Focus VT111S Review

manufacturer: Kramer date: 11/16/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Kramer: Focus VT111S
The Kramer Focus VT-111S is the most affordable, professional electric guitar available today. With a slim-taper hard maple neck, 21-fret rosewood fingerboard, vintage 6-screw tremolo system and 3 single-coil pickups, you get great sound, fast action, and years of reliable performance.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 7.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 6.9 
 Votes:
 35 
reviews (7) pictures (8) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: Carlson2000, on december 23, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: - Hard maple neck - Slim-taper neck profile - Bolt-on construction - Laminated nato/alder body - Single-coil neck pickup - Single-coil middle pickup - Single-coil bridge pickup - 5-way pickup selector - One master volume control - Two tones controls - Vintage style tremolo bridge - Covered machine heads - PVC nut - Nut width 1.68" - 21 nickel/steel frets - Straight string pull headstock - String tree between "E" and "B" flat - 21 fret, rosewood fingerboard - F/B radius 12" - Scale length 25.5" - PVC dots F/B inlay // 10

Sound: When I got this, I had a reallly dodgy amp, which was about 40 years old at least, and it still sounded great on that. It had quite a bit of hum, but that was due to the crappy amp. I recently got a MG15DFX, and it just sounds great with it. No hum at all, apart from a little bit on full distortion but you expect that. Sounds great on clean and distortion, and I also recently got new pickups for it, the 442 Quad Booster Pack (adds 2 Dual-Rail pickups and one Quad-Rail pickup). And it makes it sound, so much better. I bought it for the same price as the guitar actually, because the guitar was so cheap, and yet it still sounded great. So all good on the sound front. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Can't see any flaws with this guitar, everything was how it should be. It has a nice glossy finish, and I haven't given it any scratches or dents yet, and I thrash my guitar not only when I'm playing it. The only slight flaw is the pickup selector. It isn't fastened onto anything (the little white plastic bit) so a simple bit of blu-tac will sort you out fine. Thats about the only one I can think of. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar itself to me will last quite a while. I've only played this one live a few times, But it withstood it pretty well. The finish hasnt worn off, as I said above, and I would definitely depend on it, but I would never use just one guitar in a gig, I woiuld always have a backup. But If I weren't so clumsly, I would definitely use it without one. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a great, inexpensive, good sounding guitar. Don't go for those cheapo Stagg - Strat copies, they are a waste of time. This blows them out of the water. I've been playing for 4 and 1/2 years, and I play a wide variety of music - punk, ska, rock, metal, thrash etc. This guitar seems to suit them all. The only thing I would have asked with this, is does it come with a gig bag, which it didn't, because I really need one. Also, my other guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, and I must say it is a close match for which guitar I'd prefer to play. If it were stolen or lost, I would buy another one straight away, because it is so cheap and good. It is definitely the best cheap-mid range guitar that I've tested out. I just love the guitar itself, it is my idol. The only thing I wish it had, was a few stickers to go on the bodywork, so I didn't have to buy extra ones. // 10

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overall: 8.2
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: JBTheLefty, on november 16, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Local Pawn Shop

Features: - Metallic Red Finish - Black Pickguard - Strat Style Body - 1 Volume Knob, 2 Tone Knobs - Rosewood Fretboard - 21 Frets - 5-Way Selector Switch - Covered Tuners - 3 Single-Coil Pickups - Strat-style tremolo system, string-thru All in all, I don't know much about this guitar, despite having it for about 6 months. It looks pretty nice, except for the headstock (the color just kind of sticks out, and not in a good way) The Strap buttons hold up well, and the single coil pickups get a good sound for the price. I have a left handed model, and it is usually hard for me to find a nice guitar that fits my expectations on the feel of it. This guitar is great for its price. Originally, it was $150, but after I traded in my right handed Peavey Raptor, I got the price down to $50. Mine came without a whammy bar, but that's okay. // 9

Sound: I play a LOT of Nirvana style stuff, (I'm left-handed) and I say that this guitar puts out that sound that Cobain used pretty well. I play through a 30 Watt Peavey NanoValve Amp (For now, I'm looking into getting something much bigger), and the sound isn't the best, but this is just the limitations of the amp itself. I've played through other amps at school and at my friends house, and it makes a big difference. The pickups each have a great sound, but my favorite is the neck pickup. It gets a really good sound for jazz. If you're looking for a good distortion sound, this guitar pushes out some nice tones for its price. Overall, this guitar gets a good sound. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought this guitar, I didn't really care much for the action. I play whatever I'm given, so the action is not perfect, but it's not too high either. The finish looks great, but can chip if enough friction is generated. The pickup selector is a bit noisy, but I can work with it. The pickups were fine when I got it. The knobs are stable, and do not shake around. This was a well-made guitar. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Funny story, I learned how durable this guitar is accidentally. I was participating in my school's talent show, and when I was standing backstage, my guitar strap gave way, and my guitar hit the concrete floor. I freaked out quickly, and I looked to see if anything had happened. To my surprise, the only things that had happened were a chip had formed on the lower cutaway of the guitar, and the guitar came out of tune. Nothing broke, the neck stayed in place, all it needed was a good tuning. A few minutes later, I plugged it back in, and the sound was just as good as before. This guitar will stand live playing, but I would take a backup, just for more stable tuning. This guitar has trouble staying in tune, but it's not a surprise, as there's not a locking nut. The strap buttons are solid, and they have held up nicely. The hardware, save the tuners, is very reliable, and I enjoy it greatly. If you want to change this guitar in any way, start with the tuners. Then you will have a great guitar. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar meets all my expectations, and it plays well. Very well. I wish the whammy bar came with it, but it's fine that it didn't. If it was stolen, I'd probably go out and find another one just like it. It is comfortable, versatile, and it looks really cool. The tuners are the only thing that I hate about this guitar, but that's an easy fix. Overall, it's a great beginner's guitar, and it's also great for anyone else who may desire a backup guitar for playing in concert. I recommend it. // 8

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overall: 9.6
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 09, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 183

Purchased from: eBay

Features: What can I say about the features on this guitar? As far as Strat copies go there are very few variations in the features. Bolt on neck and rosewood fret board. The body is made of alder and has 1 volume and 2 tone knobs and a 5 way selector. For the price of the guitar you couldn't ask for much more. // 10

Sound: Even thought Kramer's slogan is "made to rock hard" you won't get a whole lot of distortion out of this guitar. I also own an Epiphone SG and play both through a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal. The SG gets oodles more distortion. If you play mostly metal etc. Then you may find this guitar lacking. When played clean or with a litle distortion however the guitar is perfect. With the 5-way selector and 2 tone knobs you'll be able to get the sound you are looking for and keeps in tune for an eternity. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This is where the guitar excells for the money. The guitar was set up perfectly. The action was nice and low and had absolutely no fret buzz. It's amazing how easy this guitar is to play. If you're after a good, cheap first guitar then look no further. It will get you through you're first tender years with few problems and you'll look the part too. The finish is a darkish metallic red and black pick guard with chrome coloured hardware. There are few guitars around that have the metallic finish. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've had the guitar for nearly 18 months and it hasn't let me down yet. It looks just as good as the day I got it and it's been knocked over when it has been leaning against a wall countless times. I've never even broken a string on it. Compared to my SG where I broke one inside the first week. I've never gigged with this guitar but I've seen no evidence that it wouldn't last. The only annoyance with this guitar is that the cable jack becomes loose quite easily but is threaded so it can be tightened back up. // 10

Overall Impression: For anyone thinking about starting to learn guitar I would strongly recommend this one. It's one of the cheapest on the market but certainly doesn't play that way. I recently bought an Epi SG but still pick this guitar up purely because it is easier to play and sounds brilliant played clean. So despite the lack of heavy distortion you can get through this guitar, if it were lost or stolen I would certainly consider getting another. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 17, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This guitar seems to suit most types of music, including blues, and Santana (which I love), but it all depends on what you run it thrrough. The pickups are "designed in the USA" singles, and have incredibly good output. There is a very distictive difference between the pickups, as far as tone and such, unlike squire strats, which sound the same no matter what pickup. I play AC/DC, Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and most metal, and this beginner's guitar is not exactly the best for more heavy stuff. If you want a real meaty rock/metal tone, do what I did and get the pickup "booster pack" from Musicyo as well, it'll make it sound better, and will only cost about as much as the focus. It sounds better than all of my friends' guitars, and all they have are custom strats and Ibanezes w/humbuckers, but the dual rails and quad rails in the booster pack top that five-fold. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Ordering this from online, I expected a bad/no set up. Using the very helpful instructions from the seller (musicyo.com), I found it was very fun and very easy to set up. the action is super low (about 1 or 2 mm), and absoulutely no fret buzz! thats amazing! The frets are very well mounted and well, fretted. The hardware is all good, the trem (Vintage 6-screw) is actually one of the best I've played so far. The tone/volume knobs are slightly tilted, but it's only noticeable when viewed sideways, and dosent seem to affect anything. My major/only problem was the neck, where its mounted at the body, it seemed to be sanded a little too-well, and looked a bit worn, no big though, I'm not picky. The neck still fit the cavity good, and the finish on the rosewood f/b is superbly awesome, which is probably the only "Vintage" thing about this guitar, if its supposed to be a remake of a classic '80s Kramer. Kinda looks like an old '85 Pacer Deluxe, save the floyd. I'll be sure to upgrade it so that maybe it'll be like one soon enough. // 8

Overall Impression: For the music I play, its pretty good, just need to put new parts in this incredibly cheap axe to make it truly reminiscent of an '80s Kramer. The quality, however, is not cheap. If it were lost or stolen, there would be a brief 10 minute period of grief, and then I would move on and buy probably another Kramer, from Musicyo. They're awesome, Tenessee to Northern Virginia in just 2 days with reasonably priced fedex, whoa. I've contacted them with some questions about my axe, and they replied in about a day or 2. If you wanna get a beginner electric guitar after playing acoustic for a few years, want one thats the best quality possible, all without breaking the bank, if youre a starving artist like me, get this Kramer. I'm most certainly sure you'll like it, unless youre rich and picky, and can afford an overpriced Gibson. Its better than any sqire Strat I've seen and played out there. It's not exactly a Van Halen 1984 remake (which they sell on the site for about? $700 w/a hard case, but its a Kramer, and that means good quality, and a rockin time. // 10

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overall: 7.3
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: ygokazuki, on july 13, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: My music style is punk-pop, alternative, and emo (The Offspring, Green Day, New Found Glory), and it suits it pretty well with the bridge and middle pickups and the tone close to full. I use it with my Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal and Marshall 10-watt amp. The Marshall has bassy overdrive, not distortion, so I always run it through the DS-1, and it sounds quite good. With the distortion all the way up, it hums a bit, but that is acceptable for a guitar of this price. It has a nice bright sound, but the neck pickup is fuzzy and clipped without distortion - not too good, but I rarely use it anyway. With distortion, the neck pickup is great for harder rock like Linkin Park. The clean sound on the Focus is fine when you turn the treble up, but I don't fancy the bassy neck. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is fine, nice and low. The pickups I already talked about - acceptable for the price. Everything seems set up properly, except the pickup a selector which is a bit noisy. // 8

Overall Impression: I say, if you are looking for your first guitar, save up for a bit and get something better, with humbuckers, like the Ibanez beginners pack. If you really can not afford that, this may be for you! // 8

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overall: 9.5
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: nosyrbp99, on february 07, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: My music style is rock, all types from classic to modern and I find it suits my style really well. This is deffinatly a guitar made for rock, and I love it. I do not know how it will sound on a gig amp because I only play on a 25watt Crate amp, and it sounds really good. This guitar is great for rythm or for lead because the bridge pickup sound great as well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar it was all set up and ready for playing. The action is pretty low which is how I like it because I play lead, and there were no flaws with the paint or finish. Only downside is that if you actually take the time to look it has a ton of screws everywhere al over the body which makes it look like a cheap guitar (which it is). // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is a very reliable guitar. I have been using this guitar for about 2 years because it is my first guitar. I will have to say that I have been playing with my band for a long time bringing only this guitar to the practices and such and it has never failed me. If treated well it will last as long as you do. // 10

Overall Impression: I play rock music and this guitar is great for it. I am thinking about upgrading to a Kramer Baretta or a Striker because I know that this brand will not dissapoint me when it comes to the music I play. I also own a Epiphone SG-400 but this guitar blows it away in my opinion, probably just because I don't like the sound of my SG. If it was stolen or lost I would not buy another one just because I feel it is time to get a higher quality guitar to play with. This is probably the best begginner guitar out there and not to mention one of the cheapest. I chose to buy this because of its killer reviews and because of its extremely low price, and ill tell you it was worth it. Cannot get this quality from other guitars this cheap! // 10

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overall: 8.6
Focus VT111S Reviewed by: Spaceace1994, on august 24, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: There are the standared features on this guitar as any other. 5-way selector switch, 6 screw bridge(with whammy), a Strat style double cutaway design with Kramer headstock. Active Electronics, jumbo frets, 1volume 2tone, nonlocking Kramer tuners. 1 Kramer usa humbucker with 2 Kramer usa single coil pick ups. Has a 3-ply pick guard with a hard maple fret board. Laminated nato/alter body. The nut is a pvc. it's width is 1.68". Pvc dot inlays, 25.5 scale length, 21 fret, 12" radius and a Flat string Tree inbetween the E and B string. It is a solid body electric guitar. // 9

Sound: There is different tones to get out of it. I play rock, Hard rock, Metal, Classic rock, Acoustic rock(Fade to Black, A tout la Monde) ect. I use a Randall RX15 amp and a High Voltage Fender Chord. Not very noisy. Everything is turned up all the way except the volume. Nice sound but could be more bassier and more distorted. Some sounds you can make but not much of a variety to choose from but that's fine with me. Good sound for a lot of Rock bands. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: My Kramer was set up well when I got it. The action was high but my it was my first electric and so I couldnt really care but now that I'm more advanced I lowered it. The pickups were adjusted good but I choose to set it up myself after watching a concert. My Humbucker is as close to the strings as possible and my single coil are down lower and it sounds great. Great Harmonics. No flaws in it what so ever. The pickup selector is a tad noisy and my input jack was loose. It also had bad soudering but was easily fixed and the jack was tightened. Perfect! // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar could easily withstand Live playing. With a nice set of Ernie Ball super slinkys it stays in tune very good. But when it stops staying in tune you need to replace the strings. The hardware will last a while, and the strap buttons are solid. I would use at a gig with no backup, I can depend on it that much but I would bring another guitar with me for more tonal range. The finnish is good. Everything is Good on it. I play constantly and the finnish lasts and the frets probably will not get worn down. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said I play all kinds of Rock, it's a great match. I've been playing for 10 months but sound like I have for years. I would of asked nothing about this guitar, it's perfect for me. If it were lost or stolen I would buy it again. I love everything on it but I wish it had a Floyd Rose Tremelo on it but if I get the money for one I will get it installed. I compared it to Jackson Dinky(not sure witch kind) and this one is way better. I've compared it to a Squier Tele and Strat and this one is a way better choice. Buy this guitar you wont regret it! // 9

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