Flying Wedge

My Wedge

x Top x Back x Under
Tuned E~A~D~G


Fenton Weill(?) Flying Wedge

I liked the "different" body shape, I also like the single pickup that's by the bridge in kind of a Gibson / Gretsch Jnr. position, but mainly because I don't know who made it!? Teisco made a similar looking Bass they called "the Flying Wedge", similar, but this is not one. Eko made a Bass called "the Rocket", it's not one of those either. The headstock, bridge and tailpiece do look 1960's / 70's MiJ but I can't find anything that looks like this? I don't really know how old it is either, it could date from the 60's but it could, from the picture just as easily be post millennium? Country of origin, also a mystery, but maybe there will be more clues once it gets here?

It's here now, and there is not a lot of answers. The only thing about it that is marked is the pickup, and that is actually quite a pleasant surprise. It's a 2nd half of the 1960s Baldwin, (Gretsch), made DeArmond humbucker, (which on it's own, if it works, could be worth more than I paid for the Bass). From this first clue I looked at the Basses using this pickup at the time. I couldn't find anything that looked like this but it does appear that it also has a Baldwin Burns bridge. The neck has no headstock logo but it looks like a 70's Fender Jazz copy neck and I know that FugiGen made a number of basses with that kind of neck. Armed with this information and the fact that the body looks more home made that anything else all I can say is my bass is either an early prototype of the Burns Flyte, (highly unlikely), or some kind of "Frankenstein" made up from the remains of a 700 series Baldwin Burns, a MiJ neck and some original woodwork, (much more likely).

I have been looking further into the original Burns Guitars story and it's a right mess. At one point, I believe before the Baldwin Burns partnership, he had a partnership for a while with another Englishman named Henry Weill forming Burns Weill. after the partnership broke up Henry changed the name to Fenton Weill and made a number of Guitars and Basses over the next few years, initially using up old stock from the partnership, and then getting or making his own parts. What I have seen in this period was a number of instruments of a very similar standard to the body here (I still think the neck has nothing to do with Burns, Baldwin or even Weill but I have read that the Burns and Weill necks were notoriously poor with some not even having a truss rod! so replacing one would be no surprise) I have also found a number of Burns related Guitars and Basses using this type of tailpiece. Moving on past the demise of Baldwin UK firstly there was a big sell off of all of the Baldwin parts, (support for the home made option?) I have also seen Shergolds, (what Fenton Weill became), with single pickup bass designs and with control panels similar to the one on mine so there might be more than I first thought to the idea of some kind of Fenton Weill Prototype with a nod the the Steinberg bass designs?

I've tested it all out now and the pickup work well enough, (there is a bit of crackle but that is to be expected with this sort of vintage electrics), so that is good news. I'm still looking out for any more information on it and its history but until I know better I will call it a Fenton Weill Flying Wedge