Burns Double Six Reviews 4

I've been playing live, in studios(records), in groups , solo for almost 30 years. My main instrument, for many years, has been the 12 string guitar, both electric and acoustic. I first played a Burns Double Six in 1985. The guitar was an original green 60s one belonging to another person in the group, and I used it as my main instrument in a band which eventually signed to Polydor Records in 1986. I used it on a BBC Janice Long Radio session and on the demo recording which led to the group being courted by many of the big record companies of the time. It sounded great! But my ambition was to get a Rickenbacker 12 string, which I DID get shortly afterwards, but it never sounded as good as the Burns did on that radio show! Why the electric 12 string? Mainly due to Roger McGuinn and The Byrds first album, Mr. Tambourine Man. Especially The Bells Of Rhymney (the best sounding electric 12 string on record in my opinion!) The band split up after 3 non-hit singles and the 12 string, I later found out was sold by the guy who owned it for about 50! These guitars weren't worth nearly as much in the late 80s as now. So I carried on with my Rickenbacker (had my first stolen, got another). Then found out last year that Burns were reissuing them. I ordered a green one (like the old one I used to play) and the shop in London got it wrong and I got a red one instead! Gave that to my friend Gary Brady (who records me) and , but hold on! I'm getting into the next question!! P.S. Richard Hawleys' guitarist has 2 (an old one and a new one) that he uses on stage.

Acquired from someone in Scotland on Ebay for 200, which is a bargain, at about half the price of a new one.

The sound from the Tri-Sonic pickups is great. I always use quite alot of compression (from a pedal), and, of coarse, a good amount of reverb. This is how you get the classic 60s electric 12 string sound. The string spacing and wider neck is much easier to use than the more well known Rickenbacker 12 string, and the string configuration (higher octave string on top, like an acoustic 12 string) is better, creating a more distinctive sound. I like the rather lurid "greenburst" too, and the big horns!

It is quite a heavy guitar, but you do get used to it, and the balance is good, as oppossed to a Les Paul. The Gotoh bridge is a definite improvement on the original 60s bar bridges, but if you want 100% accurate intonation, you need 12 separate saddles. However, ALL 12 string guitars sound better if there is an everso slight flatening in one of the strings in each of the octave pairs. And also in the unison B and high E dtrings. So it depends on what you want. In my view, the perfection is in the imperfection! The strings could be a little bit lower in the nut for easier playing down that end of the guitar.

Quality is robust and sturdy. I'm not too keen on bolt on necks. but it seems to be keeping in place. As I said in the last box, the strings could be a tiny bit lower in the nut.

All in all a fantastic instrument! You can't argue with the price(compare it with a Rickenbacker 12 string). I think it's great that Burns have started to make these again. If you can't afford an original (2000.00 and up), I recomend one of these new ones. They sound just as good. Remember to use a compression pedal and set the reverb on your amp to at least 5!!

Marvin B. Naylor rated this unit 4 on 2008-02-24.

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