Assault 220 Review

manufacturer: Kramer date: 04/08/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Kramer: Assault 220
This is definitely a good guitar for everything from metal to pop, and everything in between - like punk and blues. Especially considering it's price.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.7
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.1 
 Users rating:
 7.9 
 Votes:
 35 
reviews (3) pictures (4) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
Assault 220 Reviewed by: pmprcv, on december 23, 2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 289

Features: The guitar is Kramer Assault 220 FR black w/ red binding. From top to bottom: -> New Kramer headstock (black), with new Kramer logo (white), red binding -> Mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard -> 24 frets, 25.5" scale, 14" radius (feels like Ibanez's wizard necks) -> Red binding and red thorn inlays -> Set (glued in) neck -> Mahogany body with red binding, gloss finish -> Les Paul style body (single-cutaway) -> H-H passive pickup config (cool detail in how each of the single coil pickup of the humbucker in of a different colour than the other; from neck to bridge, they go like this: black, red, then red, black) -> Floyd Rose style bridge -> Volume knob, 3-way selector switch, tone knob with coil split (pull it out and it will turn the humbuckers into single coils) -> Volume bleed For more info. // 8

Sound: I play mostly metal, rock and punk, but I sometimes also play blues, jazz, bossa nova, pop, and other styles. It is very good for my heavier sounds - good sustain and warmth, and if I want a brighter, thinner sound, I can pop the coil tap for a more strat-like sound. Very good versatility, this guitar can pull a fat growl, and messing with all the 6 different configurations (between 3-way selector and coil tap), you can get some different sounds. However, this only holds true when playing with zero to medium distortion, because when I play heavier rock or metal, the coil tap does not feel like it's affecting the sound at all. I use it through a Peavey Vypyr 75, with the Sanpera I pedal. I use only the built-in effects and distortion. It has very little, almost none fret buzz ( in a scale of one to 10, I'd say it has 0,6 fret buzz) and it's practically negligible. However, it appears to have a lot of fret buzz from factory (nothing a good set-up won't fix) but all in all, it sounds very good. I have played it with some friend that had other guitars and I could compare it to active EMG pickus guitars, and I've got to say, it stood up very well indeed. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Like I said, the guitar's set-up was a bit off, with fret buzz in the E and A string, but al other strings were fine. Medium action, not as low as I would want it, but if I already had fret buzz like that, I won't lower it even more. The neck pickup was perfectly adjusted, but the bridge pickup is a bit off. Nothing noticeable from more than 20 cm away, but still, under closer inspection, it was a few milimetres up from where it should be. The bridge sits perfectly where it is supposed to, and all other functional parts work properly. The FR is also very responsive: in a friend's Ibanez Edge III bridge, you have to pull it almost all the way down to notice any wham, while in this guitar's FR, the slightest touch in the bar is instantly noticeable. This can be a bad thing. I found, however, a few aesthetical flaws in it: the headstock had a 1 mm radius dent; the neck's angle is about 0.5 degrees off; and the glood finish ends abruptly 2/11 ths up the neck, only to restart again in the headstock. All in all, some things could be improved, but nothing noticeable or nothing that affects the guitar's performance. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I haven't played it live yet (well only if you count jamming with my friends), but I have had playing sessions of more than 5 hours, and it holds pretty well. Because of the FR, it needs 10 seconds fine-tuning every other hour, and I would imagine more if you abuse the FR (which I don't), but other than that, it's fine. The hardware seems, for some reason, a bit more frail than my other guitar, but if you don't go around throwing the guitar to the walls, it will surely last long. I probably wouldn't use it in a gig without a backup, but that's because I'm obsessive compulsive, lol. The strap buttons are probably solid, but still, I swapped them for straploks, again, because I'm paranoid about that kind of stuff. The finish in the body and headstock seems perfect, but the neck is wearing out very fast. However, I applied fret cleaner to it, and it revived pretty fast. The guitar, being black, gets a lot of fingerprints on it, I'm afraid. // 8

Overall Impression: This is definitely a good guitar for everything from metal to pop, and everything in between - like punk and blues. Especially considering it's price. I mean, are you kidding me?! Guitars with inferior quality than this are sold at 350+ ! For the amount of extras this guitar has (FR, great looks, coil tap, volume bleed mod) and for the sound it produces, A more reasonable price would be like 450. But it's not, and I think this was a great buy. I have been playing for more than 3 years now, and up untill now, I only had a low-level Ibanez starter guitar, so this was definitely a step forward. However, beware of the FR: it's not the est out there, and if you are unsure, you should just buy the fixed bridge version. If it was stolen... I don't know if I'd buy it again, but I probably would. I will probably mod it - either active pickups or something DiMarzio. Other than that, it's already perfect for me. One of the thing I live about it is it's mad looks. It's a killer sexy guitar! One thing I hate... It's bigger than the Standard guitar dimension. I have a rigid guitar in which I can fit my other guitar easily, but this one needs some twists and spins to fit in there. I don't know why or what exactly it is, but it is bigger than it should. All in all, a very good guitar, especially if you want versatility, 24 frets with a great access neck, FR and all the cool things this guitar has. If you are in a tight budget, or even if you aren't and you just want a great guitar, I would strongly recommend this. // 8

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overall: 9.2
Assault 220 Reviewed by: fizikohemicar, on april 18, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 275

Purchased from: Control Sound

Features: Its made in Indonesia in 2011. It have 25.5" scale, 24 medium jumbo frets, slim and wide neck profile (Ibanez like profile, only much better), rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body (LP style) and neck (which is set neck), and mine is with NO floyd rose (string thru and TOM bridge) in Copper metallic colour, with 2 humbucker passive pickups, one volume pot, one tone put (with push-pull for coil tap) and 3-way toggle switch. It came with cable. // 10

Sound: Its good for all music styles, although its made for rock and metal. It have higher output pickups so crunchy and high gain distortions sound very good, as well as cleans. Stock pickups are pretty good, and as I said they can be tapped with tone push-pull pot. I use it on 40 watt transistor amp with Boss OD-1, Daphon Heavy Metal Dist, Coron Wah and Zoom G1XN processor, and it sounds awesome! I have also tried it with guitar software (Guitar Rig 5 Pro and AmpliTube 3) and its amazing what this baby can do! It's very versatile! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory setup was exellent! It came with 10-56 string on it, and I have changed it with 9-56 Ernie Ball Hybrids, so I had to do setup again, and it was piece of cake. Pickup height was right, and there were no production flaws, except one. Bridge pickup was not tapped (nothing that Soldier iron can't fix) Guitar is very lightweight, so I think they used lightweight mahogany to make it. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Strap buttons are ok, and guitar is wery well built so I would use it on stage with no backup. // 10

Overall Impression: It suits great for my music style (classic rock, all metal genres, even blues and funk). I play guitar for almost 13 years, and I had several guitars before this one, and played many many others in price range from 50 euros to 1000 euros, and my opinion is that price/quality ratio for this guitar is at the highest level! My favourite feature on it is coil tap, 'cause its much more versatile with it than the guitar with 2 hums and no coil tap. // 9

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overall: 7.4
Assault 220 Reviewed by: Nezdrav, on april 08, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 249

Purchased from: thomann

Features: - Made 2013 in Indonesia.
- It has 24 frets, on a 25.5 Scale (a little fatter than an Ibanez Wizard II neck), rosewood fretboard.
- It's Laminated Maple top, but, frankly I don't know if 
- Redburst body, matte black finished neck. Black small tuners, black knobs and a black Tune-O-Matic bridge, more precisely a Recessed Tune-O-Matic bridge (as seen on www.thomann.de)
- It's a Mahogany Body and Supposedly a Mahogany Neck.
- Flamed Maple top.
- LP Style only tinner and figured from the back
- Tune-O-Matic bridge on a string-thru body.
Passive Electronics.
- 1 Volume, 1 Tone with Coil tap for Neck pickup.
- Alnico V 2 humbuckers
- Non Locking mini tuners

// 7

Sound: I play mostly progressive hard rock, classic rock, jazz, and blues. I use a Line 6 POD XT Live, so as a simulator I play various amps as far as they are believed to be true to the sound of the real amp. Frankly I expected it to be noisier, but it turned out to be pretty descent. So I play a preset I found in the Line 6 data base, named Steve Lukather, a pretty close one that he plays on "Live in Amsterdam." Spiced up with a little more drive and a little more treble. The sound I have to say is a little louder than my Ibanez with stock Powersound H-S-H pickups, and with a bit of punch.

All in all, I like the sound. It suites me, playing a sound that is more on the mids (don't like bassy or treblish sounds). Having a coil tap on neck PU comes in handy if you have a habit of using it. Being my first coil tapped guitar, I constantly forget that function. But the sound is quite good, so you can use it for playing almost anything as long as you're looking for a humbucker sound. I would say it's quite versatile. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box, the action was HIGH. It came with 9-something strings, but i changed them for 10-46. A quick 2 screw - fix lowered the action to my liking. I expected some fret buzz, but to my surprise there was none when i reached my kind of string action. The neck PU was slightly lower than supposed to. 

As for the flaws: I have to understand that this is a low budget guitar, and no it's not a mid range. So here we go. Being a string-thru-body guitar, the top ferrules are falling off. My suggestion fix that before your next string change, or you might lose them. The holes don't look all the same, so buying a new set of ferrules is out of the question-you have to fix the ones you own. It has push-on metal knobs (no screw on the side) and my volume knob was loose (the plastic part was not holding on the metal part, so it just spins in circles). And the switch was slightly loose. I think that this is the only model that doesn't have binding. I noticed on the pictures on the internet that there is a pale stripe that goes all over the front edge of the body (kinda grayish) and thought that it's a camera flash reflection or something, but found the same stripe on my guitar. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I've had this guitar for a week now. Still testing it at home. Playing it for days, feels sturdy. The hardware, besides the ferrules and the knob, feels solid too. I use locking strap, but want to buy a set of locking strap buttons, and a new strap. So far I haven't touched the electronics at all, no funny sounds while using the controls so it feels dependable. I have a gig in a few days, and I'm planing to go with this one, no backup, just spare strings. No complains about the finish. This is my first guitar that isn't totally black. // 7

Overall Impression: As I said, I play progressive rock, hard rock, jazz and blues so humbucking sound is a default in these styles, so, yes, it matches my playing. I play for 18 years and had my share of equipment testing. Own a few things, not much. Not having a proper venue for live gigging, my equipment is enough. I have to find a small amp because I like traveling lite, so it's just for monitoring and a little bit more sound modeling and put a mic in front and it will do just fine.

It would have been nice to see the guitar before buying it, but that was the price for online ordering. No matter, besides the minor flaws, I would consider this to be a pretty descent guitar. I also wanted to get the chance to try the Assault Plus, being a more expensive guitar to feel the differences for my self.

If it were stolen, I wouldn't buy it again, 'cause I bought it because I was low on cash, and I don't think I have cash for anything else. Generally I love it. I bought it for live gigging, because I needed this type of guitar. No tremolo, fast string change, very descent PUps, always wanted a LP, but never liked the 24. 7 scale. And this one is a 25. 5 scale LP. Got used to the Wizard II neck, so this one gives me a natural feeling, just a little fatter. Found it online, read a few forums about it, wanted it - GOT IT. So spare me the "you could have bought this or that or whatever". There is one problem tho... I bought a standard LP hardcase. The Kramer fits in it but it's a bit tight. The headstock has a spike that makes the fit in the case a bit crampy. As you push it in the case, you will hear the strings are going sharp. So in my opinion, something is happening to the neck, as if it bends a bit, while you try to put it in the case, and being a low budget guitar, it kinda gives me a bad feeling. Compared it with a few things on the web, but as I said:read about it, wanted it, GOT IT - no regrets. // 9

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