Gibson 1962 guitar and amplifier catalogue. Page 14. Details of the Super 400 CES and Johnny Smith guitars; two very fine carved archtop hollow-body jazz boxes. This was the first catalog appearance of the Johnny Smith; part of a larger series of Artist-inspired jazz guitars, also including the Barney Kessel (see page 7) and the Tal Farlow, which was listed in price lists of this time, but didn't quite make it into this catalogue. The Johnny Smith outlasted these other models by many years, and was included in the Gibson line right through the 1980s.
These were Gibson's top instruments priced accordingly. 1962 zone 1 prices (USA) were: Super 400 CES $825 ($850 natural finish), Johnny Smith $795 ($810 natural finish).
The Super 400 shown has the pointed Florentine cutaway - compare this guitar to the example pictured in the 1960 Gibson catalogue with it's rounded Venetian-style cutaway. The Florentine cutaway remained throughout the 1960s, finally regaining the Venetian circa 1969.
The specifications for the Johnny Smith did change somewhat over time. It is described here as having 20 frets, though the image clearly has 22. Interestingly, the next (1964) catalog shows a guitar with 20 frets, yet describes the guitar as having 21. From 1966, the specifications and images in all catalogues settle on 20 frets.
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