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Kaman sold to Fender


alpep

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Per Paul at the Experience PRS event Ted gave the papers to Paul before he died. Paul is the first one to say they are just papers, Gibson clearly owns the patents.

Yep. Evidently McCarty is the inventor of record for the Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, Moderne, and several others, but Gibson is the assignee.

Moderne patent

Paul never mentioned the actual ownership at my sessions, just that he had the patents. I assumed that Gibson had to still own them, but I wasn't sure so I kept my fingers off those keys.

Personally, I hope this all bodes well for Hamer, but my experience w/company mergers hasn't exactly been positive, so I'm not holding my breath.

Alan

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I sure hope they don't handle Hamer like the rest of their line. If so we'l be seeing the likes of American Series Artist, MIJ Artist, MIM Artist, Squire Artist, FSR Artist, etc........

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Well, I'm certainly freaked out. I just got off the phone with Greg and I've pretty much decided to do what it takes to get a new Korina Vector with big frets.

Any local SoCal brothers interested in coming over to check out my Metaltronix M1000 head AND CAB?

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One possibility: Fender licenses its products (along with the Jackson stuff) to be built by Warmoth. Bolt-neck Hamer-shredder kits from Warmoth would make for fun winter projects.... <_<

I wish. But I don't think Warmoth has even gotten to the point of doing "true" 24 fret necks and bodies yet. I can only wish for a Cali kit one day if new ones without cooties are never made again. :P

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just read an article on the sale in this months Music Trades magazine.

Kamans management is staying in place with president Ed Miller reporting to FMIC in Scottsdale. Kaman is going to operate as a seperate division and headquarters will remain in CT.

They said that the aquisition is a great fit in that there is not much of an overlap in any particular area. Hamer is not mentioned much except that they are a part of the sale. FMIC is impressed with Kamans inventory/ordering system and hopes to integrate into Kamans many distribution centers accross the country. As part of the agreement Kaman has allowed fender to use the Kaman Musuc trademark for 3 years. Fender will refer to the new division as KMC.

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Hamer now owned by Fender. Let's see if they screw the Hamer brand up like they did to Guild.

They did pretty well with Gretsch and Jackson... and I'd imagine it would be hard to do more damage than Kaman has done. Maybe we'll gt those reissues after all.

But they slaughtered Charvel. I would guess that if I ordered a master built Eldred with Fender on the headstock, it would be cheaper and not screwed up.

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But they slaughtered Charvel. I would guess that if I ordered a master built Eldred with Fender on the headstock, it would be cheaper and not screwed up.

How do you mean? People buying new Charvels are saying they play and sound as good as the originals.

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Guest Mike Lee

You know, that is ALWAYS what they say when one company purchases another - everything will stay the same, it will run as a separate company, we don't want to mess with success, etc.

But almost always, after a year or two they start to integrate the two companies to save money - commonized IT infrastructure, financial systems, commodity purchasing.

And managers from FMIC will start moving over to KMC as the existing managers retire or quit.

What I hope Fender forces Hamer to do is clean up the import line. IMO, we shouldn't have a bunch of imports that have nothing to do with Hamer USA. It's like they went to an Asian job shop already making guitars and just started slapping Hamer headstocks and decals on whatever they were already making. Sure they make import Studios and Standards, but there have been a lot of guitars like the Echotone, Stelllar I & II, and many others that have no USA counterpart. Why not a cheaper Newport import (topped with plywood instead of solid spruce of course)? It could be built the same as the Echotone, just shaped like an actual Hamer, instead of a 335.

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You know, that is ALWAYS what they say when one company purchases another - everything will stay the same, it will run as a separate company, we don't want to mess with success, etc.

But almost always, after a year or two they start to integrate the two companies to save money - commonized IT infrastructure, financial systems, commodity purchasing.

And managers from FMIC will start moving over to KMC as the existing managers retire or quit.

What I hope Fender forces Hamer to do is clean up the import line. IMO, we shouldn't have a bunch of imports that have nothing to do with Hamer USA. It's like they went to an Asian job shop already making guitars and just started slapping Hamer headstocks and decals on whatever they were already making. Sure they make import Studios and Standards, but there have been a lot of guitars like the Echotone, Stelllar I & II, and many others that have no USA counterpart. Why not a cheaper Newport import (topped with plywood instead of solid spruce of course)? It could be built the same as the Echotone, just shaped like an actual Hamer, instead of a 335.

I don't know-I think that one of the biggest problems that Hamer has had image-wise with their imports is that they're TOO MUCH like the USA made ones. Many people I've talked to over the past decade view Hamer much like Dean-no longer making guitars in the USA (yes I know that Dean is NOW, but they didn't for a long time which killed the brand for me-too confusing).

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Guest Mike Lee

You know, that is ALWAYS what they say when one company purchases another - everything will stay the same, it will run as a separate company, we don't want to mess with success, etc.

But almost always, after a year or two they start to integrate the two companies to save money - commonized IT infrastructure, financial systems, commodity purchasing.

And managers from FMIC will start moving over to KMC as the existing managers retire or quit.

What I hope Fender forces Hamer to do is clean up the import line. IMO, we shouldn't have a bunch of imports that have nothing to do with Hamer USA. It's like they went to an Asian job shop already making guitars and just started slapping Hamer headstocks and decals on whatever they were already making. Sure they make import Studios and Standards, but there have been a lot of guitars like the Echotone, Stelllar I & II, and many others that have no USA counterpart. Why not a cheaper Newport import (topped with plywood instead of solid spruce of course)? It could be built the same as the Echotone, just shaped like an actual Hamer, instead of a 335.

I don't know-I think that one of the biggest problems that Hamer has had image-wise with their imports is that they're TOO MUCH like the USA made ones. Many people I've talked to over the past decade view Hamer much like Dean-no longer making guitars in the USA (yes I know that Dean is NOW, but they didn't for a long time which killed the brand for me-too confusing).

Good point. I think that's because none of the major stores carry Hamer. All GC and Musician's Friend carry are the imports, and unfortunately, that's all the majority of the buying public really knows. You have to seek out Hamer USA, it doesn't jump out at you in stores like Gibson, Fender, PRS, and the other big names do.

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I think it's unfortunate that the current import line has cheapened unique Hamer features like boomerang inlays and body/headstock purfling. Hopefully someone will decide to sort that out. I think it would be better for Hamer if their import line was more like PRS's; reminiscent of the USA line, but clearly inferior. Of course, PRS just blurred that line with the Mira model they released...

-Austin

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I think it's unfortunate that the current import line has cheapened unique Hamer features like boomerang inlays and body/headstock purfling. Hopefully someone will decide to sort that out. I think it would be better for Hamer if their import line was more like PRS's; reminiscent of the USA line, but clearly inferior. Of course, PRS just blurred that line with the Mira model they released...

-Austin

Is the Mira an import? It kinda looks like one of the Hamer imports to me (I forget which one, but that double cut w/the pickguard).

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I don't think so Steve.

I didn't think so either, but it looks a lot "cheaper" than the rest of their USA line to me.

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I don't think so Steve.

I didn't think so either, but it looks a lot "cheaper" than the rest of their USA line to me.

Exactly! All the accounts I've read say it's a great guitar, but since only import PRS's have had pickguards up to now, it immediately makes me think of an import.

-Austin

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IMO, PRS imports are superb guitars with pretty good electronics, hardware that works well, and pickups that sound great. Same with Korean and MIM Fenders -- damn good guitars in general for what they cost. I can't say that about the Hamer imports I've played. ESP LTD makes some $500-ish range guitars that absolutely slay for the price; I don't think the Hamer imports can even touch those, so yeah, hopefully FMIC will "clean up" the Hamer import line, especially if that's a new player's first intro to the brand. All IMO of course and YMMV.

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The Mira is actually a very nice, USA-made PRS. Paul's trying to maintain a toehold in the mid-priced market with a set neck guitar, since even the Standards are over $2k street these days. I played a couple of the Prototypes and early run models and although it wasn't for me, it is still a really nice guitar. The pickguard admittedly turned me off visually on that guitar right away. The DGT is a FAR more impressive instrument for not all that much more $$.

I think the newer Hamer imports have really taken a quality nosedive. I felt pretty confident recommending the MIK guitars up to a few years ago, but not so sure about things lately. They have a huge variety and some really nicely thought out stuff that should be in demand, but the build standard just isn't what it used to be.

BTW - regarding PRS and artist use... I always thought PRS gave away their guitars to artists for free, but apparently that isn't the case. They have a pool of "loaners", some of which are their non-bandsawed B-stock, but otherwise, if an artist wants to keep a PRS, he/she pays cost for it. I heard that directly from Paul, and asked a friend of mine on the office side of PRS, who confirmed that. They do give out "tweaked" imports from time to time apparently...

Who knew?

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Let me put is this way: when friends of mine ask something like, "Hey, I wanna spend about $500ish on a new guitar, what would you suggest?" Here's my answer every time -- PRS Singlecut SE:

front.jpg

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