Monthly Archives: February 2011

Guitar Lust: Jon Kammerer Maple Solidbody Electric

It has great action…flamed maple fretboard, abalone inlay.
As always, blind fret tang cuts, so no fret edges despite no plastic binding.

Not sure what pickups they are, but it has a really nice strat quack.

As always, be sure to click on the pictures, as these are merely thumbnails.

 

The clearance sale at Jon’s website goes on. So you can get one of these beauties for yourself at a very reasonable price.  Even after the clearance sale ends, he is going to be selling a $995 guitar…all sorts of things like hardware color, pickup configuration, fingerboard wood, body wood, etc, will be customizable for no extra charge.

Go take a look.
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Guitar Lust: Jon Kammerer Hollow Body Electric

Folks, this is one awesome guitar.

The body is walnut, carved in Jon Kammerer’s patented parabolic hollow body style.  It is *really* loud unplugged, even though there are no soundholes.  And all that air inside, combined with the shape and the walnut tone, gives it an excellent timbre for jazz and blues: it just sounds round, full, rich with harmonic overtones…like rich soil would sound like if it were guitar tone.

Seymour Duncan pickups, with a JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck.

21/24 countered-edge ebony fingerboard with an absolutely gorgeous genuine abalone inlay.

The bridge is a Schaller Tune-o-Matic w/ fine tuners.  It works really well.

Being a hollow-body, the guitar is really light.  But it isn’t neck-heavy at all…the ergonomics on the guitar work really well, with all the frets within easy reach.

Jon didn’t make many of these…it’s always possible he’ll re-start the line someday, after the industry recovers from the current recession…but for now, these are extremely rare.

Without further ado, the pictures (clickable thumbnails):
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Guitar Pickup Review: Dirty Fingers Humbucker (bridge position)

I have a humbucker in the bridge position of one guitar (pictures are still on the way).

I might not be using it right yet, dunno. I just started playing with it.

I didn’t like it on the first time I picked up the guitar, to tell the truth.  The distortion was too hot, and the tone got lost in noise.

Then I noticed that on a clean tone, the Dirty Fingers is *awesome*, so I’ve been trying to experiment with it.

This is the first pickup I’ve owned that I can really get some good use out of varying the tone and volume pots…on both the guitar and the amp.  Lots of different character from just one pickup.  It might take a while for me to be able to figure out how to consistently get the tone I’m seeking from it…or how to get there quickly if I want to change the tone mid-song.

But after the initial negative reaction, I think I could really get into this pickup, on this guitar at least.

(Cherry wood, with maple neck and ebony fingerboard).

It has a decent single coil when split, too.  But it doesn’t seem to play well with the Seymour Duncan single coil in the middle position.  That might just be the wiring (was parallel when it should have been serial, or vice-versa…I’m still learning how to talk intelligently about wiring methods), so if I get the opportunity, I may take it back to the builder to talk about improving the sound in that position.

I’ll provide more specific reviews/reactions as I learn more about the pickup’s strengths and weaknesses.

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Guitar Update

Hey, everybody!  Greetings!

I’m sorry I have been neglecting the blog.  Big plans, and not one came to fruition.  Life got in the way, I guess.

Well, I just wrote an email to a friend about my guitars, but a good portion of it makes sense to post here, for those who care.  So here it is:

Shoot, I’ve been up above 30 guitars as recently as 4-5 months ago, and I’m struggling to get DOWN to 16; I think I can end up with between 12 and 14, eventually.  I can’t play that many guitars, but each one has some reason I want to keep it…sometimes rarity, sometimes function, sometimes appearance alone.

My keepers are:
1) Jon Kammerer (JK) gloss walnut solidbody electric w/ blonde flash, H/H
2) JK Maple solidbody electric (blonde) (just arrived, pics soon) S/S/S
3) JK Hollowbody Jazz electric (just arrived, pics soon) H/H
4) JK full body strat style cherry (gets here Wed) H/S/H (blade pickup in neck position)
5) JK cored maple solidbody electric (same shape/configuration as the gloss walnut, but is chambered w/ an F-hole…Jon sold it to me cheap, and I wanted to hear what the chambering does for the tone) H/H
6) Hamer USA 12-string Chaparral: rare, less than about 20 made; got the action and tone of a shredder guitar, but 12 strings! H/S/S
7) Hamer USA Centaura Deluxe: mint, ebony board, EMG pickups, sounds/looks sweet H/S/S
8) Hamer USA Californian: rare maple fingerboard, signed by Ted Nugent H/S
9) Hamer import Stellar 1: only guitar I’ve ever seen with Lacy Oak top; looking at it makes me happy…I sold the first one I had (that got me into Hamers) and regretted it ever since.  Not my best guitar by a longshot, maybe my worst of my keepers, and worse than several I plan to sell, but I always reach for it because it looks so good and balances so well, but that may change with the arrival of the Jon Kammerer guitars. H/H
10) Hamer import XT SATF: really good sound, especially for an import; 3D maple flame and a cheerful amber burst…got it for Christmas from my family; it would be worth keeping for sound/looks alone, but the family present makes it a permanent keeper. H/H
11) Hamer USA Tobacco burst Centaura: rare maple fingerboard, but also awesome tone with the swamp ash body, and the tobacco burst is really, really beautiful…I guess I just have a weakness for two/three-tone transparent over wood-grain paint jobs? H/S/S

Now the struggles.  The following are all good guitars for various reasons…but I can’t keep ’em all, don’t need ’em all, and really need to sell at least $1500 worth to cover the guitars I bought…

12) Peavey Vandenberg: awesome guitar, fairly rare, love the ebony fingerboard, short scale, and a Kahler trem (floyd rose style) that can be locked into a fixed bridge (have I mentioned I don’t like trems that much?)   H/S
13) 1980 Hamer USA Special: beat up, but the biggest problem for selling, and the biggest reason I want to keep it is it has a Kahler Pro tremolo, added aftermarket.  I love those trems because they stay in tune when bending…but aftermarket means it is possible no one would pay me enough to sell it.  H/H
14) Hamer USA set-neck Chaparral: trem is blocked, it is extremely beat up, great neck/action; really good fingerboard scallop, even if amateur.  Great tone.  Ugliness/beat up condition makes it a hard sell, especially since I actually like it and the trem is blocked.  3 mini-switches make it very sonically flexible.  H/S/S
15) Epiphone 935i: slant-edge 27 fret shredder, pretty much a clone of the Hamer USA Californian.  Badly needs a set-up (strings touching the frets) so I haven’t even played it yet.  I hate trems, so I’m scared to try to adjust string height for fear I’ll dull the knife edges of the tremolo and make it more expensive to make playable.  H/S
16) Hamer USA Diablo: nothing special.  H/H
17) Hamer USA Centaura: nothing special.  repaired crack.  H/S/S
18) Ibanez AX220QT: my only guitar with quilted maple top.  Very pretty, but kinda shrill tone.  Some nostalgic value because I played it onstage in Iraq.  H/H
19) Yamaha 120SD: great little guitar w/ flat fingerboard and truly awesome tone.  H/H
20) Cort KX5: interestingly, the best action of any/all my guitars.  strings are micrometers above the frets, no buzzes at all.  But the pickup tones are shrill.  H/H
21) Cort Electric Guitar: crappy little 3/4 size guitar.  But I love it because it has low action, and a unique method of preventing single coil hum: both single coils are always on, but each has its own volume.  But the single coils are cheap, so the tone is crappy.  S/S
22) Spider Web guitar: the only reason I bought it was I got it for $50, including shipping to Iraq!  It’s not a bad guitar…probably worth $100 in action/tone, but they are so common and so cheaply priced I’d probably get $30 or less for it.  H
23) Aria Pro II Knight Warrior: beat up project, although it does actually play.  Came in a package deal with 2 other guitars for a total of $180.  I’ve already sold the other 2 for a total of $200, so anything I get on it is gravy.  H (S/S) missing two pickups and the pickguard.

So I’ll probably sell #16 on down, which would give me about $1500 total.  The Epiphone (#15) is also in play, either to cover any shortfalls to get to the magic $1500 number, or just for extra cash, or maybe to replace the Cort or the Yamaha.

Dunno, the Epiphone 935i *is* rare, so I should keep it for that reason…but it seems like no one cares about its rarity.

Okay, sorry…you didn’t ask for this run-down…I just like talking about all my guitars.

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