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Hamer Sunburst (vintage) vs Monaco Elite (modern)


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I've not owned a Sunburst but I have an '83 Special and briefly owned a MonEl.

I really like the sustainblock bridge, so I'd probably pick the Sunburst because of that. Between the two that I owned, the fit and finish was probably better on the MonEl. The Special is put together well, but the lacquer is chipping along the fretboard and the flat top gives it a more utilitarian, less refined feel. It was also way blingier... victory inlays, ivoroid binding, glitzy top, beautiful '59 burst.

At any rate, the Special has that sort of vintage vibe to it. It's lighter, it feels more delicate, for lack of a better word. It was also like 1/3 of the price of the MonEl, which is probably why I kept it and took the MonEl back in a fit of responsibility. ;)

In short, you can't go wrong either way. (edit) By which I mean I couldn't point to a single meaningful fault in either instrument, period.

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Tough call. I think as the building process was refined the instruments just kept getting better. They truly went out on top.

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Without getting into the whole shelf thing, I have to agree with Hamerhead, the building process was refined. The consistency from a quality standpoint was improved. That being said, the SB77 Reissues are pretty awesome. I have had several Sunbursts and a couple of Monaco Elites. I don't think there is a clear outright winner here. I love them both. If I was a buyer and it was a vintage Sunburst versus a Monaco Elite for about the same money? Then, my preference would be the Sunburst, I'm not sure what that says about me. It's like comparing a 1966 Ford Mustang to a 2014 Mustang, the 2014 will kick the 1966 Mustangs butt all day long and twice on Sunday but there is something about the Vintage thing. Maybe I am just getting old?

Hamerica

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Give love, get love. Pick the one that you will play more often and you will get back in spades. One that have more playing time sound and perform better. Science fact? Not sure. Placebo effect? Maybe but happiness doesn't care.

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The only downside that I'd think of on the Sunburst would be the neck dimensions, and there would probably be variations, too...but even that is up somewhat to individual taste. I've had a few 1980 Specials, and I thought the necks on those were a bit narrow and definitely thinner than a 'vintage carve' neck, but I don't know if the same would apply for a Sunburst of the same year/era.

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Two different style guitars. The Monaco Elite weighs 95 lbs. Did you guys in the HFC know that there are two different style modern Monaco Elites? They made the larger body Monaco first, which had a small porch on the treble side of the fingerboard extension. When they scaled down the Monaco Elite body, they didn't factor the small porch in the scale down, so they have a small body with a large porch. They adjusted it after. That means that the people who have the first 5-6 Monaco Elites have rare Hamers I guess. Does it?

Bm

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two different "visions" of guitar from two different era and from two very different guys.

Sunburst has that "thang"... Gibson and a tele to perfection.

Hard to pin, but man, it is it in spades in the right hands and amp.

rawk.

don't know about the maonaco, just another LP wannabee as well as other later models.

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I think they are both great guitars.

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