Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: Ebay
Features: From what I can gather this guitar was one of the earlier DMZ 1000 models made in 1979, this model is in the slimmer shape and made of Maple wood with a very nice grain Pattern in the middle, making 5 stripes much like a surfboard. This guitar is American made and was named the DMZ series due to its use of DiMarzio humbuckers, with the typical 3 way switch and two volume, two tone control knobs.
What really got me interested in this guitar was, and still is the ALUMINUM neck, but mainly Kramer's T neck design where the back of the neck has wood in it to give it a more natural feel, it is also a bolt on. Along with the "unconventional" neck with "tuning fork" headstock, comes the very peculiar "roller nut" which is to reduce friction and tension (read on a Kramer fan site). The bridge also is a very nice minimal, yet perfectly designed wrap around bridge, which I have seen modded into Floyd roses fairly simply, if that's your thing. The Kramer DMZ also came with Stock Schaller Tuners. Stays well in tune, and I'm not afraid to tune up a step with it either. // 10
Sound: What got me interested int his guitar was trying to enter the aluminum neck world like that of Duane Dennison, Die Kreuzen, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Keith Levene, Arab On Radar, Present Day Melvins, and a few others. The Music I play in a band setting is extremely atonal and accompanied by sloppy dirges; Rowland s Howard in a sludge band. The music I play at home ranges, some jazz, minimal John Fahey inspired stuff, black metal, Can inspired stuff, etc. This guitar does it all extremely well.
The Pickups are smooth sounding and even a bit Jazzy, but also very capable of handling all the overdrive I pile on it. Its the cleanest palette I need to put mounds of effects through my signal, great stock pickups. Most importantly though the neck provides amazing sustain, and I love the sound of it on clean as there is a slight bounce and jangle to it, the sound of metal on metal bouncing. The harmonics are amazing as well, can pretty much do Big Black's "passing Complexion" with it.
With this guitar I typically use my Sunn concert lead-> electro harmonix poly chorus-> Fender Blender blender -> Boss bass overdrive pedal -> MXR Blue Box -> frequency analyzer, and a few others if I really want to get weird, and all of these work well together and perfectly in control with my Kramer, it never becomes an uncontrollable hissing hell. And for my slide it works wonders of sustain and weirdness. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: Seeing as how I got this used, it came set up perfectly. With aluminum neck guitars, you pretty much never need to set up the truss rod, as there isn't one. It was set up at the right height. One of the tone knobs is a bit scratchy and I needed to replace the input jack but overall, its great. One last important detail here would be that this guitar is pretty heavy. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Externally, you will never have a problem with this guitar, I had some problem with the input jack, but apart from that its been great. Another plus is the strap is under the arm, so you pretty much never have a problem of it coming off. I have gigged with it many a time, and have had no problems, I've never needed a backup. This guitar is a survivor and has survived the worst crowds and thrashing possible, I once fell with it, and sure enough not a scratch, but the same was not for me. // 10
Overall Impression: This guitar is my counterpart to my Fender Cyclone II and my floating bridge equipped DiMarzio super 2 equipped Hofner Colorama III. It does and plays what the others cant, or are not suited for. I have been flaying for about five years now, and definitely happy I've stuck with it. If it were stolen I'd looked for another, but unfortunately they are not as easy to come by, or I'd save up for an electrical guitar company custom version. I love the Sustain and the crunch, but I hate the lack of a pickguard, superficial and dumb, but that is all I really have a against it, I hate pickguards, and I love floating bridges. // 9