|Baldwin/Burns Vibraslim Bass
Made in England. This is dated to sometime in 1966, after the era of pickguard-mounted roller wheel controls but before
the introduction of Italian bodies and other outsourced parts. Essentially, this is a Burns Vibraslim with a different logo
on the pickguard; all the parts are U.K. made and it has all the interesting quirky Burns features: the “gearbox” truss rod
system, Rezo-Tube bridge, James O. Burns pickups, zero fret and modified scroll-style headstock. The neckplate also lists
all the design patents for the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and U.S.A., reflecting the major markets for Burns
instruments. It is 100% original, only missing the plastic bridge insert piece that fits behind and around the metal parts.
This is a huge-bodied bass, measuring 16 ½” across the widest part of the lower bout! The neck has a slight “V” shape that
is unusual and reminiscent of the “V” necks on some Fenders. The pickups are not very hot; the tonal quality is great from
both but this bass requires higher volume settings on the amp than most other basses, recent or vintage. This bass has seen
a lot of hard knocks to the body and has some significant cracks in both the finish and wood but seems stable in general.
This bass has very low action and a delicate feel and sound. I have to be careful not to push the G string off the
fingerboard when bending. It seems to naturally fit in best with acoustic or jazz styles as the notes “pop” and then decay
fairly fast, much like a semiacoustic jazz box guitar. It is unlike any bass I currently own or have played in the past,
making it challenging to describe. I would say it is more acoustic in tone than electric, and definitely not suited for
“modern” sounds unless tweaked with extensive drive, compression or other processing.