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How can this be a Hamer Chaparral?

Question

Hi folks

I just bought this Hamer guitar out of curiosity. Price was pretty close to treefiddy so the decision was easy. There was not much information provided by the seller but I know the experts here can help.

So here is what the pictures tell me:

Brand: Hamer

Model: Chaparral Custom, setneck

Serial number: 514710

Fretboard: ebony with boomerang inlays (yeah), 22 frets

Color: pink?

Obviously, the white pickups are not original and also the original Kahler tremolo was removed and replaced with a Floyd copy. Not sure about the knobs but they could be original. I plan to put back on a period correct Kahler and locking nut if I can find one.

Here are my questions to the experts in this forum:

  • didn't Hamer start to built Chaparrals in 1986? so how can this one be dated to 1985?
  • fretboard has 22 frets, not 24 like other Chaps - was this a custom option?

I noticed some more oddities compared to other Chaps:

  • the 1986 version had a strat-style front mounted jack plate, this one doesn't
  • the first Chaps had mini-switches, this one has a blade switch
  • control cavity backplate is not triangular

I am curious if this was an early prototype or custom order.

Appreciate your help to here. Will share more images once I have picked up the guitar.

80er-hamer-gitarre.jpg

780763824_5_Big.jpg

780763824_4_Big.jpg

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Wow!

Early, early, early.

It's very possibly pre-production prototype or a custom jobbie. Clearly a Chaparral though. The long cover is left over from a Phantom GT, the model the Chap sort of grew out of. (Gary Moore had a real Phanto-Chaparral/Chapo-Phantom hybrid, made 85ish).

Kahler fulcrum-type trem was the original choice for the production Chaparral, Floyd for the Custom.

Nothing much had 24 frets until 86.

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Thanks Andrew for the reply.

I was actually reading through the Hamer Chaparral information on your website just now. :)

Now I am really excited to pick that beauty up.

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That's cool!

Maybe it's just the way the pictures were taken, but the body looks tiny.

At $350-ish, you stole it. Well done!

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Wow!

Early, early, early.

It's very possibly pre-production prototype or a custom jobbie. Clearly a Chaparral though. The long cover is left over from a Phantom GT, the model the Chap sort of grew out of. (Gary Moore had a real Phanto-Chaparral/Chapo-Phantom hybrid, made 85ish).

Kahler fulcrum-type trem was the original choice for the production Chaparral, Floyd for the Custom.

Nothing much had 24 frets until 86.

22 fretter - not too many of those around... I thought it might be a long-scale at first but it seems like a short-scale...

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Maybe it's just the way the pictures were taken, but the body looks tiny.

That small body look stood out to me, too. The photo from the back looks normal.

Early, ebony, boomers, and pink! DIBS!

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Wow! Very early model AND Tree-Fiddy, too! :wub: Congrats, maybe there's still hope for the rest of us, for that kind of a snag! :)

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Last thing I bought "out of curiosity" was cr@p. And that, my friend, is one hell of a deal. Congrats!

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UPDATE

I picked up the guitar from the seller.

The good

  • original finish and serial number
  • original tuners
  • original pots and knobs (black but show signs of wear)
  • original truss rod cover
  • original control cavity back plate
  • what seems to be a rusty but original Hamer Slammer Humbucker
  • no structural headstock or neck injuries

This is a unique guitar and super light weight.
The body is smaller and has a different shape with a rounded contour if your compare it to my white 1987 Chap.

See images below.

The bad

  • Kahler Nut missing
  • original Kahler tremolo missing
  • frets are heavily worn down, need replacement
  • coils replaced with white Fender Lace Sensors
  • original strap pins missing
  • tremolo back plate missing

The ugly

  • finish is literally dilapidating and coming off in chunks
  • some idiot ripped into the wood to widen the tremolo route for an Ibanez Edge tremolo, leaving a blistering wound with chipping mahogany
  • resulting missing wood on the left and front side of the tremolo cavity

According to the seller, this guitar was "laying around" in a local music school. Has not seen a case or guitar stand in years.

A friend of the seller supposedly was the original owner.
I try to get in touch with him to find out more.

HELP - what now?

I would like to get this guitar back in order but need some advice.

First, I need to solve the most prominent issue.

As the finish has started to come off and separates from the wood, what should be done to get that in order?

What do you guys suggest to do?

Moreover, I need to find some missing hardware like a period correct Kahler nut and whammy bridge in chrome.

Any suggestions where to procure these?

I will worry about replacing the Fender Lace Sensor pickups later but was thinking to use OBLs.

Any suggestions here?

IMG_4761.JPG

IMG_4758.JPG

IMG_4755.JPGIMG_4756.JPG

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Find the best repair guy in Switzerland and get an estimate on the price to repair the wood. Get the guitar playable to see if you like it as much as your other Chaparall. You are going to have a good chunk of money invested.

If the guitar is what you want, pay the extra money and get it refinished. Then you will have more in the guitar than you can get in a sale, but you will know that you have a guitar you like. It will sort of be like buying a new guitar. Some of my guitars have more invested than their value, but I plan on keeping them.

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What a tragedy what's happened to that guitar. After closer look, that appears to be a long-scale version and the body definitely seems to be some sort of hybrid; the lower half/bout look like a traditional Chapparal but the upper half/bout is different - as is the end profile where the strap lock would have been.

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You could fill in the tremolo cavity with some kind of epoxy/resin and re-rout it! That would also mean a re-spray though. I had this done to my import Diablo and top-mounted a Gotoh Floyd a few years back...

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Just my one cent worth - if that is in fact some sort of early or more rare Chappy, I'd be inclined to spend the money necessary to properly bring that Hamer treasure back to its original state.

The SME's on this board can point you to the best people/shops for that process.

Still an awesome get, congrats.

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Thanks guys for the feedback.

This is a pretty cool guitar. It deserves to become a serious player again.

I assume a refinish will be inevitable.

Due to to the condition of the lacquer and the wood work on the body, I guess preservation is not feasible.

So it is more a question on how to approach this project.

1) stay as close as possible to the original specs

or

2) do something different / totally bad ass

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Just so you: know this is the correct model Kahler, not a flat-mount. I am surprised at how much material has to be removed to get a Floyd into the routs.

I have seen several early Chaps with this trem.

kahler_floyd.png

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I'm curious to hear what the experts have to say in this situation. I would call it a historically significant Hamer and its completely buggered up. What do you do?

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I'm curious to hear what the experts have to say in this situation. I would call it a historically significant Hamer and its completely buggered up. What do you do?

well....

there have been plenty of "vintage" Hamers that have been Kahler modded, and then restored back to spec.

Hence the word, restored.

What is done is done to that Chap. Yes, it can be restored...

All depends on the owner of the Chap.

It would be a good project to restore.

Correct parts procured.

replacing wood that was removed

Refinish.

Sure has been a few never been seen "Vintage" or "one Offs" out of the closets lately....

Never the less, very cool early chap.

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Maybe it's just me...but I wouldn't do anything to the finish. I would just refret, pickups, some other misc. parts and enjoy its "character". Do you know how much the FMIC's of the world would charge you to approximate that look?! ! :o:rolleyes:;)B)

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Maybe it's just me...but I wouldn't do anything to the finish. I would just refret, pickups, some other misc. parts and enjoy its "character". Do you know how much the FMIC's of the world would charge you to approximate that look?! ! :o:rolleyes:;)B)

Unfortunately, that trem cavity needs fixing before the guitar is just a hole...

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+1 on what Jay said. This is cool project.

Contacted the presumably original owner to find more about this guitar.

Will also have it checked out by a trusted luthier this weekend to discuss options.

When I know more, I will decide the direction of the project.

ATM, I am afraid that it will require more than just a refret and the right parts.

There is fixing the trem cavity and the problem with the condition of the original finish - it's chipping off on body, neck and headstock.

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Got a reply from the original owner.

He purchased the guitar new from a local music store here in Switzerland.
Unfortunately, that store went out of business several years ago.

Moreover, the he does not have old photos or more information about the instrument.

He only remembers that the instrument was not regular shop inventory but was offered to him as a unique bargain.

It was also the original owner who put on the Lace Sensor pups. He said he still regrets that he did that. ;)

So that is what I could find out about this guitar.

Will open a WTB thread soon to procure missing parts and a Hamer USA decal in white for the headstock.

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Man, was that thing underwater or something?!? I mean, what the hell makes the finish flake off like that?

It reminds me of an old Ibanez I was gonna buy off Paul Gilbert years ago that had been subjected to water intrusion. The whole body swelled up and the finish wound up looking similar to this. Different finishes I know, but that looks like it was seriously neglected as well as modded into submission.

Good luck with the project!

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Man, was that thing underwater or something?!? I mean, what the hell makes the finish flake off like that?

yup, water damage.

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