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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:59 pm
Posts: 1
Hi,

I am interested in buying a Kramer Baretta.

I prefer a maple body, maple neck, maple fretboard.

I've never owned a Kramer before, but I've had about everything else.

I have lots of questions, I thought I'd put them all here in this one post so here it goes....

1. The Kramer 84' Baretta red/black bullseye guitars that you can still currently buy new.... How good are these compared to the original 84 USA made Barettas? I understand the banna headstock isn't a totally accurate shape of what it should be. I also understand the Floyd in it is not the German one that the originals had. So, other than those two things, what would make the original USA Kramer superior to this? Also, would it require much work to have a real German Floyd installed on one of these by someone at guitar center? Is it even possible, and if so, would it destroy the body/cosmetic with lots of routing etc?

I am thinking some benefits of buying new and then making some modifications such as adding a German floyd (if possible), and also installing stainless steel frets (because I like SS), would be an advantage because with an old vintage guitar I wouldn't know it's history (I keep all my guitars in humidity controlled cases and they never leave my music room, I don't have any scratches, dings or imperfections on any of my guitars whatsoever, and I like it that way.)

I have 18 guitars in my arsenal, and I bought them all brand new or had them custom made. I have Gibson, Fender, BC Rich, Jackson, Charvel, GMW, Taylor, Ibanez, and Suhr guitars.

I am considering buying a vintage Kramer Baretta though if that turns out to be my best choice (since they are no longer available new)

2. Second option, I see that Gary Kramer still makes custom USA guitars... (I emailed him but have not gotten a response back yet) But, anyone know if he would make a custom guitar like the Baretta 84 with the Banna headstock? (I noticed none of his guitars have that headstock anymore. Perhaps he's afraid of Gibson now? I thought about maybe getting his Cathedral guitar, however I read a review that said it's really a different animal than the 84 Barettas back in the day. So, I don't know, I already have a lot of high end guitars, so if the Cathederal isn't going to do the Baretta thing, I don't think it'd be worth my money.

3. Third Option, Mean Street guitars, these are made in the USA and they been doing this many years, they seem to look nice from what I seen of them in photos and videos, how does one of these compare to a real baretta?

4. Fourth Option, 2006 '85 Baretta USA Reissue, I read these are highly regarded, and that they have a improved nut that decreases the chance of future damage. How many of these were produced? Are there many fakes of these in circulation I need to be worried about? Is there any tangible reason why a vintage Baretta would be superior to one of these? How much should I expect to pay for one of these in excellent condition or better?

5. Fifth option, a vintage Kramer Baretta.... How hard is it to find one of these with a perfect straight neck? If I buy a vintage one, I will be getting it refretted with SS frets and putting a brand new German Floyd in it (because I don't like old worn out stuff) And I will probably have all the electronics and wiring done new as well. How much should I expect to pay for one of these in excellent or better condition? Again, I'm only interested in all maple body, neck and fretboard.

I don't care about collectibility. I only care about getting the Baretta sound/look. I prefer USA built, but if a modded Korean Gibson 84 reissue gets me there just the same than that's ok too.

Any adice is appreciate, thanks!
Eric


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:50 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:24 pm
Posts: 560
Location: British Columbia
You seem to talking about two different style guitars. The current (and musicyo) 1984s are a copy of Eddie Van Halens 5150 guitar - maple board, straight humbucker, non tilt banana headstock.

A Kramer Baretta from the year 1984 had an angled humbucker, tilt back headstock and usually a rosewood board, though maple do exist but are rare. All the reissues in this style have rosewood boards.

In the 5150 style a musicyo is a good bet. There are plenty of people making bodies and necks in this style too (eg. MusiKraft). Getting an authentic style Baretta body seems to be difficult now, as are good tilt back headstock necks, though "grail" style non tilt necks are fairly available.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:17 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1698
Location: Germany
Welcome :toast

My opinion:

1. it's a korean mid-level guitar and frankly nothing like any old Kramer. Not worth it IMO, especially the finish used is abysmal, as is the shaping of the neck joint. A real floyd is a straight swap and would work fine, but it makes little sense IMO

2. GKG get their parts pre-shaped from elsewhere, I guess the korean factory that makes their cheaper models. Not many extras to choose from, they won't do custom headstocks etc. I had a bad experience with their CS (too wide body at the neck joint, 14" Gotoh paired with a 10" neck radius etc.) and would not really recommend going for it. The wood was great though and after getting a new neck from a local luthier, it is my main player. Still, wouldn't do it again, especially not for almost $3k. To be fair, they did offer me a refund after I made some noise in the old forum, but by then I already had the new neck installed so I kept it.

There are guys building way better Kramer copies for a third of that money, I can wholeheartedly recommend Musikraft/Jamerson for example. They will also do custom headstock shapes and many other custom options unthinkable elsewhere

3. Meanstreet Guitars is a former "old" forum member. I can recommend his pickups, also his Wolfie/Axis kits are great bang for the buck, though the woods used were not really high-end. Dunno about his retta copies, haven't played those - may be higher grade woods used there. His finishing work is awesome :thumbs May be worth a try, but ask him about the woods he uses for those

4. MusicYo model? Those were much better than the later korean Gibson stuff, but the necks and the feel were totally different (very thick profile, usually 16" and unfinished, often bad fretwork but that's fixable). Bodies were alder and had some seriously great tone. These are nice guitars in their own right, but the resemblance is purely visual. I liked mine very much, should have kept it...

5. "the" thing, but expensive usually...

Nothing will be exactly like the original of course. Otherwise, IMO Musikraft is your best bet, top-notch woods and top-notch work, many options available and it won't cost you an arm and leg.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:58 am 
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Kramer Kingpin
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:38 am
Posts: 2649
Location: Germany
Welcome. Regarding your arsenal #3, #4 and #5 are for you. The rest, not so much.

_________________
Practice cures most tone issues.

_______________________________________

Great Deals with MrWhipper, JoeyM, Del Hudson, skydive69 and Kramer Classic I :thumbs


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:13 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Location: Shrewsbury, UK
Welcome aboard :thumbs

Just get a proper vintage Baretta :headbang , the rest don't matter :nono

_________________
'85 Retta, Black
'85 Retta, White
'86 Retta, White
'86 Retta, Black
'87 Retta, Shattered Glass
'86 Focus 2000, Hot Pink
'87 JK1000, Red
'10 Pacer Classic, white


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:09 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Location: ON CAN
wizball wrote:
Welcome aboard :thumbs

Just get a proper vintage Baretta :headbang , the rest don't matter :nono

This.
You'll end up getting one even if you go with one of the other options.

_________________
But let's face it, someone buys a Kramer b/c it has a Floyd.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:30 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Posts: 397
Get a 'real' one. I have guitars that get hung on the wall that get played every once in a while, and I have six guitar stands on the floor for guitars that get played regularly. Sometimes I rotate them when I play a 'hanger' that gives me a puffy, and it gets a place in one of the stands for a while. My '87 Barettas have been in the stands, and in regular rotation for three or four years. Your other choices might be fine guitars, but there is definitely something magical about an '80s Kramer Baretta.

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:50 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Location: New Holland PA
2112 wrote:
Get a 'real' one. I have guitars that get hung on the wall that get played every once in a while, and I have six guitar stands on the floor for guitars that get played regularly. Sometimes I rotate them when I play a 'hanger' that gives me a puffy, and it gets a place in one of the stands for a while. My '87 Barettas have been in the stands, and in regular rotation for three or four years. Your other choices might be fine guitars, but there is definitely something magical about an '80s Kramer Baretta.

Image



I second the motion.

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


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:21 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:38 pm
Posts: 198
Location: France
2112 wrote:
Get a 'real' one...there is definitely something magical about an '80s Kramer Baretta.

Couldn't agree more, wood quality on american series and combination with old pickups goodness give them very attractive character soundwise: that's it, magical. :headbang


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:16 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:24 pm
Posts: 560
Location: British Columbia
I know the Sports bodies were mostly maple, what about the ESP bodies?


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