Striker 400ST review by Kramer

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 6.6 (5 votes)

Price paid: $ 80

Sound — 7
I play about anything, and this guitar's stock pickups sound pretty good. The pickups give it a lot of crunch and bite, especially on the bridge pickup setting. It's pretty noisy, though (bad grounding). It got that great '80s hard-rock sound to it, and I love that.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall this is a pretty good axe (after the restoration). Sure it needed work, but I like an axe with a little wabbi-sabbi, plus I love restoring guitars. It makes a great project guitar. However, if you don't want to do a little work (re-doing the setup, at least), don't even think about it. Tone-chasers probably wouldn't even take the time to throw it away, but I love it. If it were lost or stolen, I'd look for another (since it's Vintage).

Reliability & Durability — 8
It had a great paint job, really tough and nearly impossible for me to sand off, but I ended up having to repaint it, thanks to the drilling and chiseling. I would gig with this (as it sounds good and looks great), but would still have a backup just in case.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action was way too high. I actually had to chisel out about 1/16th" of wood under the bridge. Now it's almost perfect. All the hardware was a little rusty. A little polishng fixed that. Still, it has kick-ass looks. Ratings: 3 before, 7 after.

Features — 8
I got this from a friend for $80. It was made in Korea in 1985. It was solid gloss black (on the body as well as the neck). There were two cracks where the headstock meets the neck, which caused horrible tuning and action problems. I drilled a couple holes and glued in some brass pins and that helped alot. I put Bond-O in the neck pocket to draw up the wood, and that fixed the tuning problems almost completely. It came with the stock pickups (Seymour Duncan Turbo Sonics, I think). Standard 3-way switching with 1 volume and 1 tone and those nice knurled chrome dome-style knobs. It has an original Floyd Rose tremolo bridge (before the implementation of those trademark fine tuners, plus it's made in Germany, hell yeah), Grover tuners, a top-adjust truss rod, a locking nut, and a retsiner bar to keep downward pressure on all the strings. Randy Rhodes body style, classic Kramer beak-style headstock.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Invader Jim
    Just so you know, they no longer exist because Kramer went bankrupt in 1989. n00b.
    Invader Jim
    Oh, yeah. Delete my post, then put it back after finding a way to make a fool of me. Real nice...
    Yeah. The original company did go bankrupt around '90. By the way, Strikers are usually made of plywood bodies so there not that good. They feel heavy and solid, but plywood is not very good for a guitar. If your looking for a decent Japanese made older Kramer, start with the Focus series. Anything underthat (like Striker's, XL series, Aerostars ect.) are just plain cheaply made. I would know since I have a Focus 3000 from around '86-'87
    ok i have one of these and i came across this review when i googled kramer striker 400st pickups cuz i dont think mine or the orginal and i was lookin at changing them back or getting better ones.....anyhow most of these where made from plywood not a very good guitar wood i agree.. yes kramer was bankrupt around 89.. no they didnt put dimarizo pickups in there guitars.. and the last dude says the trust rod is at the bottom where the body meets the neck??? no sorry its at the top.. for a guitar that retailed for 300 in 85 and was cheaply made why would there be a floyd rose and grover tuners on them??? i wonder that sometimes lol but no these my not be the best guitar but i like it.. mainly because of the orginal floyd and it being a kramer from 85 lol just like i loved my dean eighty eight.. i veiw as a collectors stand point most probley would have some like this so im a bit different..
    i realize that this is an old review and i own a metallic blue 400st and i can assure u these guitars are excellent. I traded a peavey sc-3 for it and could not be happier. Guitar_man19 had said that because the body is plywood its cheap when really its anything but that. Even Charvel used plywood in the slightly less expensive Charvette guitars and they are more then strong enough to handly drops or anything u could do on stage with it. Its laminated very well making it just as strong as most 2 even 3 peice bodies. As for a tone wood, it makes such a slight difference if even any at all what wood its made out of. as for the pickups in it, i think the neck pickup is very well made and i have yet to change them purely for the vintage feel it has. Tuning stability is a bit iffy unless u set it to half floating then ur good but otherwise this is a great axe and honestly i would gig without a backup with this.