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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
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Location: Germany
Had me there as soon as I saw it, actually I wanted to be talked out of it :roll alas, to no avail...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:00 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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Location: Germany
Got it today. Technically it's in great condition, visually not so great, the body paint started peeling off and I guess I'll have to strip and refinish it when it gets warmer (with stain and shellac, color yet to be decided between black and red). Dunno if I'll strip the neck, I was thinking about sanding and waxing it, but the finish is still good and has no dents or scratches. It will just need some slight sanding along the fretboard edges. It's an R5 and the same profile like the U-2, very much like a nanner Pacer.

It hasn't been played for a decade at least, everything is full of gunk although not rusty. I took off all the hardware and it's getting a WD40 bath overnight. The plastic covers for the trem and electronics are identical to U-2, so I'll transplant those. Same with tuners, bridge pup and floyd. The neck pup has some kind of metal holder underneath and looks like it won't fit in the U-2 cavity being too high, but that's ok - I already have two nice DiMarzios to put in there.

The floyd saddles were arranged in random order, the lowest ones were in the middle :alien There is some sort of dead coil in the cavity, I guess for noiseless operation. It makes no sense so I'll remove that and rewire everything. Tone pot is a push-pull for splitting the hum.

Believe it or not, the neck is actually cut off in an odd angle like the fretboard, never seen anything like this. The body looks like it may be poplar or maple, anyway it's quite heavy. Sounds good unplugged, haven't tried it with an amp before disassembling.

In sum it's a good guitar, the neck is straight, the frets are good, floyd and HW is all fine, it just needs a visual makeover and a thorough cleaning. It was a good buy :thumbs I'll post pics along the way, may take a while though.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:40 am
Posts: 173
Location: New Holland PA
:thumbs

_________________
"As long as my fingers work, I'm playing"
-Mick Mars-


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:43 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1698
Location: Germany
WD40 did nothing for the floyd, I had to hammer out the lock blocks from the saddles and use pliers to make the fine tuners moveable again. It works fine now, but it was two hours of work till it was finished :lame

I'll do the neck next, steel wool treatment for the frets, removing gunk from the fretboard, sanding/waxing the edges or maybe the whole back side.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:56 pm
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Location: Florida Panhandle
I might have pulled the trigger for that if knew it had an R5 neck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:11 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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Location: Germany
Too late :)

I cleaned and polished the neck today. The first five frets have some country-chords pitting, but not too bad so it does not require leveling. The pickup is indeed the Bil Lawrence/Gibson HB-L, which is wonderful - it will go straight into my U-2.

The body is heavy as hell, it's either poplar or maple, not sure. The knock test says poplar to my ears.

The electronics are a huge mess, just look at that pic below... I'll have to remove and rewire everything.

Image

The board has some cracking, but it's still solid, purely a visual issue. A bit of filler will cure that.

Image

I love the cracked nitro vintage look on the headstock... very organic.

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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Posts: 1698
Location: Germany
Holy f**k, whoever did the electronics is such a crazy dumbarse...

The bridge pup was wired directly to the volume pot. From there on, the wire went to the switch middle terminal and switched between the neck pup (in parallel then) OR the push-pull tone pot, which switched between the cap for the actual tone function, or the split mode for the bridge but killing the tone function. You could never use tone with the split bridge pup nor with the neck pup in any setting of the switches. The dead coil was at least built-in correctly although not needed at all, but still the whole thing makes zero sense. There are some seriously stupid people out there :alien :chainsaw

Now I dismantled everything and have to decide if I'll remove the finish, or wire it up and give it some action. With every touch, a few crumbles of finish fall off. It badly needs a refinish.

Then I have to decide which bridge pickup to try first, the candidates being Schaller 2in1, Duncan Pearly Gates Plus, Gibson 498T and DMZ Norton. I'm leaning towards Schaller, being a heavy pickup which would fit such a "Metal" axe, we'll see. The neck pickup will have to stay, since it's not usable anywhere else due to its immense height with that bent metal bottom plate, it's as high as a humbucker.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:31 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1698
Location: Germany
It's poplar alright, the yellow color and the grain with dark streaks is unmistakable. Three-piece body.

The back side was easy, but the arched front will be much more work. Enough for today, I'll continue next weekend.

If I only had a hot-air gun, it would be a breeze to scrape it all off...

EDIT: just saw that a basic heat gun is about $15, so I ordered one.

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:19 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:24 pm
Posts: 557
Location: British Columbia
Took me four attempts to get a decent heat gun. They can be rather easy to kill.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:35 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1698
Location: Germany
Hopefully it will suffice for this one time, I have no other use for it.


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