Background to the Supersound Story
Supersound Electronic Products: Was an innovative British manufacturer of electronic products which initially included amplifiers and then guitars from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Supersound was formed in 1952 by Alan and Mary Wootton in very humble circumstances. Initially Alan and Mary rented a small bedroom in a terrace house in Northumberland Heath, Erith, Kent with Alan using his mother's garage in her garden as a workshop.
Later, after a move to Hawley Grange, Wilmington, near Dartford enabled Supersound to take off and start designing and manufacturing a diverse range of amplifiers, PA systems, tape decks, projector accessories and later electric guitars and basses.
Supersound and Jim Burns
Of Supersound and Jim Burns, guitar historian Paul Day wrote: Although the association was brief, the liaison lasted long enough to produce the UK's first commercially built six-string and four-string solids, appreciably ahead of any home-grown competition.
For these pioneering creations, Supersound supplied Burns with the materials he required to construct the basic neck/body chassis. The company then completed each instrument, carrying out the necessary paint and finish work, plus the installation of pickups, circuitry and hardware.
Supersound's upmarket aims were indicated by the sizeable £66 price tag of the 'Ike Isaacs Short-Scale' model when it was introduced in December 1958. Closely copying a previous Jim Burns' custom original, this smart looking, single-cutaway six-string was preceded by a plainer and less-expensive equivalent that could best be described as the 'Short-Scale Standard'. The latter featured a pine body, which was the company's somewhat unusual timber of choice.
As the first British solid-body bass guitar, Supersound's four-string was equally innovative. It was actually derived directly from the Fender Precision, which was unavailable and almost unheard of in this country at the time. Although far removed from being any sort of copy, back then Supersound's interpretation was the only other bass in the world to share the same pickup position.
Although the end results were certainly primitive compared to contemporary competition from across the Atlantic, in a country still recovering from the ravages of the war and accordingly low on resources, these achievements could deservedly be considered outstanding.
Supersound Guitars on BBC TV's Points West April 2009
Featured with guitar collector Guy Mackenzie of The Guitar Collection