aerosmithfan95, on march 07, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: eBay.com
Features: I bought this guitar in the midst of March 2012, so I had more than enough time to form an opinion on it. I bought it off of eBay.com in the range of $300-$350 (can't remember exact price) and I received a hard shell case along with it. Now, let's get started on the details of it. It's a made in Japan Kramer from roughly 1984. It has the "beak" headstock, so I know it's from 1983-1985 since they didn't use the "hockey stick" head until 1986. The shape is that of a Fender Strat, but a bit slimmer and the neck is a bit more comfortable in my hands. Some other things about the general appearance are that it has 22 fret maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and I assume an Alder body. It has some minor little scratches and marks here and there and it has this teal sort of finish to it.
The hardware are Schaller tuners and a HSS pick-up configuration. Along with that, it has 1 Volume and 2 Tone knobs wired like a Strat, a 5-way selector, and a little switch that splits the humbucker to get a single coil sound out of it. One last thing to note this guitar is that it has an Original Floyd Rose on it, which was standard on most of Kramer's guitars. The unique thing about this Floyd Rose is that it's mounted on top of the guitar like a Strat vibrato bridge. Overall, the guitar is in really great condition for being almost 30 years old. Besides some little scuff marks and scratches, it's a beauty and I'll rate it at a 10. // 10
Sound: Well, when I was looking for this guitar, I wanted something to add versatility to my sound. At the time, my other Epiphone Les Paul Standard and Epiphone Explorer (sold a few months back) both had humbuckers and I really wanted something with 2 single coils and a Floyd Rose.
For my musical style, I do 80s to modern rock and I can say that it does help out with my sound. To give you a perspective, think of Guns N Roses, The Police, Mr. Big, and Green Day as some big influences to how I sound. I play this guitar into a Marshall Vintage Modern 2266 head into a 1x15 speaker (my 4x12 is in my garage). AS for effects, I have a Boss Compressor, Super Chorus, Flanger, and Noise Suppressor as well as a Way Huge Green Rhino Overdrive pedal.
Testing it straight into the amp, it has a really nice sound to it. It can be a bit better, but I like it a lot. My only gripe about it is the fact that the single coils can be a bit noisy without the the aid of a noise suppressor and the humbucker can have a bit too much treble in it at times. Also, I raised the pickups a bit closer to the strings for a bit more volume, which worked, but they still aren't exactly what I'm looking for.
As for sounds, It can get you from a crisp and clean "blues" vibe back beat to a really nice crunchy and chunky rhythm. When I "boost" the signal for leads, that's were it really shines. It actually has a very nice sound for lead lines and it sounds like you're a guitarist from the 80s with it. Overall, I like the sound of it and I think it has a great sound to it. Even though it's not "perfect" to my ears, I still like it and I'll have to give a 7 for sound. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: When I received this guitar, it was set up great. The pickups, at the time when I got the guitar, were slightly lower then where I have them now. The action and intonation were great as well as the Floyd Rose. I adjusted the Floyd a bit so I can get it to raise the pitch a bit. And since then, I had to adjust the action and intonation a bit to compensate for moving the bridge. Overall, the guitar contained no flaws at all when I got it. Everything on it is in perfect working condition. I would have to rate it's overall set-up at a 9 since I had to adjust a bit to my own personal tastes. // 9
Reliability & Durability: In the last year, I managed to play this guitar a lot. In my opinion, I think that it can withstand a ton of live usage. The hardware on it is still in really great condition and I think it'll last much longer. I can really depend on it. The strap buttons are great and my strap never came off of it. I can definitely use this guitar as my only electric at a gig without worrying about needing a back up. The only time I think I would need a back-up for my Kramer would be if a string broke. Luckily, I only ever had one string break for me.
With the finish of the guitar and considering how often I play it, I'm not surprised that the finish hasn't worn. The finish is still perfect on it and it's not showing any signs of wear on it. If I was in situation of were I gigged every night, I still think it'll last. With the reliability and durability, I couldn't rate this guitar any lower than a 10. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, I am very impressed with this guitar. It fits my style of music and it can allow me to get different sounds for when I want to experiment with my sound.
I have been playing almost 5 years, so I am pretty proficient at guitar, but no means a master. Besides this, I currently own an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (first guitar I bought with my own money), a Fender CD-120 electro-acoustic, and some cheap Hondo acoustic that I picked up 4 years ago. Besides the gear I mentioned in the "Sound" section, I also have a retired Fender Frontman 212R and a Line 6 Spider 3.
If this guitar was stolen or lost, I'd be really irritated and I would definitely buy another one to replace it. I really love the feeling of it's neck, how comfortable it feels to play, how light it is, and it's sound.
The only thing that I really "hate" about this guitar is that the pickups are my "perfect" set for them. I would like to buy a new set of pickups for it. Particularly (all DiMarzio) a PAF Pro in the bridge, Area 58 (middle), and an Area 61 (neck) to give it a more "fuller" sound (and quieter single coils) to my ears. For the overall impression, I will have to give it a 10. The things that I love about this guitar completely outweigh the minor detail of the pickups. This guitar is perfect for me and I'm happy that I purchased it.
Video from YouTube: