Purchased from: N/A
Sound — 10
Without question, if you are looking for a "Les Paul" style guitar this is the one to get. I can only compare mine to the LP Standard that I own and the Hamer sounds much brighter and more defined in everything it does. It sounds great clean and distorted. If you are looking for a two humbucker guitar I can't recomend one any more strongly, I promise you I'm not making this up out of some kind of owner's loyalty. It really is an excelent guitar in all respects.
Overall Impression — 10
Just so you know, I'm only even writing a review because one of this fine insturment doesn't exist yet in this database and I'm so pleased with my Monaco Elite I couldn't let that stand. I honestly play pretty much every style of music you could imagine from straight up jazz to death metal to hillbilly bluegrass on guitar and bass. I've been playing for 18 years, own a lot of gear and have jamed with a lot of well known musicians in my time and have never been told that I can't hang. I'm a amature because I joined the Army in 2001, I promise you I was doing well with my music career before that, and bought this guitar as a gift to myself after I got out. I tried out many guitars before I bought this one including PRS's, Gibsons, McNaughts, etc. and this is as good as it gets. I would definitly buy another one if mine was stolen because I find that this is the guitar to which I tend to gravitate in my stable of 15 quality guitars. Honestly, my Monaco is pretty standard except for the astetics with the top and headstock. I was worried about the pickup choice before I got it, but as soon as I started playing it I understood the company's desision. If you are looking for a "Super Strat" this will not be your cup of tea. However, if you're looking for a great LP style double buck guitar this is it. Guitars are pretty subjective, and I can't tell you that you will deffinitely like one of these Hamers more than a LP or a PRS, etc. but I can say you owe it to yourself to try one out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't really play out too much any more so I can't attest to how this thing will hold up on the road. It is a solidly built insturment. Feels much better than the three Gibsons I own, and I can tell you that it holds it's tune very well. I don't know if I would use it live without a backup, usually that would be a bad idea with any guitar. I can say that I would hope this guitar wouldn't fail me so I wouldn't have to play another. With what I do now I've got to say that it should last forever.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought mine from a dealer on eBay. It is a custom ordered insturment with the paperwork to prove it so I can't say I've played an "off the line insturment." The thing about the USA Hamers is that they are all more or less custom/hand made. I suspect most are as flawless as mine. Everything was perfect with mine. The binding is flawless, the wood beautiful, the frets perfect, the action low. I could go on for ever. Seriously, it's a great insturment and I feel that I got a great deal for what I payed, and I payed a lot. All you have to do is think about what you want to play with this insturment and it almost does it for you. It's great.
Features — 9
2005 model, USA, 22 frets, mahogany body and set neck, "ultimate" quilted maple top and headstock laminate, single cutaway body, trans-black lacquer finish on top solid black on back, Tune-O-Matic bridge, passive SD custom and custom/custom pickups, two volume and one tone control, 3-way pickup selector, Sperzel tuners. Binding on top of body, neck and headstock. I'm giving it a nine simply because it doesn't have coil-splitting which a lot of people like. Not withstanding that everything else is top notch.