Californian 27 Fret review by Hamer

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (35 votes)
Hamer: Californian 27 Fret
1

Price paid: $ 175

Purchased from: Pawn America

Sound — 9
Odd but versatile guitar, the single coil neck and humbucker bridge coil are neat. It is mainly a hair metal guitar but the single coil neck pup would be good for country... Very twangy and clucky. It is a very thin sounding guitar stock so I replaced the original Duncan Designed humbucker with a Duncan Distortion SH-6. That beefed up the tone considerably, I now think Floyds suck tone out of the low end so if you have a light guitar you need a darker pickup to compensate for it. I tell ya 27 frets are cool! You can downtune to D and still hit a standard high note on a solo... Very cool I have used it with many amps/rigs, A 65 Fender Bandmaster, Peavey XXX, Marshall AVT 150H, works well with all and is relatively quiet for not having a shielded cavity. My before the SH-6 rating would have been a 5 but since I added the pickup this thing rips! Does the "metal" sound very well.

Overall Impression — 9
I love it I have many guitars all do something another one does not. I have been playing since 1983. I almost got a Schecter that was sitting next to this but the wife said "you already have Schecters what about that Hamer?" I am glad I did. I didn't know anything about this guitar when I first saw it and lucky for me the pawn shop didn't either. Went home and googled it and decided to buy it. This is a way under rated guitar not made any more. If you find one get it... If you can haggle on the price. Mine was a superb deal since it is almost mint, to me easily worth 3 times what I paid for it. I love the boomerangs and the upsidedown jack, hate nothing except the original humbucker. If it was stolen, broken etc I would be SOL since it is not made anymore.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Live playing... Yes. With the locking nut it stays in tune under heavy playing, I pick very hard. Hard divebombs you sometimes have to tap the arm to get it back to zero position, but otherwise stays in tune well. Good original hardware... YES. Strap buttons were oversized and very sturdy but I am a paranoid freak (it only takes one strap mishap) and replaced them with locking strap hooks. Live playing without them is foolish. Play without a backup... NO. Would not Recommend that with any Floyd set up... Too long to restring. 20 years old and looks like it is fairly new.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Bought it at a pawn shop in dismal condition, talked them down from their asking price. It was my first Floyd rose guitar... They are a pain to set up if somebody else has effed with it. But after a 2hour first setup and months of playing and a few tweeks. It is an awesome player. I think most people would need to pay for a pro setup. These were one step down from the Elite ($1200 neck thru) at a price of $500 when they were new and it plays quite well, and looks nice even if the binding and inlays are just plastic type and not abalone like an Elite model, the neck is a little thick for my liking but after a while of playing you don't notice it. As far as finish this thing is almost 20 years old and looks very much like a new guitar, it has some wear on the black hardware but overall decent shape.

Features — 9
Korean made in early 90s. Smaller Strat type body, 27 jumbo frets 25.5 scale, thick a-s bolt on Fender style bound neck, boomerang neck inlays, Duncan Designed single coil neck pickup humbucker bridge pickup, three way selector one volume knob and a cool recessed upside down output jack. Licensed Floyd rose, black finish, unknown wood.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    blackbird51
    MaggaraMarine wrote: Cool. Though I don't like about having 27 frets, 22 is enough for me. And by the way, who is the guy rating the guitar a 1 and finding all the reviews not helpful? That guy should be banned.
    a sad, jealous young man stuck with an Ibanez Gio.
    MaggaraMarine
    Cool. Though I don't like about having 27 frets, 22 is enough for me. And by the way, who is the guy rating the guitar a 1 and finding all the reviews not helpful? That guy should be banned.
    scorpio2billion
    I find it hilarious that there are 27 user ratings on this- a guitar that I'd bet 25 of those people have never touched. Douchebags.
    Cannibal Koala
    With that neck joint, I would think that it's impossible to even have a good use for those extra frets. You almost have to have the perfect sized hands, because if you have big hands, good luck squishing your fingers up there, and if too small, wrapping your fingers around that neck joint will be a chore.
    Air_Stryker
    Cannibal Koala wrote: With that neck joint, I would think that it's impossible to even have a good use for those extra frets. You almost have to have the perfect sized hands, because if you have big hands, good luck squishing your fingers up there, and if too small, wrapping your fingers around that neck joint will be a chore.
    The guitar does look pretty cool, but I'll agree with you on that one, the higher fret access looks pretty poor to me. Also, my dining room table looks like it's made out of the same wood as this guitar ...
    COREYTAYLOR721
    technically it has like 25ish because of the angled cut what if i want a low E lol. looks like a jackson copy.
    DeadlyKombat
    man, I would love to get my hands oh that one. I really like the wood finish in the picture.
    danvwman
    I have long fingers so the reach to 27 is not bad at all. and really past 24 Ireally never hit anything but the high e string. But ya way bettet for a Gio for about the same price. You just gotta find one.
    Cannibal Koala
    danvwman wrote: I have long fingers so the reach to 27 is not bad at all. and really past 24 Ireally never hit anything but the high e string. But ya way bettet for a Gio for about the same price. You just gotta find one.
    Only few are blessed with long fingers as opposed to big fingers. I have a hard time hitting the 20th-24th frets on my Schecter, and it's a 25.5 inch scale length. And hey, you're completely right about the price. Great on the find!
    musicman_72751
    If you guys want to get one of these go for the Californian Elite. These were USA built from the 80s till Hamer moved from Illinois to Conneticut (where ever). You can't get the USA Elites anymore. Just look in the pawnshops and on ebay for them.
    GVos
    I've got one of these guitars, bought it new (1991-ish) in Holland (that's Europe folks). Checked it before buying and found out the body is mahogany and the neck is canadian maple. That transparent finish (mine's the same as on the posted guitar) is called Aztec Gold. In response to a few comments here: I can tell you - with my medium size hands - it plays very well right up to the 27th : Unfortunately the bolt-on neck doesn't fully extend below the fretboard, so that it overhangs the neck for the last 2 frets. This obviously has an impact on the sustain you can get out of the highest notes. Also: the pointed end of the fingerboard might snap off at the last fret-slot (as it did one mine) so you lose the 27th fret. Fixed it by glueing a good piece of hardwood underneath that fits exactly between the fingerboard and the body, so now it's far better supported. Over these last 2 decades I first replaced the pickups to EMGs (81 & SA), later I changed all the hardware too (gold-plated Gotoh all round), and finally swapped pickups again to SeymourD's (TB-5 and a Lil'59) with a push-pull volume for singlecoil operation. The 3-way is wired so that in the middle position the pu's are out of phase. She's one of my absolute favorites!! Handles anything from warm, sweet and twangy to downright rude : The balance is brilliant, the neck stays perfectly straight (provided obviously you stick to the same gauge strings, as I tend to do), the combination of mahogany and maple is just right too for a very nice resonation whether you play it through your amp or just unplugged. Love it... :
    GVos
    BTW: the : thingies are supposed to be proper smileys - not sure what happened there... Oh well
    muncle
    So what can you tell me about one with "boomerang" inlays and Hamer tuners-six inline, number stamped on headstock- 923842 ?
    Drottsco
    If that guitar is Korean made, then it's not early 90's, it's late 90's. Check your serial #