At Thompson Guitars, we love sunbursts and shaded top guitars. They are each one of a kind – like snowflakes, no two are ever exactly alike, but they are all beautiful and very much individual. Jason Hardesty and Simon Haycraft use their trained eye, steady hand and experience of mixing colors to develop each color tint, shading area, glow and fading of the sunbursts using their individual artistic eye.
Sunbursts can be used to take a spruce top with great tap tone that might need to disguise a cosmetic flaw making it into a work of art, or as we often prefer, use them to enhance the individual appeal and attraction of a particular guitar. Starting in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s tinting guitars became an option, and colors ranged from dark to red to a pumpkin color, all just slightly different. A shaded top was more of a variation on the tinted top which then developed subtle shading from dark to light creating a sunburst type of effect. When nitrocellulose lacquer came into play during the 1930’s, craftsmen used a variation of tinted spray to create a glow using contrast and definition around the sound hole – colors of sunbursts range from a cherry color, tobacco, clownburst, three color burst, flamed maple and aged sunbursts.
Because we carry on the traditional method of using nitrocellulose lacquer, we have the ability to create color schemes and patterns that really work best with a highly atomized and solvent based finish. The process takes multiple steps, often starting with an amber colored base coat. Depending on the sought after final colors, we darken or add to the base coat with layers of finish that perfect the desired color and shade. Some sunbursts are light and some are dark depending on the effect we are striving for. From whimsical to dramatic they are all, once again, individual and personal. We have perfected our skills over time to develop the most beautiful and sought after bursts and shaded finishes.
We look forward to continuing to make guitars that capture that vintage feel and tone for our customers. We invite you to create your own individual one of a kind Thompson guitar with a sunburst finish. Take a look at our gallery of guitar photos to find a sunburst that appeals to you.Contact Us for more Info