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Well, other than aesthetics with the studio customs having binding and fancier inlays, the only real difference between a special FM and a studio is the flat maple top vs arch maple top (or all mahogany construction for the non-FM varieties)

I’ve never owned a studio but I have had a Mahogany Special HB, Special FM, Artist Korina HB, and my Talladega to consider an arch top with binding for the feel. 

My personal thoughts would be if I was going strictly on feel and playability, I’d grab a special FM every time. Here’s why: I’ve found the edges to be a bid rounder with the flat top than an arch top, and especially an arch top with binding. The binding has the sharpest edge and is less comfortable for me based on how I lay my arm on the body. Tonally speeding, the difference between a special and a similarly constructed studio should be minimal. So, based on the feel of the flat top being more comfortable for me, that’s how I’d go. 

That being said, if I wanted the fancier inlays and binding then the Studio Custom is the only way to go unless you find a custom order “Special Custom”

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I've been on this site for a while and somewhere I read something like the following statement: "....and we learned that the Special really wasn't...."

Just wondering what that meant and why.

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1 hour ago, rugby1970 said:

I've been on this site for a while and somewhere I read something like the following statement: "....and we learned that the Special really wasn't...."

Just wondering what that meant and why.

Because it was a phenomenal playing & sounding guitar just like every other Hamer made...?

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Without being more specific you're asking about more than a half-dozen different models.  Sustain block Special, wraptail Special, tune-o-matic Special, tune-o-matic P-90 Special, Special FM, wraptail Studio, Studio P-90, and the Studio (and all it's different names). 

Wood-wise, it's a flat-top mahogany slab (aside the from relatively thin cap on the FM) vs a potentially chambered mahogany body with thick carved maple top.

If you want something that only Hamer can give you, the only one on the list worth considering is the original sustain-block Special.  Between the bridge and the original Dimarzio pickups it's the only Gibson-scale humbucker guitar one needs.  If you just want another Hamer, I suppose any would do as much for you as the others.

I owned a wraptail P-90 Special that was also a nice guitar but it suffered from the stock SD pickups.

The only Studio (wraptail) I owned was a dud both plugged and unplugged.

 

 

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I’m a 90s era Hamer convert.  Studios brought me into the fold.  Gibson’s nomenclature notwithstanding, I liked the Hamers better than what Gibson was offering at the time.  And there were some good Gibsons in the 90s.   

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I like them both.  If the pickups in one bother you, swap them. @JGravelin Is making freaking excellent clones of late 70s/early 80s DiMarzio PAF and Slammers.

Really it comes down to flat top vs carved, as others have said above.

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I’ve had several of both. I still have my very road worn 92 Special with a fat neck. They all played well but the keeper Special just has something the others didn’t and was lighter. So it’s survived. Well kinda, it’s beat up pretty bad from years of gigging.... I should add it’s sporting Shlabotnic’s now too... I’ve heard players giggle when they play it. It’s a fun ride!!!

Edited by Dutchman
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The evolution of Hamer nomenclature has always been kinda interesting. I think the Special is the only long term model besides the standard that stayed the same.

On the other hand, the Sunburst became the Sunburst Archtop which Became the Archtop Studio and Archtop custom, which then became the Studio and Studio custom.

The specials are no-frills rock machines. They are a Les Paul Special Double cut in it's perfect form, IMHO.  Humbuckers or P-90s, they are incredible. The FM Specials from the 90s were one of the greatest bang + bling for the buck ever made.

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My '81 Special brought me into the fold, many years ago. Good guitar, "Kahler'ed" though so it was never a primary. The neck is really too thin and narrow for me (and I like thin necks) but it was playable. Good tone, I like the guitar but it was never my favorite. A decade plus ago I bought my '91 Sunburst w/ factory Floyd and WOW, not even another level, like several levels advanced (and of course more expensive as a result!). Add a '92 Sunburst with TOM setup and now low wind Fralin Pure PAFs and a '93 Special FM. It's hard to isolate but the thicker slab flat top on the FM does make it a little more comfortable and straight up ROCK. Honestly, I can't really tell the difference in tone between my 92 and 93 ('91 doesn't count since it has a Floyd so it automatically is a different beast!). Put the same pickups in each guitar and I think even wound up to stadium volumes the tonal differences would be minimal, but maybe the fatter slab on the FM would change the EQ a bit?

Which do I prefer, which is your favorite kid? I rotate when I play as otherwise I'll just fixate on one, recently it's been the '93 Orange FM...

The more modern 2000+ offerings, the necks got bigger than I like so though I've played them, I've never owned on. And MAN I would love a Blue Flametop Monaco Elite, phew, but it seems so does everybody else!  😉

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5 hours ago, Drew816 said:

 

The more modern 2000+ offerings, the necks got bigger than I like so though I've played them, I've never owned on. And MAN I would love a Blue Flametop Monaco Elite, phew, but it seems so does everybody else!  😉

Blue Flametop. I did not realize they are rare.Did some shopping and all I see are Sunbursts' .I have a blue one, is there any demand for it ?

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10 minutes ago, DeVai said:

Blue Flametop. I did not realize they are rare.Did some shopping and all I see are Sunbursts' .I have a blue one, is there any demand for it ?

Not mine and not sure how rare, just some pics I found on a super quick google search. Blue flame and lefty quilt which I’m sure has to be über rare...

 

 

96E1F8D2-870B-41C5-BE4A-7F24D2B5EE22.jpeg

5E2E215A-D879-4D03-A2DC-FA766BF26ADD.jpeg

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2 hours ago, DeVai said:

Blue Flametop. I did not realize they are rare.Did some shopping and all I see are Sunbursts' .I have a blue one, is there any demand for it ?

Rare, well less common at least. Heck one was up for sale in the last week; I'm glad I didn't see it or I'd be living on the streets about now. What model blue top do you have?

I think these are stunning, but again, wrong neck for me so I just get to look and dream. The one's above are bad a$$, love it!

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1 hour ago, Kerry Marchman said:

I couldn't make up my mind...

IMG_0002.JPG

Those mid 90’s wraptail studios make me moist...

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As already mentioned a few of times above pickups and wood do a lot to the tone. I love the Special I have. It resonates nice even unplugged. I prefer the a look and feel of a Studio though and it resonates the same and sounds great, 😉 too. I changed to like bigger and curvier guitar bodies. Don't know why...The Special seems rather plain to me. Who knows how I change my preference later on...

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I had a chance to get a Sunburst with tune-o-matic, but that time I ended up with Californian. And then I found very nice Special with sustain block. Love this guitar, very comfortable neck and sounds amazing👍

Снимок экрана 2020-12-13 в 11.01.55 PM.png

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1 hour ago, Sasha said:

I had a chance to get a Sunburst with tune-o-matic, but that time I ended up with Californian. And then I found very nice Special with sustain block. Love this guitar, very comfortable neck and sounds amazing👍

Снимок экрана 2020-12-13 в 11.01.55 PM.png

Welcome to the group Sasha. Always nice when a 1st post includes a great looking guitar! Congratulations

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1 minute ago, Hbom said:

Welcome to the group Sasha. Always nice when a 1st post includes a great looking guitar! Congratulations

It's my pleasure to be a member of such a great community! 🤝

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