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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.

IMO (the general poor market for guitars not withstanding) Hamer/Fender got it wrong by not getting the guitars into the hands of players, no exposure = no sales.

They seemed to do ok in this respect during the 70's - 80's with Cheap Trick, Lita Ford, Andy Summers, Martin Barre etc etc.

Now without checking the Hamer website the only endorser I can name is Kev from Hell.

In recent Years the brand seems to have become more about the import models which would be fine if they had some endorsees using their high end models, youngsters who are learning to play will look to buy the same instruments they see their heros using and hopefully move up to the U.S. built models as they progress.

It really doesn't matter how much better than Gibson or Fender the guitars are if no-one but us want to buy them there can be only one outcome.

It makes no real difference to me if the company is no longer there, the last new guitar I bought was well over 30 Years ago and (apart from maybe making a custom order) nothing in the recent product line really moved me anyway.

I'll still be looking out for 4 Digit Standards and Sunbursts because I love them and I don't give a fu(k if their value goes up or down, if anyone here is scared about the future value of their "investments" please PM me and let me know what you've got.

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I don't want to sound overoptimistic, but the more I think about it, the more I tend to think the "hiatus" word is a keyword here.

Times are just hard. Richer people aren't spending much money in high-end guitars anymore, and most kids have no money at all --and frankly, even if they had, they are more interested in trends and coolness than in excellence.

It just makes sense then to put the Hamer brand into the freezer, keeping just the import models around in order to not completely erase the brand from the surface of the Earth, and wait for better times.

In the meanwhile, the workforce will be used in higher-priority (read "producing more income") tasks.

I guess then it's not really dead, just actually put on a hiatus, as Dave mentioned.

I don't think it's a hiatus at all- I think Fender is in trouble and we'll see more downsizing from them in the very near future. If it was a hiatus, the custom orders would have continued, albeit on an even smaller scale. Hell, even one a year.

And even if they were just "cooling" the brand, having those imports being the momentary torch bearers is a baaaaad move.

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I would have to say, that I definitely agree that one of Hamers biggest problems was marketing. Then there is also the somewhat megalomaniacal mindset of Jol in the later years, when he wouldn't do this, wouldn't do that, yada yada. I heard he turned down some serious-sized orders becuase they didn't appeal to him. If you are running a custom shop, that is simply something you cannot afford to do. Especially if you are almost completely dependent upon your dealer network to do all of the advertising and word-of-mouth for you.

I'm just still amazed that Fender decided NOT to cash in on what Hamer is. I don't know about you, but most guitar players and bassists I meet at least "know of" Hamer. They know that they are good, but don't know much about them. That all coming from their marketting (or lack of) certainly makes me believe if they had gotten a few into famous people's hands, or just managed things differently, they could have built it into something huge.

Of course, others point out that the market right now is CRAZY. I've been to Guitar Center, and used prices are at rock bottom. I don't even want to think of the pittance they are probably giving the people who trade stuff in, or how little their sales people are making.

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I'm just still amazed that Fender decided NOT to cash in on what Hamer is. I don't know about you, but most guitar players and bassists I meet at least "know of" Hamer. They know that they are good, but don't know much about them. That all coming from their marketting (or lack of) certainly makes me believe if they had gotten a few into famous people's hands, or just managed things differently, they could have built it into something huge.

Sounds like they're trying to do that with Charvel? While Hamer was prominent in the shredder era, Charvel/Jackson probably has more equity with the casual consumer, and they're parlaying that into their Gibson-style line.

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Congratulations, team - we've collectively made it through the 5 stages of grief:

Denial

Seriously, if this is true, it sucks.

I now await the arrival of another in-the-know HFCer to report that this is all preliminary.

FWIW, the word "hiatus" was tossed around today.

When Fender goes bankrupt thanks to Guitar Center, the name will be available again as a liquated asset.

Anger

Fuck. Fender.

Enough said. :)

Bargaining

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...

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.

Depression

Well, honestly, I haven't been this sad in a long time.

Acceptance

I am not surprised in fact it really have been a question of when for me.

On the bright side, since they aren't making them any more, I guess that ups the standard HFC offer to $375?

Me, i'm still stuck on Anger - i'll need more time...

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I'm more annoyed at myself for not managing to get in a custom order. Didn't make sense for me to do it right now, but I won't ever be able to get it done at this point. Had a pretty good idea of what I wanted too.

Maybe I'll find someone else willing to build it down the line, but it won't quite be the same.

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Unfortunate news! I've had my share of cool Hamers and was lucky to order a few new. Sadly the 'Twas a good day for ...' posts have slowly dropped off and now they will eventually cease. Let's hope that the brand can come back in some capacity soon, though the glory days are over. I'm thankful I was able to get to the factory and see the amazing craftsmanship up close and meet so many cool HFC'ers. I look forward to hanging out with folks in the future here and elsewhere.

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I don't want to sound overoptimistic, but the more I think about it, the more I tend to think the "hiatus" word is a keyword here.

Times are just hard. Richer people aren't spending much money in high-end guitars anymore, and most kids have no money at all --and frankly, even if they had, they are more interested in trends and coolness than in excellence.

It just makes sense then to put the Hamer brand into the freezer, keeping just the import models around in order to not completely erase the brand from the surface of the Earth, and wait for better times.

In the meanwhile, the workforce will be used in higher-priority (read "producing more income") tasks.

I guess then it's not really dead, just actually put on a hiatus, as Dave mentioned.

I don't think it's a hiatus at all- I think Fender is in trouble and we'll see more downsizing from them in the very near future. If it was a hiatus, the custom orders would have continued, albeit on an even smaller scale. Hell, even one a year.

And even if they were just "cooling" the brand, having those imports being the momentary torch bearers is a baaaaad move.

It might be a bad move, but at least it keeps the "Hamer" name around. That's why I actually think this is more a "pause" than a total stop.

You know, those Hamer luthiers are awesome builders. If Fender is hundred of orders behind schedule with Charvels and stuff, they better put their workforce in the right place, or else they will have to cope with many angry customers and lower incomes. So, it makes sense putting Hamer on pause until better times, and making the builders (and the tools) to focus on unblocking the production line that is a bigger source of income.

Of course, that's pure speculative from my part and, even if it was true, it doesn't guarantee Hamer will survive in the long term. It kinda makes sense though... and also brings me some hope. ;)

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As for latter day marketing and brand recognition, it probably didn't help that someone like David Letterman described Hamer as a "company famous for knock-offs of Gibson" on TV. I've got friends that own G&L and Heritage guitars that don't know a thing about Hamer. If you were just shopping, you'd think they were all imported.

G&L and PRS were smart enough to rename their import line. Seems Heritage ain't going there at all. But Hamer interests made their decision years ago - though I'm not clear on the Fender factor. Actually, I'm beginning to think PRS is on the same slippery slope, with the SEs becoming less and less distinguishable from their US line.

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I don't want to sound overoptimistic, but the more I think about it, the more I tend to think the "hiatus" word is a keyword here.

Times are just hard. Richer people aren't spending much money in high-end guitars anymore, and most kids have no money at all --and frankly, even if they had, they are more interested in trends and coolness than in excellence.

It just makes sense then to put the Hamer brand into the freezer, keeping just the import models around in order to not completely erase the brand from the surface of the Earth, and wait for better times.

In the meanwhile, the workforce will be used in higher-priority (read "producing more income") tasks.

I guess then it's not really dead, just actually put on a hiatus, as Dave mentioned.

I don't think it's a hiatus at all- I think Fender is in trouble and we'll see more downsizing from them in the very near future. If it was a hiatus, the custom orders would have continued, albeit on an even smaller scale. Hell, even one a year.

And even if they were just "cooling" the brand, having those imports being the momentary torch bearers is a baaaaad move.

Hiatus: A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break

Jesus Christ. Sorry I shared.

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"Hiatus: A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break"

Something from Stephen Hawkings, sort of.......A gap in "space/time"......Just goes to show we are all warped!

Well, at least we can have SOME fun......

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Guys, we're all a little upset about the news and simply discussing our opinions. I know I'm just yakkin' and not meaning anyone any ill will or trying to be argumentative, just sayin' what comes to mind as I read the thread.

Maybe just this once we could avoid the butt hurt responses, whaddya say?

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Guys, we're all a little upset about the news and simply discussing our opinions. I know I'm just yakkin' and not meaning anyone any ill will or trying to be argumentative, just sayin' what comes to mind as I read the thread.

Maybe just this once we could avoid the butt hurt responses, whaddya say?

Just sayin' what comes to mind as I read the thread.

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I'm glad I was able to purchase a few and find out what great guitars they really are. If they never bring them back I will take solice in the fact that I have 2 awesome axes....

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"Wow, my breath just got kicked out of me. "

This is exactly how I felt when I read the OP by Greg. Plus, after feeling this I actually felt sick to my stomach. Very sad.

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Just heard the news and figured I'd stop in to grieve a bit with you guys. Tis a sad, if not unexpected day. I'm glad nobody up in New Hartford is losing their job. After doing the factory tour a couple of times, I know how dedicated those guys are. I've heard rumors about them tooling up for Guild electrics? Maybe just a rumor, but it could be a silver lining. If some of that craftsmanship could live on in a different resurrected brand?

As a former Hamer USA dealer myself, my heart goes out to all of the authorized dealers here on the forum. You were as much a part of the company as anyone, and kept the line going through some tough times as it was. Best of luck to you all.

To all the players, there are still lots of Hamers out there on the used market. Plenty of treasures to be found. Keep rocking them out. Play your Hamer a little more loudly tonight.

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Great times up there in New Hartford on them Open House days. I won't forget those. Great folk. Great guitars. Hoping that they'll come back at some point and 'back at the same level' is probably a stretch, but hey.... a guy's gotta dream...:-)

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As for latter day marketing and brand recognition, it probably didn't help that someone like David Letterman described Hamer as a "company famous for knock-offs of Gibson" on TV.

When did this happen?

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Never?

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Yeah, it's probably not Dave's game to talk about stuff that 99% of the population doesn't give a damn about.

And even if he did, 99% of the population doesn't give a damn, so I doubt it would have had any significant impact.

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Andrew - you can still spec out a 40th Anniversary any way you like it, but it will be a true "air guitar". ;)

Ruby red Standard, black binding, rosewood and crowns, sustain block bridge! Original headstock shape with stadium logo.

I am strumming it already!

Aahhh, and Shark had to wait 2 years for his FB bass. ;)
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I hope first people may continue living with their know how first, whatever brand they ll build but living their passion for music instruments...

...and second, new to the brand this, I know the forum will keep the brand "alive" for some more years (ours...) and afterwards....who knows ?

If the quality is needed, the second hand market on good instruments shall be enough for some coming generations...

In fact, if someone had the chance to play a 50s G..., shall we say the guitar is a bit too old ?

The quality is the only guide...and I am really happy to have discovered Hamer (even after too many years of not knowing..what my fingers were looking for).

Just happy to have found it....and second to see that there people worlwide to share this passion/feeling...so still happy and my first thoughts for the remaining people of the plant. They did a super great job.

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