Uh,oh! I Bought Another Odd GFS Closeout Body!

bgmacaw

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I've been considering another build of some sort and I happened to be perusing the GFS site and noticed this Burns Bison 66-ish body in their closeout section. After some consideration, I decided to order it although the weird body cavity might present some challenges. I don't think I'd be able to find a "Rez-O-Tube vibrato unit" to fit in there. I guess I'll fill it in and use some kind of top-load bridge. If you have some ideas on what to do in this area, other than fill it in, let me know.

I won't be putting Burn type pickups in it. To use something I have on hand, it will probably be a pair or trio of mini-humbuckers. For that, I obviously will need to rout some. I also have some nice Strat style single coils available if I decide to go that direction.

For the pickguard, I'll custom cut some birch plywood. As for the color to repaint it, I'm thinking about a Dupli-Color MetalCast in either purple or orange copper. I'm not sure if I'll do the pickguard the same color or something else.

As for the neck, I'm not sure yet. I don't think I'll be able to find a 24.5" scale neck at a good price. So, since I have a lot of space at the end for bridge and pickup placement adjustment, I might go with a 25.5" neck. I had good luck with a KMise neck on another build so I'll have to see what's available now.

I'll post updates as the project progresses...

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bgmacaw

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The body came in today. As is typical with these closeout bodies it was scuffed up a bit and parts were discolored. There weren't any noticeable dents in it. I'll sand it down before applying a new paint job. I'm still undecided on the paint to use. The MetalCast may not work so well since it's intended for automotive chrome. I'm still considering a purple color of some type though.

The body weighed in at 4 pound and 4 ounces. Due to the existing paint it's hard to tell what wood it is. I'll be filling in the massive trem area.

Based on the measuring I did, a 25.5" scale neck should fit well. Based on the bridge placement screw holes, it looks like whatever company did these had intended it for this scale neck, not the original Bison 24.5" scale.

Hardware-wise, I'm considering going with a black wraparound bridge and 3x3 black tuners I have on hand.

I'm probably going to go with a PRS-ish KMise neck. See mock-up below, as is and with a quick Photoshopped purple paint job.

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bgmacaw

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The KMise neck came in today. I had to try it on the body to see how it fit and it fits quite well. You can also see the filler block of wood I'm most likely going to use to fill in the massive trem hole. I haven't glued the block in yet since I want to wait for the bridge I'm going to use to arrive. I decided against the wrap around bridge above in favor of a Hipshot style bridge. I think it will work better.

The neck is quite good. The fret work checks out pretty good with no obvious problems at this stage. The edges are decently smooth and a quick check didn't reveal any uneven frets. It has a light satin finish on it. The plastic nut is pretty generic and might as well be unslotted since the cuts are so shallow. I'll probably replace it.

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I ended up changing my mind about the Burns style pickups and ordered a set from Guitar Madness. They came in earlier this week. I decided to go for the Brian May wiring with them since I've got the space for it and I'm going to have to cut a custom pickguard anyway.

Here's the pickup next to a standard Strat style pickup. You can see how much larger the Burns style is from the Strat style.

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Repoman

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A lot of their bodies are made of Paulownia. I never bought into 'tone wood' debate but I bought a 50 dollar Paulownia body from them a long time ago, swapped everything over from a Classic Vibe (with a pine body) and my impression immediately was that the guitar sounded noticeably better with the Paulownia body. Maybe I was imagining things though...it at least made me think about the possibility that there was at least something to the tonewood thing. 🤔
 

Timbresmith1

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Burns pickups are done of the best I’ve ever used. If those reissues are clise, I’m gonna want some.
I think Gilmour used a Burns on some of “Dark Side”…
 

Repoman

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Mar 23, 2021
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Burns pickups are done of the best I’ve ever used. If those reissues are clise, I’m gonna want some.
I think Gilmour used a Burns on some of “Dark Side”…
IIRC the current Trisonics have a traditional plastic bobbin around a single bar magnet. The originals had an "air coil" which was a coil of copper wire wrapped in lacquer or epoxied paper/fabric sitting around 2 bar magnets.
 

dean

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Mar 17, 2003
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Twin Cities, Minnesota
I just picked up a couple closeout bodies from GFS, and I’m wondering how they’ll turn out. One was a paulownia Strat body, and the other was a Les Paul-style body (set neck). The LP body was a mess! Mud all over, water stains, grime and grunge - but after cleaning it up, it turned out to be very nice and not particularly heavy. Total for the two bodies was about $55.

Your project looks like a good one! Keep us informed.
 




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