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


BCR Greg

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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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Very sad news indeed... I'm relieved I got my order in with Greg @ BCR b4 this happened... :(

Greg, is there any chance that they will complete the open orders by NAMM or are we still looking at a 1-year delivery time time in 2013?

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I'm not saying i'm glad but it was starting to look very much like a three legged antelope walking across the plains.

The brand may not be dead forever as some have mentioned as Fender is a company out to make money and everything has it's price. About ten years ago i got into conversations with the originator of Palm Bay guitars over here and there was a deal on the table to buy the brand name plus all associated tooling and jig's that Andrew had left, a quick "back of a Marlboro packet" calculation led me to the conclusion this wasn't viable. I dare say down the line a simular deal could be struck over the Hamer name although again, whoever considers this must also take in mind that although Hamer has strong brand loyalty at the end of the day they couldn't make a buck on the volume of new sales that the brand has enjoyed over the last 10 years or so.

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Hamer had turned into a quite obscure, unknown brand to the average guitarist. It was therefore just a matter of time, though I never thought it was going to be this soon.

Nevertheless, it's also true the 99% of us never ordered a new Hamer. That also points to failure in the long term, mostly when your little factory suddenly finds itself under the wing of a corporate giant like Fender.

Now, I just hope two things for the future:

1- May Hamer resurrect from its ashes.

2- May I afford some used Hamers I've always wanted.

In any case, I guess we'll stick around the HFC to see what will happen in the next 30 years, right?

Cheers to you then, guys! :)

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just another reason to hate Fender...

I'm not sure why everyone blames Fender....Hamers hardly sold that well when Jol was running the place before the Kaman take over. Why would Fender continue funding a brand that made zero money for them? Just my opinion though...YMMV.

The best part for me though is the friends I've made here on the forum.

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Well, at least we had a good run. I'm extremely happy that I at least made one custom order - see my avatar -

for a fantastic guitar that I still own. I also bought two other new ones.

(Had I had the funds for it I've had a dream of a very special Talladega Pro custom order,for a couple of years,

but that boat has sailed now.)

Sadness and some anger... and a LOT of thankfullness for the ones I have and also for the Hamer builders

- let them know that, Kim!

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I don't blame Fender. When Fender bought Kaman, Hamer was just part of the package, and not a profitable part. Many companies would have dumped Hamer immediately, but Fender gave it a shot, and figured out how to leverage Hamer's assets into its business model (skilled luthiers building Guild USA guitars), while still letting the brand linger as a true custom shop. Now Fender is fighting for its own survival, and is doing what it has to do.

I hope the restructuring at least allows the team of Hamer luthiers to remain somewhat intact. They clearly had a good thing going. It would be a shame to lose that collective skill, knowledge and passion.

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Damn.

It was indeed a great run. A lot of great years, a lot of great music. Memories, all the way back to the days when I was a beginner on the guitar and I saw pics of Rick Nielson and Martin Barre in guitar magazines. At the time I could only dream of one day playing the same kind of the guitars they played.

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I know this is naive, but i always thought that if there was a very popular musician sporting a Hamer live on tv and talking about it, maybe the brand would have a chance...someone huge...is a wishful thinking but i think that could (have) made the difference...

Not naive, just basic marketing. Getting your product in front of people.

Two problems with that approach, though, is it related to Hamer:

1. Post-hair band era, the brand was unwilling to do the legwork to put its guitars in the hands of as many prominent players as possible

2. The number of "huge" guitar players out there is dwindling to almost zero

Others will suffer the same fate as Hamer, as there simply isn't enough interest in guitars nowadays for the market to support a plethora of smaller, boutique brands. It may seem like it to us, because we're aging guitar nerds, but pop culture at large and younger generations don't associate the instrument with their formative years like people our age do. Sure, some may survive, but the ones that do a.) won't be swallowed up by a huge corporation and b.) will be satisfied with making a modest living doing what they love.

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Now Fender is fighting for its own survival, and is doing what it has to do.

I believe you are very much correct. Fender's are not exactly flying off the shelves either... even with a percieved rise in quality control starting around 2008. Go check prices on the American Vintage '62 reissue P and Jazz basses. You can get either, brand new, for under $1100 right now. That's $300 less than the last few years. They've been making those for 30 years, and with prices less than the American Standard, makes me wonder if that series is on the chopping block also.

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My two favorite guitar companies are now history. Two of my favorite forums with the best people on the web are now just keeping the flame lit. The Robin forum exists as a shell of what once was. Just a couple people mingling. Like a ghost-town. I think this forum has proven that, unlike Robin, the Hamer community exists in spite of the dwindling production.

I talked to Greg the day he found out Robin was done. He'd just spec'd what would have been the crowning achievement for Robin's Artisan model. I framed it. Just more history.

I could hear the dismay in his voice that day and it's echoing in his posts here. One of the most up-beat guys you'll ever meet. A real passion for the business. This is all about a market shift away from what we all love about Hamer, Robin, etc. The chances of somebody picking up the brand and running with it is very slim. Fender killing it was a market decision for them. They don't need more competition. If keeping the shop running part-time was profitable, they'd still be making them. Accountants like me, most likely, made the decision based on everything but love for the guitars and the history. For Greg and Elduave this is just another high-quality and highly respected line they can no longer represent against the big boys. There's a much bigger problem afoot in this country. This is just indicative of that. Sorry to hear it for them, but I'm not surprised.

I don't shop at Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot or Lowe's. You could count how many times I've been in a mall in the past five years on your dick. And I certainly don't shop at Musician's Friend or GC. Not criticizing those that do, just a conscious decision for me. It's getting harder for the independents (in any market) and this is just another sign of that.

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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. Are they looking to build more Guild electrics? Or are they just going to shut down New Hartford altogether?

ArnieZ

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No more new Hamer guitars. No more custom orders. Everything in progress gets built, but no more new orders.

It was a blast, wasn't it?

Shit.

Maybe BCR Music could take it over for custom orders...!?!?

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Being a huge Cheap Trick fan, I always wondered if those crazy guitars Rick Nielsen played were any good. Then a guy who owned a few joined my band. Years later in 2007 I discovered this forum. I still feel late to the party, but in those years I've learned a ton about Hamer guitars (and all kinds of other brands and equipment as well). In those 5 years, I've seen some amazing guitars on here and was moved to buy 4 Hamers: one new '59 Burst Standard, a Zandard from Bubs, a Special that I had refinished checkerboard, and most recently the first S-style guitar I ever liked, a natural Daytona. I already had in mind a CO for my 50th birthday in a couple of years.

Sad day, but the Hamers I have live on and hopefully so will this forum. I'm happy to have both.

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Muse nailed it above about larger trends.

Guitars are now one instrument. Not THE instrument.

Really expensive handmade guitars have a very small market and a very small margin.

Guitars don't wear out like cars or TVs. So they seldom need to be replaced.

Do the math. Supply is greater than demand. Economics 101 tells you what happens next.

Like I said, I'm just glad no one was laid off. They're making Guilds. Good.

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And you, sir, also nailed it with this:

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. Sad for those who had placed or wanted to place custom orders but how many of us have owned the Phantoglide, the Aceburst, the diaperburst Specials, etc? This is the Used Hamer Trading and Gossip Club. The factory could have been making pillows or fertilizer for the last several years as far as it affected most of us.
  • They still EXIST. It's not like the ones we own just evaporated.
  • No dealer is gonna go under because their bread and butter was selling USA Hamers.

It's over. It was fun. We still have cool guitars. Enjoy them.

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Strange how they go under and a company like Suhr Guitars is backordered a year. Music Man seems to be doing fine to.

Not really, guitars mentioned are in the hands of some fine players of recent times that have a fan base.

Not many out there in the limelight playing Hamers

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Strange how they go under and a company like Suhr Guitars is backordered a year. Music Man seems to be doing fine to.

Not really, guitars mentioned are in the hands of some fine players of recent times that have a fan base.

Not many out there in the limelight playing Hamers

Also, AFAIK, those brands haven't been bought by a larger entity.

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And you, sir, also nailed it with this:

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. Sad for those who had placed or wanted to place custom orders but how many of us have owned the Phantoglide, the Aceburst, the diaperburst Specials, etc? This is the Used Hamer Trading and Gossip Club. The factory could have been making pillows or fertilizer for the last several years as far as it affected most of us.
  • They still EXIST. It's not like the ones we own just evaporated.
  • No dealer is gonna go under because their bread and butter was selling USA Hamers.

It's over. It was fun. We still have cool guitars. Enjoy them.

Word.

in fact, I say we change the name of the Hamer Fan Club to The Used Hamer Trading and Gossip Club (or UHTGC).

Rolls right off your tongue! Anyway, it beats the Hamer Fertilizer & Pillows Fan Club.

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The chances of somebody picking up the brand and running with it is very slim. Fender killing it was a market decision for them. They don't need more competition. If keeping the shop running part-time was profitable, they'd still be making them.

I think that captures a lot of it. Fender and the Fender brand don't need competition. With Hamer you created a higher quality product then Fender, that could have (if FMIC had pushed) captured some of the market, and likely sold for less margin.

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R.I.P Hamer USA - and thank you again for those great instruments!!

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