Guild Duane Eddy DE-400 B Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1967), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # EH-250, natural lacquer finish, laminated mahogany back and sides, spruce top; laminated mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This blonde DE-400 Duane Eddy Standard is one of Guild's coolest but less common 1960's offerings, a serious professional grade guitar with the same features as the higher-end DE-500 but less trim, sold at a somewhat lower price. The Duane Eddy signature line was inaugurated by Guild in the early 1960's, as they jumped at the chance to create an instrument endorsed by the top instrumental artist of the time. The original signature model was the DE-500, a high-end thinline hollowbody introduced in 1962 featuring DeArmond pickups, a Bigsby vibrato and a master volume knob on the cutaway, features specified by Duane familiar from his Gretsch 6120. The DE-500 was a very expensive instrument, so Guild soon launched a second more affordable model to the lineup.

The DE-400 (briefly called the "Duane Eddy Junior") was added to the line in early 1963 with the same general construction and handling but less fancy cosmetics. The late 1967 list price for this blonde DE-400 was $540 (plus case); the DE-500 would have run a whopping $780! Both models are among Guild's most sought-after electric guitars today but were not good sellers at the time. The DE-400 sold only about 200 units from 1965-1970, the DE-500 far less. While Guild may have hoped Eddy's mostly teenage fans would flock to his signature instruments, the reality was even the DE-400 was priced above what most "kids" could even consider in the mid-60s.

This DE-400B from early/mid 1967 is built on a thin-line 17" single-cutaway body, finished in natural. It is made of laminated maple with a spruce top, triple-bound top and back. The pickups are Guild's standard 1960's humbuckers as used on most of their line which replaced the DeArmonds in 1963. The tailpiece is the standard Guild-branded Bigsby unit paired with the aluminum Bigsby adjustable bridge, marked "Guild Spec." on the underside. The tuners are stock Grover Rotomatics. Earlier on Duane Eddy's signature appeared on the stepped back-painted Lucite Guild-logo pickguard; By 1967 it is often absent (as in this case) which in some cases was the customer preference!

The bound mahogany neck has a maple center laminate and is topped with a bound, block-inlaid rosewood fingerboard. The center-peak headstock has the standard mid-60's Guild plastic overlay with "Chesterfield" column inlay. This guitar has a livelier acoustic sound than the familiar Humbucker equipped Starfires, mostly due to the spruce top. This is quite a versatile instrument, excellent for everything from jazz to country to garage-band rock and of course Duane Eddy songs! Steve Stills played an identical DE-400B in the earliest days of the Buffalo Springfield. This 1967 example is a very fine player and excellent value in a high grade vintage 1960's hollowbody guitar.

Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 17 in. (43.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar shows some general wear looking played in but not abused overall. There are finish dings and chips here and there but not too much heavy loss to the lacquer except a decent amount of lacquer worn down to the wood on the back of the neck. There are some deeper dinks into the top above the Bigsby and bridge pickup, and areas scuffed through the lacquer on the center of the back. As usual there are scuff marks around the bridge feet. The natural finish has ambered noticeably, most visibly on the top and shows some light checking. The plastic headstock overlay less of the typical shrinkage than many and is completely intact.

The hardware all original except for the switch tip, which is a black plastic piece in place of the original metal piece. We are actively searching for the correct one, and this will be restored if we can find it! The hardware and plating shows scuffing, light corrosion in spots and general wear but no notable damage.

The neck has been reset, there are some visible signs in the finish around the heel but the job is more neatly done than on many Guilds, which are notoriously difficult to reset. The result is a very good playing and great sounding DE-400, with a better than average string break off the Bigsby. The original frets surprisingly little wear; they have likely been crowned down but still have plenty of life to them. This is a fine playing and sounding old Guild and a very cool find in a 1960's thinline hollow body. It resides in the original deep-body 17" Guild hard case; the company never bothered to create a special thinline case for this slow-selling signature series! Overall Excellent - Condition.

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Listed2 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.Learn more
  • Duane Eddy DE-400 B
  • natural lacquer
  • 1967

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Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Brooklyn, NY, United States
Joined Reverb:2015

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