Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Ampeg (by Burns of London) Jazz Splitsound


Here's another familiar-looking guitar with an unfamiliar logo on it. This 1963 Ampeg guitar is a re-branded Burns of London Jazz Splitsound (although to be perfectly fair, the logo does say "Ampeg by Burns of London").

Ampeg, known mainly for their amplification, have made various attempts over the years to market their own brand guitars and basses; this guitar is from their first attempt in 1963 when they imported British-made Burns Splitsound, Nu-Sonic, Split Sonic and TR_2 guitars complete with their own branding. We don't have records of how many such instruments were involved, but the Ampeg/Burns union only lasted a year in which time the guitars didn't sell particularly well. The eBay seller tells us that the transparent red finish on this example makes this guitar even rarer as most Ampeg/Burns guitars were finished in tobacco burst.

Currently listed on eBay UK with a starting price of £1,050.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!


  1. Very cool! What are the settings on the selector knob?

  2. Split Sound, Jazz, Treble, and Wild Dog!

  3. The trem assembly looks incredibly sophisticated for '63. One you'd disassemble just to see how it's put together? My Burns had the Wild Dog setting and, didn't seem to do all that much. But I loved it, warped neck and all.

    A fair price I think.

  4. A Burns Jazz Split Sound was the first electric guitar I ever played, back in 1975 when I was 13. Somebody at my school had left it in the assembly hall, plugged into the school's Sound City valve combo, and I actually dared to pick it up (without their permission) and play it! Luckily when they came back they were cool about it, and from that moment I knew I had to have an electric guitar. The following year I actually built one, but that's another story...

    1. Simon,

      You must have went to school in a very upscale neighborhood. At MY high school the Sound City would've been ripped off before detention hall. JK, actually had a friend w/ their 50-watter from that era and I must say it took me years to appreciate just how much headroom those had.



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