Gibson, S-300-C, 1956 - Arlen Roth


Serial Number: 
Golden Sunburst
Brazilian Rosewood
"Floating" Johnny Smith pickup
The Story Behind

About the Guitar:

While Gibson was enjoying their success with their Gibson Super-400 guitars , they also produced a more simple version with the same performance and named Gibson Super-300. They are extremely rare today because these guitars were mostly on special /custom orders .

In 1954 Gibson also introduced the Gibson Super-300C which was basically the same guitar with the same specs except for a rounded cutaway. The Gibson Super-300 was discontinued in 1958 .

This Gibson Super-300C features a single venetian cutaway, eighteen inch-wide, three and three-eighths inch deep archtop body and has a nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. The body is made of a two-piece carved close-grain top, two-piece carved birds-eye maple back, and curly maple sides. The neck is a medium-to-thick profile composed of a two-piece curly maple neck with a single mahogany center strip. Further it has a Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 20 small nickel-silver frets and inlaid pearl split-block position markers. 

The top and bottom of the body have three-ply binding, the f-holes are unbound, the neck is single-bound and the headstock is single-bound. Long headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and pearl "crown" inlay. Black laminate headstock back. Individual Kluson Deluxe single-line tuners with tulip-shaped 'single-ring' keystone buttons.

The pickguard has been changed when the pickup was installed. The volume knob controls a "Floating" Johnny Smith pickup.

Tom Van Hoose's book, The Gibson Super-400 / Art of the Fine Guitar describes the Gibson Super-300 as follows:

"Before summarizing the postwar Super-400C production, it is important to discuss briefly the Super-300 guitar. Gibson introduced the Super-300 in 1948 as a less-expensive version of the Super-400. The instrument was produced in both noncutaway (Super-300) and cutaway (Super-300C) versions. Gibson shipped a total of 214 Super-300s, all of which were listed as noncutaway guitars. The Super-300C was made only during 1957-1958, and is considered extremely rare. All Super-330s and Super-300Cs were offered only in the golden sunburst finish. All critical dimensions of both guitars are the same as their more expensive Super-400 counterparts. The only real differences between the Super-300 and the postwar Super-400 are in ornamentation and figure in the curly maple neck, back, and rims. The headstock face inlay of the Super-300 instruments was much simpler, with the small pearl "crown" replacing the pearl split-diamond inlay of the Super-400. Nothing was inlaid on the back of the headstock. The standard postwar slanted Gibson logo was utilized, and the headstock was bound with a single layer of white binding. The tuning machines used were individual Kluson Deluxe with single-ring keystone buttons… the first Super 300 truss-rod covers were bell-shaped and made of a single layer of black plastic. On later Super-300s the truss-rod cover was a two-layer black-white laminate, also bell shaped… the f-holes were unbound, and the tailpiece was nickel-plated brass with no engraving no Varitone."

From this guitar only a handful were ever made - truly a great rarity.

This guitar was in the collection of Arlen Roth. Arlen just used this on the Slide Guitar Summit album for rhythm parts with Cindy Cashdollar and Sonny Landreth.

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