Burns Marquee Double Six Reviews 5

I bought this latest addition to my gear for 399.95 from Soundpad in Torquay, Devon. that's in the UK for those who don't live here and for those who don't know where that is,... I give in, get a life! I have been looking to buy another guitar as soon as I thought the other half wouldn't notice the hole in the bank balance but as life isn't that predictable, this thing jumped off the wall and into my wallet before I had a chance to blink,.... let alone consider the implications of a divorce settlement!! It was love at first touch because I have a "thing" about twelve strings,.. it goes back a while and I'm not gonna explain it here! Suffice to say it had the right number of strings and looked and felt good staight of the wall, which is more than I can say about several others I have tried including Rickies and Fenders but that has more to do with the size of my fingers being unable to cope with such skinny necks,.. nice on ladies but I like a handful on a guitar, cos I'm a bit wild with my music!

The first thing that caught my eye was the rich green finish. Now I know that some might say that it looks a bit like the sort of skid-marks on your pants after a good time in the park with the girlfriend, but I have spent a lot of time around shades of green and this shade does look good under lights. A lot of twelve-string electrics have a tendency to try and dive into the floor as soon as you let go of the neck, not this one. It sits where you put it but you'd better have a strong shoulder for it to cry on. It is not light and a long gig will soon explain that to you! Yes I did say cry. This mental little tool has, contrary to expectations, more in common with it's under-strung sibling the "Brian May Signature" than any other twelve string. This has a lot to do with the fact that they share the same pickups and through a warm valve amp with reverb, it will handle Eagles covers and "Stairway to Heaven" like it was built for it. However, flick the pickup selector to the two closer to the neck, twitch the gain control to where twelve-strings shouldn't go and the damn thing will strip the paper off the neighbours walls!! (If your speakers are up to the job that is!) If you feel tempted to play lead riffs on it, it does take a little getting use to how much neck there is to bend across but it will do it and with all those harmonics, they do tend to leave the strat in the shade a bit. If you want to pull the G string, (oh har-har!) get a light one for the octave or don't have the high one at all because it's a bit tight already, having said that, it does sound sweet. The range of tones available is quite scary, I haven't found all of them yet and if you're into perfection you will get lost for hours with this guitar. Straight into the desk it is quite capable of locking the clip light on. It does have a rich sound of its own and by double-tracking with very different tone settings, it is very easy to bury everything else on the the other tracks with a wall of sound so be gentle with it in the studio! Your sound engineer will either love this one or throw a fit!

The red version leaves me thinking of that awful thing I started out with, that no amount of tweaking would give an action I could actually play! Sorry Burns,... nothing personal! (That "thing" wasn't a Burns by the way,.. couldn't afford one then!) Like I said, it is a bit on the heavy side, if you are looking to loose weight yourself, two hours with this slung on will sweat a few pounds off! If you jump about on stage,.. you will have to remember that this thing will drive you into the floor like a dart! The range of tones will take a bit of remembering so I shall have to write them down,.... fading grey cells and one too many parties is my excuse but there is a lot of room to make mistakes because there's so much of it. (Tone range that is.) Oh yeah,... it doesn't get made in England anymore but that's not really a fault.

The first thing that you will notice is the wider fingerboard but the slim profile of the neck makes this easy to handle. The intonation is perfect to set up so I can still play chords way up past the twelfth fret, without the whole thing going sharp on the lower strings. Having this wider setting for the strings makes finger-picking a whole lot easier too, I have rather chunky fingers but I find this action easy. The frets are really smooth but time will tell how long before I wear them out, I have a feeling they might be a bit softer metal than my others and hence, if you play as hard as I do, a re-fret might come up quicker than you expect! The finish on mine looks great which is why I bought it but to be honest, the laquer is not as thick as I remember on the older Burns axes and although I haven't dropped it yet, (I will try not to!) I have a feeling it might "age" a bit quickly in a soft case. While on the subject of cases, this thing does not fit into anything standard (or cheap) so you will have to get a decent case, with the handle well fixed! The neck / headstock blend seems to be a bit beefier than some others and looks like it won't snap off as easily as another make I had. The machine heads are not so close together that they trim your fingers when you are tuning and they are smooth, Burns have had a lot of practice with these things and that shows,... ah, apart from that pathetic lead they put in the box with it, chuck that out and get a decent one! I shall also be getting a set of control knobs that don't look so naff but that's a matter of personal taste.

If you want to play "Albatross" then this baby will help you do it with feeling, not that it's really like having a dead one round your neck,... honest! It really is a lively axe and it appealed to me because it came to life in my hands. If you suffer from losing your strap while playing, trying to hang on to this would make a good video out-take so buy yourself some straplocks or steel-toe boots! At the price I paid for this, I think it's excellent value. It was a toss-up between this one and the Gibson twin-neck but that is even heavier, the neck doesn't do it for me and at nearly twice the price, it wasn't really a contest,.. the wife would have killed me! For my money it's the best deal around, better than sex, but I don't tell the missus that!!

PB rated this unit 5 on 2003-06-13.

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