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Dutchman

Which Hamer Super Strat to Chase?

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Back story I gave my son my 69 Strat and my Charvel Mdl 5. He started with those guitars and for sentimental reasons he offered to buy them. So I gave them to him. I’m going to replace the Strat with a Daytona. I need something to replace the Charvel (which is a hugely under rated guitar) The Vintage S model always intrigued me, but I know nothing about these guitars.  I was hoping you guy’s and gal’s with experience with these models might have some info on them and help with my search. I’m staying w Hamer USA guitars, so just info on Hamer appreciated. Thank You. 

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The model 5 was the only charvel model/toothpaste series guitar I never owned. Started with my 650xl, had 3 750xls and a variety of 1’s-4’s over the years. Every single one of them was a killer player and much better than their price tags would indicate  

In the Hamer super strat world I’ve had a Californian standard, a diablo and a short scale Chaparral. Of those three, the diablo was actually the best player. It had a pretty substantial neck to it, dual humbuckers and a Floyd. Killer super strat. 

The Vintage S is one I’ve not had the pleasure of playing but have admired many from afar. 

The first question I would ask myself if I were you is: what type of bridge am I looking for? That may help narrow down your search when deciding between a vintage trem or a Floyd. 

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16 minutes ago, Travis said:

The first question I would ask myself if I were you is: what type of bridge am I looking for? That may help narrow down your search when deciding between a vintage trem or a Floyd. 

I’ve played them all and for a super strat style I’m in the Kahler camp. I figured out how to maintain them, flawless after that and a lot more wood left in the body of the guitar. That said I have no issues w floyd either. Vintage style is ok... but I’ll have 2 of those with a Mirage and a Daytona.

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6 minutes ago, Dutchman said:

I’ve played them all and for a super strat style I’m in the Kahler camp. I figured out how to maintain them, flawless after that and a lot more wood left in the body of the guitar. That said I have no issues w floyd either. Vintage style is ok... but I’ll have 2 of those with a Mirage and a Daytona.

Hmm...  don’t know of any hamers that came with a kahler stock. If you’re going to go with a Floyd over vintage trem then the next question would be how much bling do you want. The diablo is a bare bones shredder. Great player but no frills. The cali’s and chaps get pretty tricked out with the elites and customs. Can’t really go wrong with any of them I think. 

Pickup options might be another deciding factor for you. Depending on if you want any single coils or dual hums. 

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3 hours ago, Travis said:

Hmm...  don’t know of any hamers that came with a kahler stock. If you’re going to go with a Floyd over vintage trem then the next question would be how much bling do you want

The Charvel had a Kahler. Bling is ok. No bling ok too... I can’t leave a guitar stock so pickups don’t matter. Playability and tone are the key issues. Bolt on better than neck thru? Necks better on different models?? I like a medium C neck and can’t get used to V boat neck... hands cramp up. 

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13 minutes ago, Dutchman said:

The Charvel had a Kahler. Bling is ok. No bling ok too... I can’t leave a guitar stock so pickups don’t matter. Playability and tone are the key issues. Bolt on better than neck thru? Necks better on different models?? I like a medium C neck and can’t get used to V boat neck... hands cramp up. 

The necks can vary wildly. My diablo had a pretty substantial neck, full and round but I’ve heard a lot of other diablos weren’t pretty thin. My Chap neck was small and narrow. 

My diablo and Cali were both bolt on while the Chap was set neck. 

You’ve got a lot to choose from and don’t think you can really go wrong with any of them. 

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Centauras aint too sloppy either. @Bennyboy-UK should be able to convince you. I have two chaps and two Centauras and I think I can say that the Cents are my preference.

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I have two Vintage S's and I love them to death. The birdseye maple necks are real comfortable in the hand, no V shape. You're not going to find any Kahlers on them! ;) 

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I’ve got a couple of chaparrals s/s/h with stock kahler trems if you are interested email me at hamstd@gmail.com for more info and pics.   Peter

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As I recall, the Model 5 had an H-H configuration. With that in mind, I strongly recommend an early Diablo. 

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I’ve ended up with 5.5 centauras - I really like them - they’re all different - pickups, controls, electrics, woods, necks everything.

 

i just think they’re great value!

Edited by Bennyboy-UK
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1 hour ago, HamStd said:

I’ve got a couple of chaparrals s/s/h with stock kahler trems if you are interested email me at hamstd@gmail.com for more info and pics.   Peter

Man, this guy’s got everything...  nice 

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51 minutes ago, Biz Prof said:

As I recall, the Model 5 had an H-H configuration. With that in mind, I strongly recommend an early Diablo. 

You’re correct. I took out the Jackson pickups and replaced the mid control with a blender pot and split the coils on the Hot set Pete Bilthoft built. Gained a lot of versatility.

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8 hours ago, Dutchman said:

I’ve played them all and for a super strat style I’m in the Kahler camp. I figured out how to maintain them, flawless after that and a lot more wood left in the body of the guitar. That said I have no issues w floyd either. Vintage style is ok... but I’ll have 2 of those with a Mirage and a Daytona.

I had a trade offer where I could choose between a model 5 with a kahler or a model 4 with the JT-6 trem. I ended up taking the model 4 because I was scared of the kahler. In retrospect, I should’ve taken the model 5 because it was a better guitar. Didn’t keep the 4 for very long before I sold it off. 

I remember Dave Mustaine had a non-trem kahler on his old Jackson king v’s. I wondered if they were interchangeable. I would’ve just swapped one of those into the model 5 and kept it...

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Another vote for the Centaura, but realistically, worst case is you get one and have to move it along to get something else.  

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I have a Centaura and can vouch for its shreddiness and value. But if you really like the H-H config, just find a '90-'92 Diablo and you'll have a tonal equivalent to the Model 5. After a few years playing mostly two pickup guitars, I seem to prefer that configuration now. As such, my Strats and Centaura don't get as much playing time. 

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Eli

s selling his sparkly-red Centaura at a great price:

 

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I played a diablo the other day and it was pretty sweet with a nice medium-full neck shape.  However I hope to someday have a chaparral some day.  I like shorter scale shredders.  

14 minutes ago, Toadroller said:

Eli

s selling his sparkly-red Centaura at a great price:

 

Also I’ve dealt with Eli.  Top notch.  

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I used to own a Diablo, but didn't bond with the neck shape, but it sounded good with the stock pickups. I sold it on Craig's List. My first Hamer was a Diablo II that I traded an Ibanez RG-570 guitar & cash for the Diablo II guitar. After using & playing the Ibanez guitar, I was ready to upgrade to well made U.S. guitar and buying the Diablo II sight unseen met my expectations. I had to get my guitar tech to tweak the action & change the bridge saddles on the Schaller Floyd Rose tremolo, but the guitar plays like butter, stays in tune, and the stock Dimarzio Air Norton/HS-2/Tone Zone pickups sound quite good with the maple/rosewood neck & alder body combination.

 I also own the Chapparal Elite 90 that was given to me as a gift. I bought it from an E-bay seller in Nashville who also had a Californian Elite with the hollowskull logos that disappeared. I should have bought that one too. I got a great deal on the Chapparal Elite 90. For some reason that particular guitar just roars! The ebony fingerboard/3 piece maple neck, mahogany body, and Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis pickups overshadows my Diablo II guitar tonally, but both are played & appreciated when they're played onstage with my cover bands. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Guitar George

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I'd have to know a little more about what you're after but to be fair, you can't go worng with any of them- the Diablo, the Cent, the Chap and the Cali all offer solid quality via good features, quality components and excellent craftsmanship. Once you pinpoint exactly what you like/dislike, you can often times tweak one of those models to get exactly what you are after.

I've done it with every one of mine. Love 'em!

 

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I`ve owned them all. I really wanted to like the short scale Chapp Customs. The necks were nice and medium C but the nut width was way to narrow. Everything else had too thin of necks. I`ve owned a few Diablos of both eras, reverse and regular headstock. I kept my 1992 reverse headstock one. Just has that mojo. Medium C neck, wider nut width, the SD JB roars and it plays so nice even with medium frets and I usually play jumbo and ex jumbo frets.

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I have short fingers and love the thin neck profiles Hamer had on the Chap and Cali from around 1991 on. But earlier model with the "meatier" profile were nice and playable too. I don't have a Centaura or Diabolo, but one of my Chaparral guitars has an alder body too. I was always a Fender kind of guy, so, I prefer alder over mahogany. I love the maple body Hamer's best. That said, my most played Hamer is a mahogany body Hamer Steve Stevens I (which also has a Gibson scale), of those I prefer the early 22-fret models.

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