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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher maltiero's Avatar
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    Default Questions about improving my Kramer

    Hi everyone. I have gotten some feedback from friends, family and my guitar instructor, but I wanted to hear from you guys as well. I have an 84 or 85 Kramer Pacer. What makes this guitar really cool is that it was painted and set up by Paul Unkert a few years back. Everything else is original except for the bridge pickup, which is an EVH Frankenstein. It plays and sounds great, but I have been told that I should remove the neck pickup and both tone controls to make it sound even better. I wanted to see what everyone here thinks of those ideas as well as see if anyone has any other recommendations. Thanks for the help! Here are some pics.






  2. #2
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 08:47 AM
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    Are you talking about removing the neck pickup and just leaving the cavity there? Same thing with the knobs, would you just have holes in the body instead? I can't imagine that would add much to your tone since the wood itself isn't changing. Now if you're talking about getting a new body that only has a bridge pickup and one tone knob, then yeah, you should expect a difference there because of a different resonance because of the density of the wood.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think just removing parts and leaving those areas empty is going to improve anything--much less effect anything.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    Default

    If anything you could simply disconnect the neck and tone controls, no need to remove them.
    WGAF?!!

  4. #4
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    Default

    Bypassing the tone controls entirely will give you slightly more signal ands bit more top end on both pickups. I wouldn't recommend disconnecting the neck pick-up. That will not improve or change the tone of your bridge pickup one iota. You could simply wire your neck pickup to it's own volume pot and do likewise for the bridge pickup.

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    As a Kramer collector I wouldn't do anything to the knobs or anything. You could disconnect them but I wouldn't modify it at all. I have 8 pacers and the 84-85 are special guitars. Play absulutely great.

  6. #6
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    09.15.17 @ 08:03 AM
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    Default

    My take is similar to most here -- I'll just say that it looks like that guitar just is what it is. Especially if you want to improve the tone -- you've got an EVH Frank pickup in a classic Pacer with a nice paint job. I wouldn't do a single thing with it, especially if it cost you more than $5.

    If it's the aesthetics, that's 100% your call. If you want to improve the aesthetics for what I assume might be historical accuracy, I mean, you have to accept that you have a rosewood fretboard to begin with. And to reiterate, those Kramers are pretty much classics -- I would only go to town on just a body, not an assembled classic guitar.

    Garb is right as well -- wiring your bridge pickup directly to a volume knob will improve things a bit. But I dare you to have an unbiased judge see if they can tell any difference whatsoever. I had a Frank replica with a Dimarzio in it -- even though I loved everything about the guitar, I thought the pickup/tone was terrible. Swapped it out for a Seymour Duncan and it was like night and day. You're not in that situation here though.

    I'm an OCD freak though, so I say...get to work on another one!!!

    KBD3

  7. #7
    Hot For Teacher maltiero's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 05:55 PM
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    I appreciate all of the feedback so far. I had not planned on doing anything with the guitar (besides play it!) but figured I would see what you all thought, considering most here have way more experience with guitar modifications than I ever will. I love this guitar, and putting in the EVH pickup (I'd highly recommend to anyone) years ago made the it sound better than it ever had. Plus it has family ties and some cool stories to go along with it.

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 09:48 PM
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    Those schaller's are nice pickups, id keep the guitar as is.

    You have more tonal options and down the road you may want to use them.

    I grew up playing a Kramer with only one humbucker and that was great and fun back then but now a one pickup guitar does nothing for me.
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  9. #9
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maltiero View Post
    I appreciate all of the feedback so far. I had not planned on doing anything with the guitar (besides play it!) but figured I would see what you all thought, considering most here have way more experience with guitar modifications than I ever will. I love this guitar, and putting in the EVH pickup (I'd highly recommend to anyone) years ago made the it sound better than it ever had. Plus it has family ties and some cool stories to go along with it.
    If Unk worked on it, I wouldn't touch it.

  10. #10
    Hot For Teacher maltiero's Avatar
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    Yeah, Paul did some work on it before and after he did the paint job. He has some really cool EVH stories. If you're ever in NJ I'd recommend stopping by his shop.

  11. #11
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    09.15.17 @ 08:03 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybeane View Post
    You have more tonal options and down the road you may want to use them. I grew up playing a Kramer with only one humbucker and that was great and fun back then but now a one pickup guitar does nothing for me.
    Johnny nailed it here. The ability to change up your tone is going to make this more of a regular guitar and less of a simple replica. I have a classic Charvel Model 2 and my replicas, but my main guitar is and always has been my Fender Strat -- back in the 90s, I put a Chandler Hot Rail in the bridge -- one of the first hot rails ever -- and SDs in the neck and middle. The tonal range is fantastic and I love the variance. For almost a decade, I played nothing but an SG and a 135 -- I became a Gibson guy. Two humbuckers, two tone knobs, two volume knobs, and three-way switch? Yeah...the tonal variation is there!

    My replicas and my Charvel is just Ed-style -- you want to change the tone, do it on the amp, not on the guitar! I dig it for a rock show, and playing VH tunes. But as far as sitting around and playing, practicing, writing, and especially recording -- home or otherwise -- that single-humbucker guitar becomes just really a very specific type of tool for a very specific type of sound.

    Johnny could make a Toys-R-Us electric guitar sound good though, so maybe his opinion doesn't count for shit... (No one meets Ed on this forum and gets away with it! haha)

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 08:47 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybeane View Post
    Those schaller's are nice pickups, id keep the guitar as is.

    You have more tonal options and down the road you may want to use them.

    I grew up playing a Kramer with only one humbucker and that was great and fun back then but now a one pickup guitar does nothing for me.
    I have to agree . I learned how to play on a single humbucker guitar . Later on , my main workhorse for gigging was a Charvel model 1 that was modded with a Schaller Floyd . Played the hell out of that baby !!!

    After my forays with other guitars , I've come to absolutely love the sound of having a neck pickup too . It's a personal thing , but I like having the option to switch back and forth between the tones .

    It's a huge factor as to why I haven't spent a grand on a stripped EVH guitar - even though they look awesome !
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