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Burns Bison

British guitar builder Jim Burns outdid himself (and pretty much every other guitar company) in 1961 with the release of the Burns Bison, which has been called “Britain’s supreme moment of 1960s guitar engineering.” Built for only two years (1961 and ’62), the Bison was handcrafted with no less than four pickups and a “horned” body style that actually looked menacing. Unfortunately for Burns, the Bison was too far ahead of its time and carried a stratospheric price tag of 157 pounds (an imported Fender Strat was actually less expensive at 148 pounds). Supposedly, only about 50 of these 4-pickup guitars were ever made before Burns simplified the design and dropped one pickup. Still, the Bison must be considered to be one of the finest British guitars ever produced. Bonus factoid: Baldwin, the company that bought Gretsch, also purchased Burns in 1967.

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