Archive for December, 2010

Setting the Standard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 21, 2010 by hamerblog

For over 30 years Hamer has been setting the standard in electric guitars.  Over the years we have refined our earliest models while introducing many new ones.  Our first model was the Hamer Standard.  It has remained our flagship ever since.

Some may speculate that our glory years are behind us. Ohers may be misinformed as to our history. We look at Hamer as a continuum, learning and moving forward while remaining true to our heritage. 

This Standard epitomizes that philosophy and is very much like the original, a bound body with a dot unbound neck. A primary difference is that rather than bonding an eastern curly maple veneer to the body we use a massive big leaf (western) flame maple cap; we view this as an improvement.

What a phenomenal top.

We’ve also upgraded our wiring, paying as much attention to those parts of the guitar that you can’t see as those that are visible.

Quite a few years ago we changed pickups from DiMarzio to Seymour Duncan.  While we have collaborated with both companies to voice pickups specifically for Hamer, we have left the winding to them – it’s what they do best.

We like to show off our tight neck joints.  Our luthiery remains unsurpassed.

As our production is limited, we have the luxury of using only the highest grade Honduras mahogany. It has to be wide enough for a one piece Standard body.  We’re discriminating in our choice of woods –  just like you.

In the late 1970s we made a decision to change from Grover Rotomatics to Schaller machine heads.  Like Schaller, Grover has a storied history.  However, Schaller continues to manufacture their tuning gears in Germany, as they have all along. Sadly, neither Helmut nor Rene Schaller are still with us.

The logo on this Standard is like the originals, a paint transfer at the tip of the headstock.

Setting the standard with simple understated elegance brought to you with the highest level of craftsmanship. This Standard is ready to rock.

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Brand New Classics for a Modern World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 3, 2010 by hamerblog

While there’s been lots of fun along the way, what we most enjoy doing is designing and building guitars. On occassion our love for our craft truly shines through. It warms the heart to be recognized as doing something special. Here we are featuring two guitars we completed this week. Both are siblings to the original models within their family. Both have earned respect in their own right.

Newport Pro: We’ve been building the Newport for over ten years now. It was in February 2000 that Guitar Player magazine put the original Newport through its paces in one of their bench tests. The Newport did very well in the ratings game, earning an Editor’s Pick award with five picks (the highest rating) in all six rating categories: Tone, Playability, Workmanship, Hardware, Vibe and Value.

By the time the Bench Test was printed we had already introduced the Newport Pro, an adaptation of the Newport but with two significant changes. The original Newport was fitted with Phat Cat single coil pickups. On the Pro we replaced the Phat Cats with Seth Lover humbuckers. We also replaced the Bigsby tremolo found on the  Newport with a Tonepros tailpiece.

Much, however, remained the same. We retained the spruce top and mahogany back and sides, the 24 3/4″ scale length and fingerboard appointments, the twin f-holes, the interior sound chambers and the electronics.

After three separate levelings, Todd Gencarella buffs out the guitar, also a three stage process.

The real deal.

First time, every time. Despite our thin finishes, we take pride in seeing our guitars go through the first time – no errors or rework.

Time to install those Seymour Dunan Seth Lover pickups.

All done by hand in the Hamer Guitars workshop.

We use AAA Stika spruce for the tops on the Newports. This is the same high quality spruce as is found on the best acoustic guitars. The difference is that we have to find billets that are two inches thick so that they can be resawn and bookmatched. Sourcing fine woods has long been a challenge that we have embraced.

Another view.

While we have employed a number of different systems, the jack cups that we currently mount on the side of the guitar are the most functional to date.

The Newport Pro has certainly earned its place in the Newport family.

A family with a rich and deserving heritage.

Korina Junior:  Following a long Hamer lineage, the Junior is Special indeed.

The magazines raved over the original Special: “the Special’s combination of raw good looks, functional design and superb sound make it a truly exceptional instrument.”  On the Junior we lightened up the Special by using Korina (African Limba) rather than our typical Honduras mahogany.

A Tonepros wrap around bridge took the place of a Tune-O-Matic and Stop Tail piece from our original Special.

The Junior has a single dog ear P-90 with a tortoise shell pickguard rather than the two P-90s on the Special.

Truly clean Korina has become increasingly difficult to find.

However, we’ve always found character in each piece wood. It individualizes the guitar for the player.

We don’t make guitars like they used to. We don’t even make them like we used to. We make them better.