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Are 1980 Kramer Guitars Any Good?

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  • Are 1980 Kramer Guitars Any Good?

    well?
    i have come to the conclusion that he is some form of god. no mere mortal has that many guitars/pedals/amp/anything. "It boggles my mind. His collection is the most glorious and true expression of GAS.To each his own though. Amazing collection of beauties. It takes some seriously messed up OCD to compile a collection like that.I hate BBreaker. Damn, I hate him.Suck it.We learned that bbreaker is some sort of god. A god of whine.fk this guy.
    __________________

  • #2
    You mean 1980 specifically or '80s in general? I'm assuming you're talking about post-aluminum neck era which was '70s I believe. I think the early '80s USA Kramers were pretty well-built. I always wanted a Baretta with that banana headstock.

    They later introduced the import Striker and Focus lines. I bought a Striker Baretta and it was crap. Plywood body, crappy electronics, non-locking Floyd Rose. My brother bought a Focus and that was actually pretty nice with solid woods, good electronics and a locking Floyd. At some point in the mid-late '80s I lost track of the Kramer line. They just had too many different product lines by then.
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    • #3
      Gee,BB, you live in NJ.I would have figured you were pretty familiar with Kramer or knew someone that worked for them in Neptune.There are sites out there dedicated to Kramers though I don't have a link offhand.

      I;m not sure offhand when Kramer changed the line from the metal neck guitars to more traditional designs.Would hve been circa 1980 or so.For a while there they were the hottest brand going.I actually thought some of the later production stuff was really nice like the neckthrough Stagemaster series.Whether they actually made them or just unloaded containers from ESP is a subject of some dispute.Anyway the 80s various "USA" models can be pretty nice for superstrat style instruments if you are into the whole Floyd Rose thing,though they made a lot of different models and its hard to generalise as there were changes over time.The import lines were the Focus and lower level Striker series and probably some other stuff as well.Coulkd you be more specific? Before they made a deal with FR the MIA stuff used various different tremolos and the earliest models had Fender type headstocks IIRC.
      "Now we're going to play a Cecil Taylor tune"-Fred "Sonic" Smith

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      • #4
        I am using a mid-80s kramer focus neck on my homemade guitar. I think it sucked when it was on the kramer, but I have gotten many compliments on the nice big frets and neck contour. I replaced virtually everyhting else on the Kramer it was on when it was whole, but I used it for possibly hundreds of gigs. It's all in what you're willing to deal with and compensate for, I guess. I'd buy another one, though.
        This space intentionally left blank

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        • #5
          I wanted to know what forumites thought of 80's Kramer guitars.
          I do know people that worked and managed at Kramer.
          They have interesting stories of mismanagement and imports that are passed off as Made In USA.
          Many of those USA neck throughs are ESP guitars with Kramer on the headstock.
          i have come to the conclusion that he is some form of god. no mere mortal has that many guitars/pedals/amp/anything. "It boggles my mind. His collection is the most glorious and true expression of GAS.To each his own though. Amazing collection of beauties. It takes some seriously messed up OCD to compile a collection like that.I hate BBreaker. Damn, I hate him.Suck it.We learned that bbreaker is some sort of god. A god of whine.fk this guy.
          __________________

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          • #6
            I have an '89 Striker ST-600 that I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the pickups on it but I think the rest of components are crap. I hate the 5-way selector because it's crapped out almost since the guitar was new. I also hate the Floyd Rose because the t-bar doesn't stay tight and literally clanks around in the fitting. The body is the non-countered type (no beveling) which just looks cheap and the finish has bubbled/cracked/chipped in a strange.

            As for the whole Made In USA thing, I think that they all say that on the truss rod covers even though it's not true.
            Nigel Hawkins

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            • #7
              I've always heard the US ones were great, and if you have spare parts the non us ones make good beater project guitars. I have one that I'm in the middle of restoring, a non us striker, and I really really dig the kramer necks.
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              • #8
                Gee,BB, you live in NJ.I would have figured you were pretty familiar with Kramer or knew someone that worked for them in Neptune.There are sites out there dedicated to Kramers though I don't have a link offhand.

                I;m not sure offhand when Kramer changed the line from the metal neck guitars to more traditional designs.Would hve been circa 1980 or so.For a while there they were the hottest brand going.I actually thought some of the later production stuff was really nice like the neckthrough Stagemaster series.Whether they actually made them or just unloaded containers from ESP is a subject of some dispute.Anyway the 80s various "USA" models can be pretty nice for superstrat style instruments if you are into the whole Floyd Rose thing,though they made a lot of different models and its hard to generalise as there were changes over time.The import lines were the Focus and lower level Striker series and probably some other stuff as well.Coulkd you be more specific? Before they made a deal with FR the MIA stuff used various different tremolos and the earliest models had Fender type headstocks IIRC.

                BB lives in NJ?

                ...

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                • #9
                  well people say 80s series are really good
                  Music has to breathe and sweat. You have to play it live

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                  • #10
                    I own an '83 Pacer Imperial with 2 HB's and an original Floyd Rose, in Tobacco Burst (body and neck very similar to a Strat), with a chicken-beak headstock. It was my #1 up until about 3 years ago. The build quality is generally excellent, and easily exceeded the quality of what Fender was putting out at the time.

                    My only 2 gripes were the pickup selector (a frail little thing that somehow never snapped off after 20+ years of playing and gigging), and a very unusually-designed input jack (which was flush to the body without any external screws, and near-impossible to tighten permanently once it gets loose). Other than that, I've had no problems at all with it...

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                    • #11
                      I've owned quite a few Foci and one Striker. The necks are great (on all of the above) but the Striker components are not good. Most of the Focus models are well built and have quality components--they were made by in Japan by ESP; the Strikers (and aerostars, if you're unlucky enough to own one) were made elsewhere. My Striker was Korean, and once you got past the fact that it was plywood and that the Floyd II should never have worn the "Floyd" name, the guitar was okay.

                      The Focus sported: an Original Floyd Rose, Alder body (most of 'em did, anyway), and a great neck. The early ones didn't even have the goofy headstock. Pickups were generally "powersound" (Kramer generic, but pretty high output), but I've seen a few with OEM Duncans. Someone stated before that Kramer often used whatever parts were lying around--so, sometimes you got lucky & your Kramer had better components thrown on there than it was spec'd out to have.

                      If you happen to be hunting for one of these on the bay or at pawn shops, make sure the OFR hasn't been replaced with a POS before you purchase. Foci often are purchased and then dismantled for the good parts, then reassembled and sold with crappy components...

                      Here's my Focus 3000 (with aftermarket SD JB):


                      The body is extremely comfortable and the Kramer necks must be played to be appreciated.
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                      • #12
                        Those focus necks, ahh nice. The thing is they're constructed like some Fenders ( my strat plus is similar) with a curved bottom thin fret board.

                        They play and feel great. I have a few
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                        • #13
                          If they were made in the USA before 1985 they are excellent. Ive heard that most of the ones that were "made in the USA" after 85-86 were actually imports as well. I own an 82 Pacer with the Rockinger tremelo unit and it is the best guitar Ive played. I love Kramer guitars!
                          My Gear:

                          2008 Gibson Les Paul Traditional
                          1990 Gibson Les Paul Studio
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                          • #14
                            If you want a Kramer, buy an Baretta, great guitars.

                            Beats the crap out of most modern Jacksons/Ibanez.


                            www.vintagekramer.com

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                            • #15
                              BB lives in NJ?

                              ...



                              Yeah.
                              i have come to the conclusion that he is some form of god. no mere mortal has that many guitars/pedals/amp/anything. "It boggles my mind. His collection is the most glorious and true expression of GAS.To each his own though. Amazing collection of beauties. It takes some seriously messed up OCD to compile a collection like that.I hate BBreaker. Damn, I hate him.Suck it.We learned that bbreaker is some sort of god. A god of whine.fk this guy.
                              __________________

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