Baldwin - Burns Bison Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966)
Baldwin - Burns Bison Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in London, England, black polyester finish, African mahogany body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case. Item # 7977
This 1966 Baldwin-branded Bison guitar is a supremely striking creation (visually, at least) and represents a fairly late stage in the evolution of this most fantastically eccentric of 1960s English guitars. The original 1962 Burns Bison model was a 4-pickup, gold-plated set neck marvel, but proved far too complex for factory production. A simplified bolt-on neck model with three pickups followed, and was produced in small numbers up through mid-1964. In the fall of that year, the Bison inherited many of the design features of the new Hank Marvin signature model including a scroll headstock, Strat-inspired Rez-O-Matic pickups, 3-piece segmented pickguard, and the elaborate Rez-O-Tube vibrato unit designed specifically for the Shadows' guitarist.
While this shared layout did cost the Bison some of its unique charm, it did not diminish the guitar's very eccentric visual appeal -- the flashy carved body with the unique forward-curving horns remained as unmistakable as ever. The clear plastic headstock badge still features the enigmatic etched bison head cartoon peering out as the only model identifier. The Bison guitar actually offers a much wider tonal range than the Marvin, thanks to a second pickup selector switch offering a range of extra pickup combinations, including some very extreme "wild dog"-like out-of-phase combinations. All Bisons are quite rare, especially in the US, and both visually and sonically very impressive guitars. This one, dated to 1966, is an extremely fine example of the early Baldwin Bison.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This guitar is superbly clean overall with only some small finish dings and scuffing. The polyester is amazingly intact with none of the typical extreme finish checking Baldwin instruments often suffer from. This instrument shows no repairs or alterations except the enigmatic engraving of "XM6" on the top edge of the truss rod plate on the back, matching a stencil neatly marked on the case. Who or whatever this represents, they did not get much use out of this guitar, as it looks very little played! Even the oft-missing vibrato arm is present, with a couple of incorrect washers on the mounting shaft, but working as it should. This is a very complete, ready-to-go, very nearly perfect guitar, including an extremely clean original Baldwin HSC. Excellent + Condition.
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