The Fernandes company was established in 1969 in Japan. Its Burny brand was used for the Gibson replica guitars while the Fernandes brand was used for the Fender replica guitars. Fernandes initially made acoustic guitars and started making electric guitars around 1971 or 1972. The Burny Les Paul models first appeared in the mid-1970s. Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols has used Burny guitars as has Hideto Matsumoto from X Japan, Mike Clark of Suicidal Tendencies, Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Steve Hackett of Genesis, Billie Joe of Green Day and Duff McKagan in his side project Loaded. Andy Latimer of Camel also uses a flame top Burny Super Grade as his main Les Paul-style guitar. Chris Rockson of The Pyratz also uses Burny Les Pauls, including a rare Purple tiger finished Studio, with rare dot neck.
The original selling price in Japanese Yen is often included in the model number for example FLG-90 = 90000 Japanese Yen. The higher priced Burny electric guitars had VH-1 Gibson PAF style pickups installed from 1985 onward. The early VH-1 pickups, starting in 1983 (installed in Burnys from 1985 to 1987) are approximately 7.5 kΩ DC resistance, are handwound, and have alnico magnets. The VH-1 pickups from 1987 onward are approximately 8.2 kΩ DC resistance, have ceramic magnets, and are not wax potted.
The higher end Burny guitars have fret edge binding and most models were finished with a thin polyurethane finish with only a few high end models having nitrocellulose lacquer finishes. The FLG-240, FLG-150, FLG-90 Les Paul models and the FSA-80 Semi Acoustic model were made by Terada from 1980 to 1981. The RLG-150, RLG-120, and RLG-90 models were made by Matsumoku from 1982 to 1986. Some Burny guitars from the 70s and 80s had a tenon-and-dowel neck joint similar to what was used on some Greco guitars. Some Burny guitars from the 1980s had a Matsumoku bolt tenon that was also used on many Matsumoku-made Aria guitars.
The early Burny Les Paul models had a "Les Paul model" logo on the headstock, but that was changed to a "Super Grade model" logo in 1981. The FLG-XX Burny models were made from the mid-70s to the early 80s and the RLG-XX Burny models were made from the early 1980s onwards. Burny has made signature models such as the Randy Rhoads LC-70RR with VH-1 pickups and fret edge binding. Fernandes has also made acoustic guitars using the Fernandes and Burny brand names. Fernandes currently has guitars made in Japan, Korea and China. Fernandes does not have its own guitar manufacturing factories, and relies on OEM guitar manufacturers to make its guitars.
Fernandes has used many different factories to manufacture Burny guitars, including Terada in the mid to late 1970s (FLG models), Tōkai in the late 1970s (FLG models), Terada in the early 1980s (FLG models), Kasuga and Matsumoku from the early 1980s up until Matsumoko's demise in 1986 (RLG models), Dyna Gakki from 1986 to the early 1990s (RLG models), FujiGen from the early to mid 1990s (RLG models and the early 1990s LG75GR "Guns N' Roses" model), and currently Tokai. FujiGen were not making many set neck guitars in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Atlansia have supplied body and neck parts for Fernandes. Matsumoku, Santai and Dyna Gakki have also contributed to Fernandes training programs. Fernandes/Burny Japanese Acoustics up till 1982 were made by Hayashi Gakki and from 1982 by Headway. Chinese Burnys are currently made by Yako (Taiwan).
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- (in Japanese) Official Fernandes Japan site