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draelyc

Thoughts on the Daytona?

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I've found myself looking around at various Strats lately, and being a Hamer fanboy, natch, I'm curious about the Daytona model.  Never played one myself, but I'm betting someone 'round here has, for sure!  What's the skinny?

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Pretty straight forward strat, but its a Hamer, so top of the line build quality and materials used.  If your in the market for a strat and you can find a Daytona in your price range, grab it, you will not be disappointed.

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I've played many Fender Strats over the years but only owned a couple including a Jeff Beck signature model, but I ended up selling them.  I took a chance on a natural Daytona here a few years ago and loved it.  Shortly after I got that one, a seafoam green one came up which is really what I would have wanted in the first place so I got that one too, played them both for a while and then sold the natural one.  Daytonas are the only "Strats" I could every bond with (so far - I'm willing to give a G&L a shot if I ever run across one I like at the right time for the right price).  If I ever found a Daytona in seafoam with a rosewood fingerboard I'd try to pick that up to match against my current one which has a maple fingerboard.  I think I would like the rosewood better.

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Early Daytona and T-51 production used ash for the bodies that was often pretty heavy, and the early production also used Sperzel locking tuners (which I like). Later guitars have alder bodies and different tuners. Some people don't like the Wilkinson tremolos but I don't have an issue with them, though the 'push in' (versus threaded) tremolo bars are difficult to find. I also like the flat fingerboard radius alot better than a vintage style F*nder neck.

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It's the Strat Fender wanted to make.

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1 hour ago, topekatj said:

... Some people don't like the Wilkinson tremolos but I don't have an issue with them, though the 'push in' (versus threaded) tremolo bars are difficult to find...

You can make your own trem bars using precision ground 3/16 (.187 inch) stainless steel. It bends pretty easy in a bench vise - the toughest thing is hacksawing off the blanks since i don't have a bandsaw.  I've got at least 12ft of that bar stock left in my garage so if you need a whammy bar to use from the next room lol...

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I was never a Strat guy until I lucked into a PERFECT '62 RI from the late '80s.  Everything about it was better than any Strat I'd ever played before...but...I traded it for a 4-digit Standard (and got another $400 on top of the deal too) and was suddenly left Stratless.  Enter a Daytona that Bob Powers had lying around...that really woke me up to getting everything I dug about the Strat sound and versatility in a really playable, all-around great guitar.  I've modded a few Daytonas over the years, but still think they're the closest I'll ever come to getting something as good (or better than) THE ONE Strat.

 

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Thanks for the feedback, y'all.  I'll of course let you know if anything comes of my shopping... :)

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Posted (edited)

Skinny?  Not on a Daytona.  The necks on my two Daytonas were comfortably full...some would say chunky.  Definitely not shredder thin.

The radius on them is on the flatter side - 14.5. (someone keep me honest here - it's been a while so my memory might not be right) That's not very stratty.  But since I was playing other Hamers, I felt right at home.

My blue transparent one had an all maple neck.  My black one had rosewood fret board on a maple neck. 

I had older Daytonas made of ash.  The more recent vintages were made of alder.  Weight on Daytonas is all over the place. 

Sperzel locking tuners.  Worked fine for me.  No complaints.

Wilkie trem.  Functional.  I replaced mine with a MannMade 6 screw vintage trem and a 2 point trem (BCRGreg did the surgery).  I liked those better than the Willkie.  There are plenty of replacement options to explore.

Seymour Duncan single coil SL 1 pups.   Pretty good.  But I tweaked my Daytonas.  One with Bill n'  Becky single coils in all 3 positions.  Really clear sounding and noise free. The other with a Duncan hot rail in the bridge.  I really liked the hot rail in the bridge position.

Two quirky things:  1) I was surprised at how damn tight the neck fits into the pocket.  You'd think you wouldn't need any screws for the neck to stay in place. 2) You have to remove the neck to take off the pickguard. And that is a snug fit too.

I really liked Hamer's take on the strat. Since I was still exploring different guitars, I didn't keep them. 

Between the Mapletop Mirage and Daytonas (both 25.5 scale length) that I've owned, I'd probably go with with either Daytona.  The Daytonas just had so much more versatility.   Even with the 5 way superswitch I had in the MM, there was a fundamental darkness that colored that guitar. Not bad, but it resulted in an overlap with other Hamer guitars that did the same thing better.  YMMV.

 

Edited by BubbaVO
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I have a heavy ish maple medium c neck USA Daytona that I bought 15 or more years ago. So far, I have kept it because it is a better guitar than several other USA fender Strats that I have owned. I left the stock Seymour Duncan pickups in, which are fine. I do favor either the Duncan surfer II antiquities, Bill Lawrence Keystones ,or fender CS fat 50's pickups over the stock SD's.

The Wilkinson bridge intonates easy and stays in tune well. I have seen pictures of corroded Wilkinson trems, but that has not occurred on either of the 3 Wilkinson trem equipped guitars that I own. I also am a big fan of the sperzel locking tuners.

 

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I modded mine with Antiquity II Surf pickups and a Hipshot trem.  Oh, and a aged-white-pearl pickguard cover from Pickguard Heaven. 

Fender folks don't think much of the Daytona, because most of them like to "parts-swap" their Fenders' bodies and necks to build a FrankenFender that suits them.  I never understood this mentality, but whatevs.  It speaks to Fender build consistency (or lack thereof) more than anything. 

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3 hours ago, Never2Late said:

I modded mine with Antiquity II Surf pickups and a Hipshot trem.  Oh, and a aged-white-pearl pickguard cover from Pickguard Heaven. 

Fender folks don't think much of the Daytona, because most of them like to "parts-swap" their Fenders' bodies and necks to build a FrankenFender that suits them.  I never understood this mentality, but whatevs.  It speaks to Fender build consistency (or lack thereof) more than anything. 

That's allegedly what Clapton did to come up with Blackie and Brownie, IIRC.  Hey, it worked for him, so if I do it....

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If you decide you want one. I have 1 korean and 2 USA , Message me

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Great guitars. If it wasn't for the flat-ish fingerboard radius, I'd still have mine.

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37 minutes ago, jwhitcomb3 said:

Great guitars. If it wasn't for the flat-ish fingerboard radius, I'd still have mine.

That's why I loved them - the flatter radius felt more natural for a person who typically played a Les Paul. I have a '75 Strat I rarely play because while it sounds amazing, it doesn't play nearly as well (for me).

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I liked my Daytona okay. But then I played and purchased a Melancon. The Mel fit me much better plus it sounded better to me. Then I bought a few more Melancon's and another Daytona. Ended up selling both Daytonas. I've owned a few Fender Strats and have sold those as well. 

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13 hours ago, mrjamiam said:

That's allegedly what Clapton did to come up with Blackie and Brownie, IIRC.  Hey, it worked for him, so if I do it....

I'm guessing Fender's neck carving was all-over-the-place, and non-standard.  Might still be, I dunno.  When I got my Daytona sorted-out, I pretty-much stopped looking at Fenders altogether.  Silver-haired cork-sniffers want to spend five-figures for 'vintage' ones on TGP?  Have at-it....

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I have a '94 in surf green. Maple board. All stock except for the pickups. I swapped out ghe Seymours with Lollar's dirty blonde set. I've never been one who styas with one guitar. Then I bought this one. It has been my #1 going on 5 years now. My PRS, Fenders, even my other Hamers rarely see daylight and haven't seen a stage since my Daytona arrived.

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Posted (edited)

I, like others, have had many Fenders, even an early custom shop guitar and yes, THD, a Mel. None have fit me as well as the Daytona. I think I love my Daytona for the reason many people despise them, the neck. Flat and quick. Mine is an ash/Sperzel equipped guitar and its pretty heavy, but I don't mind. Oh, and it's the one guitar I leave on a stand to just grab and play.

 

JBG_3786.thumb.jpg.3655a88c4dc7b0024d34b0c84bc1ccbf.jpg

Edited by jbrooke
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1 hour ago, jbrooke said:

I, like others, have had many Fenders, even an early custom shop guitar and yes, THD, a Mel. None have fit me as well as the Daytona. I think I love my Daytona for the reason many people despise them, the neck. Flat and quick. Mine is an ash/Sperzel equipped guitar and its pretty heavy, but I don't mind. Oh, and it's the one guitar I leave on a stand to just grab and play.

 

JBG_3786.thumb.jpg.3655a88c4dc7b0024d34b0c84bc1ccbf.jpg

That was what my first Daytona was - I had plenty of cool guitars around, but seemed to always grab the original (sadly, long gone) battered old, Vintage Orange '94 Daytona.  I've probably gigged more with my Stikedelic Orange Flaked and Tronned Daytona over the years though.

 

StikedelicDaytona-2.jpg

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That orange sparkle with trons is sooooo cool!

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Posted (edited)

Went in to the local mom & pop to really see if there was a genuine Strat for me  I tried the Squiers, the Vintage Classics, the MIMs and a USA standard then saw this on the used rack and it blew them away.  Years of wear on it, heavy, chewed up under the pick guard in some fool's effort to reduce weight, but is the daily stand grabber while sitting muted on conference calls.

image.jpg

Edited by Toadroller
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I've had five ( I think?) and still have two of them.  All of them were/are awwsome guitars - average playing Daytonas are the exception.

I have a trans-blue one still for sale.

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I noticed one I’ve been watching on Reverb left the building. Did you pull the trigger?

On 3/21/2019 at 10:14 AM, draelyc said:

I've found myself looking around at various Strats lately, and being a Hamer fanboy, natch, I'm curious about the Daytona model.  Never played one myself, but I'm betting someone 'round here has, for sure!  What's the skinny?

 

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I've never seen or played a Daytona in person, but owned a T-51 for a few years before I traded it off for a '98 Artist Custom because I didn't bond with the T-51's neck shape. I currently own an '87 Fender Japan Strat that was set up well, played comfortably, and swapped out with EMG SA pickups & SPC module that I'm happy with. That being said, if I didn't own a Strat style guitar with 3 single coil pickups, I would opt to buy a Daytona with a rosewood fingerboard from a buyer on this messageboard sight unseen. From my Internet guitar buying experiences, all of the Hamer guitars that I purchased online only needed a minimal action/intonation set up. I've only changed pickups in my '95 Archtop Sunburst guitar that I have since I'm not quite satisfied with the pickups on that guitar. As I long as I'm comfortable with the neck shape (I have De Quervain's tenosynovitis) and the sound of the guitar, I can change out the pickups on the 3 single coil Strat type guitars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Guitar George

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