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Hgb5000

Another sign of "no love" for Hamers

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I think they clean up nicely with binding, pearl logo, etc. This one looks like a piece of jewelry.

hamer-talladega-custom-fire-red12.jpg

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Yep, a little binding and the headstock looks great.

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I think they clean up nicely with binding, pearl logo, etc. This one looks like a piece of jewelry.

Yep, a little binding and the headstock looks great.

The issue is not the design of the headstock "by itself". If it were a piece of furniture, or some other thing sold alone as one piece, it might be OK.

The beauty of things depends on how they match with their surroundings. And Hamer's headstock, combined with the rest of the guitar, just looks ugly. Not to all, of course, but to enough people that they do not bother to play, let alone buy them.

And Hamer was not massively successful because of that reason. The only massive success was had during the 80's...and that headstock was mostly unused then.

It's not that difficult to figure out. :)

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^

If true, that's pretty sad. Headstock did not factor in whatsoever for me. But then again, I don't think I could tell you if any of mine are bound if I didn't look at them first.

The general public just hasn't seen enough of the Hamer brand in advertising and endorsed and popular musicians playing Hamers. Couple this with stiff competition from other brands that have greater capacity to produce and make deals with retail outlets, it leaves pretty much word of mouth, first hand exposure to the quality or a leap of faith for a fellow, in my eyes, to make the right decision.

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The only massive success was had during the 80's...and that headstock was mostly unused then.

It's not that difficult to figure out. :)

The height of production was in the mid 90's- not the 80's.

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The general public just hasn't seen enough of the Hamer brand in advertising and endorsed and popular musicians playing Hamers.

They get rave reviews from Guitar Player magazine every year. Besides - what about all those boutique pedal makers that survive with limited advertising?

I agree with others - the headstock does (entirely) not fit the guitars. The worst offender is the Taladega. They should have come up with a completely new design for that (maybe 6 on a side?) No, scratch that - the worst offender is those flying V's with the standard headstock.

Consider that Gibson and PRS have modified their headstocks to suit different models (mostly hollowbody jazz boxes).

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The only massive success was had during the 80's...and that headstock was mostly unused then.

It's not that difficult to figure out. :)

The height of production was in the mid 90's- not the 80's.

Back then I imagine they were selling a lot of Specials, Special FM's & Studios. Great Gibsonesque guitars that sold for half the cost of a Gibby. AS I recall, the Special P90 was $800 when (re)introduced in '92, and then went up to $900 in '93. Special FM's were about $1100 and Studios (sans binding) were $1500. That's a far cry from a $4000 list.

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Back then I imagine they were selling a lot of Specials, Special FM's & Studios. Great Gibsonesque guitars that sold for half the cost of a Gibby. AS I recall, the Special P90 was $800 when (re)introduced in '92, and then went up to $900 in '93. Special FM's were about $1100 and Studios (sans binding) were $1500. That's a far cry from a $4000 list.

Not buying that argument. Tell me what the list price was on a Les Paul Custom in 1992-3 v. now.

The relative increases are not really out of line.

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Put me in the camp that doesn't appreciate the headstock. All the guitar players I know say it looks clunky.

The Hamer headstock looks great. It has a total bad ass rock n roll design. Simple but elegant.

Now this is an ugly headstock. It looks undersized and has so little rock n roll in it's design. I can see why Fred Durst would play something like this, and that guy with the saloon trimmed beard from Janes Addiction. It's a gay mans design (no offence, I have a lot of gay friends, but none of them are in to rock n roll).

PRS_Headstock_1_2_Sandstone-281x252.jpg

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The early '90s headstocks indeed were barely more than blanks, as they had near zero taper toward the top. They've since gotten better.

That having been said, I'll never be convinced that's the reason why Hamer isn't on very many players' radar these days. Again, it's a simple fact of not enough people being aware of the brand to be particular about the headstock, which speaks to a failure in marketing.

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I think Hamer doesn't get a lot of love because they have done a poor job of educating the customer as to why their stuff is a better alternative. Most of us die hard fans probably know a little bit about guitar construction and vintage guitars (and why they were considered better than the stuff from the 70's). To the average Joe that doesn't know (or want to know) about that stuff, Hamer will be a knockoff brand that will never have the name recognition or resale value of its Gibby counterpart. That's a tough sell. Very sad but I think it's true.

I'm a huge fan of the 90's "Modern Vintage" era Hamers. I agree that some of those headstocks were no oil painting but I was willing to overlook that because you got so much more for your money in every other aspect of the guitar. Now that they are charging more money - I think people want it all, top notch quality (which they have), bragging rights (I don't think the average Gear Pager considers a Hamer in the same vein as a Huber, Gustavsson, etc) and the ability to get EXACTLY what you want in a custom order. Some of those PRS Private Stock guitars are monstrosities, but the guy that opened his wallet and spec'd it out doesn't think so.

So , currently they are not a factory built "bang for the buck" instrument because they have priced themselves out of that market. The "bang for the buck" Hamers are readily available for cheap on the used market and will get you 95% of what you would get in a new one at a fraction of the cost. They are not a Master Built or Private Stock instrument (even though they are the same or better quality) because they won't build stuff like this

ps1668.jpg

So, what are they and what do they want to be?

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The Hamer headstock looks great. It has a total bad ass rock n roll design. Simple but elegant.

Good for you. Good also for the majority of members of the HFC, which seem to find it OK.

The issue is that "most" people, from the guitar-playing public at large, find it ugly.

Have you noticed how a typical Hamer looks hanging from people that are playing it, especially standing?

Have you noticed that -more often than not- even dealers advertise their Hamers, either with the guitar against a black background, so the shape of the headstock (also black) does not become apparent? Many do not even show the complete guitar in their pictures, they focus mostly on the body, which is gorgeous (not a Hamer design, though...talking about the Special-derived line of guitars).

Remember the successful and drool-inducing "Modern Vintage" ads? Yep, black background behind the headstock. How conveeeeeenient... :)

original_ad.jpg

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Remember the successful and drool-inducing "Modern Vintage" ads? Yep, black background behind the headstock. How conveeeeeenient... :)

I seriously doubt that those photographs were taken that way to conceal the Hamer headstock. That would be a conspiracy theory equal to believeing Elvis or Curt Cobain is still alive. If Hamer did not like the headstocks they would have changed them long ago. They decided not to use the six on one side 80's headstock, they decided not to use stadium logos. They would change that headstock in a minute if they believed it would sell more guitars, believe me. Hamer likes that headstock. And, btw, that is a cool shot. Jol likes photography and there was a story posted somewhere about how that photo was taken. I believe it was on Jol's blog when he talked about how he got that Bluesbreaker.

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The issue is that "most" people, from the guitar-playing public at large, find it ugly.

How do you know?

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I am sure Jol likes his headstock design very much. He also probably knows most people do not, but since he is content with very low product output for his needs, he just hopes enough of the minority would like it so he could sell what he produces.

Just a normal, legit business decision. Whether finally successful, especially in comparison with other competitors, only time will tell.

I seriously doubt that those photographs were taken that way to conceal the Hamer headstock.

Of course not... :)

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If Hamer did not like the headstocks they would have changed them long ago.

They would change that headstock in a minute if they believed it would sell more guitars, believe me.

I'm not buying what you say in the second sentence I quoted, based on what you said in the first sentence I quoted. Hamer has pretty much established that they do what they want first and what the market allegedly wants second.

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I can't speak for anyone regarding that photo session but I think it's a stretch to think they were trying to conceal it. The headstock DID change right around that time (92 or 93). It was right around the time they changed from the traditional bell shaped truss rod cover. I don't know what the reasons were for changing it (I think it had something to do with Gibson but I can't remember for certain). IIRC, it took about a day to make the changeover.

If they wanted to change it- they would (and could very easily). They chose to dress it up.

edited to add that there are some custom ordered Hamers with different 3 x 3 headstock shapes and logo placement out there. I remember one that had the logo across the tip (like a Gibson). To me, it didn't look right at all.

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Some people in this thread are in need of some cheese.

-Austin

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I honestly have never thought the 3 x 3 headstocks were ugly, or even thought twice about them. I've also never heard anyone call them ugly anywhere but the internet. To me , they're not much different than a Gibson headstock; they're straightforward and functional.

On the other hand, I have spec'd some strange guitars that don't appeal to the world, and my tastes are often not representative of the majority's (I've learned this when I've tried to sell cars, guitars, and houses that were cool to me but a turnoff to many).

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Of course if you show the entire guitar in an add photo, the body of the guitar is very small. How does everyone feel about the DeAngelico New Yorker headstock? I'm not buying the headstock thing. People are more concerned with what they perceive as cool and image than they are quality. I had never heard of Hamer whenI bought my first, a T51. I was looking for a Tele and after playing he Hamer and doing a little research, there was no doubt. the Hamer was clearly a higher quality instrument and it showed.

ArnieZ

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It's a gay mans design (no offence, I have a lot of gay friends, but none of them are in to rock n roll).

This is stupid on several levels, whether offensive or not.

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It's a gay mans design (no offence, I have a lot of gay friends, but none of them are in to rock n roll).

This is stupid on several levels, whether offensive or not.

Rob Halford's into Rock & Roll :)

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Did someone say "ugly headstock?" In a world of Epiphone, PRS and Dean, there is nothing wrong with the Hamer headstock.

Oh, and Freddie Mercury and Bob Mould probably know - or knew - a little bit about rock 'n' roll too.

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Oh, and Freddie Mercury and Bob Mould probably know - or knew - a little bit about rock 'n' roll too.

Not to mention Winger.

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Not to mention Winger.

:)

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