Cobra Review

manufacturer: Burns date: 03/21/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Burns: Cobra
The perfect combination of affordability and quality. The Burns Cobra includes many of the features found on higher-priced Burns models including the Tri-Sonic pickups, the push-pull pickup selection system, and the bi-directional truss rod-all for a price that is simply unbeatable.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (1) 11 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Cobra Reviewed by: Shannock, on september 10, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 180

Purchased from: Micromusic Liverpool

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Cobra Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 21, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 170

Purchased from: Ebay Store

Features: 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! // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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? // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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