Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center

" Working Man Guitar "


Recommended Posts

If you make guitars with chunky necks (or at least vintage-carved), sustainblocks, 24.75" scale, set necks, no binding, no fancy stuff and just dot inlays... that would be very close to what I ideally want. Now, if any combination of different body/headstock shapes are available, and if the V 58 body plus a decent-looking 3x3 headstock are offered, I'm a buyer ...provided you remain around 1.2K.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 227
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Simple: the Kiz' Senior: Sustainblock Bridge Vintage Carve Neck Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious) Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Proto

Agreed. But. If you make it will they come? You gotta keep in mind the marketplace. Buyer One. The Young Guy Who's into A7x. He wants something with HSS pickup configuration, locking term, point

Will have some things to post here shortly about getting things off of the ground along these lines...

There is no single guitar which will appeal to many. Everyone wants their own twist on it. Even the venerable Strat and Les Paul designs offer many versions.

I think a "Working Man's" guitar will be durable, sound great, have some versatility, come in a really sturdy travel proof case, be comfortable to play (weight and balance), and cost less than $2k street price. Made In USA would be a big draw for many, too. It has to be delivered with a great setup and a perfect finish, which means a little bit of extra tlc from humans in the final step.

The Ovation guitar custom shop website used to offer the ability to shop options. I think that is the place to start. Have a website which lists all of the options. Inlays, pickups, neck carve, fretboard, bridge/tailpiece, tuning machines, color, etc. Offer a visual simulation of what the final product would look like by piecing together images of the different parts and colors. I would offer pricing on the website and even allow ordering via website as long as there is some personal contact via phone (or skype) or perhaps email to verify everything.

The ability to individualize the instrument would be a big marketing advantage. Let the customer upload a decent quality image for 12th fret inlay or for a headstock customization. I had a custom truss rod cover made for my daughter with her signature inlaid with brass into ebony. It cost very little. Something like that inlaid into the headstock itself would be cool. Or an image which could be embedded under the clearcoat would be great.

Think like a 20 yr old with modern technology and how they prefer the web for shopping, and their desire for instant instant gratification. Make it super easy to see the options and place an order.

After all that I think you are looking at perhaps 3 or 4 body styles. One semi-hollow in the Newport or 335 genre. A tele-ish, strat-ish, and les paul-ish solid body family. Offer excellent humbuckers or single coils from places like Fralin and Lollar. The new Ratio tuners look very interesting. Or 18:1 locking tuners. Offer TOM, wrap tail, sustain block and Floyd or Bigsby style bridges. Locking bridge & tailpieces for the TOM so they are easy to restring quickly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Flattop version of THIS: (Close Thread!)

011_14A.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

What are we willing to spend here? If you are broke and cannot buy a guitar what would you be able to scrounge by selling off some gear to buy another guitar? At this point in time $1000.00 is where I am stuck.

...Unless a guitar builder wants to trade for outdated recording gear. :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

I would be hard-pressed to say no to this.

Agreed. But.

If you make it will they come?

You gotta keep in mind the marketplace.

Buyer One. The Young Guy Who's into A7x.

He wants something with HSS pickup configuration, locking term, pointy shape. His budget is low, say $750 tops. He will buy at GC until they go out of business, then he'll order from Sweetwater. NOPE, NOT YOUR MARKET

Buyer Two. The Young Hipster.

Plays in a band doing fuzzed-out covers of 70s video game themes with a cute girl who plays a vintage synth and two recent Haitian immigrants who dance in a pantomime horse costume. Wants a beat-up Jazzmaster with the bridge pickup missing, covered in Chiquite banana stickers. NOPE, NOT YOUR MARKET

Buyer Three. The Midlife Achiever.

He played in a band for two years in college, his daughter is filling our applications for UMass and Dartmouth, and he's finally going to treat himself and learn how to play. The Marshall combo is the back of the Range Rover and now he wants that ['burst LP Standard/Gilmour Strat/PRS ten-top/White Falon] and by Gawd he's gonna get it. NOPE

Then there are other buyers : the cover band guy working five nights a week who has a Strat and a PRS, the ponytailed blues dude with his Muddy Waters Tele, the stoner rockers who shop at the indie guitar shop might be a market but they're broke, etc.

I think that a no-frills US-made solid body guitar is what we at the HFC want. I'm unsure if it is meeting an unmet demand in the real world, though. For most people, one of the cheaper Gibsons already fills that bill and they are not gonna really care if you tell then your guitar is superior to that sub $1000 Gibson with matte finish, cheap hardware and mediocre playability. And I bought a Mexican Telecaster last year than kicks ass for $500.

Old people with disposable income want a blingy luxury guitar (if they want a guitar at all, which is another question) while young ones will want something Sam Totman would play or that Jack White would play.

And HFCers will go on an on about how they'll buy a new Special, right up to the point where they have to pay for it, then will continue to come on here to brag about the Studio they snagged for $500 and bitch about anything over $750.

But sure, I'll play. I say it has to be unlike anything out there. You MUST have a USP (unique selling proposition.) That USP must be obvious, not some abstract concept like air-dried wood that only a few geeks will get. And it must be affordably manufactured and must be promoted and distributed effectively, even if you're just making a hundred ever. You need to build on your existing strengths and facilities. So...

  • Yeah, a Special.
  • SUSTAINBLOCK. No one else does it, and this is a tie back to the brand's (well, A brand's) roots.
  • Not the usual Duncan JB/59 shit. I'd put in Dimarzio PAFs to continue that "our roots" thing and stay affordable. Shlobotnock Unobtanium Handwounds will make the price too high.
  • Handful of finishes, none of which are immediately Gibson-esque.
  • Have each guitar SIGNED on back of headstock with the serial number. This is important. People cream themselves the moment anything is "exclusive." In fact, I think this is the single most vital part of getting people to pony up cash for any "luxury" (non food and shelter) purchase: appealing to their little demon of avarice and pride about owning something worth coveting
  • No freaking options. You buy it or you don't. The moment you start offering options, your cost of manufacture starts creeping and suddenly you're selling $5000 Hamers again.
  • Suggestion for a unique touch which MIGHT give you an advantage over used Hamers and the tight wallets of the HFC. If you stuck a proper Standard headstock on a working-man's Special, every last one of us would buy it, PLUS it would look unique in a store. Just sayin'.
  • $1500 out the door.

If you're gonna just make a dozen for buddies and HFC types, build whatever. But I get the idea you're kinda wondering about a real business. Maybe with someone named Paul lending an endorsement, even if his name on the guitars would be prohibitively expensive.

</soapbox>

I'd add that the ease of sharing and community that the internet brings can be part of a Unique Selling Prop. Imagine:

  • Production images shared along the way
  • A blog about a limited edition run
  • Last-batch/special-batch Hamer for exclusivity
  • Being able to tag and follow your own guitar through and beyond production (blog through ownership)
  • Leveraging the Paul Hamer name, Call it a PHamer?
  • Working Man's Guitar concept is also part of an exclusivity concept
Link to post
Share on other sites

The guitar designer would have to balance the aesthetic of the headstock shape with the tonal effect of headstock shape. If we are looking for the most bang for the buck there are some features we might not get. How much more wood is used creating the longer headstock shape? Everything that adds cost takes away from the idea of a straightforward working man's guitar.

I just need a

.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Flattop version of THIS: (Close Thread!)

011_14A.jpg

This is what has been bouncing around my head since I posted yesterday!

Need to have a sustainblock (if they sell well, you can always offer a "Trem King", or some other version later).

Triplebucker is a MUST. Flat top is a must. Humbucker, P-90 or Strat style neck p'up, Phatcat - whatever.

25.5 inch scale

Although it's not a deal killer for me, I agree with Ben on the not-a-fan of the Standard headstock on a Special body, but I could live with it.

I like binding, but again, of they sell well, you can always add an upgraded model (complete with maple veneer top, B&C neck too?)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love a Steve Stevens with either a sustain block or TOM bridge. Dot inlays or no inlays. One volume, one switch and call it a day!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Korina, or Mahogany

24.75"

Archtop, or flat

Wrap or TOM

NO sustain block!

Long Standard headstock

Triplebucker

$1500? I'd find a way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of good ideas here. But folks, please be realistic about the price point, an American Standard Strat is $1200+ out the door. That is bolt on 3 piece body (or more?) guitar. Your going to have to spend more than $1K.

I niche that I think could be filled is to have options on neck carve for a set neck guitar - sort of like G&L but set neck.

I like the guitars I have so I'm not really in the market. But, a sustain block would have me thinking about getting one. I would love a sustain block SSI custom.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hamer USA Eclipse, wrap tail. Simple, dare I say elegant, design. when paired up with a few 6L6s it will rock anything. $650 w/case. $350 beer money left over from your $1k budget. Problem solved. My work here is done.

caddie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't really warm to this thread until Polara mentioned the "hockey stick" headstock on a "Paulish" body.

Bind the whole deal, finish it in a burst (cherry, ice tea, whatever) and keep it around $1500 and I'd be interested.

Edited to add- Just make Matthes suggestion (in flat top) and you have a winner.

DON"T go the Paul name route, though. Carve a new niche, make it your own.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Working man's all Mahogany Standard

Long headstock

Dot inlays

No binding

No maple top

No pickguard

This. Offer it in some solid colors. Sonic Blue Mahogany Standard, anyone?

If the guitar is to be a Hamer, then for some people Hamer = Standard. If re-introducing the Hamer name is what's being bandied about, then having the first guitar be an updated version of the guitar that made the company what it is should be a no-brainer. You could probably bring out a Special after that, but a Standard should be first. Sorry everyone, but make it a triple-bucker like a couple of guitars that didn't sell well for Hamer the first time around, and the boys might as well keep on making Guilds.

But it will be a hard sell, no matter what. The big names are putting out good guitars at decent prices right now, and retailers are desperate to get off stock. Want a new dual humbucker guitar, but don't have a lot of dosh? Sweetwater will put you in a new Gibson SGJ for $499. In addition, the used market is flooded with USA built guitars under $1500. Bling-y Les Pauls, Custom Shop Fender, anybody's signature anything... all can be had < $1500. Heck, you can get a Les Paul Studio, SG Std, or Deluxe Strat or Tele for half of that. It's a tough market at the workingman's price point.

Good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Solid slab, keep it clean. The wood has to be good, but the neck and frets need to be special with great setup. I was in my local gc today and played a double cut Les Paul... was surprised how much better my artist is. I would say better to have lesser wood on the body and smart choices on pickups. Working man guitar is the special, it is not the cork sniffer, right? Heck, I hate the hockey stick, but if they were hamer quality where my hands touched it, I would buy one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

This with:

- stressed fat neck (would allow for a cheaper maple neck rather than mahogany)

- Phat Cat pickups

- checkerboard logo with "HFC Workhorse" inline with the checkerboard

- one and only one color to keep it simple

- Schaller or Kluson locking tuners

- never mind a hardshell case

Wilkinson trem could be an option, but requires straight string leads on the headstock. The option would compete with the body string through sustain block.

The Miller Beer shape would be great to, just without the branding. It would require a proper but simple design though.

Pickups are personal taste. Therefore humbucker routes for bridge and neck seems to be essential. The actual pickups it comes with are not that important, but should have resale value. So, the classic SD 59 set would do the trick.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an old repaired neck '61 batwing Melody Maker with a thin body and a fat neck.. would love to have a stable full..

Does anyone make guitars like that?

The entire guitar vibrates like nothing else.. Sunburst or Special MMs.. seemed to me like a logical step along the lines of the 3/4 scale Standards.. those would be my workhorse line.. HBs, P90s.. bliss..

Peace

Link to post
Share on other sites

Polara pretty much summed it up for me. My only contribution to this thread would be - the special with the standard headstock is a cool idea but it just doesn't look right to me- the special with the armstrong headstock....now thats hot! Ok, one more contribution, I like the bridge HB neck p-90 combo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...