Price paid: £ 170
Purchased from: Ebay Store
Sound — 10
This is where this guitar shines, don't be fooled into thinking its just for the Hank Marvins of this world either. These pickups can deliver some snarl, they naturally Excel at that Johnny Thunders/The Stooges kind of sound. For sub-200 you will not find anything Strat-like as good as this! I play all sorts of music, been playing 20 years so I do some stand in work for other bands along with Stoner Rock, Alternative/Punk projects of my own. Currently using a Laney 'supergroup' 1970s valve head, 4x12 Carlsbro Cab loaded with Celestion's. I use a Line 6 Spider sometimes for ease and transport reasons, effects i mainly use a Fulltone Distortion Pro, MBM Tonebender, TS9 and a Vesta Fire Delay. The guitar is'nt noisy at all, less so than a Highway One Strat I once owned. Again, Tri-Sonics are quite simply some of the best single coil pickups I have ever heard. The sound is somewhere between Strat/Tele/P90's, they are rich with harmonics, warm and handle Gain better than a lot i have heard. The variety of sounds from this guitar is unbeatable, you have about 8 configurations with the pull pot included. For clean guitar playing this guitar is tonally superb, nothing can touch it in this price range.
Overall Impression — 10
Been playing 20 years and always had a curiosity for Burns, being British and all that malarky. I like the retro look of the Cobra especially because to me it is more aesthetically pleasing than the Marquee model and it also has the Tri-Sonic pickups. It took me 19 years to buy one and I can honestly say I wish I had done it sooner. I own 14 guitars; a few Vintage Fenders, Tokai, BC Rich, Ibanez, Yamaha. The guitar covers a fair ammount of ground with its diversity but it is what it is. If I'm playing stuff like SOD or GBH I'm more inclined to use the BCR or Yamaha SG... You know the score guys! Its a Strat style guitar. Honestly though, this is one of the most enjoyable purchases I have ever made. For 170 quid I can't believe this guitar, it really is great and loads of fun. If you are in the market for a Strat style guitar please check these out, its got bags of tone, a nice neck and its fun. I've picked this guitar up nearly every day since I bought it last september, I choose it over much more expensive stuff I own that just sits in cases around the house. Thinking of buying another one soon in a different color.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Yes, I've gigged with it, no problems. Its not up to a lot of tremolo abuse but as I mentioned I'm still working on that. I usually take a back up guitar as most people do but I would'nt be worried about taking this alone as long as the tremolo was'nt set to float, I mean, how hard is it to change a broken string?
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It came reasonably well set up, everything as it should be. Solid tuners, nice action, balanced pickups, etc. The neck on this guitar is excellent, very slim though so if you don't like slim necks, avoid! My only criticism is the tremolo unit. I'm still messing around with that to see if it is usable for Jeff Beck kind of stuff.
Features — 10
This is a Cinese made guitar that i bought new in 2010. It is solid top, basswood i believe and quite light to use. Strat style guitar with a twist, comes with a Burns Standard non-padded gig bag and allen keys. Here are the specs: Knife edge tremolo system. Bi-directional truss rod. 22 Frets. 3 Tri-Sonic single coil pick-ups. Front mounted jack socket. 5-Position selector switch. Neck and middle pick-up tone control. Bridge tone and push/pull pick-up control. 25.5" scale. Rosewood fingerboard. Guards Red Finish w/matching 'batwing' headstock. Mint green pickguard w/matching Switch and tremolo tips. All the hardware has 'Burns London' stamped on it )pickups, neck plate, tuners, tremolo) which I think is a very nice touch at this price. Based on the price this easily gets a 10!