Custom Collage

Throughout our history we at Hamer have learned much through the customization process. Many struggle with defining exactly what comprises a custom guitar.  We feel that pretty much every guitar that we build  is custom. Yes, we do have a line stock models; it’s the build process itself that renders the guitars custom.

We thought that we’d treat you to a collage of some of the guitars currently being started, in process and being completed. We’ll let you decide what is custom building and what is not.

Here’s a Korina Special in progress.  The double cutaway was our original production guitar body shape, introduced on our Sunburst Series. The Sunburst featured the Sustain Block bridge, a true Hamer innovation. We eventually moved away from the Sustain Block. However, ongoing custom requests led us to reintroduce it, most notably on the Talladega.

This Korina Special looks pretty custom built to us…but is it a custom guitar?

We also received custom requests for guitars with sound chambers. We adapted chambering to a number of models, such as this Newport Pro. We even began chambering our Standard with a honeycomb pattern.  Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, we receive custom orders for guitars without the sound chamber.

Here we are sanding the neck of the Newport Pro, a stock model.

Custom work?

We listened to our customers and decided to change our logos to be inlaid mother of pearl. We felt that it was a needed upgrade in the product line. However, some customers prefer that we use our original paint transfer logos placed in the position that we did at the beginning.

Here are some guitars nearing completion.

A simple Studio in cherry transparent.

The mohagany on this Newport is unique.

The Monacao Bass is part of our standard product offering but when we were building this one it it certainly seemed custom made to us.

While Hamer has predominantly been known for its guitars, some of our biggest innovations have been with basses.

There are a number of colors that were once considered custom and are now stock.

Blue Transaparent

Black Transparent

Tobacco Sunburst

On occassion we’ve turned down custom requests. While we try to remain consistent in our approach, there are varied reasons for such a decision.

At times we as a company were moving in a new direction and a customer wanted to hark back to guitars, or elements of guitars, that were not representative of that direction. Currently, we make every effort to accomodate such custom orders. 

Some requests involve us using a competitor’s trademarked features. Understandably we cannot undertake such work.

Sometimes we simply had not yet developed a way to deal with a given request. As a result, one day we couldn’t accomodate a given custom request and later, after we had developed a new process or procedure, we suddenly could.

Because they are so visible, artist guitars can present a real dilema. We have worked out arrangements with some artists to offer models that we jointly developed with them. Examples include the Steve Stevens and the Watson. With other artists no such agreement exists and so the instrument remains a signature guitar for the particular artist. On still other occassions, we have an agreement for one artist model, but not another. Examples of this are Glenn Tipton’s Phantom GT versus Glenn’s current more radical guitar and the Rick Nielsen model that we introduced in 1998 versus Rick’s five necks and checkerboard finishes.

We well know that with customs and customization lines get blurred and mistakes can be made; it seems to be the nature of the work. We’re doing our best to remain consistent and error free. To all of you, thanks for your support.

7 Responses to “Custom Collage”

  1. Bob Yarbray Says:

    Mistakes? …I haven’t seen one! If it says Hamer USA on the headstock, it’d be a mistake to pass it by.

  2. The pinnacle of the Art of guitar building.
    A small group of modern day “John D’Agelico’s” under one New Hartford roof.
    Building the best there is.

  3. Any possibility you guys at Hamer could try and ask Glenn Tipton if he would consider an addendum to your contract with him and see if he would allow you to build his pointy “Hamer GT” for customers? I have been wanting one of them since they first appeared back around 1990. Maybe at this point in his career he might be open to the possibility of letting his fans get their hands on one. It’s only a compliment to him so I don’t understand why he would still be apposed to it. Thanks

  4. I have a few brands I love but I’m a Fan For Life right here.

    Life IS Good!

  5. Love the Korina Special! Perhaps it’s time to find the funds for a Koa Special, if Hamer would consider building one (again).

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and there families at Hamer!

  7. Jody Johnson Says:

    I have in my possesion what I believe to be the last handmade guitar from Hamer in early 1980? never seen another like it except Rick Nielson played one simulal on AustinCityLimits. Its a standard explorer but without the hockeystick peghead. Serial numbers dont match Hamer customshop #’s It was bought at DJ’s music downtown Chicago and salesman told us it was the last of the handmade Hamer sent to the store. If there’s any expert’s out there that can enlighten me on this guitar it would be greatly appreciated. Joliet JodyJohnsonJr

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