Retrofret Stock # 2812. Burns Jazz Bass Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1964), made in London, England, serial # 6326, sunburst polyester finish, mahogany body, sycamore neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case. The Burns "Jazz Bass" (a name used without concern for the prior art from Fender, and apparently without irony!) was designed as a mate for the company's most popular 1960's guitar design -- The Strat-like Jazz Split Sound model. A later addition to the Burns London line (in production starting only in fall of 1964), this is a relatively unsung Beat-Group era classic; a very stylish and great-sounding bass guitar. The model replaced the earlier Vista-Sonic Bass which had the same neck, electronics, and fittings on a much less Fender-ish body. The Jazz Bass simply replaced the earlier lump-cutaway style body with the new scooped-horn shape of the recently introduced Double Six 12-string. The Jazz was Burns' mid-price 4-string instrument; professional class, but less expensive than the more dramatically-styled Bison and Shadows basses. While no 1960's Burns instrument is common, this model is a considerable rarity particularly on these shores. Burns instruments were sold worldwide under the company's name, but very few made it to the US due to the English firm's lack of a distributor in this market. The Jazz Bass has three Tri-sonic pickups hooked up to a rotary control giving four preset tone selections labeled Contra Bass, Bass, Treble, and the snarlingly out-of-phase "Wild Dog", which is of perhaps dubious utility on a bass guitar but entertaining anyway! The elaborate bridge has four individual saddles adjustable for height, intonation, and spacing, and must rate as one of the best of the era. The sunburst-finished neck has an unusual 31 1/2 inch-scale, halfway between the typical 34" Fender and 30" Gibson lengths. The neck itself is slim and comfortable with a slightly less round feel than a Fender; the medium scale has a very comfortable feel, but retains more percussive edge than the standard 30" 1960's short scale. The sunburst single sided headstock -- later changed by Baldwin to a natural finish double-sided design -- is equipped with large plastic-button VanGent tuning machines and a clear plastic "Jazz Bass" name plate. The red-black sunburst finish was standard for this model, and exceptions are nearly unknown. All the instruments from the Burns London period (1961-65) are interesting designs, quite well made, and this rates as a fine-playing bass guitar with tons of character and a very distinctive sound, used most notably by Troggs' bassist Pete Staples both live and on record. This model was continued by Baldwin (after late 1965), but after mid-1966 he mutated it into a more conventional 30" scale instrument, losing most of its unique character in the process. This "true Burns" example -- dated internally to fall 1964 -- is one of the coolest and most unsung basses of the 1960's, "Handcrafted By BURNS London" in only very small numbers. A favorite around here and a cool 4-string connoisseur's delight!Overall length is 45 3/8 in. (115.3 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 31 1/2 in. (800 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This bass is nicely original but is fairly well-used, still remaining a very good player. There is a decent amount of typical finish checking to the Polyester overall, and the finish shows some minor chipping on the sides of the neck and at the tip of the headstock. All original and complete, except the upper mute bar that sits over the strings is missing (as nearly all are!). There are a couple of small repaired cracks in the pickguard off of screws (most visible by the jack), and an extra strap button hole in the back of the neck heel. There is some light fret wear and a small chip in the bass side of the nut. Despite its fairly large body this bass is relatively light, surprisingly handy, and a good player with a really unique and powerful sound. Includes a 1960's Baldwin HSC. Overall Very Good + Condition.
|1964||Very Good||sunburst polyester||Hard|
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