Duane Eddy 400
BY CHRIS KIES
Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Duane Eddy first lassoed radio waves
with his influential spaghetti-western style,
single-note melodies, and eerie, low-string
bends using a Gretsch Chet Atkins model.
He bought that Gretsch when he was 16
and started his first duo with friend Jimmy
Delbridge, who later recorded as Jimmy
Dell. The aforementioned Gretsch would
later help create Eddy’s two signature models released by Gretsch—the 6120-DE in
’ 97 and the brand new G6120DE. Long
before Gretsch signed on to honor the
Twangmaster General for his legendary guitar phrasing and echo-chambered recordings, Guild Guitars constructed a signature
Duane Eddy 400 model in 1963. Upon its
completion, Guild’s Duane Eddy 400 guitar
stands as one of the first signature models
built by a company for a player who wasn’t
necessarily connected to their guitar brand
This 1969 Guild Duane Eddy 400—
made during the initial run’s final year—is
a semi-hollowbody with a bound, arched
spruce top, maple back and sides, mahogany neck, and a 20-fret bound rosewood
fretboard. To accommodate Eddy’s penchant for right-hand note bends, the 400
has a Bigsby vibrato—stamped with the
Guild logo and “G” rather than the standard Bigsby branding. Additional points
of interest are the bound headstock with
the Chesterfield-style Guild logo, Eddy’s
signature on the pickguard (rather than the
more typical headstock or truss-rod cover),
and the dual humbuckers that have been
described as having a crisp, midrange bark.
A special thanks to Jeff Sadler of Rock N Roll
Vintage Guitars ( http://www.rocknrollvintage.
com) in Chicago for the opportunity to feature
this fine instrument and its story.
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