Imperial S-404S review by Kramer

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (15 votes)
Kramer: Imperial S-404S

Price paid: $ 210

Purchased from: CraigsList

Sound — 10
I play mostly rock and metal. Metallica, Sabbath, AC/DC, Green Day, some newer stuff like Slipknot. It suites my style perfect. I'm using the guitar with a Line 6 Spider 2 30 Watt, and at times a Fender G-DEC. No matter what amp I use it with it sounds amazing. The pickups can range from a very clean Acoustic sound to very heavy distortion. The coil tap to use the quad rails can get real heavy. I rarely get any unwanted feedback out of either amp unless I'm close to it.

Overall Impression — 10
I love this guitar. Especially for the price I paid for it. I've been playing for about 6 months and it's my first electric. I've played les pauls, strats, various jacksons ect... Again I love this guitar. I'm planning on installing a set of EMG 81/60's but I still love the quad rails. If it were stolen or lost I would definatly buy it again. I love the fact it's so light and fast on the neck and body. I definatly recommend this guitar to anybody. It's definatly a conversation piece when I bring it around other guitars.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would definatly withstand gigging on a regular. The hardware seems very sturdy. Frets aren't too tall so very little buzzing. Tuners are sturdy, pickups are great. The only thing I have to complain about on this guitar is the strap locks. The day I got it I noticed both were loose. They have both since ripped out of the body. I fixxed both of them with wood glue and some solid 1/8 maple rods. They seem a lot sturdier now that they are in solid wood instead of a soft wood like alder. That's the only reason I rate this a bit lower. They can easily be sturdied up with wood like I did or buy a good set of strap locks.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this guitar used and the previous owner had it drop tuned. I tuned it to Standard to see how it played for starters. Action is perfect, placement of pickups is perfect. I didn't opt to go with the Floyd version of this guitar because I wanted the ease and tunability of the tune-o-matic. I play mostly rythem sections and some lead so the Floyd wasn't really needed in my case anyways.

Features — 9
Not sure what year this guitar was made. It was made in Korea in fact mine still had the made in korea sticker on the neck. It's got 24 frets on a 25.5" Thin fast neck. The neck is great for moving up and down the frets fast. Body is made of Alder. It's very light weight for a bigger body guitar. It's the classic Gibson EX style body. Mine is painted a beautiful bright red color. Tune-o-matic tail piece. Features 2 quad rail pickups that can be used in single or dual mode by pulling the coil tap on the tone knob. Standard controls are volume, coil tap on the tone knob, and a 3-way selector. This guitar stays in tune so well. Right now I have it in Standard tuning. It's very light and the neck is thin so it's perfect for playing while standing for a long period of time. The strap locks are located in good position as well so it doesn't become top heavy or fall over at all.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the price is cool.... but will it fit for heavy rough playing.....?
    beware the new kramers. ive bought 2 of them and both of them were garbage. the floyd rose was bent out of whack and the necks had humps in them. i dont know if every last one is like that, but 2 for 2 is pretty bad. i know im not going to try and get one again. alot of people dont like the quad rails, they have a ton of low end i think.
    i heard the new kramers are pretty good but can be a mixed bag in terms of quality which is kinda unacceptable. from what ive heard of this model its pretty good...nothing like the 80's model and the usa reissues but still good