2 August 2017
13 October 2017



Fernandes Guitars began in Japan in 1969 building Flamenco guitars. The company was founded in 1969 as Saito Musical Instruments and registered as FERNANDES in 1972. Mr. Saito asked Mr. Hidesato Shiino to develop the FERNANDES electric guitars line in the early 1970’s. As the company flourished, it expanded production to include more acoustic guitars, electric guitars, basses, amplifiers and accessories to become the biggest guitar manufacturer in Japan.

FERNANDES also owns a brand for Gibson replicas: BURNY. The first BURNYs were SG´s, Firebirds and Juniors/specials (1973). From 1973-74 (Traditional “Fernandes” Logo) to 1977 (Spaghetti “Fernandes” Logo) the Strats were produced by Kawai Gakki. The first BURNYs were produced by Terada.

In 1975, FERNANDES introduced copies of the Gibson Les Paul Standard and Custom. They utilized the solid mahogany back and 2 pieces top of the Gibson and closely matched the set-neck construction of the Gibson originals.

Probably, in 75-76, FERNANDES began to discuss with Tokai Gakki in order to start the OEM production. In 1978 FERNANDES started the new logo mark guitars, called Stone. From 1978 to 1981 (Stone Logo) the Strats were produced by Tokai. Tokai used very good wood materials for this OEM contract.


Mark Knopfler with a Fernandes Strat in 1982.

Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) with a Fernandes Native Pro guitar.

Steve Hackett (Genesis) demos his tone and technique secrets with a Fernandes-Burny les Paul

Mark Knopfler during the sessions for the 1982 album, Love over Gold by Dire Straits.

A young guitar player,  Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) with his “Blue” Fernandes Strat. Billie Joe Amstrong Official Site

Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) uses a Burny.

Guitar players who used FERNANDES/BURNY guitars.

Andy Latimer of Camel uses a flame top Burny Super Grade as his main Les Paul-style guitar. At late 80s the main guitar of Andy was a Burny Les Paul FLG240 ‘Super Grade’ Lemonburst Flametop with Seymour Duncan 59 pickups.

Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins): Used Fernandes Jazzmaster sunburst for the Adore and Machina albums. During the Adore years, with Chamberlin’s powerful drumming missing from band, Corgan branched out and played a Fernandes Decade Elite.

James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins): Used Fernandes Telecaster black with white pick-guard for the Adore album.

The Edge (U2): Uses a Fernandes Decade Elite for “Discothèque” and several other songs on the Pop album. Often uses a Fernandes Sustainer, when playing “With or Without You”.

Ed O’Brien (Radiohead): Uses a Fernandes Native Pro guitar.

Billie Joe Armstrong of American punk rock band Green Day had a Stratocaster since he was 11 named “Blue”, and has played it live for nearly every show he has played, near exclusively used for all songs in Eb tuning.

Steve Hackett (Genesis): Uses a Les Paul Black, a Les Paul Gold and a Burny Pink Strat.

Robert Fripp (King Crimson).

John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia): Used Fernandes basses throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In 1998 his main stage instrument was a white doubleneck with a 12-string electric guitar and bass.

Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Robert Smith, Ozzy Osbourne).

Neal Schon (Journey): Fernandes Sustainer & signature model.

Brad Gillis (Night Ranger): Used Fernandes signature model through the 1980s.

Kirk Hammett (Metallica): Used Fernandes guitars in the mid-1980s.

Mark Knopfler: Owns a blue strat that was used on the sessions for the 1982 album, Love over Gold by Dire Straits.

Steve Jones (Sex Pistols): Used a Fernandes Burny Les Paul Custom.

To be continued…

This is a compilation of information about FERNANDES/BURNY guitars collected from the internet (see at the bottom for references), revised and merged to provide an overall vision on the FERNANDES/BURNY brand. Many FERNANDES/BURNY guitars have been checked by us for more than a decade.. This is the Chapter VII…FERNANDES and BURNY (1969-1980).

Get free your Japtone T-shirt when you buy a guitar !!!. Ask for one of them !!!!


  1. tapani uotila says:

    I have fernandes bass guitar

  2. Money Mahoney says:

    the mid-80s Fender copies were incredible – still kicking myself for not buying some

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