Ampeg Wild Dog EG-1S Jazz Split Sound Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Burns (1964)

Ampeg Wild Dog EG-1S Jazz Split Sound Solid Body Electric Guitar,  made by Burns  (1964)
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Item # 7569
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Ampeg Wild Dog EG-1S Jazz Split Sound Model Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Burns (1964), made in London, England, serial # 5031, red/black sunburst Polyester finish, sycamore body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original blue check tolex hard shell case.

The most popular design from the always-eccentric James Ormston Burns, the Jazz Split Sound is a 1960s classic and a very stylish guitar. This is the American export version of this British-made guitar with the Ampeg logo on the pickguard, available in the US between 1963-5. Ampeg was looking for an electric guitar line to complement their popular amplifiers and imported a limited line of re-branded Burns instruments, but the price in the US after transport and import duties were figured in proved to be a major stumbling block.

The "Jazz Split Sound" was re-named the "Wild Dog EG-1S" by Ampeg, but the nameplate on the actual guitar remained unchanged. By the time the Burns company was purchased by Baldwin in late 1965, the agreement had lapsed. Ampeg advertised the guitars as "Exciting Wild Dog" models, but in the crowded US market the guitars were not much of a success...this model actually is the most commonly seen of the very rare line and was easily the best seller.

The Jazz Split Sound was Burns' midline 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 and fully adjustable individual saddles and must rate as one of the best systems of its kind. The medium-scale neck is slim and comfortable with a slightly less round feel than a Fender. 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 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm.), 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 3/8 in. (594 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a very nice original example, overall quite well-preserved. There is some light corrosion to the screws and pickup covers, some chips to the finish on the edges and small scuffs, but little of the common finish checking. The red color has faded giving the sunburst a subtler hue than it had originally. The oft-missing trem arm is present, so the excellent vibrato is fully functional. The tailpiece cover has gone missing, everything else is intact and original. The frets show some wear in the lower positions but are still quite functional and the guitar plays well. Includes the original rectangular blue-check Ampeg HSC, solid but somewhat dirty and with two of the three latches missing, so it comes with a vintage belt to help secure it! Excellent - Condition.