THE GUITARS OF JAMES ORMSTON BURNS

REFERENCE & RESOURCE PAGES:

 

SUPERSOUND (1958) - BURNS-WEILL (1959) - FENTON WEILL (1960-65)

ORMSTON BURNS (1960-1965) - AMPEG (1963-64) - BALDWIN (1965-69)

SHERGOLD WOODCRAFTS (1967-69) - ORMSTON (1968) - HAYMAN (1970-75)

BURNS UK (1973-77) - BURNS ACTUALIZERS (1979-82) - SHERGOLD (1975-92)

 

 

BURNS ACTUALIZERS

1979-82

 

 

 

1979 Burns Steer Prototype

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steer Double Cutaway prototype

Steer double cutaway prototype

1980 Burns Steers

Two of the 30 or so serially produced circa 1980:

 

1980 Steer Single Cutaway

1980 Burns Steer Cutaway

 

c.1979 Scorpion Prototypes

Checkerboard Guitar Prototype

 

Striped Fretless Scorpion Bass Prototype

 

 

 

1980 Catalogue

 

 

 

c.1981 Jim Burns Guitars brochure

 

 

1980 Scorpion

Serial No. 800058

 

 

 

c. 1980 Magpie prototypes

 

c.1980 Trade Fair

 

 

1981 Burns Magpie

 

Magpie Prototype:

 

1981 Production model:

 

 

1981 Magpie Black

Note Scorpion Headstock

1981 Burns Magpie

 

1981 Magpie Natural

Note Scorpion Headstock

Burns Magpie

 

 

1981 Marvin, signed by JB for PD

serial No 810182 (see also same number on magpie below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1981 Magpie in White

Serial No 810182

 

1981 Magpie in Red

Note Scorpion Headstock

 

1982 BURNS Magpie

in suburst

 

1982 BURNS Magpie Bass

 

 

 

1982 BURNS Scorpion Guitar

Serial No. 820003

 

 

1983? Burns Bandit

Burns Bandit

 

I have (seen?) one or two of this example(?) and as before I note the serial number is only three removed from the blueburst one I owned, which was 30603. There was definitely no manual for this or any other Jim Burns model - it was all the company could do to get the actual instruments out! Regarding the functions of the push-button bank, the pre-set selections are as follows:

Four grey push-buttons:
1. Neck pickup only
2. Neck & Bridge pickups out of phase
3. Neck & Bridge pickups in phase
4. Bridge pickup only

Two black push-buttons:
1. Coil split for Bridge pickup
2. Distortion

The square chassis control pots were A-B (Allen & Bradley) Mod Pots, made in Mexico and 500K in value. They were probably obtained from the same source that supplied components for the MM mixers built by Burns' parent company PA:CE Electronics. Quality was supposed to be high, but I found that they soon suffered from scratchy sounding operation due to static build-up, so not a good choice. 

All the best, Paul Day