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#1
Now that Kramer is not-so-well-known, I think now their guitars are half of what they cost. Its rare finding a Kramer at a guitar center, or Sam Ash, so I never actually got to play one, but I heard their great, and a lot of videos of youtube sort of prove it. I was recently considering to get one of these two guitars:

Jackson RR3 Rhoads

Kramer Vanguard 440 with LFR

I know that the price range is big, but I just want to know which one is better. Please don't post if you haven't played both, unless its relevant. Here are some factors:

Neck (which one is more thin?)
Sound (good/bad electronics/pick-ups?)
Quality (of material, wiring)
Tremolo*
Overall appeal
Feel
Can it be customized?

*I KNOW ITS NOT ORIGINAL, DON'T TELL ME TO GET A BETTER GUITAR WITH ONE!

Some facts about each guitar:

Jackson: ($650)

-good feel
-sharp edges
-nice headstock
-tremolo is pretty decent
-Great look
-good for metal, yet versitile
-22 frets
-nice fret inlays(sharkfin?)
-two humbuckers
-well-known

Kramer ($269)

-24 frets
-two conjoined humbuckers
-ugly headstock, but graceful
-only available online
-Can i customize it to a point where it sounds better than the Jackson?(only $269!)
#2
go with the jackson EDIT: i haven't played both, but i own a kramer striker which is presumably of similar quality to the vanguard, and i've played a lot of the jackson pro series guitars, which are presumably of similar quality to the RR3. assuming the ones i've tried are representative of the quality of the ones you're looking at, the jackson is just quite a lot better. in my opinion.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#3
I haven't played a Kramer, but I'll give you a hint that might help
Van Halen used a Kramer
Megadeth used Jackson's
that is basically how it goes
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#4
that means jack ****, jackson has been sold to fender in the meantime, and kramer went bust and then the name was bought by gibson. in other words, even if the guitars' use by famous artists mattered (which i'd argue it doesn't, often the artist will go with whoever pays the most, or whoever lets them customise the instrument the most), they aren't the same guitars made by the same people any more.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Quote by cukd7x-a2-
I haven't played a Kramer, but I'll give you a hint that might help
Van Halen used a Kramer
Megadeth used Jackson's
that is basically how it goes


Therefore, Megadeth wins in this case. Jackson is more successful now, whilst Kramer is owned by Gibson, who doesn't give a damn about Kramer.
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#6
jackson necks are to die for. the compound radius sounds a little weird, but it really does make a huge difference. seymour duncan pups are amazing, but you can always change those anyway, so i wouldn't necessarily buy a guitar based on the pup config. i've never worked on kramer's electronics, so i don't know about the wiring, but jackson's fit and finish is solid, even on the lower end models.

honestly, you're always better off buying a higher quality guitar than modding a cheaper one: mostly because you can always bring up the sound with pickups, electronics, effects, and all that, but nothing can replace original fine workmanship. besides: you could buy the cheaper guitar and tap it out with upgrades and what have you.. but then what? you're about as good as the more expensive guitar but you're at the ceiling, it won't get any better. i'd go for the jackson and step it up over time when you have the money.
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#7
If you can find a Kramer from the 80s, buy it. No thoughts, no questions. Likewise for a 90s Jackson. However, if you're buying new, then get the Jackson. Today's Kramer's aren't that great. It'd be a smart investment to get 2 or 3 Kramers and tune them all differently. They're pretty good, but don't compare to a Jackson.
Quote by satchgear
I tried it out in store.

Great neck, nice n light, good tuning stability. Overall a good guitar. I didn't but it cause I generally only buy guitars over a grand now.
#9
Or you can spend $600 and get an actual Kramer off eBay.
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#10
^^ i said i owned one. i don't much like it. it's not as good as the jacksons. what more do you want?

certainly, the 80s kramers are meant to be great, and the new kramer reissues are quite nice too, but the one you're looking at is more or less a beginner-intermediate guitar.

Quote by Snake™
Therefore, Megadeth wins in this case. Jackson is more successful now, whilst Kramer is owned by Gibson, who doesn't give a damn about Kramer.


jackson is owned by Fender...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
^^ i said i owned one. i don't much like it. it's not as good as the jacksons. what more do you want?

certainly, the 80s kramers are meant to be great, and the new kramer reissues are quite nice too, but the one you're looking at is more or less a beginner-intermediate guitar.


jackson is owned by Fender...



therefore, Iron Maiden owns Megadeth.

Are you sure the reissues are inferior to Jacksons?
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
^^ i said i owned one. i don't much like it. it's not as good as the jacksons. what more do you want?

certainly, the 80s kramers are meant to be great, and the new kramer reissues are quite nice too, but the one you're looking at is more or less a beginner-intermediate guitar.


jackson is owned by Fender...

Yes, but it's like Canada and the UK: Canada is separate but still part of the British Empire (vestigially anyway). Jackson operates separately of Fender most of the time but is still owned by fender.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#13
Quote by Dave_Mc
^^ i said i owned one. i don't much like it. it's not as good as the jacksons. what more do you want?

certainly, the 80s kramers are meant to be great, and the new kramer reissues are quite nice too, but the one you're looking at is more or less a beginner-intermediate guitar.


jackson is owned by Fender...


Sorry about that, wasn't thinking fully. :P

The thing is, Fender cares about Jackson/Charvel a lot more than Gibson does Kramer. The only really guitar that I see on MusicYo that is worth getting is the Baretta re-issue, as the other ones don't look too promising.
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#14
Today's Kramers are almost all cheap chinese-made ones. They seem absolutely bargainous, but I'm not sure of the actual quality. I've never had a chance to try one.

That's the big difference:
Jackson Pro Series = guaranteed ass-kickery
Kramer = a bit of a gamble since you can't try one out

Kramers were the first guitars that came equipped with Floyd Roses (real ones). Now they've got LFR's. What if they wear out quickly? That would kind of suck, don't you think?

The Jackson also has a liscenced floyd, but it's a trustworthy one. It stayed in tune well when I tried one, and I've never heard anyone complain. Compared to how much we've all heard about, say, the Edge 3 tremolo, I think you can trust the Jackson not to wear out.
#15
Quote by Dethonator


Are you sure the reissues are inferior to Jacksons?


which reissues are you talking about? if you're talking about the one the threadstarter is talking about versus the rr3, then i'd say yeah.

if you're talking about the kramer "reissues", e.g. the richie sambora model, or the USA-made ones, then the kramers are probably better than the rr3. it really depends on which models you're talking about.

Quote by oneblackened
Yes, but it's like Canada and the UK: Canada is separate but still part of the British Empire (vestigially anyway). Jackson operates separately of Fender most of the time but is still owned by fender.


i thought austin (tubadude) when he worked at fender said that the jackson part was there too? could be wrong, though.

Quote by Snake™
Sorry about that, wasn't thinking fully. :P

The thing is, Fender cares about Jackson/Charvel a lot more than Gibson does Kramer. The only really guitar that I see on MusicYo that is worth getting is the Baretta re-issue, as the other ones don't look too promising.


i was just point out that jackson was owned by someone else too.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
i have this one:

http://www.kramerguitars.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=196 (except with rosewood fretboard).

it's alright, but the factory setup was absolutely horrible, and it's definitely a beginner-intermediate guitar.

and i've also played the richie sambora reissue, which was a nice guitar.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
So an 80's Kramer would blow all Jacksons away...

Still, I'm not persuaded here.

Be specific.

By the way, I know a guy that can set up a guitar for me, so factory set-up isn't a problem.
#19
jackson all the way for me but i think there both exellent axes***********
#20
Jackson. I'm pretty sure the Kramer is plywood. Doesn't feel like a solid guitar when playing. Plus the Jackson is $400 more dollars.
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#21
Quote by Dethonator
(a) So an 80's Kramer would blow all Jacksons away...

(b) Still, I'm not persuaded here.

Be specific.

(c) By the way, I know a guy that can set up a guitar for me, so factory set-up isn't a problem.


(a) i didn't say that, i meant in respect of that particular model, the rr3. the more expensive jacksons are very nice guitars too.

(b) to me, and based on the models closest to the models which you're looking at (which i've tried), which i assume are of similar quality, the jackson rr3 is a nicer, higher-quality guitar than the kramer vanguard. that's all i'm saying. nicer attention to detail/QC, nicer wood, better pickups, hardware, etc. that's all i'm saying.

(c) that's fair enough. a setup will only do so much, though.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
1. This is a vs thread
2. It's a vs thread without a poll
3. Kramer because Tom Morello uses one
#25
i doubt it, i'd still have thought the jackson would have the edge. i think (from memory- could be wrong) you have to go up to the alexi 600 to get a decent spec.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#26
Jacksons do have character, but Kramers have this underdog status. My main problem is that the RR3 doesn't have 24 frets, after all of these reformations.

What would would beat an RR3 in it's price range(with the Rhoads body)?

Besides, don't you think Jacksons are a bit overpriced, compared to their Japanese counterparts(Ibanez, ESP, etc.)?
#27
No, they're of similar quality to ESP's/Prestige Ibanezes.

Also, I saw this used JS series rhoads in my local music store today. Oh my god, someone put stickers on it, drilled holes in it, and just in general screwed it up. It was horrible. Played nice though, I want a Dinky.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#28
depends, old kramers that came b4 kramer went bankrupt were really good. Todays kramers r cheap and dont have as good quality as they used to.
#29
I've got a reissue Vanguard, as well as a Jackson (not the quality of an RR3 though), and I usually choose to play my Jackson over my Kramer....good guitar, but the LFR is quite annoying.

Also, I just remembered playing a Jackson RR3 in Guitar Center once for like 3 hours....get the Jackson. Unless you'd like to save money and get the Vanguard, set it up nicely....
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#30
Price wise, I'd say get the Kramer because on ebay they're cheap as hell. But quality wise, Jackson 100%. Honestly, for its price range, nothing beats an RR3 with a Rhoads body. You could go with an Alexi-200 like you mentioned before, but are you really going to sacrifice a neck pickup for 2 extra frets? That's another thing, improvise. See how often you use the 24th fret. Believe me, I want a 24 fret Rhoads just as bad as the next Rhoads lover, but I came to the conclusion that I didn't need that extra 24th fret because I don't use it. You could always bend up to the 24th fret. People like to argue that they bend up at the 24th fret. Well, use the bar to match that pitch then.

EDIT: Also, I just wanted to shed some light on Jackson. I can't say anything about Kramer being owned by Gibson because that's not my area of knowledge. Since Jackson was bought by Fender, they still have the same staff working. Not only that, but Jackson has picked up a lot since they were bought by Fender. So the whole "Oh new Jacksons suck because they're made by Fender guys, get a Pre-Fender Jackson. Far more superior." is bull**** and the only era of Jackson where you can truly say you have the best is STILL the San Dimas era.
Last edited by Vittu0666 at Dec 30, 2008,
#31
In my opinion, Jackson's current mid-range stuff is the best it has been since the mid-90s. The Japanese made Jackson/Charvel guitars from 1986-1995 or so are the best imports. As far as Kramer goes, even the American Kramers were MIJ by ESP and other companies and assembled in the US.
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#32
Dethonator, whats your price range?
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#33
doesn't matter for me. But I can't really believe that Jackson actually beats others in terms of quality. Doesn't feel right for some reason. Hows the LFR anyway?

Also, out of curiousity, how much would you pay for a neck-through, 24-fret Baretta?
#34
Quote by Dethonator
doesn't matter for me. But I can't really believe that Jackson actually beats others in terms of quality. Doesn't feel right for some reason. Hows the LFR anyway?

Also, out of curiousity, how much would you pay for a neck-through, 24-fret Baretta?

Why is that so hard to believe? It's not like Jackson is a horrible company or anything. Jackson makes really GOOD guitars. The LFR is incredible. Probably one of the best LFR's you'll find. Hold tune very well.
#35
Just doesn't feel right. You can't really trust an American company nowadays.

Better than the Edge?
#36
Quote by Dethonator
Just doesn't feel right. You can't really trust an American company nowadays.

Better than the Edge?

Why can't you trust American Companies? Because the economy is going down? If it makes you feel better, the RR3 is Japanese made. And yes, they're better than the Edge. You'll never hear a single complaint about the LFR's on the new RR3's.
#37
Quote by Dethonator
doesn't matter for me. But I can't really believe that Jackson actually beats others in terms of quality. Doesn't feel right for some reason. Hows the LFR anyway?

Also, out of curiousity, how much would you pay for a neck-through, 24-fret Baretta?


Ok, well if price isn't really of a concern for you then why are you just trying to pick between Jackson and Kramer?
Now I am a big Kramer fan (yea, surprised huh ) but there are a ton of great guitars out there other then Jackson and Kramer with 24fret necks. I could say get the Kramer but thats just being biased. Does it have to be 24 fret neck? cause the USA made Baretta reissues are going for a good price on Ebay right now, or save up for a good Japanese made Jackson that fits your exact specs if you're just looking at those 2 companies. Also the Kramer Jersey Star is great or their new Pacer Imperial. If you don't mind used hell the options are endless on Craigslist and Ebay. 80's Charvels, Kramers, Jackson's are kickass guitars, Robin's are great too (made in Texas) and so many others. My Japanese made Focus that I picked up for $240 kicks the sh*t out of pretty much everything I've played. Lots of guitars and deals out there to be had especially now with the economy going down.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#38
Quote by Vittu0666

EDIT: Also, I just wanted to shed some light on Jackson. I can't say anything about Kramer being owned by Gibson because that's not my area of knowledge. Since Jackson was bought by Fender, they still have the same staff working. Not only that, but Jackson has picked up a lot since they were bought by Fender. So the whole "Oh new Jacksons suck because they're made by Fender guys, get a Pre-Fender Jackson. Far more superior." is bull**** and the only era of Jackson where you can truly say you have the best is STILL the San Dimas era.


Kramer went bankrupt in '95 or so, Gibson bought them a few years later.

+1 for the San Dimas btw.

Any 80's Jackson is pure win.
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#39
Yeah, saw a really good Baretta for $250. Couldn't buy it because someone wouldn't let me.

I want a slim guitar with a Rhoads shape, a Floyd Rose and 24 frets. I'm really getting into these 80's glam and thrash bands (WASP!).
#40
What about checking out some older ESP's?
That $250 Baretta you found I bet was that 2 humbucker 24 fret Gibson/Music Yo made Kramer with the Quadrail pickups. Did it have skull and bones tuners?
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