NC Guitar Guy was asking about the Stellar 1.
I wrote some stuff about the Stellar 1 at first as I was learning about it. After I stopped writing about it, I learned a few more things, but never updated.
Here’s what I know/think/feel/hear about the Stellar 1.
The Stellar 1 is an import model from Korea. They were built in 1999 and 2000 (or maybe 2000 and 2001…the account varies).
Some people say they were an attempt to take some of the market from PRS. Dunno about that. It seems like you wouldn’t do that with an import model.
It came in two colors, the cherry sunburst and a magenta/purplish. Never seen an example of the latter in real life. The Stellar 3 is basically the same guitar, but with an H/S/S configuration and a Wilkerson tremolo. Never played on one.
As this guitar just has the word “Hamer” on the face of the pegboard/headstock, it is the second generation of import Hamers.
The first generation had “Hamer” in big letters, and “Slammer Series” in smaller letters underneath that. People I’ve talked to consider the Hamer Slammer Series to be the best import Hamers, followed by the 2nd generation Korean imports, followed by the Hamer XT series (made in China) followed by the Slammer by Hamer guitars made in Indonesia, followed by the Slammer (by Hamer) guitars that are made in China or the Philippines or somewhere.
In my opinion, the difference between the Hamer Slammer Series, the Hamer (Korean Import) and the Hamer XT series depends on the guitar itself.
My Hamer Stellar 1 made me fall in love with Hamer…but I sold it because, when I faced up to having too many guitars, it just didn’t sound *quite* as good as my Hamer XT SATF, even though they both had Duncan Design H/H configured pickups. And the SATF was also very beautiful with its tiger-striped flamed maple top.
But since selling it, I’ve come to realize that I really like 24 frets on a guitar, which the Stellar has. I’ve come to realize that I’m just not good enough at using a trem bar to need it on more than just 1-3 of the guitars in my collection. Now I realize I have never yet seen a Hamer USA that has 24 frets and a fixed bridge. And to the best of my knowledge, there is not another guitar line, USA or import, cheap or expensive, that uses the lacy oak to top a guitar. The figuring is completely unique.
I won’t sell my SATF. If I encounter a Stellar 1 for an unbeatable price (say, close to $100), I’d probably have to pick it up. But even if I saw one in mint condition for $200 (which is what I think it is worth), I would probably pass just because I have so many other damn good guitars right now. Which you will see as I open up the Guitar Lust series soon. Even with its beauty and 24 frets, there are only so many H/H configured guitars you can find a use for, you know?
But the Stellar 1 is a great guitar. If it had any other brand name on it, it would probably be an instant classic and somewhat sought after (like the import lines of PRS, Schecter, Ibanez, etc, are).
The only thing wrong with a Stellar 1 that I can find at all is that the nut seems to be incredibly fragile. About half the Stellar 1s I see for sale on eBay have nut damage, including the one I sold.