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  1. I’ve been visiting this board occasionally for the last year and finally decided to chime in. So a little bit about myself… Back in the beginning of 1990, I took my import Kramer guitar into a small music shop where my buddy worked to ask what it would cost for a re-fret. He told me I ought to just buy a new guitar, and he brought out a new, seafoam green,1989 USA Hamer Californian. I think the shop was selling it for $1500+ or so, but being one of their top guys in the store, he gave it to me at their cost + $40, so I paid $740 for it (I still have the receipt). I never heard of Hamer back then, but I liked the color and it looked cool with 27 frets, plus it had a Floyd, so I was a happy camper. That was the only guitar I owned until just recently. So fast-forward to the present, and now I’m married with kids and a mortgage, blah, blah, blah, and I really have no time to play guitar. I had this guitar leaning in a corner in my studio at home, and I only picked it up to play Christmas songs with the kids (and I didn’t even play those very well after having essentially given up playing). And then about a year ago, like many people, my work slowed to a crawl and I needed to get some extra work. A friend who owns his own business hired me part-time, and our work took us all around Los Angeles and the Inland Empire in So Cal. My buddy makes lots of money and can afford lots of nice, high-end guitars, and he knows where every stinkin’ guitar store is, so he introduces me to a lot of cool guitar shops. Being that it’s his business, we spend a lot of time playing hooky and going to guitar shops, as well as playing at his house in the morning while the wife is away… Am I boring you? I apologize. I’ll continue… So now I’m interested in guitars again and I’ve started playing my only guitar. Because we’re now in the internet age, I decide to do some online research about Hamer and find out that I have a great hand-made in the USA guitar by an awesome company, and I realized at that point what a great deal my friend had given me all those years ago. So now, almost 25 years have taken its toll and I need new frets. One of the many cool shops my buddy introduced me to was Wild West Guitars in Riverside. I took my Cali in there August 5th, and I just got it back last Saturday, December 7. I was in withdrawals being without a guitar in the interim, so I finally broke down and got another guitar…but I’ll save that story for another post. Anyway, this thing plays faster than ever. First off, this is an EXTREMELY RARE maple-boarded Cali. It’s not extremely rare because it has a maple board. It’s rare because it has a maple board AND it’s NEVER been signed by Ted Nugent. (Okay, stupid inside joke). I don’t know if the shop special-ordered this or if a customer placed a special order and changed his mind and stuck the shop with it. I know the Cali Standard came with chrome hardware and a rosewood board, so someone obviously special-ordered this with the black hardware and maple board. I really don’t know the details of its origin besides the fact that I was fortunate enough to get this one new. Okay, I suspect people are going to hate me for modding this guitar, but I never plan on selling it, so here are a few specs: So I added a big, brass block to the Floyd (which I didn’t photograph). I also blocked the Floyd with a brass dingus which has a piece of Honduras rosewood attached to it. I didn’t want to permanently attach anything in there, but I wanted the block to rest against a substantial amount of wood. Maybe I’ll take a picture of it sometime. I’ve never seen it done the way I did it, but I’m sure someone else out there probably thought of the same thing and did it that way as well. Anyway, I blocked it because I also added a D-Tuna. I added some small pieced of the Honduras rosewood inside the humbucker cavity and hard-mounted the Dimarzio Slammer pickup to it. I added titanium screws to the nut for no reason other than I thought it looked cool and I’m stupid like that. I also got titanium intonation screws, which are a lot nicer than the stock screws. I ordered titanium saddles from Musician’s Friend, and they (and GC) have been back-ordered on those for the past year. No one seems to have the TiSonix version of those (and I’m not going to FuTone and pay $700+ for saddles), Fortunately, I happened to mention to the owner of KGC that I had some on backorder, and he said he happened to have a set and offered to sell them to me. So I snatched them up (and MF & GC still haven’t gotten any in stock. It seems impossible to get them, even though a guy over at TiSonix told me they’re selling them like crazy, though I have no idea who’s buying them because they’re not available on their website). And finally, I had this re-fretted with stainless-steel frets. Like I said, it plays faster than ever. Mark Dickerson, the tech at Wild West Guitars is just THE best (which is why he is so busy that it took awhile to get these done). These frets feel terrific. The body has quite a few paint-chips and so forth, but I don’t care. I’m more interested in how it feels and plays. It’s too bad I can’t play as fast as the neck will allow. So anyway, I'm only posting one pic and giving links to pics on Photobucket. Hopefully this works. This pic is of the guitar about a year ago, before I made any mods: http://s1374.photobucket.com/user/Flooglemop/media/guitar_zps406dffeb.jpg.html?sort=6&o=0 All the following pics are post-modifications: http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/01_zps0fffd3a4.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/02_zpsab32e368.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/06_zpsbb1eda04.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/03_zps06ef39aa.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/05_zps46c475ce.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/07_zps476313be.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/10_zps2ee9b6c8.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/08_zps5c143f00.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/09_zpscec6103e.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/04_zps37648ab6.png http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag420/Flooglemop/11_zpsa1e4f456.png
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