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Well, it was fun....... but it's over.


BCR Greg

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Jol still makes guitars, and after all, wasn't he one half of the real Hamer? Why not buy now from him, the real deal? Or is the decal that says "Hamer" more important?

Clearly you haven't priced out any of the guitars Jol's making now! :lol:

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Austin

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I know I haven't posted in a while, but I always check posts on this board. As someone who was deeply involved with Hamer for many years and who owns a stack of them, this news is not unexpected but s

Eh. As long as the guys at the factory are still employed... then no harm. Come one, admit it: We were all trading and selling and buying used Hamers 'cos they're too damn pricey for 99% of us new. Sa

Great names have come and gone throughout our lives, and will continue to do so long after we're gone. The best we can do is relish the memory, and appreciate & enjoy the legacy. With my Newpor

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Jol still makes guitars, and after all, wasn't he one half of the real Hamer? Why not buy now from him, the real deal? Or is the decal that says "Hamer" more important?

Clearly you haven't priced out any of the guitars Jol's making now! :lol:

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Austin

Seriously - they are going for close to 10X the price of a tricked out custom order Hamer. Good luck with that...

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Thanks for the critique guys. I pretty much agree with you except to say that I think the poor marketing, unpopular models, and custom order eccentricity are reasons for the decline (or lack of ability to grow) rather than closure per se - in other circumstances they might be survivable in that the company would just become smaller and tick along at a few hundred US guitars a year, propped up by the import line. Maybe that is wishful thinking.

This thread is obviously getting acrimonious and I don't want to contribute to that, but .... if you will forgive me one more graph!? I think this is kind of interesting. I have done a rough estimate of production numbers from the serial number database and graphed them by year, with a few key events in the history of Hamer marked on. My estimates are poor towards the end because here I had to turn to serial numbers from other sources. The line wiggles each year as the company reacted to the market (i.e. each year predicting demand, then correcting the next year etc). My question is what the hell happened in 95-96? I assume this was due to the Strat and Tele copies, and the Mirage and Eclipse? There is a bit of bounce back as they move to New Hartford but ...well.


post-34880-0-13632900-1355191693_thumb.j

Jeesus, I better go do some real work today!

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My question is what the hell happened in 95-96?

I believe that was the modern vintage ad campaign time frame no? Likely I think as one of the best they ever did and had to sell some guitars. I could also walk in to Willies here in St. Paul and buy my choice of a special (2) p90, t-51 or daytona for $650 at that time.

Btw, I love the analytics! Nice work.

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That was just after the "Modern Vintage" ad campaign, which was one of their best. That was during the Eclipse, Duotone and the re-introduction of the Standard. Also the tail end of the F3nder copies, the Daytona and T-51. These were the somewhat odd 2 page spreads with the Eclipse girl, the Cruisebass girl, Lonnie Brooks, Nielsen w/the T-51, etc. They certainly blew big bucks on super cool catalogs during that era.


Right before they moved to New Hartford...

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Saddened of course, but don't really understand the rationale. What could Hamer really cost FMIC. They don't market it, They really only build it in their spare time. I don't see where there is any huge demand for Guild...

ArnieZ

I did read this post a couple of days ago and I think Arnie has stumbled on something in the ashes of the fire here.

This was one of the few thought provoking posts on the subject. There are still some custom orders to be completed - very interesting.

Hamerica

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Saddened of course, but don't really understand the rationale. What could Hamer really cost FMIC. They don't market it, They really only build it in their spare time. I don't see where there is any huge demand for Guild...

ArnieZ

I did read this post a couple of days ago and I think Arnie has stumbled on something in the ashes of the fire here.

This was one of the few thought provoking posts on the subject. There are still some custom orders to be completed - very interesting.

Hamerica

Does anyone think Fender will answer us if we write them a collectively signed letter asking them about their thoughts on Hamer. Is it possible they'll only put the USA manufacturing on a hiatus? Will they build again if they get enough custom orders? Will they consider selling the brand, (or part of it), etc?

We are enough fans here to put some weight behind these questions, if only asked politely and in the right way.

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Very sad to hear this news. I don't know the "whys" and whatnot, just that Fender bought them out a few years back. You don't see many Hamers Down Under, but I'm glad to have my own piece of American guitar history in my collection. Just a shame some of the best guitars to come out of the USA wont be made anymore.

100_0092-1.jpg

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...

Does anyone think Fender will answer us if we write them a collectively signed letter asking them about their thoughts on Hamer. Is it possible they'll only put the USA manufacturing on a hiatus? Will they build again if they get enough custom orders? Will they consider selling the brand, (or part of it), etc?

We are enough fans here to put some weight behind these questions, if only asked politely and in the right way.

Sure they would. There is no reason not to answer.

They know that at the final end we are all Strat guys. (Zorrow citing) B)

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My question is what the hell happened in 95-96?

BCR became a dealer in 1994 and was outdoing all the others by 1996.

According to the last chart, Hamer sales peaked in 1993 and began dropping like a rock in 1995. How many were you moving in 1996?

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My question is what the hell happened in 95-96?

Grunge peaked -'nuff said.

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My question is what the hell happened in 95-96?

Grunge peaked -'nuff said.

I moved to Seattle at grunge's peak in Aug. 1993. I saw at least three things in Seattle that helped kill the grunge movement (aside from the fact that the market was starting to move on): 1) The city passed an ordinance banning the posting of concert bills on utility poles. When I moved here every utility pole was totally pasted and stapled with posters for grunge acts at clubs throughout Seattle. This killed the most common and nearly cost-free form of publicity. 2) Seattle revoked the license for clubs to accept under-age patrons in drinking establishments. This had helped fuel the grunge movement here, as many sub-21-yr-olds frequented these clubs and create the buzz for the bands. The new law limited the clubs to 21-and-over, shutting out the greater part of the grunge audience. 3) Kurt Cobain committed suicide in April 1994. It was almost like what Jim Morrison's death did to the Doors. Sure, there were still Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and all those other Seattle grunge bands, and the remainder of Nirvana morphed into the Foo Fighters, but it took the wind out of the grunge movement's sails, especially when combined with the new liquor laws. There was no place for them to go, no cause to take up, no new Nirvana CDs to buy.

Suddenly grunge became a downer and we saw pop music move on to hip-hop and electronic-driven dance music and diva pop. Not much guitar action there, and that's been true now for 19 years.

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Great data, thanks.

Another data point: During that peak period in '93-95, I bought a new Special FM w/case for $750 and could have bought a new Special P-90 for $650.

Thanks for the critique guys. I pretty much agree with you except to say that I think the poor marketing, unpopular models, and custom order eccentricity are reasons for the decline (or lack of ability to grow) rather than closure per se - in other circumstances they might be survivable in that the company would just become smaller and tick along at a few hundred US guitars a year, propped up by the import line. Maybe that is wishful thinking.

This thread is obviously getting acrimonious and I don't want to contribute to that, but .... if you will forgive me one more graph!? I think this is kind of interesting. I have done a rough estimate of production numbers from the serial number database and graphed them by year, with a few key events in the history of Hamer marked on. My estimates are poor towards the end because here I had to turn to serial numbers from other sources. The line wiggles each year as the company reacted to the market (i.e. each year predicting demand, then correcting the next year etc). My question is what the hell happened in 95-96? I assume this was due to the Strat and Tele copies, and the Mirage and Eclipse? There is a bit of bounce back as they move to New Hartford but ...well.


attachicon.gifHamer-production.jpg

Jeesus, I better go do some real work today!

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Great data, thanks.

Another data point: During that peak period in '93-95, I bought a new Special FM w/case for $750 and could have bought a new Special P-90 for $650.

Thanks for the critique guys. I pretty much agree with you except to say that I think the poor marketing, unpopular models, and custom order eccentricity are reasons for the decline (or lack of ability to grow) rather than closure per se - in other circumstances they might be survivable in that the company would just become smaller and tick along at a few hundred US guitars a year, propped up by the import line. Maybe that is wishful thinking.

This thread is obviously getting acrimonious and I don't want to contribute to that, but .... if you will forgive me one more graph!? I think this is kind of interesting. I have done a rough estimate of production numbers from the serial number database and graphed them by year, with a few key events in the history of Hamer marked on. My estimates are poor towards the end because here I had to turn to serial numbers from other sources. The line wiggles each year as the company reacted to the market (i.e. each year predicting demand, then correcting the next year etc). My question is what the hell happened in 95-96? I assume this was due to the Strat and Tele copies, and the Mirage and Eclipse? There is a bit of bounce back as they move to New Hartford but ...well.

attachicon.gifHamer-production.jpg

Jeesus, I better go do some real work today!

That raises an interesting question... Did their manufacturing facilities in Chicago give them economies of scale they didn't have in New Hartford? I bought my first Hamer new in 1997 (a 1996 Cruise Bass) for $750; the list price was $1199 or $1299 IIRC. Certainly a competitive price at the time, and a bargain for that bass. Did throttling back production in New Hartford contribute to their loss of market visibility, causing a vicious cycle of lower production, less visibility and higher prices? Again, I don't know, just putting it out there for discussion.

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Yes, in a word.

Plus they couldn't sell all the 4,000 a year made in Arlington Heights anymore.

And factor in Jol's 'eccentricities' once he arrived at New Hartford. (The politest way to put it).

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Maybe Rick can sell off some of his collection to finance buying the company !

He said in the interview I did with him long ago that is on the site that he once wanted to buy part of Hamer.

The dress code for employees under Rick Nielsen might have made it hard to recruit employees.

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My question is what the hell happened in 95-96?

BCR became a dealer in 1994 and was outdoing all the others by 1996.

According to the last chart, Hamer sales peaked in 1993 and began dropping like a rock in 1995. How many were you moving in 1996?

Almost all of them.

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Maybe Rick can sell off some of his collection to finance buying the company !

He said in the interview I did with him long ago that is on the site that he once wanted to buy part of Hamer.

Eventually, that would have been a pour investment. And I don't think it would have helped for better.

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Bummer about the shut down, I hope the guys building still have jobs when it's all said and done. I should have ordered one more B4M when I had the chance.

And who gives a shit who sold the most custom Hamers. I'll take good customer service over sales any day.

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And who gives a shit who sold the most custom Hamers. I'll take good customer service over sales any day.

This...

Greg said he was the Number 1 dealer in 96; since we were talking numbers I just wondered how many guitars that meant. No need for everyone to get upset.

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I was a top dealer as well. I grew up in Evanston and went to Northern Prarie Music as a kid. I was there when the first Standard/s arrived. I remember Paul A/B-ing them with a late '50's Goldtop with buckers through a Marshall stack. Oh what fun! A kids dream. It's what really got me into the music biz. I am grateful to have been a part of it all. I am grateful to Paul, Jol, Frank & Jim. Let's never forget John Montgomery, the man who built the first Standards.

This is now the new America. I think the general buying public is to blame. "We want it for cheap". No one is willing to pay what something is worth and weren't willing to support the dealers either. This is what killed the dealer network and consiquently the company. (in my opinion). Unfortunately we will all suffer as a result. Thanks to BCR Greg, Wilcutt's and anyone else who financially supported the Hamer guitar company.

I play my USA Elite daily and it is as great as a guitar could ever be. My USA Hamer Standard hangs over my fireplace. I gaze at it daily. Long live the legacy.

Pete Flynn, Flynn Guitars, Evanston, IL. USA.

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