Strings for Burns Legend

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Strings for Burns Legend

Postby jgoatcher » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:05 pm

I have a Burns Legend which is currently fitted with Newtone Electric Masters 11-52 strings ( Im ashamed to say fitted 3years ago) and not surprisingly sounding a bit tired.
I was considering fitting a set of Elixir Nanoweb ( or the new Optiweb) 11-49 which I fitted to one of my Strats nearly two years ago and which still sound pretty bright.
My go to strings in the past have always been D'darrio or Newtone, but I was wondering if the Elixirs would provide the right Burnsey tone.
Has anyone any experience of them on a Burns? I always go for 11's. Or does it make any d.... difference!!
John
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Re: Strings for Burns Legend

Postby Iain Purdon » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:22 pm

Would the Shadows' Marvin guitars in 1964 have been fitted with round or flat wound strings?

I ask because the Burns bass John Rostill used had flatwounds at the time he was using it (later owners changed that) and Barry Gibson supplied the Rostill reissue bass with flatwound strings, which you certainly need to get John's signature sound.
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Re: Strings for Burns Legend

Postby anniv 63 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:27 pm

Personally I have found the Burns Vistasonic 11-49 gauge very good and long lasting.
Think these are still made by Newtone and are pure nickel with a fairly bright tone.
Leosden Direct are the main supplier of these.

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Re: Strings for Burns Legend

Postby jgoatcher » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:08 pm

Hi Iain, you may remember the guitar Im referrring to - weve played together several times at Watford and W arwick.
I dont think the original Burns Marvin or the Legend were ever fitted with flat wound strings. In fact I seem to remember from an interview with Hank that he did not like flat wound strings and never used them on Strats or Burns. I have always been happy with Newtone on the Burns because (a) they are pure nickel, and (b) they can provide a wound 3rd. My reservation with Elixir is that I dont think they do a wound 3rd which I feel is quite important for the Burns sound, maybe less important on the Strat particularly for the later sound.
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Re: Strings for Burns Legend

Postby flingelbunt » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:12 pm

I also have a Burns Legend (Marvin) which has what appears to be a lot of original Marvin parts on it. The sound of this guitar is incredibly close to the sound of the original Marvin and can be heard on the Burns tracks on our Bungleflint- Deja Vu album which we released some years ago. I think the Burns sound is 'nailed' on tracks such as 'Zambezi' and 'Chatanooga Choo-Choo'. I have always used Elixir 11-49's on my Legend and 10-46's on my Strat and found them to be superb both tonally and for longevity.
Part of the sound is no doubt due to the 'Rezo-Matic' pickups which were made by Jim Cairns for the Legend. I personally prefer to use an unwound third string and when I have tried a wound third, it has always sounded comparatively dead to me. Just my opinion you understand, but is based on live performances with this set-up.
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Re: Strings for Burns Legend

Postby jgoatcher » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:25 pm

Interesting Maurice. I have played a wound 3rd for over 50 years because A, i always thought that was what was used originally, and b , the tone of a wound string is not so strident as a plain one. Indeed when you play a number such as The Windjammer ( Played well up the neck with I believe all three pickups) the wound 3rd seems to get the right sound. Do you Agree? And What was the string on the original Burns, because I seem to recall that plain 3rds were not very common then.
As you will see from my previous posts , I have gone against my established inclinations by using a plain 3rd on my Strat in a Elixir set and have been quite pleased with the results , though more so on modern numbers rather than early Shads tunes. I have actually used those Burns strings but found they didnt last very long and I found the Newtones superior. I have to say the plain 3rd is much easier to bend.
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Re: Strings for Burns Legend

Postby flingelbunt » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:01 pm

Hi John. It's true that back when the Marvins were first made, they would probably have a wound 3rd fitted. However, I prefer to have the luxury of being able to bend the 3rd string instead of the wound 3rd. I also think that when Jim Cairns made the pickups he may well have made allowance for the 3rd string being a plain string by changing the magnet height-(I don't know this for certain, but there are so many possibilities who really knows?) My advice is to go with whatever you feel happy with and just enjoy making the music!. I also remember when I first began playing guitar (around 1847....), I always found that a wound third went dead quicker than most- just an observation you understand.[/i][/i][/i]
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