Bill Alston

Home | Current models | Discontinued models | Discontinued details | Cobra Family | The Marquees | The Bisons | The Dream Guitars | The Apaches | The Marvin | The Steers |
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Main Site

Welcome to my Burns Guitar web pages This site is no longer updated

The new owners of the Burns are only releasing a few runs here and there and haven't replied to anything I have sent so I now give up.

Some of my Guitars Cobra 2013 Shadow 2011 and Marquee 2015

Bought this Bison 62 RI in an unusual colour September 2017

In June 2020 I stopped updating this website to be honest getting information was proving to be very difficult, Burn's own website is next to useless and whenever I ask any questions of Burns I got less than helpful answers, this may have been partly due to factories seemingly randomly varying the specs.
I continue to welcome correspondence
Now that we have new owners things may change and so I have started again to see how we go so see the bottom of this page


I should state at the outset that I have no connection with Burns London Ltd other than a love for their guitars. I am not and never have been employed by anyone involved in the sale or manufacture of musical instruments.

Having developed an interest in these guitars I found on the web a wonderful site by Trevor Midgley and I urge all with an interest in these guitars to visit his site. Unfortunately due to time pressures Trevor stopped updating his site in 2010. The purpose of my site is to continue the work he was doing and provide information on models and updates he hasn't covered. This will be a long ongoing process and will certainly not be complete for some time. Any help you can give by way of corrections or additions is always appreciated. Any questions you have or anything you wish to discuss please E-mail me at

Trevor's website can be found here. Burns Guitars

News April 2017
Per Gjorde author of Pearls and Crazy Diamonds in conjunction with Bill Lovegrove has written a new book the Jim Burns story it is available here The Jim Burns Story

Update March 2018
No longer a pre order it is available on order I have read it and it is certainly worth buying.

Burns Guitars have been around since the 50s for a full history I recommend reading Pearls and Crazy Diamonds by Per Gjorde. Burns of London was formed by Barry Gibson in 1992. The idea was to make faithful reprodutions of earlier Burns guitars and add some models and variations remaining faithful to the original design ideas. There appear as far as I can find to be about 60 different models or variations some of which information is hard to come by and some of which are very limited in numbers made. The guitars were made in England, until 1999 when some models were made in Korea then later some in China but still very high quality no matter where they are made. Burns tell me that at the moment over 25% are still made in the UK.
UK Manufacture update
Marc Lamaq is making some Burns guitars including Apaches, Marvins and Double 6s. Seems to have started around the Autumn of 2016.
Sept 2017 Marc tells me he has a new project with Burns involving a new concept and 100% UK manufacture.
Some information on Marc's Facebook page Marc Lamaq

This is one made by Marc

Korean and Chinese Manufacture
Around the end of 2007 production of many models was moved from Korea to China several Chinese factories have been used. The following information was posted on the Burns Guitar forum by Bill Lovegrove in February 2019. It is from Alan Entwistle and has some interesting information.

“The Korean made Marquee's are not actually better made than the later Chinese ones at all, it was early days for the Korean production, therefore the guitar was at the beginning of it's development curve so to speak, the differences are this: 1) Pickups, on the Korean stock the Rezomatiks were simply badged ceramic generic ST pickups, on the later Chinese made Marquee's the Rezomatiks were actually dedicated Burns pickups made and specification researched by Entwistle pickups, these have Alnico 5 magnetics and fiber bobbins, as per the originals. 2) Trem, the original Korean production utilized the "point system" trem, which is a good trem but was prone to failure with the actual "points" sometimes collapsing or breaking. present Chinese production use a dedicated knife edge vibrato, which we developed "in house" that has a full size aluminium block, it returns to pitch better and sounds better (more Burnsy). 3) Electronics: the Korean version used a generic strat circuit, augmented by a push/pull, to bring in the neck pickup, the Chinese production uses a dedicated Burns control circuit with different capacitor values and Entwistle "Smoothtrak" pots. 4) Aesthetics: The earlier Korean versions had quite "blocky" bodies with only a 10mm edge radiusing, and rather non-descript necks, the Chinese production have well contoured large radius bodies, made from highly resonant Okume (Central African timber similar to mahogany), and nicely carved necks. 5) Perhaps the most important point is that present Burns models have a much higher level of quality control than those early Korean ones, we are at the factory (which also makes Revelation) all year round, so we do keep a constant eye on production. So hopefully i have put to bed this constantly repetitive idea that old is better than new, or that Korean is better than Chinese! Also watch out with those pickups, genuine Burns Rezomatiks have ENGRAVED COVERS, not printed ones. The same pickups are fitted to the Marquee and the Marvin.”

What is my guitar worth

I maintain a guide to prices based on auction results, this covers Burns and several other makes.
This can be found on the guitar information section of my main site here: Guitar Information


7th December 2016 Update to Jet Harris Barracuda page, which is accessed via discontinued details page.
10th December 2016 More information on the King Cobra Custom added to Cobra Family page.
Also a one off special built guitar added to the The Marvin page
I have had a fantastic amount of information and help from Bill Lovegrove both by Email and on the Burns guitar forum. I will be updating quite a bit from what he has sent but for now removed a wrong picture from the Marquee page. A big thanks to you Bill.
12th December 2016 Added The Steer Page
20th December 2016 Added The Double Six Page
21st December 2016 The Barracuda added
22nd December 2016 Added the Shadow and The Sonics
23rd December 2016 Updated Bison Page
15th March 2017 Added information on a one off Bison Prototype to the Bison page
18th March 2017 Updated this page with information on UK Manufacture.
June 2017 Some Changes to the Barracuda Special.
Sept 2017 I have added some information on a very special Sonic see sonic page.
Bill Lovegrove has sent be some information on the Vista Sonic see discontinued details pages and some information on Bison R2 and R1 models see Bison pages. Thanks Bill
10th October 2017 Added details of a unique Apache which is for sale see Apache page
February 2018 Added information on a supposed limited edition Cobra and received some great information on the Burns Atlantis from the current owner of No. 1
September 2018
Some information on the changing headstock shape of the Cobra, appears all may not be what we thought see page.
February 2019
Added a one off model to the Sonics page and the Alan Entwistle comments on China and Korea above.
12th March 2021
We still haven't yet had new models released from the new owners but there are still some guitars being sold these are 2020 ish releases prior to the new owners releasing new versions. I understand that more of the new models may be made in the UK.
In the meantime I need to catch up on the changes over the last 12 months.
Here goes Updated the Cobra Page with the changes made in 2020
13th March 2021
Created an SSJ page they seem to be still being released after the takeover.
Also updated the Cobra range with changes to the King Cobra.