1968 Baldwin Virginian
1968 Baldwin Virginian
This is a super rare guitar! The Baldwin/Burns Virginian Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar. This particular model was made in 1968 in London, England, serial #17414.
Featuring a natural polyester finish, a laminated mahogany body, a flamed sycamore top, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard.
James Ormston Burns was considered the Leo Fender of the U.K. and built superior instruments.
The Virginian is one of the scarcer Burns guitars, and one of the most distinctive-in both looks and sound-of this eccentric but always interesting line. Introduced at the beginning of 1965, this was just about Jim Burns' final design for the company that bore his name until September of that year, when Baldwin took over the operation. The model was in production until the late '60's, but many of the features were changed in mid-1966 when Baldwin 'standardized' the line.
While appearing initially to be an amplified flat top round-hole acoustic, the Virginian is really a fully electric semi-hollow guitar with a laminated mahogany body and flamed sycamore top.
The two "Bar-O-Matik" pickups are mated to the patented fully adjustable floating spring-tensioned "Rezo-Tube" bridge, used without a vibrato only on this model. The "full-scroll" headstock neck is shared with the "Marvin" guitar, although the Virginian has a slightly shorter scale. The unusual three-knob "density' tone circuit was one of Jim Burns' latest creations at the time, consisting of a stacked "Bar-O-Matik" neck pickup with a blendable second coil combined with a single-coil at the bridge.
The heavily braced cutaway mahogany body was called the "Controlled Resonance" design, developed from the slightly earlier "GB65" but here with a larger center block to accommodate the Rezo-Tupe unit.
Jim Burns himself was extremely proud of this instrument, which was completely unlike most guitars in existence in 1965.
Despite its hybrid and somewhat whimsically eccentric appearance the guitar handles very well and the sound is extremely bright and clear for a full-size hollow instrument. Baldwin had some slight success marketing the Virginian through their Nashville operation (which was tied in with Sho-Bud) but the Virginian remains a singular creation that inspires a reaction-at least a raised eyebrow-from just about every player that sees it!
The overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim.
Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.)
Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.)
This guitar has the typical heavy finish checking common on the typical period Baldwin/Burns instrument, along with some dings that are visible in the pictures. The guitar also has the initials M and T etched into the fingerboard at the 16th and 18th frets. None of which hurt playability. The tuning keys had been upgraded to Grover tuners.
A great player and a very unusual but functional guitar. Unique sounding pickups. Good - Condition. With original style Baldwin case included.
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