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NAMM Sneak Peek

‘Burst

This is a sort of shorthand version of “sunburst” used by guitar players to describe their instrument’s finish. There are lots of different “burst” color variations: Cherry Sunburst, Vintage Sunburst, Antique Sunburst, Tobacco Burst, and Iced Tea Burst to name a few. Some of these actually refer to the way original ‘burst finishes from the ’50s and ’60s fade. Some Cherry Sunburst guitars may actually lose all the red stain, leaving only the yellow. These may be called “Unburst” or occasionally Lemon Drop. Manufacturers, who understand the appeal of certain vintage burst variations have begun replicating them so that a brand new guitar might look more like a 30- or 40-year-old instrument at first glance. This is particularly effective if the metal parts are also artificially aged.

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