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If we weren't Hamer fans, whose fans would we be?

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This topic is sort of along the lines when a famous actor is asked what if you were not an actor. So for me, it's BC Rich (USA only obviously). My first BC Rich was an ST111, Tony Macalpine model, Dimarzio, Floyd Rose, pointy headstock superstrat the 80's at it's very, very sharpest. Yes, I'll admit being 17 years old and having the opportunity to say at gigs that my guitars were called the Bich, Ironbird, Warbeast, Widow and Gunslinger made the brand pretty desirable. But for me, when you could by an American built BC Rich with Dimarzios, Grover Tuners and a Floyd Rose for £800 ($1250) brand new, when Jacksons and Charvels were double the price as were Les Pauls, that was good enough for me.

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I love B.C.Riches, I still have a bunch, including 5 or 6 ST-III. so its be a tie up between B.C.Rich and Dean guitars.

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I would have been seeking more real Deans from the late 70's and early 80's.  There would have been more Gibson stuff that made it in my hands like a really nice E2 Explorer.  It would be nice to have more Music Man guitars, too. 

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ESP MII's are my next choice in guitars other than Hamer Cali's

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The analog to Hamer is that it's not super-limited or super-pricy (I dig MotorAve guitars but he makes like 25 a year). Stuff you can oder from Sweetwater, in my mind. The only "big" brands I can trust to always make a solid product even if I don't bond with a particular model, would be

  • PRS (yeah but admit it: great quality control and consistency)
  • G&L
  • Ernie Ball Music Man

 

 

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I didn't become a hardened Hamer addict until I became a Cali fanatic roughly around 2006-ish(?)  That said, I had many years prior wanking away on other brands/makes. Without Hamer, I'd likely be a Jackson/Charvel guy (still am, really). Though, I had very good experiences with BC Rich, Dean and Washburn's N4 back in the day as well.

 

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I was a Charvel Fan before Hamers, but I was still searching for something. I think I would have ended up with a Dean or a Washburn if Hamer didn't exist. I'm from IL so those companys from my home state interest me. 

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Posted (edited)

I like the idea of supporting an IL based company.  It's my "home" state too.  And I did start fooling with Deans/Washburns before finding Hamer.   But honestly, I would probably working my way through piles of Gibsons and PRS to find the right ones to keep.

 

Edited in August to add US Masters/Regenberg  and Robin.  I thought they made some cool guitars. 

On Reverb now...

https://reverb.com/item/13332046-sg-us-masters-hornet-electric-guitar

https://reverb.com/item/10861535-robin-avalon-classic-2010-vintage-yellow

 

Edited by BubbaVO

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Probably PRS.

I started on Charvel but never bonded with it.  Then I got a Les Paul Custom, but it had warranty issues.  Eventually I purchased a PRS and was able to concentrate on my playing and not my guitar issues.  Then I say the blue marble SS and it was all over.  The 24.75" scale I yearned for, with a Floyd Rose and a set neck, heaven. 

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To be honest, I really don‘t know. Maybe German Hoyer as they were almost equivalent to Hamer. „Were“, since they shut doors way before Hamer. They‘d be even cheaper on the used market than Hamers.

Other than that, I don‘t really know.

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Schecter for me.  I just think they're fantastic and most look good.

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As well as Hamers, the main guitars I am fans of are the older Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, and the more traditional BC Rich's.

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Hard to answer.  I craved Hamers from teenage years (early 90’s back then...) but was without the requisite funds.

Outside of Hamer I’ve always loved the Jackson Soloist and the bravery of the Jackson designs. 

BC Rich are also cool.  Big fan of Andy Larocque and what he did with King Diamond with BC Rich’s.

Until my recent visit at Dean I had no appreciation of what they had to offer.  From what I saw and handled their USA custom shop stuff is stellar.

Like Diablo I have had good experiences with Washburn N4’s but never kept them.

PRS.  I really wanted to love PRS and have owned an Artist, Artist pack 24 and a Custom 22 & 24.  Every time I tried to lovr them but they seemed to lack their own character and I found them kind of clunky.  I sold all of them.

I’m a Hamer guy at heart.  

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I have open relationships with all my guitars and am a fan of many brands. I’ll soon be down to two Hamers, a Blitz and a Tally. I have at least as many from Fender, Gretsch, Epiphone, Larrivee, Jackson, Gibson, and Guild. 

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Dean, Hoyer and, to a lesser extent, Gibson

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Mike Lull.

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Les Paul Jrs, so Gibby, but I'd have only one.

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As a kid,  loved Hamers - a lot of my favorite bands played them.  But, I also really dug 70s/early 80s Deans, and was inches away from buying a '70s bound, sunburst V, when my Dad intervened and insisted that I buy something with a warranty (new) and not a used guitar.  Lost interest in them after '83-'84 though.  Still dig the early ones.

 

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Deans, Gibbys, Ibanezs, and Charvels probably would have came my way more often.

That said, I must propose that with no Hamer maybe Dean might not have happened. I would like to know how much Dean followed Paul Hamer's lead, was he a visitor/ customer of Paul's music store saw what was going on and got the bug to build guitars/the company, or were they just two guys in the same area headed in the same direction miles and ages apart? IIRC, Paul is older than Dean Z. by a couple or more years.

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I think it depends on the application. When I bought my first Hamer, I wanted something with P-90s...a Gibson LP Special platform. At $550 cash with HSC out-the-door, the Hamer USA Special was the finest P-90 plank in production and thus, was a no-brainer. I don't think I had many options for those specs in '93.

As for 25.5" superstrats, I had and still have Charvels, Kramers, and Fenders that fit the bill, although the Hamers are far cooler. 

There are many good options out there: Dean and PRS scratch the short scale itch, while EBMM and G&L set the longer scale standard at reasonable prices. 

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DeanZ isn't mentioned in the storied lore of Hamer's founding. Dean was from Highland Park, IL., a bit tonier area than Hamer's humble beginnings. The founding of their respective companies have a lot of parallels, though. Dean's website blog is a good read.

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Posted (edited)

I originally got into used Hamers back in the mid-'90's, as I'd heard about their level of quality and consistency, and how much better they were than the average off-the-rack Gibson, at least to Hamer converts...and this was just before I had heard of the HFC or Ebay, and it only happened when I finally got regular Internet access.  The prices of buying a used Hamer vs practically any other guitar that was made in the USA and being sold used at that time was also what attracted to me to Hamer.  There's a reason why the 'Tree-Fitty' joke exists...because it wasn't unheard of to find a beat-up but reasonably intact '80's Hamer for sale for that price back then!   I can't think of any other guitar brand that would've fit the bill for what I was looking for back then, and I really can't think of an equivalent brand nowadays, except for maybe the PRS S2 series...the times are different, and things have changed a lot since the '90's.

Edited by crunchee

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Posted (edited)

 

All about timing, I think. I discovered Hamer when looking for a Tele and thought the Fender offerings were poor. My 2 choices at the time boiled down to a T51 and an ESP Ron Wood Tele. My first quality electric was a '66 335 bought new for next to nothing and later sold for next to nothing +. I gigged that guitar for several years and really never got over it! Unbelievably fine guitar. It set the bar very high which is how I ended up with that T51. I think I will always prefer a shorter scale, thought not exclusive! A lot of my fellow HFC'ers were converted as Cheap Trick fans. I seriously didn't even know who they were when I joined the HFC. when they were big my listening tastes were more towards jazz. So if Gibson weren't such a shithole I think that would have been my go to, but..... so I really like variants of the classic Gibson offerings. Really love my Shishkov and my Thorn which  has more Gibby DNA than my Shish

ArnieZ

 

 

Edited by ArnieZ
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I'm a friend of all guitars.

For utility, I'd probably go with Jackson, Dean, or BC Rich.  For high quality build, Huber or McNaught. 

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Posted (edited)

A long, strange trip it has been. Love one woman, many guitars. Us guys from back when grew up barely being able to afford an imported Lyle or USA made Harmony. My first semi decent guitar was a Fender Duo-Sonic (poor man's Mustang) and graduated to a very early Jazzmaster, that cost a whopping $85 way back then. But the "prettier stuff" was out of reach.....Gibson was the ideal, with the then still separate Epiphone a slightly more affordable substitute. Drooled over those catalogs. But everything was "fair traded" and discounts were unavailable. A GIRL player in a friend's band had one of those big orange Gretsches and that was a real anomaly.....Both a girl playing guitar AND the Gretsch.......My friend......"Yeah, we love her.....She walks, she talks, she ****s!"

Once I found some decent Gibsons, that seemed the pinnacle. What could be better? PRS came along and I picked one up in 1981 (OOPS----1991!) (Big birthday gift from my wife). Then more PRS. Worthy concept.....The best of a Gibson AND a Fender in a single guitar! But none of them really grabbed me. Left me flat. All long since gone. Back to Les Pauls and 335s.

Hamer came. Eventually most (now all) the Gibsons departed. For all the reasons we love Hamers. Got nuts and acquired a bunch. Somehow, that would lead into (in part based upon HFC recommendations!) an appreciation for the even higher quality stuff......Huber, Hartung, Walker, Myka, Thorn. AND a handful of newer PRSi that blew away the earlier ones, including a couple "singlecuts" that are (I think) better  than any Les Paul I ever personally owned. Spent way too much. Slowly (sorta) unwinding.

Problem is, the high end builders are outta the price range of most people, esp those trying to scrape up some cash, like I was back when you could buy a great used USA guitar for under $100 but had to work 2-3 weeks to raise that much dough. Today, my vote would likely be PRS.....You can spend really big bucks, but also buy at several more friendly price points. USA made S2s or imports, all of them offering very high quality at more affordable prices.

So, yeah......If today, PRS. People who have not tried one in the last 10 years or so might be surprised.

Edited by django49
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