fancy "split-block" pearl fret markers, luxurious seven-layer binding around the body, and an ornate marbleized pickguard all combined to make an exceptionally stylish instrument, a fact recognized even by non-guitar players. The Super 400 created a new benchmark for what n arch-top guitar could look like, stimulating the imaginations of other guitar makers for years to come, both in large companies and in small shops. Priced a $400 (and given its model number to match), this extravagant guitar flew in the face of the Great Depression and its financial straits. But the over-the-top appearance served to boost Gibson's reputation as the premier maker of high-end arch-top guitars, while the oversized body supplied the volume needed to cut through the big band sound of the jazz era. This particular Super 400 is one of the very first made, bearing the name "Muzzy" on the headstock for its original owner, jazz guitarist Muzzy Marcelino.

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