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Jol where are you?


LostArt

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The guys building the guitars would NEVER let quality drop.

Fact.

But the guys building are not calling the shots. FMIC is and they are ran by business men and lawyers not musicians and they make decisions based on monetary gains not quality (they don't always go hand in hand).

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The name Dantzig Guitars could run into an image problem regarding NJ misfit Glenn Danzig.

You mean Glenn Allen Anzalone? It's spelled different, and Jol's given last name really is Dantzig.
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The guys building the guitars would NEVER let quality drop.

Fact.

yes, IF they are still there in a few years. Meddlesome corporate interference can work wonders.

My main instrument is trombone (planning on going back to grad school for performance) and I've watched the last vestiges of the great makers Conn, Holton, King, Bach, etc be all crammed into one company, which was first UMI, which merged with Selmer (who owned bach) to become Conn-Selmer, who them bought out Steinway, and changed its name to Steinway. Now they are busy completing the gutting of most lines so that they don't have inter-brand competition, which is just plain sad.

It would be worse if new brass instrument builders (many of whom worked at other companies previously) didn't pop up to make new instruments, and even make many tribute instruments inspired by the Conn, Bach, and King instruments that are no longer made. Too many brands under one corporate umbrella is never a good thing.

As for Jol getting the Hamer name? I doubt it would ever happen. There was much more a chance of Dave Mustaine buying Jackson guitars... which actually almost happened, but unfortunately they went to FMIC, and the insulted Mustaine promptly pulled his endorsement and went to ESP, and then to Dean.

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How do you know FMIC didn't offer Jol a chance to buy Hamer? All we know is that he doesn't work there any more, but we don't even know who made the decision, or how it was made.

Those of us with backgrounds in engineering, manufacturing, and management know that Hamer absolutely could not have been a money maker in it's New Hartford incarnation. Probably not even a break even proposition unless overhead was allocated away from Hamer. The import line supports the USA line, with the USA line existing solely to give the imports a reason to exist.

Jol was content to make the best guitar he could, at a price that generated enough revenue to keep the corporate guys out of his way. They probably left him alone and he liked it that way. Not so with a company like FMIC. Bill Kaman was very good to Hamer, and to all of us who were able to meet him. But it wasn't just a business to him either.

Last I checked, Fender was doing great with their Charvel line, even though Wayne Charvel and Grover Jackson don't work there. I think Grover collaborated a bit so that Fender could use his name, but he doesn't "work" there. And Fender has done OK without Leo. Even G&L has gotten by without him.

Frank Untermeyer (sp?) is still there. He's the only one left now that Jol and Frank Rindone are gone. I've spent some time talking to Frank U. and I have a lot of confidence in his operations management expertise. He'll run things well as long as Fender lets him...

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Jol has had one heckuva run by any standard and I can't help but think that something very positive will come of this. I also hope that he retained transferrable ownership rights over his designs and/or any proprietary manufacturing processes, and that going forward, royalty payments and or licensing fees will be paid to him by FMIC (or the highest bidder), forever.

Jol, if by chance you are reading this, Thank You and I wish you the best!

Sincerely,

Joe G

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How do you know FMIC didn't offer Jol a chance to buy Hamer? All we know is that he doesn't work there any more, but we don't even know who made the decision, or how it was made.

Last I checked, Fender was doing great with their Charvel line, even though Wayne Charvel and Grover Jackson don't work there. I think Grover collaborated a bit so that Fender could use his name, but he doesn't "work" there. And Fender has done OK without Leo. Even G&L has gotten by without him.

Frank Untermeyer (sp?) is still there. He's the only one left now that Jol and Frank Rindone are gone. I've spent some time talking to Frank U. and I have a lot of confidence in his operations management expertise. He'll run things well as long as Fender lets him...

I agree, Mike.

In fact, I mentioned the Jackson/Charvel thing to somebody earlier this afternoon. I'm sure some version of the facts that surrounded all this will trickle out in time, but hopefully, it was an amicable split and promising things will come out of all this.

In the meantime, I'm really thankful to all the gang in New Hartford for the absolute BEST guitars I've owned (and I've owned way more than anybody should over the years!).

EnvyburstStandardfull.jpg

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Well I am shocked and unhappy with the change. I can't forsee the future but Hamer has always been associated with Jol.

Jol was with Hamer Guitars twice as long as Leo Fender was with Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, and way longer than Orville Gibson was with Gibson Guitars in any capacity.

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And Fender has done OK without Leo. Even G&L has gotten by without him.

G&L lost money every year Leo owned and ran the company. Barcus-Berry Electronics (BBE, Inc.), who bought G&L in 1991 after Leo's death, managed to make the company viable by retaining the really good design features (e.g., bridges, pickups, electronics, etc.) while making the product line more approachable and less quirky. Build quality is as good or better than ever.

That's the elusive buyout success story and one that's not so easy to achieve--take a money loser with great ideas and intriguing products, retain the design strengths and correct the style and marketing weaknesses.

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I see Charvel/Jackson being brought up because of what Fender has done with them, but really I was a huge collector of those guitars and other than FMIC bringing back the Strat head on the Charvel line I can't see a single thing they have done good to the brand. The prices for the real quality line are so high it's cheaper to buy a San Dimas, and to me I've never played one that would touch an old one. Plus for years after they took over they were having quality control issues and really turning out some pure junk with necks twisting, paint falling off and general poor finish quality. They turned Gretsch is to an Import only line full of $3000+ Japanese guitars. Will they sell Hamer? I don't think so because I believe they want a Gibson style guitar in their line, but be sure they will do what ever they need to do to insure that they brand makes money. I'm not geting all wrapped up in the Jol's gone (I am sorry to see him go) because people leave just like the other pioneers who have been mentioned here and companies go on, but the question is will things be ran the way you would like to see them ran or will hamer turn into another Schector or Gretsch with of their production being Import?

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Does anyone actually know anything? Jol may have simply retired....

When you make references to "Some Heads are Gonna Roll" by Judas priest it sure doesn't sound like you retired.

That being said, you are absolutely correct, everything said so far has been pure speculation.

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Can we please stop with the anti-Fender vitriol? They, as owners of Hamer, allow this site to use the Hamer trademarks and images. If they see a lot of this sort of immature ranting, they would be within their rights to shut this place down.

Until the FACTS are known, let's sit back and see how things play out.

Punch your own walls, not the community's wall.

Greg's right.

We don't really know anything except for what Lostart said, that Fender let him go.

KMC is/was his direct employer not FMIC.

We don't know why/who/what about the chain of events.

So until I know the whole story, I'm not making any more comments about anyone or any company.

I deleted anything negative towards FMIC here and on myspace, and I'd like to apologize to them.

I don't know any facts at this point in time, so I can't comment any further.

Jim

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There it is, and I agree meeting someone 1st thing the morning coming into work? No that doesn't sound like a very cordial parting. But manufacturing is very much that way. Especially when the economy is lean. Have to wait and hear the truth. Who knows right now? Could have been a severence or an alternative position also? I'm sure all that was offered and talked about. You have to wait and hear.

Did us Proud with the Hamers though Jol.

And its No Knock on Fender guitars.......... Its a knock on the way management and manufacturing are handled for the 50-60yo employee. The one that earns top salary and is close to retirement.

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So we wait to see what FMIC does with Hamer.

Lets see Fender loves re-issues

Maybe we'll be able to get the correct spec Standard, or a '77 Sunburst??

Artist models ?? so for 15 - 25k maybe you'll get a Rick Nielson checkerboard Standard

or for 10k a Tom Dumont bulleseye Newport or a Keb Mo Monaco

What artist models do you envision??

Could be worse, imagine if Gibs@n owned Hamer and Jol left - what bizarre models would we see??

A Sunburst with the double cut at the tail end of the guitar??

Wait and see, I have NO $$$$$$$ to buy guitars for the forseeable future anyway.

Maybe my Pre Fender, or pre Jol leaving guitars will skyrocket in value and I can get stupid $$ for them or maybe they will finally get the respect they deserve on the cork sniffing forums

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Does anyone actually know anything? Jol may have simply retired....

My thoughts exactly. I would guess Jol is somewhere around 60 years old?

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Sometimes things that look tough, are not really.

Jol is a brilliant designer, and I am sure he will be more than fine. Best of luck to him.

This was going to happen, sooner or later. Maintaining a business mandates making money, and the actual vision made that impossible.

I am sure Jol will be at least as well as he was, and being out of one's comfort zone sometimes works wonders.

FMIC is a very successful company, and we should at least give them the benefit of a doubt. This even might be their chance to kill Gibson, once and for all.

At least, personally, I am looking forward to the possibility of having Hamer guitars, made by the same impressive craft men as always (hopefully), but more focused on a streamlined, less-bling, and more comercially-designed approach.

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when you remove emotion from the news and look at the current market conditions affecting hamer profitability (a.k.a. survival), it shouldn't be that much of a surprise. consider the current business mantra - "nothing personal, it's only business." under the fmic umbrella i expect a focus on structuring/positioning toward the brands strengths, competitive potential, and bottom line. i hope jol remains affiliated with the hamer brand, even in an emeritus consulting role to asist in moving the brand forward.

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i hope jol remains affiliated with the hamer brand, even in an emeritus consulting role to asist in moving the brand forward.

The way Jol's vanished from Hamer's site, I wouldn't bet on any future affiliation. Obviously I have no idea though.

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well, I am sure Hamer can do well without Jol. I do hope they will do their management and marketing thing right and we won't see Hamer branded Hendrix signature grand piano :ph34r:

and I am sure Jol can do well without Hamer.

I've been in Jol's place when sold my business and then had to leave my baby (I have created whole market from scratch with my company and then sold it), and I do better now than then.

There are two guaranteed things in life - everybody will die one day and nothing is forever.

Lets see what Jol does next.

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What will I say about this, I am not posting a lot lately, but read from time to time, had a lot of issues and a full agenda the last couple of months. Something was in the air, but the departure of Jol was a surprise:(

Hamer guitars were and are excellent guitars, but I do think they'll have a hard time and had a hard time the last couple of years. If you see how much labor the put in a guitar and the material they are using you can not expect to have a Hamer under $ 2000-2500 anymore. Then there comes a point of custommers, I can buy a $ 1000 guitar right away if I want and put earplugs in so I can't hear my wife, but a $ 3000 guitar is something else...with the financial crisis and raising guitarprices it gets harder and harder to sell them, and the fact they are not as well known as a Fender or Gibson. I am not a fan of Fender and the way they work, I own a Guild, and you have to search hard here to find an original Guild guitar cause their goal now is to sell $ 700 guitars. I think they wanna do that with brands as Hamer as well. (look how many times they've moved their Guild factory) They are more a compagny of making money instead of building nice instrumenst for a sellect group of people. Maybe, but it is speculation this is one of the parts Jol doesn't like and remember they started in the 70's with making better guitars out of a Fender/Gibson!!

Maybe if he wants to and can finance it he'll build a Dantzig guitar, and if so I will buy 1..

Just my 2 cents.....my spelling sucks, my englisch sucks...but this is what I think

Jeroen

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Sad.

I only own the one Hamer, but I've played a bunch & loved them all.

I hope FMIC knows what it's doing...

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Mm.....after Fender bought Jacksons the quality of the custom shops are still the same - but they still have the same guys that for years were building them - same 3 main dudes.

Yet more quality issues because Fender - being a big company - is always trying to save money by cutting some corners.

Example: If a body was not perfect in the past the Jackson Custom Shop would throw out the entire body and restart brand new. Now they redo it if possible so they don't have to use up new wood and can save the old wood. Cheaper to do it this way.

I can tell you from hanging on the Jackson board for years there are more minor quality issues even with the Custom Shops but overall quality is pretty much the same. Just now you might get some irregularities or fret issues once in a while. And when this happens it is a real pain cause it takes a looooooooong time for the shop to get to it and correct it because they are busy and have to make numbers.

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