Background to the Supersound Story
Supersound Short Scale
Standard from 1958
To begin: I first became interested in Supersound because of the Company’s connections with Burns Guitars. The Supersound “Ike Isaacs Short-Scale Model” was arguably the first ever commercially-available electric guitar to be manufactured in the UK.
But there was a problem; for Google as I might, I found staggeringly little on the net about Supersound. Actually, “staggeringly little” is an exaggeration; there was precisely nothing!
Then, in early 2006, I was contacted by collector Roland Berry who had paid a visit to my “Burns Guitars Since 1992” website. It turned out Roland had some fascinating Supersound memorabilia, and a very interesting story to tell.
Note: it was from Roland Berry that Guy Mackenzie of the Guitar Collection purchased his collection of Supersound guitars and accessories.
To cut a long story short, following my meeting Roland, I managed to trace Clifford Wootton, the eldest son of Supersound founder Alan Wootton. Cliff has been kind enough to divert from his busy schedule to collect together photos, memorabilia and memories of Supersound. Most importantly, in this digital age, Cliff has worked with his brother Den and his mother Mary Wootton to make these available.
The Story of Supersound (1952 - 1974)
Supersound Single Cutaway
Bass from 1958
Mary originally wrote this piece many years ago as a record for her sons, and in memory of their father. I’m delighted, and very grateful, that she has decided to allow its publication for the first time ever on this website.
As we shall see, Supersound was not (contrary to my former understanding!) simply a guitar manufacturer. In fact, at any one time, guitars formed only a relatively small part of its business. There will certainly be collectors who’ve arrived at this site because of their interest in the Supersound guitars; but I suspect more will be here on account of the Company’s ciné innovations; or their amplifiers and PAs. But I won’t spoil what’s to come…
I’ve tried to make this site as comprehensive as possible on the whole range of Supersound Electronic Products. However, I know there are going to be things that collectors want and need that simply aren’t here. If anyone can help with dates (I can give some, but not enough!), serial numbers, model numbers etc., indeed anything that will help make this site bigger, better and more complete, please e-mail me.
Any thoughts or recollections, however small, will be welcome.
Once again, I’d like to say a big “thank you” to Roland Berry, Cliff and Den Wootton, and especially Mary Wootton for their time and generosity in making this information available. Without you, this website would not have been possible.
Finally, the biggest thanks of all must go to the late Alan Wootton.
Without Alan’s innovative genius, Supersound itself would not have existed. It’s only a small tribute, but with best wishes to Alan Wootton’s family, I’d like to dedicate this site to his memory.
September 2015 Letter from Mary Wootton
This was written to Guy Mackenzie of the Guitar Collection and guitar expert Paul Day.
"I'm just writing to let you know that we were quite happy with all that Paul said in his articles in the Guitar and Bass magazine. After such a long time it is nice to know that our contribution to the music industry has been acknowledged and given a place in the archives. We were always very proud of our reputation for being a leader on several occasions, not just with the guitars but things like the echo units and various accessories. That was our motto "First in the Field"."
"With regard to your query about the "Ike Isaacs Guitar" (so named because Ike had agreed to endorse them), the only thing I can say is, that once we had broken with Jimmy and Ike we had all the bodies which Jim had started, together with the remainder of the pyrana pine wood, fret wire and ancillary parts shipped back to us, and Alan started finishing them off himself. These would then have gone out as Supersound guitars (or Zenith when Booseys started selling them). It is such a shame that we have not been able to discover any old records from Booseys, as that would have confirmed things. We then found a local firm to carve the bodies and we carried on doing the rest ourselves. We were disappointed that things did not work out with Jimmy, and then very upset that it also ruined the long and happy relationship which we had with Ike. But there you are - that's business!"
"I'm sorry Guy, I really can't think of anything else useful to add to this saga at the moment. Once again I do thank you and Paul for your interest in Supersound and all the reseasrch work you have done. I thought we had long been a forgotten entity in the music business and faded into obscurity!!"
"Another Supersound Product"
“I made my first practical contribution by suggesting that, instead of just putting the words “A Supersound Product”, why not put “Another Supersound Product”. Alan thought that was a marvellous idea and we kept that throughout our business life.”