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


BCR Greg

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Pete,

I agree with your sentiments. When I was a teen, all my pals aspired to own a killer stereo with the best turntable, tape deck, amp and speakers. We pored over THD specs and spent hours in audiophile shops A/B comparing systems. The goal was high quality.

Today, mp3s are the standard, audiophile quality is no longer a desire, and low cost, ease of deliverability and portability drive the market. A 900 watt stereo receiver costs $250 due to cheap electronics and you can't even find the specs for it because no one cares.

With regard to Hamer, the brand extends to the import line and as we have seen they are pretty good, exceptionally good for the money. So I could see how younger players - used to paying next to nothing for entertainment - would have a hard time justifying the coin for a new Hamer USA when they can get a Hamer import on Ebay for a few hundred.

The hi-fi analogy works for me. Look how SACD has made no impact whatsoever.

Most people want cheap and convenient - then throw it away when it goes wrong.

Clever marketing can make a 'name' desirable even if it is just the same crap as everything else.

Brave New World?

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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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because he got shafted....

He got shafted because his strategies were distroying an otherwise valuable brand. Fender thought they could revive it and tried, but the damage was done.

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Actually, FMIC never tried to "revive" the Hamer brand. They allowed it to continue on its own, but didn't put any resources behind it. Frank U. did what he could to keep the lifeblood pumping, but in the end, FMIC just decided it was time to pull the plug and put money behind the Guild (and other) lines.

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Actually, FMIC never tried to "revive" the Hamer brand. They allowed it to continue on its own, but didn't put any resources behind it. Frank U. did what he could to keep the lifeblood pumping, but in the end, FMIC just decided it was time to pull the plug and put money behind the Guild (and other) lines.

This...

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I ask myself another question: What does this mean for the Hamers we own. Are they losing their value? Are they getting more expensive?

Neither.

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So now I have a new excuse for buying used Hamers 'cause "Honey, they're not making any more"

I think there are too many choices out there for the prices to really go up except for really exceptional or maybe one-of models, and then it's "one man's trash" right?

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There is no reason prices should change. They will remain to stay relative to the original retail prices, possibly would add up on future inflation. There is enough Hamer history for today to backup the idea.

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They should have had a stepped approach to their geetars.... cheap imports, good cheap imports, good production USA made (esquire, tele, strat, jr, special, LP), then special guitars and then custom guitars... and they had all of these at some point in their history....

That's exactly what's funny. They have had it all, but didn't prevail. It's a marketing issue for sure, but the cause of that issue is management and the vision they have had. Jol was a capricious guy.

But they ddin't have it all at once, when the market had shifted to that type of place...

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Pete,

I agree with your sentiments. When I was a teen, all my pals aspired to own a killer stereo with the best turntable, tape deck, amp and speakers. We pored over THD specs and spent hours in audiophile shops A/B comparing systems. The goal was high quality.

Today, mp3s are the standard, audiophile quality is no longer a desire, and low cost, ease of deliverability and portability drive the market. A 900 watt stereo receiver costs $250 due to cheap electronics and you can't even find the specs for it because no one cares.

With regard to Hamer, the brand extends to the import line and as we have seen they are pretty good, exceptionally good for the money. So I could see how younger players - used to paying next to nothing for entertainment - would have a hard time justifying the coin for a new Hamer USA when they can get a Hamer import on Ebay for a few hundred.

The hi-fi analogy works for me. Look how SACD has made no impact whatsoever.

Most people want cheap and convenient - then throw it away when it goes wrong.

Clever marketing can make a 'name' desirable even if it is just the same crap as everything else.

Brave New World?

Quality stereo found a mainstream market in the '70s because there were few other ways to spend your home entertainment money. Most TV was on-air with a choice of 3-5 channels. Affordable VCRs were still 10 years away. Home computers were right around the corner, but getting connected on the WWW was still a long way off. There were no smart phones, no tablets, no Facebook, no Twitter. Home stereo was the only form of self-determined home entertainment at the time--the only one where you picked the titles and played them back in any order and frequency that you wanted. And playback equipment was available in a wider range of quality than for any other format. At a time when you could get McIntosh separates and JBL, Ohm, Dahlquist, or ESS speakers, Revox, Tandberg, Sony, or Teac tape decks, Micro-Seiki turntables and Fidelity Research moving coil cartridges, the top level TV was still a 25" RCA color TV, which didn't look nearly as real as state-of-the-art hi-fi could sound.

There has always been a conflict between price/convenience on one hand and quality on the other. Sometimes you get a perfect storm such as the LP, which was dramatically better sounding than the 78 AND far more convenient--less fragile, lighter weight, and held four times as much music per record. Sometimes, such as the SACD, there is no improvement in convenience and little noticeable improvement in sound.

CD had advantages over LP--low noise, better sound in some ways especially on mid-level equipment and below, and a big jump in convenience--smaller form factor, more rugged, and 77 minutes of uninterrupted music (vs. about 20 for the LP). The non-impact of SACD in the marketplace doesn't so much reflect a disdain for quality as it does the other factors: it didn't sound that much better than CD, and even then it took a pretty high-res system to tell the difference. It was as convenient as CD, but not more convenient. Like Hamer, it was incrementally better, a bit more expensive, and a lot harder to find. People like quality, but only a few are willing to make lifestyle changes or go to great lengths to get it when something convenient will more or less do the job. Once places like GC and MF dropped Hamer USA in the late '90s, it became a struggle to find them and it didn't help that you couldn't point to a current mainstream artist who used them. Cheap Trick? C'mon.

Downloadable mp3s are the height of convenience, but the quality is far enough down that significant numbers of customers are seeking something better, which accounts for the resurgence of the LP. Right now, high-res music specialist Acoustic Sounds offers 2,081 titles on SACD, but 27,461 titles on vinyl, about evenly split between new issues and used LPs. It has emerged as the high-res format of choice.

And now there is a surge in demand for quality for downloads. There are several sources for high-res downloads such as HDTracks, offering download resolutions ranging from 16/44.1 (CD quality) to 24/192 Khz (state-of-the-art digital master) resolutions. I have a few 24/88.2 and 24/96 downloaded recordings that cost $14-20 each. Of course it'll never take over the market, but it's a better business model for high-res digital than SACD or DVD-A. No pressing plant, no warehouses, no inventory building. Just FLACs of master recordings waiting to be downloaded.

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Late to the wake, it seems.

I didn't wanna believe it would happen. Frankly, this is just icing on the cake for a lousy couple of years: I went through a horrendous divorce, got laid off, and had to sell off most of my guitars to support my kids (I had both for a year. I have custody of my daughter at present). I kept 3 out of nearly a dozen electrics: my PRS McCarty Standard, and my 2 Hamers. Recording, gigging etc for 2 years taught me which of my guitars were "the ones". In fact, the only used instrument I have purchased in nearly 2 decades is my '96 Studio, aka The Wife. It's used for 90% of what I do. In fact, the band got back to work this week. We were working up classic rock covers to get better gigs. I played The Wife all day. Battered, worn, chipped & scratched, it was everything I never looked at twice but has become "that guitar" for me. Did an album last year. All Hamer through Dr. Z amps.

I dunno what I'm trying to get at. Great guitars, I spoke to Mr. Keller on the phone years ago about my 25th Anniversary. He and the rest of the Hamer folks are just the salt of the earth.

I am SOOOOOOO depressed.

Sorry guys. Life has been in the way. I'm behind the grieving curve.

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Actually, FMIC never tried to "revive" the Hamer brand. They allowed it to continue on its own, but didn't put any resources behind it. Frank U. did what he could to keep the lifeblood pumping, but in the end, FMIC just decided it was time to pull the plug and put money behind the Guild (and other) lines.

It's sad that FMIC didn't at least give a final gasp and say something like "no more orders after Dec 31," to let dealers/buyers get in under the closing gate. So now Fender has nailed the coffin lids on the two brands that I owned the most of over the years...Hamer and SUNN.

It's a sad day but I guess better than FMIC having turned all Hamers into non-US made crap and slapping a Fender-ish logo on them to put them in Walmarts and Best Buys.

We can only hope they simply mothball the brand and keep all the builders busy building Guilds, etc. until the economy recovers and then bring Hamer out of a hiatus. I personally believe Hamer's value to FMIC is that it is a way for Fender to make Gibson-ish guitars without being sued by Gibson. If FMIC ever decided on a clever way to market that, especially while Gibson is also presently hurting finacially, it could pull from Gibson's market share.

Rather ironic how the timing of the release of the long hoped for Hamer Guitar book will work out as a eulogy.

HamerLogo_NewFenderVersionW.jpg

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In the days when you can buy an LTD guitar for $300 that you could play the Gardens with, it's pretty hard for people to want to spend $3,000+ on a guitar for playing around the house. You hit the point of diminishing returns pretty quickly now a days. $600 can get a pretty nice, and easy to replace, guitar.

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In the days when you can buy an LTD guitar for $300 that you could play the Gardens with, it's pretty hard for people to want to spend $3,000+ on a guitar for playing around the house. You hit the point of diminishing returns pretty quickly now a days. $600 can get a pretty nice, and easy to replace, guitar.

IMHO, they definitely priced themselves out of the market. If they had a regular production run of guitars for $1,500, they would have faired much better during the recession.

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Sucks. It's depressing. The first thought in my head when Fender took over was the end is near. Glad that the builders are from what I can tell still working on guitars even they are not Hamers. I love my Hamers and appreciate the quality and sound from them. I will never forget the first one I played, a Vintage S. That started it all for me. Didn't know much about Hamer until I heard Gary Hoey's cover of Hocus Pocus on the radio many years ago. Bought the album and saw the pics of Hoey and his Hamers. One day I stopped by a music store in Tacoma, WA and there was a wall of Hamer USA's and the Slammer Series. I played that Vintage S for hours. Couldn't afford it so I walked out of there with an import Cali. You know the one, those ugly red ones. Played great though. The neck on that thing was as fast as the Peavey Vandenberg I had at the time. I will get a Vintage S like the one I played at the store someday. Always wanted to order a new Hamer as well but the plug got pulled before I could try (lack of funds). Anyways, great bunch of guitars, their builders and of course the people of this board. You all have been great! I will continue to play Hamers and hopefully buy more sooner or later.

Thanks!

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Yeah, like their old Special or a stripped down Standard.

FYI, I had a "stripped down" Standard (albeit left handed) quoted a couple of years ago. Basically, a left handed version of the Gibson 76 Explorer. The quoted price was $3300, which was more than what the right-handed Gibson Custom Shop mahogany Explorers were selling for at the time.

I was expecting more something around $2,000 since I had purchased a new, lefthanded Korina Vector a few years earlier at around $2,500. I don't know if the Fender buyout caused prices to increase 50+% or what, but it priced me out of the market.

I ended up getting this one built locally.

219d89b8.jpg

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But that was a custom ordered one. If they wanted their name out there and did a run, they could do it for less. Heck a Gibson Explorer is only $1400, I'm sure Hamer could be close to that.

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Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...the tough get goin'! Who's with me?

We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

We're just the guys to do it.

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