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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever tried to recreate this finish?

I’m aware of Vai’s recollection of how it was done. I’m aware of Scot Schwestska’s account of it. My question is just whether anyone has tried to replicate it, or knows of someone who has.

Both accounts agree that Bruno was once a regular multicolour Universe. Interestingly, Bruno is front-routed. This is inconsistent with regular multicolour Universes. Nothing to be read into that, just an observation.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ibanez tried to replicate it in 2015, there are no photos publicly available of any of the attempts that I’ve seen
Oh, wow, I never knew that!
It would have been an incredible run if they’d been able to do it.

I have seen or read in an interview with Steve that “all attempts to recreate this finish have been unsuccessful”. This must have been what he was referring to.

The original was a color combination sample- notice the blue on the back which didn’t make it to the UVMC.
Oh, that’s interesting.
The red/blue looked to me like they were applied after the burn but then I watched that video of the 777DY barbecue, and so much of that yellow survived despite the hardcore scorching it got!

Kyle, thanks so much. This was great info!

Don.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
That is stunning! It looks like an extremely oneoffish sort of finish. It reminds me of a slab of granite. I know we are talking about recreating the finish... Which even if you know how it was done could still be a daunting task. I am curious to see if anyone even knows the process because that seems to be vastly different than any dip style finish I've ever seen.
There are at least two accounts of how it was done but, by his own admission, Steve says he can’t recall what the true story is. He says he thinks he remembers taking a blowtorch and wire brush to a regular MC (it was not a regular MC as it was front routed - see above). Burning wood and following up with a wire brush is an ancient Japanese art known as Shou Sugi Ban. Steve was into it. It can be seen on the Root Beer and BSB Jems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s probably not the case but it sometimes seems to me like there’s something floral under there, rather than swirled.

And the way a section is broken away to the wood is similar to a patch on an old BFP I used to have. It’s the way the laquer cracks over the paper and then the paper tears, exposing the wood.

Here’s a 360 video of Bruno.


Grey Military camouflage Beige Camouflage Plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm kinda surprised someone on here hasn't sacrificed an MKR to attempt a Bruno-esque clone by now. Maybe @Zoot could whip one up from scratch one weekend if he had a 7 string body around he wouldn't mind torching.
There must be a failed swirl somewhere in the ranks, ready to take a torch in the name of research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
it has a clear coat. it’s stated somewhere on the website. Obviously if it didn’t it would have smelled like burnt guitar, the paint would have continued peeling, would have smelled up the studio & clothes etc.

i worked/interned for Steve & co for a few years in high school before going to college. no other insider info however about this guitar other than being an avid jem/UV fan for around 10 years at this point.
That’s amazing. Great experience, you’re a lucky guy.

Once you wire brush everything, you could stabilise the remainder with several products.
Clear coat does make sense. This guy does a great job and takes the clear back from gloss to matte with steel wool and minwax. I think this is the approach I would take.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Somebody burned this 7 string prestige but it’s pretty tame compared to Bruno. Sealed with matte clear coat, too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
We posted some additional info on Bruno on the site: Vai.com - The Official Steve Vai Website
However, a more detailed description will surface at some point as this is a fan favorite. Steve used it partly during the last EU tour for "Zeus in Chains". Initially Bruno was supposed to be the backup for the Mirror Ball Universe, but for the first part of the tour, Steve preferred using Bruno, as the Mirror Ball is sonically somewhat more challenging. This will be adjusted for the US leg though. I have to double check, but I believe Bruno will recieve new frets in the next few weeks or so.
Oh, thank you!

I heard him play it on that tour.
Really an incredible sounding guitar.
That experience made me hunt down a UV of my own, which I just got this week :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
If I choose to do something similar to my UV, I'm not going to do so with the goal of achieving a 100% replica.
For one thing, mine is a "green dot" (a nice one, too) :)

The mirror pickguard, pups and knobs would be the same.
I'd get the paint finish as close to the spirit of Bruno as possible.
Obviously no pyramid inlays.
I also couldn't bring myself to burn the back of a beautiful early UV neck, and its the only thing I don't love about Bruno.

So, a Bruno tribute, for sure, but not a replica.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
The guitar Thomas McRocklin is using in The Audience Is Listening is not a PMC prototype. It's a front-routed 6-string body swirled by Darren, and was a color test for the original swirls. Some good news: The guitar did not disappear. It's now owned by the Hard Rock Cafe - most recently on display next to the bar in Bangkok. It has "Jem Proto 1" stamped in the back of the headstock.

Here's a pic:
View attachment 20394 View attachment 20395
This is great info, thank you!

So this echoes what Kyle said earlier in the thread about Bruno being a colour sample.
It seems that, for colour samples, Ibanez must have sent regular front-routed bodies to Darren and this explains why Bruno is front routed.

edit: I just realised you’re the legendary “Mikey” everyone mentions. From what I gather you work or have worked with Steve? Great to get insider info. Thanks, again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Though Steve recalls burning Bruno, he did not. It's likely he's thinking of "Cowgirl" his Performance guitar from the DLR tour, which he fire-treated as he had done on the wood panelling in Stucco Blue. Cowgirl's finish was emulated on the Root Beer Jems, of course. Steve's fascination with burning guitars later appeared again in the form of the Jem BSB.
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Adding a pic of Cowgirl here for reference
 
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