NOTES ON THE HARDWARE USED BY HAMER U.S.A.
1975 -1996

Pickups

Guitars - The first few Hamer guitars (Standards) were fitted with original Gibson PAF humbuckers. Many of these were non-functioning pickups from the repair shop at the Gibson factory at Kalamazoo which were rewound by Dimarzio. When it became clear that the supply of vintage PAF's would dry up (even broken ones) Hamer turned to DiMarzio to build them an equivalent pickup to Hamer's specification (the DiMarzio PAF). The bridge pickup was creme and the neck pickup was creme/black. This specification was used on virtually all two humbucker Hamers up to 1982. Single coil pickups on the Prototype were also sourced from DiMarzio. Up to the nineties Hamer continued to have pickups made by DiMarzio to their specification but these are stamped Hamer on the underside (humbuckers only), these are usually all black and Hamer called them "Hamer Slammers". These are no longer used.

Many guitars built 1986-1989 are fitted with OBL pickups made in Germany. These were usually fitted to Custom models (TLE Custom, Chaparral Custom etc.) but may also be found on standard instruments. EMG pickups are also used from about 1987.

From 1987 Hamer have increasingly used Seymour Duncan pickups. Most guitars are now fitted with Seymour Duncan pickups (see this link for details). The main exceptions are the later Diablos which have DiMarzio pickups.

Basses - The early Eight-string and Standard basses were fitted with DiMarzio bass humbuckers or X2N guitar pickups usually in conjuction with an active preamp. The CruiseBass was a more traditional instrument and fitted with DiMarzio P and J type pickups with exposed pole pieces. Most models (including Blitz, FBIV, Scarab etc.) used this pairing. Instruments from 1985 are usually fitted with Hamer Slammers (still made by DiMarzio) which are distinguised by being covered and not having exposed pole pieces. For a short period (1986-1988) OBL bass pickups were used including HB types. After 1988 EMG became the main bass pickup with Slammers becoming less common and these are no longer used.

The later CruiseBass uses a pair of Seymour Duncan J-type pickups (see this link for details), although the Custom version has EMGs.

Hamer have always offered to fit any pickup as requested by the customer so almost any type can be found on a Hamer instrument and the above serves as a guideline only.

Bridges


Guitars - The first Standards were fitted with a Gibson tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece and this model continued to retain this hardware. When the Sunburst was introduced it was fitted with a non-trem. Fender style bridge with a rosewood shim to raise the bridge and through-body stringing. This was not a satifactory feature and by the end of 1978 the Sustain-block bridge was introduced which kept the saddles and through body stringing of the original but with a chrome-plated solid milled-brass bridge thick enough to enable the shim to be dispensed with. Many models including the Special, Prototype, Vector and most fixed bridge guitars were fitted with this bridge, which has been used on guitars up to at least 1990. There are differences in saddles used on these bridges with smaller saddles being used between 1981 and 1983 and a slightly altered style after this (which was also used on the trem. version).

The Sustain Block trem. utilised the same components as the fixed version. The bridge pivoted on two horizontal points and the springs were located in the back of the guitar in the traditional manner. Because of the fashion for locking vibrato systems this was a short-lived item and is found mainly on 1983/1984 examples of the Phantom A5 and Blitz.

After 1983 locking trems. dominate. The Phantom and Scarab usually carried Kahler flat-mount trems; the Blitz at first received a Kahler but after the introduction of the new Blitz with an angled headstock the Floyd-Rose is usually fitted. Virtually all other models were fitted with the Schaller Floyd-Rose system (with a Hamer logo in the nineties). The Kahler Flyer (a Floyd Rose type design) was also utilised. The TLE and FBI were often non-trem. and fitted with a sustain-block bridge. As locking trems. became less fashionable in the nineties the Vintage S and T62 received a non-locking ABM rollersaddle bridge.

The Archtop and Special models are fitted with Schaller Tune-o-matic bridges and tailpieces as is the reissued Standard. Around 1996 the Studio versions of the Archtop and Archtop Artist, as well as the Eclipse, were fitted with a Wilkinson single piece wrap-aroundhardtail bridge, although these models have now reverted to the bridge with separate tailpiece (these models are now called the Studio and the Artist, respectively).

The Daytona and Mirage use Wilkinson trems. (VSV and VT100, respectively), and the T51 the Wilkinson non-trem. bridge (HT100).

Twelve-string guitar bridges were made to Hamer's own design that allow individual intonation of fundamental and octave strings. Recently, however, a stock Wilkinson design is used (eg:- Eclipse 12). As with the pickups Hamer will fit any bridge according to customer preference, so guitars with bridges different to above are possible.

Basses - Until recently virtually all 4 ane 5 string basses were fitted with a Hamer logoed Schaller Sustain block style bridge made by Schaller. The Kahler bass trem. was an option on several bass models in the mid eighties. The later CruiseBass comes with a Gotoh bridge (very similar to the Schaller bridge but allows through body stringing), or optional 2-Tek bridge.

The multi-string basses have bridges made to Hamer's own design that allow individual intonation of fundamental and octave strings.

Tuners

Virtually all Hamer guitars prior to 1980 have Grover tuning pegs. Most made after this time are fitted with Schallers although from 1983 these are often Hamer logoed. When the Sustain block trem. was introduced in 1982 Hamer also developed a locking machine-head ("Hamerlock") which was a modified Schaller tuner with a small thumb-wheel to grip the string (see left). As locking trems became the norm, the "Hamerlock" became redundant and few guitars are fitted with them after 1985.

The guitars made in the nineties with non-locking trems. are usually fitted with locking Sperzels. The fashion for "retro" hardware has encouraged the use of diverse tuners for different models more recently (e.g. - Grover Super Rotomatics tuners on the Artist Ultimate).

Most basses are fitted with Schallers bass machines, usually carrying the Hamer logo after 1982. The tuners for multistring bass octave strings are simply Schaller guitar tuners.




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