XT EchoTone review by Hamer

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (17 votes)
Hamer: XT EchoTone

Price paid: € 400

Purchased from: local dealer

Sound — 8
This is a really versatile guitar. I play pretty much every style of rock ranging from Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix to the Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys... It's an excellent substitute for a Les Paul shaped guitar in terms of tone and can sustain for quite a while. Pretty deep but not as tight as an SG (or fenders, obviously), so not the best choice for funk or similar styles. Unplug it and you get yourself an acoustic at lower volume, be careful though when plugged to loud amps as this will feedback your brains out. I use it with a Blackstar HT-5 and a Fender Mustang III so I can still get away with the feedback.

Overall Impression — 9
I needed something versatile, and I got it. It was quite search though but in the end it fits my style perfectly. It had its few moments when it gave up on me (pots) but it wasn't a big deal since I don't gig. I have owned it for 3 years now and I don't think I will sell it any time soon if at all. It's big, it's simple and it's different, that why I like it so much. The only thing that I don't really like is the shape of the headstock but that's only a personal preference. Overall its my favorite and I use it more than my Epi SG or Fender HH Tele.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Well, the sound is a monster but the original electronics were horrible. All the pots failed after some time and replacing them on this type of guitar is a headache. The pups are fine though and I still use them, don't plan on changing them either. I think people at Hamer accidentally put their top secret indestructible finish on mine, it has survived quite few drops and bangs without a dent or a scratch.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came pretty much well set-up, the action was a bit to low for my tastes but that was easily fixed. There was a little dent/cut on the 15th and 16th fret below the b string but it doesn't really affect playing except that bending in that area needed some getting used to. The wood and finish are beautifully done on both the body and the neck (which is also sunburst). Also the binding around the whole guitar, fingerboard and f-holes is excellent. The tuners can hold tune for days with constant playing.

Features — 9
The EchoTone is a 335 style semi-hollow made in Indonesia, I can't figure out the year it was made. Fat maple neck with bound rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. Maple body (not laminated) with a mahogany center block. The "horns" are slightly sharper than the classic ES-335. Tune-O-Matic bridge, Tulip tuners, Duncan Designed pickups, 3-way switch, 2 volume, 2 tone controls. The standard dual pickup configuration.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ^ I looked at the comment above and thought that it's true and clicked +1 button. Then it said that you can't vote for your own comment .
    I recently bought a Korean Echotone that was in immaculate condition even though it is more than 10 years old. Even the chrome hardware sparkles. I loved it right off. It has the Aztec Gold flame maple top (solid not laminate) which is beautiful. I compared it to a Sheraton 11 pro and an Eastman 386 and the Hamer sounded as good if not better. The neck pickup is a tad brighter than I wanted. I wanted a "rounder" more Gibson like sound so I switched it out for a custom made Seymour duncan that is a bit like a Seth Lover. I also changed the whole harness and upgraded pots since I was going in there even thought that wasn't needed. Well this can compare now to any Gibson I have heard. And the quality control from the Korean factory must have been excellent considering the great condition after so many years. Still looks new. A $3,000 Gibson 335 doesn't have a solid top and back as the Hamer does. But the 335 is finished in nitro cellulose not urethane and that allows for better sound production from the wood. Still, the Hamer seems better built but a bit heavier. Can't recommend them enough.
    I. Bought a red echotone 335 and love it. It's a natural blues guitar but bought initially as the crunch is reminiscent at Malcolm young of Acc fame, pure energy played thru a vox ac30. Love the guitar! And looks and plays like a must more expensive guitar. A1 hamer,!!!