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Hamer now owned by Washburn....


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22 minutes ago, Drew816 said:

Correct; a "military-ism." Resemble that remark means - guilty as charged! Lots of know-it-alls on TGP, and then some real, bonafide true experts on there too (Thorn, Kirn, etc.). 

As for expert in Tree Fungus, well if you post on TGP there will be someone there that has a Ph.D in the subject. And then you'll have 10 guys posting why this guy is wrong shortly thereafter, AND I may be one of them; but using a cool Baby Yoda meme or something. 

My comments are all in fun!

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These are production guitars from New Hartford that got stopped in mid process, and have been hanging around in limbo for a quite a few years.  They have the original tape and notes on the neck about 

The Arlington Heights shop was constantly trading staff with Washburn.  Mike worked for us and Yuri was at Washburn. I wonder if any of the old Hamer staff is still there?  

Hamers being made in Indonesia is bad enough, but Washburn?!

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On 10/24/2020 at 8:33 PM, Northfield said:

These are production guitars from New Hartford that got stopped in mid process, and have been hanging around in limbo for a quite a few years.  They have the original tape and notes on the neck about things to fix after first level.  @Jackass didn't let anything get by him.  God, I miss working with that guy.  

Doesn't sound like we have any reason to believe the Hamer USA brand is moving forward if this is the exact same condition they were in six years ago.  

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I liken this latest, uh, “revival” (if it’s even true, given Mike already debunked the original picture as not something that was recent) to the BC Rich saga. By that, I mean it’s destined to fail. For most of its life, Hamer had some relative consistency in WHO was making the guitars. It had a name in the marketplace and has its fans. But the brand died. All it is now is a name. It has ZERO of the history, craftsmanship, mojo that real Hamer had. Same has happened to BC Rich since Bernie died. The essence of the company is GONE. The NAME has bounced around among a few of the conglomerates, but none of them are getting it right when it comes to building true-to-form BC Riches. There’s not a shred of appeal left to a brand I was a die-hard, loyal fan of for decades. (Hell, I still own 4 of them.) AFAIC, BCR is out of business and can never come back. 

Hamer was gone for years after FMIC killed it. Whoever brought the name back by only doing Korean-made crap only damaged the brand, IMO. By the time things ended, it was such a small, niche brand anyway. So it’s questionable why anyone would try to revive it now, given how saturated the marketplace is in the first place. It being part of one of these umbrella companies isn’t going to carry the same passion or appeal as the real deal. That’s gone for good. If you had a group of former Hamer employees buy it back, that would be a different ballgame. But that’s not what is happening (if the rumor is true at all). 

As has already been said, you want the real Hamer mojo and NEW? Then give your money to Shishkov. 

I hope that made sense. I’m tired tonight.

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22 minutes ago, devrock said:

As has already been said, you want the real Hamer mojo and NEW? Then give your money to Shishkov. 

I hope that made sense. I’m tired tonight.

Message checks out.  It always makes sense to buy a guitar from Mike.  :D 

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At least Peavey didn't get 'em.

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47 minutes ago, hamerhead said:

At least Peavey didn't get 'em.

But, but, but...then every Hamer could be shipped with a "Peavey Powered" sticker on the case.  It's the ultimate anti-theft device for music gear, you know.

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Someone stole my Peavey T-40 bass (in its plastic photon torpedo case) along with a bunch of other gear out of our band van about 40 years ago. It did not have had the anti-theft sticker on the case, only the molded-in logo. My loss wasn't nearly as bad as the guitarist's- his Flying V is still nowhere to be found.

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They would have to really have a quality guitar that was priced for the market. A special at 900.00 is gonna compete with gibbys and fenders at the American made idea. Hamer cant cost more than them because of market visibility, but they would have to build a better guitar, by a long stretch. They would need to get great matketing and endorsements. 

 

 

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So, now that some additional facts have been revealed, it appears we can surmise the following:

1. Washburn and Hamer are both brands under JAM Industries ownership and legally lumped together under the US Music/KMC org chart. 

2. Washburn still engages in USA production of a limited number of guitars, basses, etc. and apparently still has a custom shop in Illinois. 

3. JAM/KMC-era Hamer, as of 2019 and early 2020, was represented in the market by a small line of models, most of which mimic some design aesthetics with both Arlington Heights-era and New Hartford-era Hamers. While the brand appeared in the 2019 dealer literature, there is no mention of "Hamer" on either the JAM or KMC websites. That only means something if these firms have someone keeping those sites updated.

3. Washburn and Hamer employees apparently moved between the two firms when Hamer USA was based in Illinois. 

4. A photo allegedly taken at a Washburn facility in Illinois of four New Hartford-era Hamer USA guitars as works-in-progress  has surfaced.  A former Hamer USA employee has confirmed that these specific guitars appear to be in their as-left-New-Hartford state and have been/were hanging around unfinished for years.

5. No corroborated evidence has been unearthed that would confirm that Washburn USA employees can/will finish these guitars and/or that additional guitars bearing the Hamer USA brand will be produced by Washburn USA. 

ETA...

6. Several members here at the HFC accepted the end of the Hamer USA brand and acknowledge its time of death as roughly seven years ago. These brethren don't really give a shit whether Washburn USA employees revive the Hamer brand via new USA construction.  Other members of the HFC are positively intrigued by the idea and seem curious as to what, if anything will come of this.

Edited by Biz Prof
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Washburn/Hamer actually have a connection.  When the first Hamer factory closed down in the early 90s, some of those Hamer employees went to work at Washburn's custom shop near Chicago starting in 1992/93.  In fact, Washburn's custom shop from the late 1990s to mid-2010s was actually headed by a Hamer employee (Terry Atkins).  Terry mainly worked on the 12 string basses when he was at Hamer (from what he told me).  He created many Washburn's bass designs.  

From 1992-1996, the Washburn custom shop was headed by Grover Jackson, and he had multiple Hamer employees working under him.  I call this Washburn's "Golden Age."  The USA mercury series and Washburn SS80 were made during time - all of them amazing quality.

The Washburn transition was able to nab Steve Stevens from Hamer's roster.  The Hamer SS3 is very similar to the Washburn SS80.  There are more details from this transition, but I'll leave at that.  

The Washburn Chicago USA custom shop shut down some years ago.  I didn't know it was back up and running.  IMO, JAM Industries/Washburn is a good company to acquire Hamer, especially if they just reopened the Washburn's custom shop.  I expect them just focusing on imports, but who knows.  Either way, this is good news.  

 

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4 hours ago, Armitage said:

Interesting...

 

I bet they won't be cheap... probably brought back as a premium line imho. 5+

If at all.  

My bet?

They won't come back.  People want Standards, and they screwed the pooch on being able to build those again.

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Just spit-balling here . . . .

Having owned a number of incredible US crafted Hamers and being fully aware of  what Hamer WAS   makes it really difficult for me just to muster the interest to read this entire dang thread (no offense meant to the posters).   

So now that I have read it and still feel, "Meh" about this whole development - its a pretty strong indicator I ain't spending a dime on any of their  "new" Hamers - if it ever even gets that far.

I'm out.

 

Edited by Boomerang~Junkie
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6 hours ago, bubs_42 said:

Correct, they could have just came out with that one Model alone at low production #'s and cashed in. 

Piggybacking on your logic, the only way I see JAM/KMC/US Music making the brand viable (outside of the dead end of serviceable imports) is to go back to the original formula:  USA Standards via C.O. and simple veneer-top Sunbursts made in Chicago. As others have said, that would not be cheap to do properly. BUT...if a buyer really wanted a Standard made to order, whatever's left of Washburn custom shop in Chicago might be able to do it.  Mike's understandable move away from making any more Ultimates leaves that gap open. Question is...how many buyers are ready and willing to pay up?  The Sunburst, on the other hand, might garner some interest if it was priced lower than what one might pay for PRS Core models or Gibson LP Standards. Just not sure how feasible that is. 

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2 hours ago, Biz Prof said:

Piggybacking on your logic, the only way I see JAM/KMC/US Music making the brand viable (outside of the dead end of serviceable imports) is to go back to the original formula:  USA Standards via C.O. and simple veneer-top Sunbursts made in Chicago. As others have said, that would not be cheap to do properly. BUT...if a buyer really wanted a Standard made to order, whatever's left of Washburn custom shop in Chicago might be able to do it.  Mike's understandable move away from making any more Ultimates leaves that gap open. Question is...how many buyers are ready and willing to pay up?  The Sunburst, on the other hand, might garner some interest if it was priced lower than what one might pay for PRS Core models or Gibson LP Standards. Just not sure how feasible that is. 

Gibson has shut down Hamer building Standards going forward.  The poor stewardship of the brand assured that.

 

That ship has sailed.

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1 hour ago, cmatthes said:

Gibson has shut down Hamer building Standards going forward. 

Didn’t Gibson lose the patent suit the brought against Dean and others? Any updates on that, counsel?

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1 hour ago, RobB said:

Didn’t Gibson lose the patent suit the brought against Dean and others? Any updates on that, counsel?

I believe that was a European court decision, and Dean will continue to make theirs, but Hamer folded when Gibson barked because they didn't have anybody who knew what the hell was going on and they weren't about to incur defense bills to pursue what would probably not be worth it in the end.  There are a number of smaller builders who pay Gibson royalties to use those designs (with subtle variations), but I am not sure that whatever Hamer is now will bother.

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So is the Gibson issue the reason Shishkov doesn't continue making Ultimates anymore or is there another reason? I've always wondered why he stopped if there was so much interest. His guitars look amazing and I know are awesome but those shapes do nothing for me. 

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