Cobra review by Burns

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (32 votes)
Burns: Cobra

Price paid: £ 180

Purchased from: Micromusic Liverpool

Sound — 10
I play mainly 60's music with emphasis on The Shadows/Hank Marvin, so this guitar was bought to complement my Classic 50's Strat. It was bought, because it was the only model I could afford. I use either a Fender FM1R practice amp. or a Vox AD50-VT set on the AC15 or AC30TB models, together with either a Yamaha Magic Stomp or Zoom RFX2000, both programmed with EFTP patches by Charlie Hall. There is some pick-up noise, but this disappears as soon as you hit the strings, and in any case is not loud, even on full volume. This guitar has a rich/bright sound, which complements the rich/mellow sound of my Strat, perfectly. It is particularly "bassy", giving the sound of the 60's Burns "Legend" used by Hank Marvin in the mid-60's. The best way to describe the sound this guitar makes is "A Stratocaster with attitude", and I love it to bits. It completely fulfills the purpose for which it was bought.

Overall Impression — 9
As I said, I play mainly 60's Shadows/Hank Marvin, and this guitar gives me the scope to play those numbers that Hank Marvin used to play on a Burns. I have been playing for over 50 years now, and I also own a Fender Classic 50's Strat, a Squier Affinity Strat (modified with GFS Vintage pick-ups), and a Yamaha F301 acoustic. Vox AD50-VT and Fender FM15R amps. Yamaha Magic Stomp and RFX 2000 both programmed with EFTP patches. If it were lost or stolen, I would probably buy either a Burns Marquee or Burns Marvin fitted with the Rezzo-matic pick-ups. Having said that, this is a nice guitar to play and for what I paid for it, I cannot complain. It would have been nice to have had the Rezzo-Matic pick-ups, but if the tri-sonics are good enough for Brian May.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I have replaced the strap buttons with gold locking ones, although those fitted seemed to be quite substantial. It just means I can take the strap off when it goes in the case, and also gives me more peace of mind. The hardware seems solid and durable. The finish does not seem thin. The guitar would withstand Live playing. I would have a back-up, but only because of string breakage. I have this guitar and the Strat fitted with 10/46's and a Squier Strat fitted with 11/52's.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was well set up and I have not had to touch anything. The finish is excellent, and I cannot fault a thing on it.

Features — 9
Made in China 2007. 22 Standard frets. Rosewood fretboard on a maple neck. Body is basswood solid top. Teal green colour with lacquer finish.Star style body with Strat style head painted to match body colour. Model name on headstock under perspex cover.. Usual Burns pick-guards (3-piece), in Mint green tint. String thru body bridge. Passive electronics. Volume control, 2 tone controls, top tone control for neck pick-up, bottom for middle pick-up; also is "push-pull" Switch to configure bridge pick-up with any other combination. 5-way selector. Strat style tremolo arm. Burns "tri-sonic" single coil pick-ups. Non-locking machine heads, make unspecified. Fitted with unspecified make 10/46 strings. Allen keys provided, plus spare tremolo spring.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Im not usually a fan of strat's, but this one does look quite nice not abad price either!
    oh these are not strats, there far superior i played a marvin model, better than any strat ive ever played ever, ever ever ever these are amazing get one
    Daniel8488 wrote: Im not usually a fan of strat's, but this one does look quite nice not abad price either!
    I second that!
    "The guitar was well set up and I have not had to touch anything. The finish is excellent, and I cannot fault a thing on it." Yet, you gave it a nine? :/
    Yes, sorry about that. The strings were long past their "sell-by" date, and were starting to go dull with moisture damage. I know probably a minor problem-----but. Just as a point of interest - when Hank Marvin went to Burns because of the tuning problems they were having with the Strat, Burns set the guitars up to SOUND like a Strat. My Classic 50's Strat is one of the best guitars I have played in over 50 years of guitar playing. This Burns comes a close second. It does the job for which it was bought admirably, considering the cost.
    I have now parted with this guitar as I managed to get a Burns Marquee (see my review) whereas this is a nice guitar, the Marquee is so much more - definitely "In your face." I scored the Marquee 10 throughout and it deserved that.
    Here's an idea, how about every guitar company on earth copies the Fender Strat? This looks nice enough, but I prefer the real thing.