1970s Burny BJ-60 Slope Dreadnought Guitar

For starters, I'm just going to say that this is a great guitar -- period. It's got its own vibe but clearly apes the '60s J-45 look to a T and even handles like one, in its own way. The Burny brand was related to Fernandes and this was built in Japan in the mid-'70s.

That said, it's completely bonkers as well. It's built like a classical guitar maker (because the neck joint is a Spanish heel and cannot be reset without huge fuss) copied and improved '70s Gibson double-X-bracing (say, from a '70s J-45 Deluxe), beautifully reproduced the proportions and look of a J-45 slope-shoulder body, and then plopped-on the 25 3/8" Martin or Epiphone Texan-style scale length. It's a weird mix of features that results in a Gibson-sounding guitar but one of indeterminate style. It's crispy and punchy in the mids like a '50s J-45/J-50 but has a bit more snap and high-end "sing" like a J-35 of Texan.

A customer bought this guitar for himself and shipped it here for work before he picked it up. I was assuming I could reset the neck and have it spot-on for him, but unfortunately in this case the neck angle can't be adjusted in the traditional manner and would have required "slipping" the heel on the back to change the angle. Because it was only a little off, we decided to shave the bridge a bit instead. Oh no! The horrors! It plays great, has saddle room, and will be good to go for many decades. Fear not...

I wish I had gotten a video of it because it does sound really good. I'm a fan of double-X-bracing and it's nice to see it implemented so well. The lower ("second") X-pattern is lighter-weight and thinner like tonebar stock so while the top is stiffened, it's not damped and has remained pretty flat despite its age.

If you're reading this and thinking: "Oh that Jake is so silly, I'm sure the neck joint isn't a Spanish heel design! I can reset it like normal!" -- here's a pic of the top where I removed the fretboard extension just to double-check that I wasn't crazy with what I saw under the hood:

My exploratory little trench confirmed that, indeed, the neck and block are one piece (well, two piece -- neck and block/heel are glued together in a stack).