Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 92

VINTAGE GUITAR

The '59
known as
Sandy.

92

October 2017

Sandy 'Burst courtesy of Tom Wittrock.

the figure seems to move
like the hues of orange
and brown flickering in a
campfire. The depth of flame
and degree of "bookmatch" of a
'Burst's top can push the value of
one significantly above others. On the
Last 'Burst, the flame is strong.
"Its medullary grain is striking, too, enhancing the flame's depth and iridescence,"
Sandler said. "From most angles, you see
continuous waves of tight flame. But what
sets the guitar apart from most 1960 'Bursts
is its unusually translucent finish and deep,
rich color. Some 1960 'Bursts are noticeably
opaque - with an orangey-red tomatosoup look to them."
Collectors sometimes call that soupy
finish "clown burst," but the deep red
and orange on Sandler's is gorgeously
translucent.
The list of other qualities that determine any electric guitar's collectibility
- resonance, playability, the way it sounds
through an amp, playability, and originality
of its finish, parts, and hardware - are
all magnified on a 'Burst. Any chips
or breaks in the neck, headstock, or
body, along with swapped parts
or modifications - details apt to
draw a groan from a collector/
dealer in regard to most vintage
instruments - bring a wince
when done to a 'Burst.
Another factor that can push
value is celebrity ownership.
Sandler doesn't know of any
high-profile owners in the
lineage of this one, but it does
trace through a succession of
"'Burst fanatics."
"I believe the first collector to get
it was Marc Quinton, on the West
Coast, who sold it to Vic DaPra, who in
turn sold it to Gil Southworth," he said. "I
got it at the Dallas Guitar Show in the early

'90s, where Gil had it in his booth on setup
day. At that point, I had seen, played, and
owned a lot of 'Bursts and was as obsessed
as anyone - well, almost anyone - when it
came to flame and color. I picked up the
guitar and looked it over, and over... and
over! It was one of the most beautiful
and striking I'd ever seen. I wound
up trading a couple dozen guitars for
it - Gibsons, Fenders, Rickenbackers,
Gretsches, etc. They were all great,
but not like this. I just had to have it."
Because the guitar's serial number
runs so late into the model year, and
because its finish has less orange
tint, Sandler believes it was likely a
special order.
Beyond speculation, though, is how
it delivers in terms of sound and play.
Unplugged, he says its resonance is fantastic. Of course, to be truly great, an electric
guitar has to deliver through an amp.
"When I first got it, I was using mostly
tweed Supers and blackface Deluxe Reverbs
- two of my favorites - with the occasional
Marshall in the mix. Between them, I got
most of what I was looking for. But then I
bought a Dumble and with the resonant
frequencies of the Les Paul combined with
the harmonically rich Overdrive Special
overdriven even moderately... I could get
nearly every note to sustain and split,
harmonically, without even picking the
string. I could have pretty much left my
picking hand at home."
Sandler became enamored with vintage
instruments in the early '70s, beginning with
a '61 Les Paul SG Custom. In '75, he bought
a '52 Tele, then a '58 Strat, which redirected
his interest to Fenders.
"I was hooked," he recalled. "So, I
started dealing to support my habit, as
they say, and by early '79 I was doing
it full-time. Most popular forms
of music at the time were guitarbased and had been for years,
so interest in older guitars was
really starting to grow."
For five years he operated
Guitar Exchange from his
house, then in '84 opened
a retail shop just outside of
Baltimore. As you'd expect,
he has seen his share of fantastic examples - dot-neck
Gibson ES-335s, herringbone
Martin D-28s, D'Angelicos
and Strombergs, custom-color
Strats, Teles, and Jazz basses. And
like anyone who's been in the game so
long, he has stories.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

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Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
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