Couple of questions re: wings/no wings, serial/no serial

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Krank
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Couple of questions re: wings/no wings, serial/no serial

Post by Krank » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:16 am

I'm a newcomer to vintage MIJ guitars, so please pardon me if I ask noobishly.

The general concensus seems to be that the early 80s Burny are generally (not always) better than later ones, correct? Excluding the Korean models, what could be the reason for this - the production moved from Fujigen Gakki?

Burnies up until about '87 had the bell-shape truss rod cover, while later ones have the little 'wings'. Is this a viable rule of thumb when judging the age of a Burny from a quick glance?

Some have no serial on the body - what can be said about these in terms of year of manufacture etc.?

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Post by JohnA » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:23 am

Have a look here, probably the best Burny info in English on the web:

http://www.japanguitars.co.uk/burny%20info.html

The truss rod cover is a useful guide to age, but careful as they are easily changed.
Last edited by JohnA on Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Krank
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Post by Krank » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:28 pm

JohnA wrote:Have a look here, probably the best Burny info in English on the web:

http://www.japanguitars.co.uk/burny%20info.html

The truss rod cover is a useful guide to age, but careful asthey are easily changed.
I've read nbm's paper several times, even wrote the guy (though he didn't respond). Thanks though.

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Post by japanstrat » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:15 am

In the late 70s/early 80s the Japanese guitar companies were trying to match Gibson and Fender in terms of quality and specs. Later on it sort of dropped off a bit. Japanese labour costs rose a lot during the 80s and the guitar companies lost a bit of interest in doing top of the line Gibson copies and in the 80s the hair metal pointy guitars were the ones that were selling big and Fernandes and Kanda (Greco) etc sold hair metal guitars. The Greco late 80s models are not the same as the Greco early 80s models.The guitar factories don't really play a big part in it as they were all pretty good. Like Matsumoku who was mostly known for Arias could match Fujigen in all departments as could many others.
Fernandes used a lot of different guitar factories.
This is info I've gathered from doing detailed comparisons of Burnys with guitars that had known makers. It might not be 100% correct but it is more than just guessing.



Finding things out about Fernandes and what factories they used is probably the hardest of all the Japanese guitars as there are hardly any serials that identify the factories that Fernandes were using so you have to use comparisons of Burnys to other known factory guitars from the same years. Like comparing the wiring channel drilling and the control and pickup cavity routing and the tenon construction and the custom headstock shape of a 1985 Burny and a 1985 Fujigen made Greco or a 1985 Tokai for instance. You can see a lot of the different wiring channel and routing designs at http://www.japanguitars.co.uk/burny%20info.html and at http://www.k4.dion.ne.jp/~yjibika/FernandesRLG90.html

Fernandes had a development link with Matsumoku in the 1980s http://www.daeschler.com/articles/fujigen/ and with Santai/Three Yasushi http://www.santai.jp/guitar/geindex.htm who seem to be just a guitar finishing factory.

Fujigen have made Fernandes/Burnys according to this page http://www.desertrosebanjo.com/consultfull.htm. In the late 1980s/early 1990s there would have been no FujiGen Burnys because FujiGen stopped most of it's set neck production to mainly make bolt on Fender like guitars.

The early 1980s FLG Les Pauls have a centre drilled wiring channel and the only factory I know of that did that was Terada. FujiGen use a wiring channel up the right side of the pickup cavities on the Grecos Orvilles etc and Tokai and others usually use a diagonal wiring channel from the switch to the controls (volume, tone).
Then there are also the Burnys from the late 70s with Tokai serial numbers.

So after doing comparisons of Burny LPs with known factory guitars it looks like this probably happened for the Japanese made Burny LPs.

1970s Burnys were probably made by Terada and generally have a YXXXX (Y=year, XXXX=production number) serial number.
Late 1970s Burnys were probably made by Tokai and have Tokai serial numbers.
Early 1980s Burnys were probably made by Terada and generally have a YXXXX (Y=year, XXXX=production number) serial number.
The early 1980s FLG-240 FLG-150 FLG-90 and FSA-80 Semi Acoustic models with nitro finishes were probably made by Terada.
Early 1980s to late 1980s Burnys were probably made by Matsumoku and FujiGen with no serial numbers. Matsumoku made most of the RLG models including the RLG-150, RLG-120, RLG-90 models and FujiGen made most of the RLC models.
Some of these Burny RLGs have the Matsumoku bolt tenon that was also used on the Matsumoku made Arias and some like the RLG-150, RLG-120, RLG-90 Burny models http://www.k4.dion.ne.jp/~yjibika/FernandesRLG90.html have a Gibson like diagonal wiring channel (just under the Maple top) that's very similar to some Matsumoku Arias and that's different to the Tokai diagonal wiring channel design that goes through the Mahogany Body and doesn't go just under the Maple top.
From the late 1980s not many Burnys would have been made by FujiGen because of FujiGen's decision to stop a lot of it's set neck production. Also Matsumoku went out of business in 1987 which could be why the RLG-150, RLG-120, RLG-90 models stop around this time.
Early 1990s up to mid 1990s Burnys were probably made by FujiGen.
Current Japanese made Burnys are probably made by Tokai.
The Burny Acoustics up to 1982 were probably made by Hayashi Gakki and after 1982 by Headway.

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Post by 20 century boy » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:39 am

there is at least 2 companies that made the Burny accoustics because some models from the same years have 2 screws truss rod cover and some have 3 screws ( you can see on the 78 catalogue). And in 1978 there is already guitars with the YAsushi Momose signature inside. So it makes sense to suppose that some guitars were already made at Headway factory in 78 AND at the other factory ( wich I've never heard before, good job, Holmes ) :wink:

Ok found this on Hayashi: http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/d ... cleid=6261

looks like it's linked to Terada.

I started something on the accoustic on the japanaxe:

http://forum.japanaxe.com/phpBB3/viewto ... 9702#p9702
nankurunai sa!

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Post by NWOBHM » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:26 pm

That's interesting about the diagonal routes. I have 2 84' Greco Mint collection standards a black one and a cherryburst. The black has the Fujigen route on the right side of the neck pup cavity, while the cherry one has the diagonal route like a Gibson with a scarfed heel. other than that they look identical from the outside.

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Post by japanstrat » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:52 pm

Only a few Fujigen Grecos have diagonal wiring channels and maybe they are not from Fujigen but they probably are. Most of the Fujigen wiring channels go up the right hand side of the pickup cavities which Fujigen also used on the Orvilles and others as well and Fujigen has a distinct control cavity routing style. Two of the big Acoustic makers in the 70s and 80s were Terada and Iida and others as well. Some of the Burny Acoustics could very well be from Terada.

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Post by duosonic » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:26 pm

japanstrat, any ideas on who made the Fernandes "fender" style guitars in the late '70s through the late '80s?


Thanks!

Tim

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Post by japanstrat » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:59 am

I havn't got around to the Fernandes Fender guitars. I've just been focusing on the Les Pauls so far.

stratman323

Post by stratman323 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:12 am

duosonic wrote: any ideas on who made the Fernandes "fender" style guitars in the late '70s through the late '80s?
Mainly Kawai & Tokai, according to this:

http://www.music-trade.co.jp/etc.html

Mike

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Post by japanstrat » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:16 am

The Fernandes Kawai stuff, who knows. There are a lot of rumours on Japanese sites. Kawai made some strange looking guitars http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/rareguitars/38908770.html

http://www.vguitar.com/features/brands/ ... p?AID=3020

http://cgi.ebay.com/NR-1980s-rare-KAWAI ... 0933a30294

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Post by duosonic » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:08 am

Where the '80s Revival guitars are concerned, they do NOT look anything like Tokais, in terms of construction.

I've not handled any Kawai guitars, to my knowledge... so for that I could not say.

It has been suggested to me that Matsumoku may have been the manufacturer of the Fernandes Revival stuff, at least through the mid-'80s, and there ARE some points of similarity, in terms of construction methods...

Thanks for chiming in!

stratman323

Post by stratman323 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:02 pm

duosonic wrote:Where the '80s Revival guitars are concerned, they do NOT look anything like Tokais, in terms of construction.
Mine does. I recently bought an 80s The Revival, & it's uncannily like my 84 ST55 - it feels very similar.

Image

The only real difference seems to be that it has a cheap plastic switch & ceramic pickups instead of the better hardware the Goldstars had. Apart from that, it feels just like a Goldie to me.

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Post by duosonic » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:16 pm

I just looked at the other photos in your 'bucket; nice guitar (smile) but it's a later Revival. The early to mid '80s Revivals have completely different routing, etc... here's an '83:

Image

See what I mean?

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Post by japanstrat » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:55 am

I know that Fernandes uses a lot of different makers. The Burny LP's have a lot of different routing differences. There seems to be a Fernandes Matsumoku link before 1987 for some guitars but not all. The trouble with Kawai is it's pretty hard to compare Fernandes or Burny guitars to Kawai made ones because as far as I know there are hardly any Kawai Strats or LPs around.

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