unregistered, on june 22, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 40
Purchased from: pawn shop
Features: I do not know the year, as I tried to date it, but has no ink or imprint on the back of the headstock. Hamer.com says that is how you date your guitar, if you have any information about this please post it below so I can find out how old this is. It is a Gibson double cut away (not SG) style and smells like it is mahogany, but I was told that the imports are made of Asian mahogany, which is NOT the same. Bolt on neck, HH config, 2 volume 1 tone and 3 way selector at the end of the guitar, which is a bad place for this. It is SOLID though, which is rare for imports, which I am assuming this is. Wraparound compensated bridge, it is intonated pretty close, close enough to sound accurate. Tuners are a little loose, but keep the tune pretty well. // 5
Sound: This guitar has a finished neck, so if you are at all sweaty, the guitar plays kinda slow. Otherwise, the action is good, and there is little fret buzz. This guitar is heavy, but doesn't sustain well, I am still tweaking the guitar. It has a good middle-ground sound, not very bright, but not very dark. I do, however, prefer a fatter sound, which this just doesn't get. I am going to modify this to a string through body with TOM bridge and I will check the neck pocket as well, and I plan to fix the pickups to the body, as well as redo the pots to a traditional Gibson configuration. This guitar is a little muddy in the neck pu, so aftermarket pu's are in this axe's future. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: I can't comment about the factory set-up, I really don't know how this can be rated anyways. Everybody plays differently, and has different preferences. I grade on how well the guitar can be set up, with fret buzz, action, intonation taken as the mediums. There is very minor buzz at the lowest possible action, and intonation is very close with the compensated bridge. Transparent cherry finish, I bought it banged up, the previous owner did not take care of it. The finish is done excellent, and feels very hard, but doesn't feel like it adds too much weight. // 6
Reliability & Durability: The wood is what makes this guitar heavy, and it feels like you are playing something, and doesn't feel flimsy at all. This guitar will hold up to abuse (obviously, mine was acquired abused and still sounds fine.) Has nice strap buttons, they are not loose, and the strap, even my cheap one, has a hard time coming off. With a good strap(which you should gig with anyways) I am sure there is no need for modification. Hardware is good, but should be replaced if you would gig, and the finish is not going anywhere. I suspect this guitar to be at least 10 years old, and it will rock for 100 more. // 10
Overall Impression: I play hard rock/metal, and this guitar is right at home with me. I like the weight, and the feel. Tough as nails, as a guitar should be, and plays well. I don't like the pu selector placement, and I really don't like how these imports are marketed as prime tonewoods, but are really just a foreign relative. It should be illegal, but that is the nature of our media, to tell us what we want to hear, not the truth, and mislead you to pay for what you are not looking for. Other than that rant, I do like this guitar and look forward to someday aquiring one of Hamer's USA guitars. They are not too much compared to the big names. // 8
unregistered, on september 29, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 90
Purchased from: Ebay
Features: Hamer Slammer XP-1 Explorer style guitar. Finished inb Gloss black and glossy clearcoat on the neck. No idea of date (although it does have the serial number label still on it!) 22 Frets, one of the darkest Rosewood fingerboards I've ever come across on a heavily figured maple neck. Standard TOM style bridge and tailpiece. 25" scale length, 2 passive humbuckers, 2 vol and one tone pot plus the standard 3 way selector switch located on the horn a-la its Gibson daddy. Standard tuners, plastic nut... Mine came with the original gig bag! // 8
Sound: Its an Explorer and so it suited to Metal and rock. Anything from dirty overdriven tones to high gain metal crunch. It does not fail to impress in these departments. The bridge pickup is a screaming monster of a pup, while the neck pup is creamy and smooth. The dual volume pots mean you can have an exceeding amount of control over tone and I am impressed by both the harmonic response of the pickups and the dark tone it seems to exude. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The action has obviously been looked at by a professional at some point as its got a faultless action, although the intonation is a little out on the G and B strings, but nothing too serious that a screwdriver can't fix! The pickups had been bottomed out in the rings and required lifting... Again, nothing you can't do yourself. There is a n innovative feature on the TOM saddles where the strings are set deep inside the retaining block, effectively lowering the action further. I don't know if a luthier did this, but it seems to work well and there is a definate lack of string slap or noise when thrashing away. The plastic nut is a disappointment, but I will most likely swap it out for a brass or graphite nut to replace it. All in all the build quality is good and it feels like a "solid" guitar to me. The finish is pretty flawless. Hardly any marks except a little buckle rash on the back, but that's character! // 8
Reliability & Durability: I would trust this guitar playing live. The hardware seems like its lasted for the last 15-20 years and is in good condition, but that may be because this one has been well looked after. Strap buttons are large and well secured. The forward one is actually attached to the neck plate by the bolt holding the neck in. Seems to be a popular thing amongst some makers. I could probably get away with gigging without a backup with this, but it never hurts to have a spare! The finish is rock hard and I don't see it becoming damaged by playing (dropping it... that's different). // 8
Overall Impression: I play high gain Metal and have been playing for 20 years. I play through a rack system and gig numerous times a year. This guitar is a great match for my style and the 25" scale length is comfortable without being over-straining on the hands. I'd like to know where to get more info on this guitar, as it seems to be from the late 1990s when these were marketed by Hamer before Fender bought them.
If it were lost or stolen, I would be heartbroken. This thing is a fantastic axe, and intermediate players should definitely check it out as a backup instrument or even their primary instrument.
The cheap plastic nut is a real let down. After the bang you job they have done on the rest of the instrument, putting a plastic nut on there seems penny pinching to the extreme.
At the end of the day, I bought this because it was cheap and local to me and I always wanted an Explorer. Now I have it, I'm so impressed that I would definitely consider these in future as a cheap alternative to my main guitar, which is a home made Flying V. // 8