Strumming Along…


These were hand-made in a suburb of Chicago, in Hamer’s cutom shop. The Standard came stock with a Rosewood fretboard and chrome hardware, so someone apparently custom ordered this with black hardware and a maple fingerboard. My buddy happened to work in a small music shop and got me a deal for about half off; I got it for $740 in 1989. It’s MSRP back then was $1540. I suspect he just sold it to me at cost. I’m going to install a large brass block on the Floyd Rose to add sustain, as well as a tremolo blocker (I don’t tend to pull up on the whammy bar, and I think blocking it will help keep it in tune, especially during string changes). 


My amp is being serviced, so I couldn’t take a shot of it for this post. I’m just borrowing this image from the web, since it’s the same model year as mine and looks exactly the same. I got this image from:

A lot of people swap out that CTN speaker for a more powerful or efficient speaker, but I really like the sound of the stock one. It breaks up around 5 or 6, and sounds really clean before that. It’s got a classic Fender sound, and at $276 for an all-hand-wired, vintage all-tube amp, that’s a steal. If/when I sell this, I’ll easily recoup my cost, and then some.


This is an old ad I found online.

11 thoughts on “Strumming Along…

  1. No need to apologize, although I enjoy your posts when the spirit moves you. I say that when blogging becomes a chore, it’s pointless. Good for you for making some music.

    • I had taken my Kramer in to my friend’s shop to get re-fretted back in early 1990, and he talked me into just getting a new guitar, and he showed me the Hamer. The 27 frets looked too cool to resist. I had no idea what a deal he was giving me back then.

      • For sure. Fantastic set up!

        Oh, and yes… As far as safety issues are concerned, those capacitors hold a far greater punch than a Tazer. Something to not mess with!

        Do you run it straight into the amp? Or do you have a pedals rig that you put it through..

      • Yeah, I originally wanted to do the mods myself, until I read about the dangers. I figured I’d better leave it to a professional.

        The amp sounds so good that I was just plugging directly in. But my buddy lent me some pedals, so I’ll play around with them when I get the amp back from the tech. I tend to enjoy clean, blues tones in my “old age” (in which case I use the single coil neck pup). Though I still like to crank things up and do the Van Halen thing once in a while (at which time I use the DiMarzio Slammer in the bridge). The pedal-collecting thing can really be addicting, at least from what I’ve seen with my buddies. I haven’t been bitten by the bug yet — though that’s what I said about typewriters when I got my first one!

  2. I’d say leave the amp alone. Safety? Rock and roll is not about safety! Now just run along and set up an impromptu stage in the backyard next to the running sprinkler…

    Seriously, that is a nice looking guitar. Our middle-schooler received an electric and amp for her birthday. Fortunately, she is way less into punk than I.

    • LOL – yeah, well, that’s my worry. Frankly, had I not taken the time to read about the dangers of vintage amps, I’d still be playing that amp in the sprinklers.

  3. “Rock and Roll is not about safety”
    -Dwayne F.
    Oct 2012


    Nice to see you back here, BB. And like notagain said, we all have something.
    Now plug in that axe and blow the front door off your house!

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