We have more new and used acoustics with sunburst tops than usual right now, and more colors and styles too. Dark tobacco sunbursts, light golden shading, bright reds, warm browns. If all your guitars, and your friends’ guitars, have natural spruce tops you owe yourself some visual variety!
A hundred years ago, sunburst tops were almost an exclusive trademark for Gibson’s archtop guitars. By the early 1930s the style became much more popular and competitors adopted the style, but Martin refrained from using the word “sunburst” and instead called their version a “shaded top.” For most of the ‘60s and ‘70s sunbursts were seen on lots of Gibson and Guild flattops, but Martin dropped the shaded top option and stuck with a natural finish. Newcomers like Taylor rarely offered much color either. But by the 1990s with the explosion of new brands and models the sunbursts found on flattop acoustics became more varied and creative, as seen here.
Collings CJ MH Sunburst guitar with Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany back/sides — Details »
2010 Taylor 614-CE Sunburst guitar with Sitka Spruce top and Maple back/sides — Details »
Waterloo WL-14XTR Sunburst guitar with solid Spruce top and Mahogany back/sides — Details »
Taylor 316CE LTD (2016) NEW guitar with Sitka Spruce top and Sapele back/sides — Details »
2010 Huss & Dalton TOM-R Custom guitar with Adirondack Spruce and Indian Rosewood back/sides — Details »