Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: Garage sale...
Features — 7
The Slammer WG1 is not my first pick for a dream guitar. The WG1 is the guitar that every 13-year old in 2005 dreamed of having for his garage band that did not actually exist because nobody could really play guitar or sing. However, that's not to say that it is a bad instrument...
The WG1 is made "by" Hamer (a company that you may know), and is of their line of budget guitars. I say "by" because this guitar is a far cry from their $1500 boutique models. The guitar was made in their 2005 line of "Slammer series" guitars. I cannot really put it in any better words than that of the source material, slammerguitars.com.
"Slammer is the radical son of Hamer USA. That's right, Hamer. Known for producing some of the finest custom shop guitars the world has ever seen, played or heard."
This screams mid-2000's coolness so loud my ears bleed. It may also hint to you something that the copyright date on the website has not been updated since 2013.
Enough talk, though. Let's get down to business. My guitar was purchased for like, $50 or $75, but it also came with a decent Fender Squier Bass, so I can't really compare prices. Let's say it cost like $20 or $25.
Starting from the head down, we see a simple Maple head, neck and fretboard. The tuners on mine had been replaced with different locking-nut tuners, so I can't comment on those. The Head has all of the necessary doodads for a tremolo-bridge design, with a truss rod cover and string angle bar. The head has a pretty cool look, with a kind of "Warmoth Mooncaster meets Strat" look. I Don't know if the nut has been changed, so I can't comment about it. But it appears to be some kind of budget Corian white stuff.
Overall it has a pretty comfortable neck, being slightly on the medium-fat universal-ish range. The scale length is a comfortable 24.75" 22-fret design. Pretty standard. The fretwire is well-dressed stainless steel or nickel-silver, and is a good low-profile height. It has a kind of low-quality black fret markers with side dots.
Down to the body, this is where is gets interesting. The body is plain old Agathis, but has a faux quilt top. It comes in blue or red. Mine is blue. Upon looking at a rout hole, i can tell that the finish is about 1.5-2.5 millimeters thick, and appears to be very durable. It has a pretty nice look actually. It has a fake ivoroid binding, which is not an actual binding. It is not very well finished, and has ugly blending between it and the top. The back is painted black. It has an asymmetric design and a belly cut contoured edge. It looks pretty nice.
To the electronics, it has a 3 position switch, with 2 volume and 1 tone knobs. It has dual passive humbuckers. They're okay.
The bridge is a tremolo-style, which is pretty slick. I did not know it was when I first bought it, because the arm was missing. The guitar holds a tune quite well, with not a lot of parasitic tune loss, but once you start to ram the arm, it goes sharp pretty quickly. However, because the original tuning machines are not there, I can't say much about them.
Overall, it's pretty nice looking, until you start to critique it.
Sound — 5
The sound of the guitar is nice, but a little plain. It has a mid-range bright tone, and the humbuckers give it decent sound. (It is 12 years old, though.) The tone controls can give it a little darkness. Pinch harmonics work pretty good on it. I play a lot of everything, and it has a good all-around sound, with an okay-ish tone. The pickups are, once again, in the midrange. This guitar is not really suited for any specialized play, it's just basic. The guitar plays really nice with thin strings. I really would not want to preform onstage with this guitar, however, unless I doctored it up a lot with effects. Through a simple Marshall stompbox and amp, it sounds nice. Alone, however, it leaves some to be desired. This obviously, is due to the nothing-so-special wood that it's made of. If you were to buy one of these expecting beautiful sound, you need to go home and do a little research, because this is literally a 2005 budget-model guitar intended for people who were not going to spend a lot of money on a guitar that they did not know how to play. Overall, though, it is not bad.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action on this guitar is okay. I purchased the guitar second-hand, so there may have been some prior damage. The neck fit is not real clean, and the pickup routs are a little wonky in relation to the pickup. Like I said the fake binding has a lot of bleeding, and is not really good. The rout covers in the back are not very snug, so there is an unsightly little gap. Also, for reasons way beyond me, the plastic plate that covers the tremolo bridge mechanism rout has little windows in it, so you can see the beautiful springs. A little stupid, if you ask me. But, the guitar functions as it should, so that's a plus.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is fantastically durable. It's heavy, and the not-so-expensive finish is very thick. This guitar is okay to leave lying around, you won't hurt it. The sling attachment points are heavy-duty, the knobs don't come off, and the neck is attached well. I can't see this breaking. If I for some reason decided to play a gig with this axe, I would not hesitate to trust this guitar. I have done some particularly dangerous tremolo moves, even accidentally letting in slap back up from a full dive, with no damage. The finish has a lot of little pick scratches or something, from it's abusive previous owner. It has a sturdy 4-bolt neck in case you feel like holding by the head and preforming some rockstar moves on the floor with it. (not actually recommended.)
Overall Impression — 8
This is most certainly a strange case. This guitar shows the hallmarks of something that was made by someone who makes elite axes. All of the attention to-detail in adding the fake features, cutting all corners, while still making a beautifully playable instrument is amazing. It guitar is actually beautifully ugly, in all it's not-USA-made glory. I really love this thing. I cannot, however, find any reference to this guitar's 2005 MSRP. I would certainly buy another one of these if I could find one. So, if you ever see one of these little guys for cheap, snap it up, even if it's just to have lying around to play with when you feel like trying to break something. I only wish I could have found a red one, but other than that, I love it.