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  1. #1
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    10.26.15 @ 12:38 PM
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    Default Any opinions on the new Kramer's?

    Hey everybody, I was checking out some of the guitars Kramer has been putting out ever since Gibson picked them and started putting life back into the company. The Barettas and Strikers seem the most interesting. What does everyone else think? Anyone actually tried them? I figured this forum would be a great place to talk about Kramer Guitars.

  2. #2
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    I'll limit my comments to the Kramer guitars I have personally played. A few months ago, I spied a couple Kramer Pacer Classics at a guitar shop in Springfield. I immediately wanted to like them. Unfortunately, the guitars were terrible. Felt very cheap, the frets were sharp, and overall playability was poor. It just felt cheap. Had the cheap Floyd Rose II on it, which I hate. I was very disappointed in the guitar. Now, they have a version called the Pacer Vintage, which has upgraded electronics and hardware with an OFR, but it's in the $700 to $800 price range, as opposed to the $300 to $400 price range of the Pacer Classic.

    Fast Forward to April:

    My local guitar shop in Peoria got some Pacer Classics in. Apparently, I found the turd in the bunch the first time I tried one, because the ones in the Peoria store are pretty decent. They still have shitty electronics and hardware, but they were at least playable, and the necks felt much better. Overall, it's a decent guitar for the price, keeping in mind that for it to be a real player, it will need a set of Duncans, and a minimum of a Floyd Rose Special for upgrades.

    Compared to other guitars in the price range, there are better options. The best is the LTD ST 203FR. Under $400, and plays as good as a So-Cal Charvel (pickups must be upgraded).
    You could pick up an Ibanez RG series, which is a better guitar than the Kramer.

    Compared to older 80s Kramers, there is no comparison. Any of the Floyd equipped Focus Series guitars from the 80s smokes the new Pacer Classic. I would much rather own an old Focus.

    That being said, it's nothing to stay away from. It has the classic look of the old Pacers at an affordable price.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  3. #3
    Good Enough 5150rob's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:47 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    I'll limit my comments to the Kramer guitars I have personally played. A few months ago, I spied a couple Kramer Pacer Classics at a guitar shop in Springfield. I immediately wanted to like them. Unfortunately, the guitars were terrible. Felt very cheap, the frets were sharp, and overall playability was poor. It just felt cheap. Had the cheap Floyd Rose II on it, which I hate. I was very disappointed in the guitar. Now, they have a version called the Pacer Vintage, which has upgraded electronics and hardware with an OFR, but it's in the $700 to $800 price range, as opposed to the $300 to $400 price range of the Pacer Classic.

    Fast Forward to April:

    My local guitar shop in Peoria got some Pacer Classics in. Apparently, I found the turd in the bunch the first time I tried one, because the ones in the Peoria store are pretty decent. They still have shitty electronics and hardware, but they were at least playable, and the necks felt much better. Overall, it's a decent guitar for the price, keeping in mind that for it to be a real player, it will need a set of Duncans, and a minimum of a Floyd Rose Special for upgrades.

    Compared to other guitars in the price range, there are better options. The best is the LTD ST 203FR. Under $400, and plays as good as a So-Cal Charvel (pickups must be upgraded).
    You could pick up an Ibanez RG series, which is a better guitar than the Kramer.

    Compared to older 80s Kramers, there is no comparison. Any of the Floyd equipped Focus Series guitars from the 80s smokes the new Pacer Classic. I would much rather own an old Focus.

    That being said, it's nothing to stay away from. It has the classic look of the old Pacers at an affordable price.
    all that being said, I have to agree with you nobozos.... I also played the pacer classic at a shop and while I loved the look and the retrofeel, I was not too impressed with the playability. Felt very stiff and rigid to me and the neck was not very fast. Now some of that can be fixed with proper setup thats for sure but in my opinion after playing and owning many classic 80s era kramers, they are not quite the same thing.
    I do own a 84 Kramer and that does play very well. My 84 is a 2004 era music yo version made by Gibson and that baby rips. I got lucky with that one. I guess its kind of hit or miss and depending on what you buy you might get lucky. I would make sure to play it prior to buying it. However if you decide to go back in time and find an original Kramer classic on the bay as long as its in playing shape your really cant go wrong. Moral of the story as far as I am concerned..... its awesome that Kramer / Gibson put them out and they are cool guitars but I just dont think they are on par with the originals. But try one out and you may get lucky.
    Rob

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 08:03 PM
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    I tried a new Baretta at Gibson and it was a heavy sob.
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  5. #5
    Little Dreamer
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    02.13.15 @ 08:46 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    I'll limit my comments to the Kramer guitars I have personally played. A few months ago, I spied a couple Kramer Pacer Classics at a guitar shop in Springfield. I immediately wanted to like them. Unfortunately, the guitars were terrible. Felt very cheap, the frets were sharp, and overall playability was poor. It just felt cheap. Had the cheap Floyd Rose II on it, which I hate. I was very disappointed in the guitar. Now, they have a version called the Pacer Vintage, which has upgraded electronics and hardware with an OFR, but it's in the $700 to $800 price range, as opposed to the $300 to $400 price range of the Pacer Classic.

    Fast Forward to April:

    My local guitar shop in Peoria got some Pacer Classics in. Apparently, I found the turd in the bunch the first time I tried one, because the ones in the Peoria store are pretty decent. They still have shitty electronics and hardware, but they were at least playable, and the necks felt much better. Overall, it's a decent guitar for the price, keeping in mind that for it to be a real player, it will need a set of Duncans, and a minimum of a Floyd Rose Special for upgrades.

    Compared to other guitars in the price range, there are better options. The best is the LTD ST 203FR. Under $400, and plays as good as a So-Cal Charvel (pickups must be upgraded).
    You could pick up an Ibanez RG series, which is a better guitar than the Kramer.

    Compared to older 80s Kramers, there is no comparison. Any of the Floyd equipped Focus Series guitars from the 80s smokes the new Pacer Classic. I would much rather own an old Focus.

    That being said, it's nothing to stay away from. It has the classic look of the old Pacers at an affordable price.
    After reading this last night, I was inspired to put down my Music Man Axis and dust off my old Kramer Focus 2000 to give it some well-deserved (and much-needed) love. Very cool perspective.

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight OokraMoO's Avatar
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    10.17.12 @ 03:50 PM
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    Well, I must of got a fantastic Pacer Classic. No sharp fret ends, speedy neck, great finish, floyd is rock solid etc. The only bad thing on them were the pots, they sucked, but Kramer have fixed those now.

    I swapped the bridge pup (didn't really need to since the stock one smokes) but I got it real cheap so what the hell.

    Heres a few vids and audio clips of mine





    Embed not working for some reason
    Last edited by OokraMoO; 04.25.12 at 08:46 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    If your looking for Kramers buy the vintage ones. I have 5 Kramers. 3 Pacers and a Focus 3000 and a Striker. For what you would pay on ebay, usually around 500, you can't beat it. I have a Pacer Imperial, a Pacer Custom 1 and a Pacer deluxe. My pacer Imperial is the best guitar I have ever picked up. Fast as hell neck and it sounds amazing. I've played everything from a 50,000 Les Paul to a cheap Ibanez and all points in between and my Kramers blow them all away. Tone, playability and value. Peep it:



    This is my baby. I'll die with it:

    Last edited by fudd; 04.25.12 at 09:16 AM.

  8. #8
    Little Dreamer
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    I found a used black Kramer Striker hanging on the back of the rack at a guitar store about 14 years ago. It had the hockey stick neck on it, which I always wanted. Bought it for $125, with the idea that I might bastardize it someday, adding new pickups, etc, ala EVH. Man I'm glad I did that.

  9. #9
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 10:38 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Beers View Post
    I found a used black Kramer Striker hanging on the back of the rack at a guitar store about 14 years ago. It had the hockey stick neck on it, which I always wanted. Bought it for $125, with the idea that I might bastardize it someday, adding new pickups, etc, ala EVH. Man I'm glad I did that.
    You might regret it. I did that with an '88 Kramer Striker 100ST, but I ended up replacing everything on the guitar to get it as close as I could to the specs of the 5150. I ended up keeping only one part from the original guitar-the jack plate. If I knew then what I know now, I would have saved an enormous amount of time and money if I had just started from total scratch. That's what I ended up doing in the long run, but it took forever to get back to scratch!

  10. #10
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    10.26.15 @ 12:38 PM
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    Some interesting opinions here. It seems that there are plenty of duds, some that are decent but need some work, and some really good ones. I'm a fan of Casey Jones, this great 80's style guitarist on youtube (he also has a band called De La Cruz.... very Def Leppard-ish). He makes his Kramer sound freaking kickass.


    Fuddman, awesome collection there. I seriously have to get me a vintage Kramer one of these days. Even if I never play it. The banana headstock is the coolest headstock design, imo

  11. #11
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeK21 View Post
    Some interesting opinions here. It seems that there are plenty of duds, some that are decent but need some work, and some really good ones. I'm a fan of Casey Jones, this great 80's style guitarist on youtube (he also has a band called De La Cruz.... very Def Leppard-ish). He makes his Kramer sound freaking kickass.


    Fuddman, awesome collection there. I seriously have to get me a vintage Kramer one of these days. Even if I never play it. The banana headstock is the coolest headstock design, imo
    That's the whole thing...there was never a production model Kramer, vintage or otherwise, that had the same construction as Ed's 5150. That is what everybody wanted and they simply never made it. This is why I recommend that people just build their Kramer in the image of the 5150 guitar which is the real holy grail for Kramers anyway. Get a Musikraft neck and body and you will already be much closer than any Kramer ever made for public purchase...gather the right components and you are "there", and usually for less money than purchasing a production model guitar.

  12. #12
    Hot For Teacher psrajam91's Avatar
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    09.09.13 @ 02:35 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by garbeaj View Post
    That's the whole thing...there was never a production model Kramer, vintage or otherwise, that had the same construction as Ed's 5150. That is what everybody wanted and they simply never made it. This is why I recommend that people just build their Kramer in the image of the 5150 guitar which is the real holy grail for Kramers anyway. Get a Musikraft neck and body and you will already be much closer than any Kramer ever made for public purchase...gather the right components and you are "there", and usually for less money than purchasing a production model guitar.
    Funny you should say that, becaus I came to the realization that the only Kramer I actually like is Ed's 5150. Honestly never cared for any of the other ones or the production models.

  13. #13
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garbeaj View Post
    That's the whole thing...there was never a production model Kramer, vintage or otherwise, that had the same construction as Ed's 5150. That is what everybody wanted and they simply never made it. This is why I recommend that people just build their Kramer in the image of the 5150 guitar which is the real holy grail for Kramers anyway. Get a Musikraft neck and body and you will already be much closer than any Kramer ever made for public purchase...gather the right components and you are "there", and usually for less money than purchasing a production model guitar.
    I hear ya on that. Been wanting to do something like that as a summer project, but I don't have near the knowledge I should have to start building a guitar.

  14. #14
    Eruption
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    I played the Baretta and Pacer at the Gibson exhibit at NAMM. They were nothing at all like the classic Kramers. I have friends who had the holy grail Barettas, beak stock Pacers, I've had several later ones, no comparison. The older stuff was way better. The closest thing I've seen to the classic Pacer is actually the Charvel San Dimas. That is on my list to buy.

  15. #15
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    10.08.17 @ 07:28 PM
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    Wasn't the Kramer 1984 reissue a replicate (almost) of Ed's 5150??
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

    Proud owner: Purple Flame Ernie Ball Music Man Axis and a 5150 Combo Amp.

 

 

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