Sometimes the biggest things come in the smallest packages.  That’s certainly the case with the Impact Bass.  Hamer started working with Kip Winger in 1989, creating the Impact Bass in collaboration with him. With such a small body style, the working name during the development phase was the “Compact Bass”.

The Impact bass was historically built with a solid mahogany body.  Kip initially specfied a white bass with grey bevels. The custom Impact Bass that we shipped to Kip in June 1989 was the trademark Copper color. 

The customer for this bass wanted none of that.  Rather, he requested a flame maple cap over the mahogany body with a cherry transparent finish.  One of our concerns was to maintain the maple cap with the beveled edges.  The customer agreed to beveling through the maple to the mahogany if need be.  We were able to execute the bevel without that occuring.

The 24 fret rosewood fingerboard on this instrument extends all the way to the end of the neck.  Yes, the customer requested a rosewood – rather than ebony – fingerboard but retained the Boomerang inlays. The tenon is hand fit into the neck route.

There’s still a good deal of carving to do to achieve the seamless blend between the neck and the body.

As with all Hamers, this neck was pitched by hand.

The blending process starts on the vertical sander.

Dave has penciled out the parameters of the blend that he is looking to achieve. 

Dave Brown starts the neck blending process.

Tools of the trade. Luthiery at its finest.

Here we’re grainfilling the mahogany back in preparation for spray.  Due to its hard dense nature, the maple neck does not require filling.

Gary Pirro brings some color to this beauty.

Once it has dried for two weeks it was time to finish sand and buff out the compact bass.

Todd is fitting the bass with EMG P/J pickups, just like the original.

Dave’s carving paid off.  Check out the transition from neck heel to body.

It may have a compact body but this Impact Bass has a hammer of a sound.


12 Responses to “Sledgehammer”


  2. Steve Haynie Says:

    Holy smokes! I love that Impact!

  3. Hamerica Says:

    This is what Hamer is all about. Custom Guitars for Rock Stars, Regional Players to the guy whose audicence is his living room. Hamer delivers time, after time, after time. Hamer makes an Impact – pun intended.

  4. specialk Says:

    Great stuff!
    You guys at Hamer keep outdoing yourselves and I don’t know how you do it.
    Great stuff!

  5. I want to thank all the artisans that made this possible. From idea to delivery, this process couldn’t have gone smoother. Hamer truely is a custom shop!!

  6. Very nicely done. Great to see this one featured on the blog!

  7. phil culleton Says:

    Beautiful work guys, always enjoy looking at the skill of other luthiers and your fine attention to detail

  8. I love the way the necks are done and how you blend those in. Just rocks.

  9. I was fortunate to have owned Kip’s two original Impact basses (the pearl white/grey one until last year) and they are pretty close to perfect as basses go. This one’s a beauty-true art!

  10. FiguredMaple Says:

    I’ve always wondered what this model would be like as a 12 string bass.

  11. That transparent red with flame or quilted top is my absolute favorite color on a guitar. I love it, I love it, I love it. A solid body electric six string with Floyd Rose and 24 to 27 frets and two Seymour Duncan P-100 noise cancelling pick ups or two humbuckers with three way on/on/on switches to get humbucker/ single/ parallel would be great. Hamer is the way to go.

  12. When we were told that we COULD have this bass, I was stoked. When it arrived, I nearly died. The craftsmen in the Hamer woodshop outdid themselves, and I cannot say how impressed I am with the commitment to excellence shown in their work.

    To be able to order such an instrument, have it built to such a standard and send it out to such a cool customer is what it’s all about.

    Hamer Rocks. Period.

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