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Burns Jazz Split Sound Solid Body Electric Guitar (1964)

Burns  Jazz Split Sound Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1964)

Burns Jazz Split Sound Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1964), made in London, England, serial # 9708, red/black sunburst finish, sycamore body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

The most popular 1960's design from the always-eccentric James Ormston Burns, The Jazz Split Sound is a relatively unsung Beat-Group era classic and a very stylish guitar. This model was available in the US labeled both Ampeg (1963-4) and Baldwin (after late 1965) but this "true Burns" example-dated internally to March 1965- is something of a rarity on these shores. Burns instruments were sold worldwide under the company's name, but very few made it to the US due to the English firm's lack of a distributor in this market. The Jazz Split Sound was Burns' mid-price instrument; professional class but less expensive than the more dramatically styled Black Bison and Hank Marvin guitars at the top of the line.

Obviously owing a lot to the Stratocaster, the JSS has three "Split Sound" Tri-sonic pickups with a rotary control giving four tone selections including the snarlingly out-of-phase "Wild Dog" and the patented "Split Sound" which combines different half-coils to accentuate bass and treble registers. The lavish Burns "Series II" vibrato system incorporates a floating bridge cradle that moves laterally and individual saddles and must rate as one of the best systems of its kind. The sunburst-finished 23 1/2 inch-scale neck is slim and comfortable with a slightly less round feel than a Fender and a sunburst single sided headstock- later changed by Baldwin to a natural finish double-sided design. The red-black finish was standard for this model, this one does not exhibit the heavy checking often seen on these UK-made guitars and has a very nice grain to the sycamore on the back. All the instruments from the Burns London period (1961-65) are extremely well made, and this rates as a fine-playing guitar with tons of character and a very distinctive sound.
Overall length is 40 in. (101.6 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 1/2 in. (597 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). This is an extremely nice, original Burns-logo example. The finish has very strong color (hardly faded at all-most have lost their red hue) and shows none of the common Burns finish checking. There is light scuffingto the finish overall and a small chip to the headstock finish on the rear top edge, and some light corrosion to a few metal parts. The crucual oft-missing parts like the original trem arm and bridge cover are intact, and the elaborate vibrato system works perfectly. This is a nice playing and great sounding example of Burns' most popular guitar. Includes an appropriate but Baldwin-branded HSC. Excellent - Condition.

Item # 6718

This item is currently on hold.

Prices subject to change without notice.


Burns  Jazz Split Sound Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1964)

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