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


BCR Greg

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Enough, gang.

Play nice now...

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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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Look, I'm not looking to go get in a beef with anyone here, but a bunch of signatures from a few hundred broke-ass motherfuckers who were never going to order a new Hamer in the first place is not going to sway the decisions of a huge corporation like FMIC.

That is so perfect it should be my new sig line.

Lets review. A lot of people pissed and moaned that Hamer/Jol wouldn't build this or that. Jol was shown the door. Frank U took the reigns and implemented a field of dreams approach (if we build it they will come) and only a few people actually opened up their wallets. One Thunderbolt was built. ONE. A handful of shredders made it out the door (Chapps, Calis, SS models, etc) even though many people talked like a hundred orders would come in if they agreed to build them. Jol knew what he was talking about when he said at an HFC open house that he wouldn't consider reissuing a model until the used price approached the price of what a new one would cost (I'm paraphrasing).

Why would they put Guild and the Fender Acoustic Custom shop on the backburner to keep Hamer alive? It will probably take another year just to complete the orders in house. All efficiencies of manufacturing are gone in their current approach to building ( a few hours a week here and there). It is doubtful that they were even profitable with Hamer in their recent state even though the prices have skyrocketed. Besides that, many unfinished guitars (not custom orders) were left to rot because no one wanted them.

It seemed that people only wanted to buy used. Now its your only option and those prices have remained stable. That shows how much demand there is for a USA Hamer.

RIP Hamer- the best damn guitar no one ever heard of.

I agree with this! Many if not most Hamer fans, this board included, bought most of their Hamers used. Comments on this and other forums indicate people feel Hamer priced themselves out of the market, especially when prices climbed above $1500! We all know these were never $1500 dollar guitars, part of the reason we coveted them. They were just too damn good at that price point and Hamer couldn't make any money selling them at that price. Hamer was trying to be a good employer offering a reasonable wage and insurance benefits and those costs kept rising. I know for a fact that Jol was concerned about trying to keep his crew happy as well as maintaining and improving the quality of the product. You can't make a guitar in the USA that should sell for $2500 and sell it for $1500 and stay in business and FMIC is all about business.

ArnieZ

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Look, I'm not looking to go get in a beef with anyone here, but a bunch of signatures from a few hundred broke-ass motherfuckers who were never going to order a new Hamer in the first place is not going to sway the decisions of a huge corporation like FMIC.

That is so perfect it should be my new sig line.

Lets review. A lot of people pissed and moaned that Hamer/Jol wouldn't build this or that. Jol was shown the door. Frank U took the reigns and implemented a field of dreams approach (if we build it they will come) and only a few people actually opened up their wallets. One Thunderbolt was built. ONE. A handful of shredders made it out the door (Chapps, Calis, SS models, etc) even though many people talked like a hundred orders would come in if they agreed to build them. Jol knew what he was talking about when he said at an HFC open house that he wouldn't consider reissuing a model until the used price approached the price of what a new one would cost (I'm paraphrasing).

Why would they put Guild and the Fender Acoustic Custom shop on the backburner to keep Hamer alive? It will probably take another year just to complete the orders in house. All efficiencies of manufacturing are gone in their current approach to building ( a few hours a week here and there). It is doubtful that they were even profitable with Hamer in their recent state even though the prices have skyrocketed. Besides that, many unfinished guitars (not custom orders) were left to rot because no one wanted them.

It seemed that people only wanted to buy used. Now its your only option and those prices have remained stable. That shows how much demand there is for a USA Hamer.

RIP Hamer- the best damn guitar no one ever heard of.

I appreciate this perspective... When I first placed the order for my Chap, I really thought there would be more orders coming in for Hamer - especially considering they were willing to do anything. At the same time, I would read posts from others unhappy with how much people were asking for used Hamers when Gibsons and some Fenders were selling for twice/three times as much and were NO where near the quality of a USA Hamer. I suppose the old adage may apply - Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it... (and then some)

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I agree with mirrorimij & coolfeel. I bought only one green USA Diablo new (back in the 90's) and from that point on, it was all used Hamers. 17 altogether, 7 of which I still own. The pile of cash I'm dropping on the custom Cali came about because Hamer opened up the vaults and I had a little more disposable income. I didn't pull the trigger because I felt any pressure or even knew about the doors closing; I just was excited about being able to have a shiny, new Cali made to my specs.

Color me slow on the uptake, but had I realized the gravity of Hamer's future, I would've put in orders for other customs. Not that it would've changed the outcome. Hamer is gone.

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Look, I'm not looking to go get in a beef with anyone here, but a bunch of signatures from a few hundred broke-ass motherfuckers who were never going to order a new Hamer in the first place is not going to sway the decisions of a huge corporation like FMIC.

That is so perfect it should be my new sig line.

Lets review. A lot of people pissed and moaned that Hamer/Jol wouldn't build this or that. Jol was shown the door. Frank U took the reigns and implemented a field of dreams approach (if we build it they will come) and only a few people actually opened up their wallets. One Thunderbolt was built. ONE. A handful of shredders made it out the door (Chapps, Calis, SS models, etc) even though many people talked like a hundred orders would come in if they agreed to build them. Jol knew what he was talking about when he said at an HFC open house that he wouldn't consider reissuing a model until the used price approached the price of what a new one would cost (I'm paraphrasing).

Why would they put Guild and the Fender Acoustic Custom shop on the backburner to keep Hamer alive? It will probably take another year just to complete the orders in house. All efficiencies of manufacturing are gone in their current approach to building ( a few hours a week here and there). It is doubtful that they were even profitable with Hamer in their recent state even though the prices have skyrocketed. Besides that, many unfinished guitars (not custom orders) were left to rot because no one wanted them.

It seemed that people only wanted to buy used. Now its your only option and those prices have remained stable. That shows how much demand there is for a USA Hamer.

RIP Hamer- the best damn guitar no one ever heard of.

Agreed.

I did my best to support the brand - I ordered 5 custom orders from Hamer over the last decade or so. it would have been (at least) 6, but one order I placed annually since 1999 got shot down every time. Unfortunately, when it finally DID get approved, it was more than I could afford, even if I stripped it down. Pricing increased well beyond my ability to justify the purchase, and it well more than doubled what I could/would pay for that guitar - most of that price increase came over a 2 year period too. When it came to a "do or die" situation in August, what had formerly been my disposable income that could have been put toward a custom order had to go to my son's first college tuition payment. That's a no-brainer.

The economy also changed dramatically in 2008, so many prospective buyers either weren't in a position to order an expensive luxury item like a custom guitar, or they couldn't sell other guitars in order to generate cash for an order. Overall consumer buying habits have also changed dramatically in the last 4-5 years.

I was looking for any way possible to justify ordering another Hamer, but in the end, I just couldn't do it. Believe me, I tried!

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I think this says it all. I knew after my fifth or sixth custom order I was done because prices jumped dramatically. I actually considered one final one in late 2007 and had some cash put together for one. Then, after a preliminary pricing came back even saltier than I expected, I put up another guitar for sale to get the $$. That guitar was one I'd had numerous unsolicited offers to sell, so I figured it would go quickly. Took 3 weeks or so to sell-about two and a half weeks longer than the last one of that model I put up took. Doesn't sound so bad today, but in 2007, that freaked me out a bit. The market was definitely slowing, so I sold off a few more things and decided to skip the custom order.

That worked out for me as I had some cash when the mid-2008 fire sales started and I got a guitar or two I'd wanted for a long time and paid taxes with the rest.

Hamer has never really had the best timing!

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What can an individual do to support the brand? One might feel like Don Quijote concerning Hamer's recent development up to the shutdown. It's the company that is in charge to run the business, not the customer. So for me, there is no reason to feel in any way guilty I might have not given my share. Even if I had only bought Hamers used or had bought an XT, I had made room for another person to order one new. I had shown my guitars to friends and this way had made advertising for the brand. This way my son accepted to buy his first Hamer Monaco, although, it is an XT. One time in the future he may be a potential buyer of a re-activated Hamer Custom.

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I haven't read every post here, but I feel compelled to comment. There seems to be a limited market for expensive guitars nowadays. Mostly it is (now) middle aged men thar are/were the driving force of high end electric guitar sales. Most of us are now paring down our collections and hanging on to 1 or 2 prized possessions. My prized possession is my 4 digit standard that plays like the holy grail 59 Les Paul I once owned.

That being said, there are just too many "good" guitars being produced for such good prices. When I started playing guitar I bought an Epiphone strat copy and a cheap gibson amp new as a package for about $125 in1973 dollars. both were offshore versions. The Epiphone was essentially unplayable, wouldn't stay in tune, strings about an inch off the neck, terrible tone. The amp was about 5 watts, solid state that distored unnaturally and shut off after about 20 minutes of playing.

Today I can buy an new fender (squire) tele or strat or epiphone for less than $300 new and these instruments are playable and "good". Not great, but good.

I'm not saying its a good thing, but how could the Hamer brand stay competitive with such attractive alternatives? Even today I think long and hard about spending over $1000 on a guitar, but I'll buy a $300 guitar on an impulse and not think twice about it. And I'll play in at a gig and the difference in the sound in a bar setting is marginal.

I will continue to cherish my Standard but I'm looking forward to the Epiphone Wildkat Royale I just ordered for $296.

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I won't buy a guitar like that, but I understand there are people who would. My 'impulse buy' range for used Hamers has been in the $700-1200 range. I know (or knew) that if I didn't like the guitar I could probably get out of it what I had in.

On top of that I have purchased 4-5 new Hamers 'off the rack' and one custom order. I still own the custom. It was $2500 or so in 2002. It marked a significant life milestone for me, so I had no problem shelling out the cash. And, I was in a band so it was practical as well.

I don't think custom orders were the issue until the end years. What got it to that point is that they weren't selling enough of their 'off the rack' guitars. At least the USA models - I have no idea how well the imports sell.

I haven't read every post here, but I feel compelled to comment. There seems to be a limited market for expensive guitars nowadays. Mostly it is (now) middle aged men thar are/were the driving force of high end electric guitar sales. Most of us are now paring down our collections and hanging on to 1 or 2 prized possessions. My prized possession is my 4 digit standard that plays like the holy grail 59 Les Paul I once owned.

That being said, there are just too many "good" guitars being produced for such good prices. When I started playing guitar I bought an Epiphone strat copy and a cheap gibson amp new as a package for about $125 in1973 dollars. both were offshore versions. The Epiphone was essentially unplayable, wouldn't stay in tune, strings about an inch off the neck, terrible tone. The amp was about 5 watts, solid state that distored unnaturally and shut off after about 20 minutes of playing.

Today I can buy an new fender (squire) tele or strat or epiphone for less than $300 new and these instruments are playable and "good". Not great, but good.

I'm not saying its a good thing, but how could the Hamer brand stay competitive with such attractive alternatives? Even today I think long and hard about spending over $1000 on a guitar, but I'll buy a $300 guitar on an impulse and not think twice about it. And I'll play in at a gig and the difference in the sound in a bar setting is marginal.

I will continue to cherish my Standard but I'm looking forward to the Epiphone Wildkat Royale I just ordered for $296.

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My prized possession is my 4 digit standard that plays like the holy grail 59 Les Paul I once owned.

Yes, my 4-digit Standards are also my '59-grails.

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Just a blurb to add, paraphrasing:

...We are choosing to suspend production of Hamer USA and Hamer XT products. That’s not to say that later on down the line we may re-launch the brand but right now we have no plans to do so.

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Conrad posted today in another thread - http://www.hamerfanclub.com/forums/topic/51380-is-fmic-trying-to-destroy-the-hamer-brand-name/page-4:

This appeared on the Vintage Guitar FB page :

Fender Ceases Hamer Production

By WARD MEEKER | Published: JANUARY 4, 2013

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. has suspended production of Hamer instruments, “…to focus its efforts on other brands in the company’s portfolio,” according to John Chermesino, the company’s spokesman for Hamer. He added that should the market dictate need for Hamer instruments, the company will consider once again making them.

“We will continue to service all consumer and dealer inquiries for warranty service and support for the Hamer product line,” he added. “Our Customer Service department will have access to the list of finished goods, assemblies, and parts to address customer requirements. We will support the Hamer brand, its products and related trademarks.”

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Conrad posted today in another thread - http://www.hamerfanclub.com/forums/topic/51380-is-fmic-trying-to-destroy-the-hamer-brand-name/page-4:

This appeared on the Vintage Guitar FB page :

Fender Ceases Hamer Production

By WARD MEEKER | Published: JANUARY 4, 2013

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. has suspended production of Hamer instruments, “…to focus its efforts on other brands in the company’s portfolio,” according to John Chermesino, the company’s spokesman for Hamer. He added that should the market dictate need for Hamer instruments, the company will consider once again making them.

“We will continue to service all consumer and dealer inquiries for warranty service and support for the Hamer product line,” he added. “Our Customer Service department will have access to the list of finished goods, assemblies, and parts to address customer requirements. We will support the Hamer brand, its products and related trademarks.”

That seems to gives the thread of hope I think we were all looking for.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought my first Hamer new.... but that was the only one. It's not as if the company gets residuals everytime a guitar changes hands, so here we are.... guilty as charged!

Just imagine how much less fiscal stress there would be at Gibson and Fender if they DID get a cut every time one of their "vintage" axes changed hands for a 5 (or 6) figure sum!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm always the last to find out. I have not visited this forum for a year. I posted in another thread what the status of Hamer was and got redirected here. I'm going to have to change my avatar being everyone is bashing Fender. No wonder I have not seen any Hamer's for sale and the one's I've been watching have been selling about 20% higher than a year ago.

A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

Farewell...

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A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

That's a pretty lame basis to make such a sweeping judgment of a man and the company he founded.

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A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

That's a pretty lame basis to make such a sweeping judgment of a man and the company he founded.

It could be an accurate judgment, considering it's the credo of damn near every businessperson who ever lived.

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A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

That's a pretty lame basis to make such a sweeping judgment of a man and the company he founded.

It could be an accurate judgment, considering it's the credo of damn near every businessperson who ever lived.

It seems pretty well established that he was more Henry Ford than Enzo Ferrari. Case in point-----A great guitar player I knew in SoCal was respected by Leo (and George) because he was well known for playing Fenders......Let's just say good enough to perform with the Hellecasters when one of the 3 was not available for a live show......His story (one of many)....

"I commented to him (Leo F) that people were paying many thousands (this was, of course, years ago before they were into 5 figures) for your original Stratocasters. I have always wondered how much they cost to build and how you matched the pickups so well to get that 'magic'?"

(Laughing and slapping his knee)...."Ah hell, $37.89 in the mid-50s." (My memory may be fading but that was pretty close to the number Jeff told me). "Care? Balance? Hell, we had a big pickle barrel full of pickups, the girls reached in, grabbed three, slapped them in place and soldered them in as fast as possible as they continued down the assembly line. No one had any time for anything more than that".

No doubt many were (and ARE) magic. By plan? Not really. As nice as it is to think otherwise, it was a business run by a person without too much actual musical ability or knowledge. To our benefit, he made some good decisions, not the least getting some good people around him. (How good a business man? I dunno, how LITTLE did he sell out to CBS for? He and George certainly learned a lot, as evidenced by the---then at least---higher quality of G&L guitars. Of course, now Fender does Custom Shop, etc and builds for all levels of buyers). As to that magic......How much is luck, how much is 50 year old wood, how much is aged pickups is beyond me. But the concept of "master builder" was nowhere in sight.

One example of the "business model", custom colors were an extra cost option and often painted right over a "stock" sunburst that was pulled off the assembly line. Also, if you sent a guitar back (to Fender) for repairs, regardless of how valuable it would one day become, they would usually just trash it and send you a new one. It was a helluva lot less costly (and time intensive) to just plug a copy in to the assembly line. ("Strip it? Sand it? Refinish it? No way!)

And, of course, the founders were gone MANY years before FMIC took over Hamer. I suppose that what we ARE bemoaning ARE the "business" decisions. I think they have made bad decisions (at least at times) but it is not my money they are trying to protect.

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A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

If I recall we were talking about tube amps such as the early 5e3 Deluxe Fender Amp. At the time I was fairly new to tube amps and was in the market for one and the subject of Fender amps came up. My co-worker went on to say "there was nothing special about the early Fender amps. They broke up early because they were built cheap. Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as high as possible".

Whether or not Leo Fender said this I don't know. However I have since read an article on the early 5e3 style amps and how they were the cheap line of amps that Fender made. Parents were buying there kids these cheap amps and kids were cranking them up to get the PA distortion. The article went on to say how the sound ended up shaping the music style.

Again I never new Leo Fender. I was just repeating what I was told by a co-worker who was way more musically talented than myself and has more music experience then anyone I ever knew. I will say I tend to believe the statement more than I would dismiss it. The fact that Fender is dumping Hamer would also kind of support that idea in my mind.

I must be crazy to be thinking these thoughts... :blink:

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Considering the electronic knowledge at the time, I agree to the randomness of effects of the time period. Fender guitars are the Ford T of guitars. The amp circuits where loose and cranked easily.

What's called magic here is that a rebellish youth taking drugs had cranked amps in flush using affordable guitars playing to other youth people. Silver today, those former youth remembers good times now paying a shit load to pull back memorabilias to sweeten retirement.

I'd say it was and is a golden age.

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