View Full Version : greco and burny LP's
05-21-2005, 02:47 PM
After all the info download, I wandered around town and got to play a Burny 80's LP, which was significantly better than any Gibson or modern Epiphone I'd yet played in the price range. But the used shops are pricing pretty high, so I'm turning to ebay.
So in the search for a 80's burny/greco/tokai LP market, a few questions:
Is there significant difference between the burny and the greco output?
How much better are the Greco Mint Collection and Super Real models than the straightforward models? Aesthetic or tonal? (I pretty much don't give a crap about how it looks, but I need that insanely deep tone I find in certain old Gibsons and that one Burny I played.
Where's the serial number on a Burny? Somebody mentioned the possiblity of crap copies coming with Burny headstocks, and to check the serial #. No serial # on the headstock of the Burny I saw. Is it inside?
05-21-2005, 07:55 PM
That's a bit of a problem with Burnys, many don't have any serial numbers. I just got a late 70's Burny goldtop from Japan and it did have a number which is apparently the exception rather than the rule.
I don't know how to help you in spotting a fake but I do know that the stock Burny VH-1 pickups sound phenomenal. Good luck with your search!
05-22-2005, 10:27 AM
Mark is very familiar with these guitars, and can fill you in on the good vs bad ones to buy or avoid.
05-23-2005, 06:25 PM
Who's this mark kane dude? can't find him in the username database.
05-23-2005, 06:37 PM
He should drop into the thread shortly.
05-23-2005, 07:34 PM
I like the Greco, post '80 super real models the best. They have a long tenon and generally seem more "substantial" to me. You can find a great individual guitar with any of them but the super real narrows the odds for you. I think the mint collection is the same thing only later. Things to look for are one piece necks, one piece backs, two piece tops without veneer, ABR-1 style bridges, two screw trussrod covers and the ones with binding over the fret edges are generally higher end models. The very best Japanese guitars IMO are the late model tokai LS320's. They are more expesive than the others but totally worth it in quality of wood, finish and workmanship.
05-23-2005, 11:19 PM
Here's a great resource on dates and serial numbers of Japanese guitars:
I recently bought an Orville Les Paul from ebay.
Amazingly good condition, we're talking NO fret-wear what-so-ever. I got really lucky. It was a little on the pricey side, but worth every penny. Long tennon, perfect fret work, great neck, a real looker in excellent condition. Guitar dates to 1988. If it wasn't for the "Orville" on the headstock you wouldn't be able to distinguish it from a real Gibson Les Paul Standard... also, Gibson's of the same era started using the shorter tennon and drilling weight relief holes.. the "higher-end" Japanese models seem not to employee such cost cutting measures.
Hit or miss with the pickups, I had to replace mine. They just weren't cutting it, somewhat dull and lacking. I put in some Seth Lovers, guitar just kills.. so close to that Gary Moore sound I love so much. You might also need to replace the pots and do a setup.
Tokai, Burny, Greco, and Orville.. keep you eyes open, there's a couple ebay sellers that specialize in bringing these guitars over.. the quality is usually reflected in the price. There are some sellers that ship from Japan, personally I don't think its worth the extra costs, there are plenty great guitars already here. Just be very careful not to get a Korean made version, do your research.
This one looks ineteresting:
05-25-2005, 12:32 PM
I have had a few Japanese LP's. Two Epiphone Japan, one Edwards and one Burny.
The Epis and the Edwards were new guitars. The Epiphones were very good but had very bad pups, (think Korean Epiphones) but after a change - no problem. The Edwards came with stock Seymour Duncans but the neck was huge and I don't like that so I only kept it for a week. Otherwise a very fine guitar.
The Burny was a white (yellowed) old Custom. It sounded wonderful but was very heavy and the neck was warped (still very playable though). I sold it later due to the weight but I kept the pickups and I actually have them installed in my Gibson LP Std!
If I were to recommend a Japanese LP I think I would go with one of the higher end Edwards. They don't have the baseball bat neck and have laquered tops.
Used; as high as you can find in model range. Tokai, Burny or Greco.
Orville By Gibson is another choice, they came with Gibson pickups and otherwise built as an American LP, save for the way they often install frets in Japan.
05-25-2005, 12:53 PM
The regular Orvilles are also built to Gibson spec, but they do not have Gibson hardware. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had to swap the pups.. the originals not so good.
05-25-2005, 05:01 PM
I 've owned a dozen or so Jap LP's . Mine are , or were, all lefties so my choice is a bit more limited than yours but these are my findings : I liked the Greco's better than the burny's. If you look on the Japanese websites you'll find the Burny's bring the least amout of money, there may be a few exceptions to this. I love the Tokai LP's from Japan, you can buy them brand new all day long from Ishabishi. The LS90F I just got I paid $850.00 shipped for. The orvilles are a good choice . I just got a OBG- Orville by Gibson LP Custom. Here's what my $1100.00 got me, long tenon, fat neck, Gibson 57 Pups and the best part, Jumbo frets. I have one guy in Japan that I have been buying from for the last 5 years. Be careful, a few of the Jap dealers are bullshit. Headstock decals are as easy to get as they are here. And most Americans would not know the difference because they have nothing to compare them to. The "dealers" know you're not gonna pay the 250.00 round trip shipping if you're unhappy. If you can't find one in the states, go to Yahoo Japan Auctions. This is where most of the "dealers " get theirs from to begin with.
05-25-2005, 05:38 PM
I was shopping for a good quality low-priced Paul alternative, knock around guitar.
I picked up a "Les Paul Elitist" Florentine Epiphone. Keep in mind" The "Elite" is a Japanese made Les Paul, sanctioned by Gibson, and the quality is as good as the Orville's, if not better. It appears some people (this guitar came from a Guitar Center through E-bay no-less) are trying to use this confusion to sell lesser guitars for more cash. I wanted an LP for my shop, and with new pickups the Korean guitar I got will do the job, but the true Elite Epiphones are apparently the better ones of the lot. My Japanese dealer has one in transit to me, so I'm looking forward to it. The pics sure look sweet !
05-25-2005, 06:07 PM
What dealers have you used before?
05-25-2005, 06:27 PM
Gibson Florentine = partial hollow body with f-hole in a Les Paul shape. The Epi Elite Florentine is probably a killer guitar.
Regarding your comment about Elite vs Orville:
My understanding is a lot of these guitars came out of the FujiGen Gakki plant. Gibson partnered with Orville to make Orville by Gibson for the Japanese market, which eventually became Epiphone Japan, then they made them use Epi headstock. I'm not sure if this became Epiphone Elite... but current Japan market Epi's are not made at the Fuji plant..
Ibanez, Greco and Burny also came out of this plant.
Personally I think it more risky to go the Epi Elite route.. who knows if you'll end up with a Korean made one, I can't find any good info on determining build location or dates on the internet. I'd look for a serial numbered Greco, Burny, Tokai or Orville... oh and avoid any serial numbers that come one stickers.
05-25-2005, 06:43 PM
Yes the serial #'s on stickers usually indicate Korean guitars. To be really safe with the Greco's and Burnys, I don't buy anything after 1989. Orvilles and Orvilles By Gibson again I like the early ones but will buy them up to 1995. And never anything without a serial number, I don't care what anyone says. You can buy brand new Burnys with correct headstocks-- and they suck. They also don't have any serial #'s and are usually sold on ebay by the Jap dealers as " early 90's " Gibson themselves in a rare quote on the Gibson Japan website , says the last year for Orville Production was 1997. I have an Orville by Gibson catalog that I can post if someone wants to try their hand at translating.
05-28-2005, 08:28 AM
Another thought for those of you living in the USA.
They are Japan made. But, sold here in the states.
They are not exact replicas. Because they are sold here in the states.
But, they are very well made guitars.
I own two now. here's a couple pics of each.
I've had the 59Q for almost 3 years now.
Only thing I did was swap the pickups out.
Didn't care for the Gotoh pickups.
The guitar is holding up great. No issues.
Great sound. (with the carvin H22n/C22b combo)
I just recently won the 58 (used) from ebay.
Very nice guitar.
Has a stock neck pickup (sounds good in this guitar for some reason).
Air Norton in the bridge.
I have to get it in to my tech yet to do a complete setup and cut the nut to accept 11's. 9's on there right now. Way to thin for me.
Couple of key features.
Honduran mahogany instead of African mahogany (most Japan LPs).
Acrylic lacquer instead of Poly.
Tusq nut instead of plastic.
Sealed tuners instead of Kluson clones.
Medium neck tenon. (extends all the way to neck pickup cavity. But, doesn't have the tongue going into bottom of cavity like a Historic. Still more surface contact than a Gibson production LP.)
Inlay work in impeccable. No glue or filler around edges. Very tight fit.
This is an issue (though only cosmetic) with many other Japan
replicas. Fuji Gen (Burny, Orville, Greco, Epiphone, etc..) .
Some Edwards. They route the inlay pocket to large, then have to fill around the inlay. Just can really ruin the look of a otherwise very nice guitar. Yeah, you can dye the board to hide the fill a little better.
Anyways, I'm quite happy.
The Diodatis are a great alternative.
Do the LP thing for me just fine.
They are made in small batchs each year.
You deal with Pete Diodati direct.
Worth looking into.
05-28-2005, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by mikeyp123
headstock. I'm not sure if this became Epiphone Elite... but current Japan market Epi's are not made at the Fuji plant..
I thought the Elitists (Elites) solid bodies were Fuji Gen.
It was the semi hollows and acoustics that were Terada made.
Though it is quite possible Gibson made the switch already from Fugi, since it is rumored Fuji will stop making other brand guitars by '06.
I believe they still plan on making their own Fuji and Greco brands though.
08-22-2006, 02:16 AM
some info....gathered from 7 years of owning over 300 japanese 80's guitars...
08-22-2006, 11:01 AM
Villager knows his shit, he's on every forum there is . He makes a living selling these guitars to the Americans. Now if you could just get the pound to trade even with the yen you could retire.
08-22-2006, 12:15 PM
hehe thanks for the compliment whitehall...
I wish I could make a proper living selling guitars...its decent pocket money ..thats about it ..its just a hobby thats out of control ...lol
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