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


BCR Greg

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At the present volume a direct to market concept is the only way, similar to make boutique builders or Fractal Audio.

The expense of running salesmen around to put product on shelves, advertise and attend NAMM doesn't work at a guitar a day. Not to mention recapturing the 20% dealer cut.

Also get rid of inflated MSRP, don't charge more for boomerangs over crowns, red more than black and you might be able to recoup the brand.

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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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At the present volume a direct to market concept is the only way, similar to make boutique builders or Fractal Audio.

The expense of running salesmen around to put product on shelves, advertise and attend NAMM doesn't work at a guitar a day. Not to mention recapturing the 20% dealer cut.

Also get rid of inflated MSRP, don't charge more for boomerangs over crowns, red more than black and you might be able to recoup the brand.

Not going to say what I thought when I saw this. Not going to say it. But I will say that your understanding of this brand is not complete.

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At the present volume a direct to market concept is the only way, similar to make boutique builders or Fractal Audio.

The expense of running salesmen around to put product on shelves, advertise and attend NAMM doesn't work at a guitar a day. Not to mention recapturing the 20% dealer cut.

Also get rid of inflated MSRP, don't charge more for boomerangs over crowns, red more than black and you might be able to recoup the brand.

Not going to say what I thought when I saw this. Not going to say it. But I will say that your understanding of this brand is not complete.

since when did you start not speaking your mind?

where's Kiz...

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At the present volume a direct to market concept is the only way, similar to make boutique builders or Fractal Audio.

The expense of running salesmen around to put product on shelves, advertise and attend NAMM doesn't work at a guitar a day. Not to mention recapturing the 20% dealer cut.

Also get rid of inflated MSRP, don't charge more for boomerangs over crowns, red more than black and you might be able to recoup the brand.

Yes, adapt to the market or go defunkt. Maybe this is not what Hamer was about, but It could for sure have been the right way to plunge ahead, for now at least.

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I liked the instruments that were made from 1980 on. Fender and Gibson did interesting things. Kahler and Floyd Rose tremolos became popular. Also Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, EMG pickups and Schaller hardware. Some guitar manufacturers were rising, like Hamer, Schecter, Kramer, Charvel/Jackson. Some companies were out of favor like Guild or Gretsch (later even Gibson and Fender). As the times go by, many things I grew to like became out of favor again. So, to me a good Gibson is made until the early 90's, Fenders were great in the Bill Schultz era (I liked the last few years of the CBS era too), Hamer became interesting to me when they introduced the Steve Stevens model until they stopped producing the "shredders" in the 90's. So I like instruments from that era. I haven't been a potential customer for a new Hamer anyway. In the last 20 years I bought some 2nd hand gear that I love. But how many instruments do I really need?

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I doubt we have seen the "last" of the Hamer brand. It is just going away for a while. Only my opinion but then again, will we ever see a Duesenburg or Hudson Hornet again?

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At the present volume a direct to market concept is the only way, similar to make boutique builders or Fractal Audio.

The expense of running salesmen around to put product on shelves, advertise and attend NAMM doesn't work at a guitar a day. Not to mention recapturing the 20% dealer cut.

Also get rid of inflated MSRP, don't charge more for boomerangs over crowns, red more than black and you might be able to recoup the brand.

Not going to say what I thought when I saw this. Not going to say it. But I will say that your understanding of this brand is not complete.

You are a dealer so of course you are always going to side on the concept dealers are necessary. When you go to lawyer for his opinion, invariably his suggestion is to sue. When you speak to a surgeon, he recommends surgery.

You have no idea what I do and don't know, so do't assume you are more knowledgeable on the subject.

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Sad news, I recently drove by the factory and knowing it was a goner for the hamer nameplate. They got the plans, guitars and everything right and lasted 39 years, right? That says a lot. This is more about the economy in general and less about a small company that was not the best at marketing itself as what it should. I always thought their ads were too similar and they were satisfied with builiding amazing guitars and leaving the rest up to the public... and sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

You know it is bad when they don't have a production line of guitars (how about a tele a strat and a les paul jr and special made in usa at competitive pricing?) so how were kidz gonna play a hamer when there was only cheap and very expensive in price guitars?

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Sad but not surprising. Between bad marketing and that they seemed more interested in making what they wanted, then what their customers wanted, it had to happen. They'll be sadly missed...

But I got mine!

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Armitage_95-Hamer-Archtop-Custom.jpg

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I would bet the idea to bring the Mfg of Hamer USA to the Fender Corona, CA plant was considered (in order to consolidate Mfg to save big $$$ by closing the CT plant) but perhaps not enough of the CT builders were willing to relocate and/or FMIC just couldn't justify it based on the ratio of expense to # of Hamer custom orders, etc...

Whatever the details of the decision may have been, I can assure you that the overall decision was based very simply on "SUPPLY AND DEMAND."

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Rest in peace, Hamer,

We dedicate to you this

Haiku epitaph.

:( -sadness does get you inspired. :(

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I would bet the idea to bring the Mfg of Hamer USA to the Fender Corona, CA plant was considered (in order to consolidate Mfg to save big $$$ by closing the CT plant) but perhaps not enough of the CT builders were willing to relocate and/or FMIC just couldn't justify it based on the ratio of expense to # of Hamer custom orders, etc...

Whatever the details of the decision may have been, I can assure you that the overall decision was based very simply on "SUPPLY AND DEMAND."

If they closed the Ovation factory they would have no place to build acoustics in the USA. They moved Guild fron Rhode Island to Corona and that was a fail. No humidity control and bad build quality. Fender bought Tacoma, moved Guild to Tacoma where they could build really great guitars and killed off Guild electrics. Final move, closed down Tacoma and gutted the line, moved production to Ovation where they had no idea how to make an all solid acoustic. Well the Hamer guys did since they had the Improv model. It appears that Tacoma is dead as well.

Fender's track record of screwing up a non Fender product other than Gretsch continues.

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Yes, absolutely fuck FMIC. I doubt there was ever any intention whatsoever to preserve the Hamer USA brand. My guess is they bought KMC in 2007 primarily for the New Hartford factory and, more specifically, its acoustic guitar manufacturing capability - to provide a home for Guild. They paid $120 million for KMC and you can be certain that very little of this value was in Hamer USA who were producing 650 electric guitars a year (the Fender Corona factory alone can make 350 guitars per day! Hamer's production size is meaningless in a company of that scale). Guild acoustic is a big heritage brand, and demand was/is growing. Fender wanted it to compete against other high quality acoustic guitars e.g. Taylor, Martin. They conducted a review to find a home for production of the brand, and decided to move Guild to New Hartford in 2008. They made room to do so by cutting down on Ovation (some older models sent to Korea for production). Then in 2009 as Guild settled in and demand grew (with increased quality) they killed production model Hamers in order to use the workforce to make Guilds. They let those guys do a bit of Hamer custom orders on the side as a sop.

The economic downturn in 2008/09 no doubt was also a factor in shutting down Hamer - electric guitar sales in that price bracket dropped 30% in 2009, and hollowbody electric sales dropped over 60%. But really, what it was is that Fender had a better use for the production facility, and retrospectively their intention is plain to see. Personally I think Hamer pre-Fender was probably doing pretty well for their size, probably not making much money, but unlikely to have been losing any. They didn't fold because of poor marketing, unwanted guitars, or because they refused to make your custom order. Twas the Beast that killed Beauty.

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Well, to me Hamer killed itself, actually. Before Fender, Jol was in his own trip, refusing building many custom models they would have built otherwise. In addition, they had zero marketing, thus zero exposure to the public. They didn't put their guitars in the hands of known players, even if some known players did play Hamer. There was zero advertisement and zero intention to grow. It had become Jol's retirement shop, kind of a hobby that produces some income, but no much more than that. The brand was therefore almost dead already when Fender acquired KMC. That's why their value as an asset to a big corporation like Fender was virtually none when they got bought.

In spite of that, we did see some hope when Jol got fired. Some long-gone custom models came back and we were rather happy, weren't we? I don't think it's fair blaming Fender then. IMHO, they did try to give a fresh breath to the Hamer brand (at least, the custom shop got better and more open). But Hamer just had lost too much of their market share and wasn't a clearly profitable investment for Fender anymore. Sad but true. :(

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FMIC bought Kaman for its distribution network. Everything else, including a guitar company stocked full of craftsmen making guitars hardly anyone bought, was simply baggage.

As much as I wanted Hamer to be Fender's "Gibosn killer" I don't imagine Gibson would have taken too kindly to their main competitor making almost exact and upscale copies of their designs, as they did with Hamer. Hamer making Standards was no threat to Explorer sales. Fender making fancy Explorers and putting them in every Guitarget on the planet. Different story.

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They didn't fold because of poor marketing, unwanted guitars, or because they refused to make your custom order.

Sure they did. Those three failings put them in a position to be bought up by Kaman and then FMIC. As is often said in football around this time of year, Hamer no longer controlled its own destiny.

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They didn't fold because of poor marketing, unwanted guitars, or because they refused to make your custom order.

Sure they did. Those three failings put them in a position to be bought up by Kaman and then FMIC. As is often said in football around this time of year, Hamer no longer controlled its own destiny.

Actually, when they were bought by Kaman, they WERE at the top of their marketing and custom order peak - that was in the late '80s, and they were in every guitar rag, all over (the then relevant) MTV, and were doing all kinds of cool custom orders. That was actually a great acquisition for KMC at the time.

By the time the FMIC deal rolled around in late 2007, it was a different situation entirely.

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Your missing another valuable point, FMIC and GIbson swallowed up the little ones for wood rights.

Example, BC canadian spruce is divided out percentage wise to manufactor.

More of the pie you have, the more wood you be able to purchase...

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Ah. I stand corrected, then. Makes you wonder if Kaman slashed their marketing budget over time. Which again, is a result of relinquishing control.

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As guitar players get older they always seem to go for the classics,

Fender strat and tele, Gibson les paul, SG 335, V, explorer. I guess some of the

PRS line up is now in that vein.

How do you compete in a mass market with the classics? That would be a question to start with?

Is what you are selling going to appeal in the long run to that mass market? What would

make them switch over to your product? Some never will because of the iconic stature of the product name, even

if the product is subpar. The mass market likes mass recognition of brands.

The only way I could see Hamer ever going again and retain it's quality would be a small shop for people in the know.

But thats what they were the last 10 years. Can enough profit be made in that market?

Cool Beans

Gene

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well, even thou a (vintage) Hamer was concieved to fill a small need, gap in the up coming vintage market

So players can shelf rising priced vintage pieces, has something very playable, sharp looking and unique,

Hamers had some unique ness to them as well.

Body styles, construction, woods, scale length, etc. Okay, same as Gibson.

But, Hamer also brought to the table shimmed bridge / sustainblock bridge w/ string thru.

that alone changed the tone of things in a good big way. More so than modern Hamer realized

until the taladega, and custom orders, one offs.

That is Hamer stamp (for me at least).

When Hamer followed suit with a TOM / Stop tail piece, the comparisons started to make waives.

Hamer's started to look like everyones elses TOM/ TP guitars.

and the bigger headstocks, and this and that.

It appears that they were giving in to pre concieved ideas that if a guitar was spec'd nearly the same

as other manufactors, that sales would forward up.

When there first inovations of where the actual greatest part. Different, inovative, purposeful.

If they had made a taladega "special", stripped down version , to sell along with the High end model,

that alone would have, could have....

Hamer new in the beginning, A nice one, a cheap one, a custom one.

How many of you (and well documented on threads here) walked in your mom and pop store back in the day,

wanted that fuckin Les paul that who ever was slinging. Too much coin. But, you (or mom and dad)

opt'd for the lesser "The Paul" (same brand) or an import knock off?

I always drift on the topics, sorry, it's my passion speaking.

Go back to the roots. The roots have merit more than the modern.

Money, sure it can be profitable. In the right hands and everything incompass of.

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