GKG Custom

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rtcook
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GKG Custom

Post by rtcook » Tue May 07, 2019 7:33 pm

Who can give me some info on this guitar. I can't seem to find anything.

Thanks,

Roger


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Sid Saylor
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by Sid Saylor » Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm

It is a Custom 2 Here is the original GKG sale page with all the specs on it http://www.garykramerguitar.com/Custom2.html. I have a regular 2 humbucker custom I bought new back in 09 and love it to death. I missed the boat by about 2 weeks before I had the funds buying a custom 2 before they sold out and then they went out of business.
09' Gary Kramer - Custom (vintage white)
08' Schecter - Damien Special FR (trans red quilt w/GFS-VEH's)

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_xxx_
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by _xxx_ » Wed May 08, 2019 1:59 am

I had one of those, the two hum version. It's a korean made axe comparable to the usual LTD, Schecter etc. axes in the $500-700 price bracket (comes from the same factory too). Korean floyd, cheap asian pups and sub-par wood. Kinda like a modern version of a Focus.

The upside: they're built well and are good players with nice thin neck. If you can get it cheap and then upgrade the pups, it can be quite usable.

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Sid Saylor
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by Sid Saylor » Wed May 08, 2019 8:07 am

_xxx_ wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:59 am
I had one of those, the two hum version. It's a korean made axe comparable to the usual LTD, Schecter etc. axes in the $500-700 price bracket (comes from the same factory too). Korean floyd, cheap asian pups and sub-par wood. Kinda like a modern version of a Focus.

The upside: they're built well and are good players with nice thin neck. If you can get it cheap and then upgrade the pups, it can be quite usable.
Back when I was doing my research on the GKG's it said they were all made in a small independent shop by 2-3 master Korean Luthiers that built them in small batches (necks and bodies) on a manual hand operated copier/cnc and then painted. Then the necks and bodies were sent to California and they were built/assembled to order. I know when Leo Scala (great guy BTW) assembled/wired and set mine up to my personal tastes I talked to him by phone and email and he told me how it was done and it echoed what I read in an article on the internet. The assembly and finishing process took an average of 3-5 days Leo said. My Custom is a quality piece for the money, very resonant, fantastic fretwork, build quality and electronics. I never felt the need in the 10 years of having it to change anything out and never had any issues with the electronics or the guitar itself.
09' Gary Kramer - Custom (vintage white)
08' Schecter - Damien Special FR (trans red quilt w/GFS-VEH's)

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_xxx_
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by _xxx_ » Wed May 08, 2019 9:14 am

Leo was talking out of his arse, to put it mildly... lots of big talk but little substance.

These axes were made in the same factory that makes LTD axes, including the identical serial number placement on the side of the neck heel etc. They're fine for what they are, as said comparable to LTD, Schecter etc. in the same price bracket. Korean hardware and usable korean or chinese electronics, but nothing in there is high-end.

They did some small runs of those with custom finishes and such, I assume only those went to USA for the finish work and final assembly.

I bought my Custom in a german store, a regular series guitar that was in stock.

Even their "custom shop" axes were made of pre-built parts sourced elsewhere (maybe that's the little korean workshop he was referring to?). I know because I shelled out $2.5k (+500 in customs fees) for one and got an axe with wrongly routed neck pocket, 10" neck paired with 14" Gotoh trem and such nonsense. In no way comparable to those several very fine axes that were displayed at NAMM and Frankfurt fair. In the end I ordered a proper neck from my local luthier, which saved the day but cost me additional $400.

Only after lots of noise in the old forum and loud discussion with his bootlicker-fanboi "Dersu Uzala" did they react and offer to take the guitar back. But by then the new neck was already installed, so it was too late for that. Let alone that the customs fees were already paid and the state never returns that.

rtcook
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by rtcook » Wed May 08, 2019 11:31 am

Thanks for the information guys. I've had this guitar for a while. When I got it, I put a real German Floyd on it with all the hardware, installed a Schaller trem claw, swapped the tuners for Schallers with ivory buttons, changed the pickup to a custom JB 17K that is Schaller mounted and updated all the electronics. It's a nice playing guitar. I have a Focus 1000 and can say they are comparable. I was just wondering the year on this and was pretty sure it was an import model.

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Sid Saylor
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by Sid Saylor » Wed May 08, 2019 3:56 pm

_xxx_ wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 9:14 am
Leo was talking out of his arse, to put it mildly... lots of big talk but little substance.

These axes were made in the same factory that makes LTD axes, including the identical serial number placement on the side of the neck heel etc. They're fine for what they are, as said comparable to LTD, Schecter etc. in the same price bracket. Korean hardware and usable korean or chinese electronics, but nothing in there is high-end.

They did some small runs of those with custom finishes and such, I assume only those went to USA for the finish work and final assembly.

I bought my Custom in a german store, a regular series guitar that was in stock.

Even their "custom shop" axes were made of pre-built parts sourced elsewhere (maybe that's the little korean workshop he was referring to?). I know because I shelled out $2.5k (+500 in customs fees) for one and got an axe with wrongly routed neck pocket, 10" neck paired with 14" Gotoh trem and such nonsense. In no way comparable to those several very fine axes that were displayed at NAMM and Frankfurt fair. In the end I ordered a proper neck from my local luthier, which saved the day but cost me additional $400.

Only after lots of noise in the old forum and loud discussion with his bootlicker-fanboi "Dersu Uzala" did they react and offer to take the guitar back. But by then the new neck was already installed, so it was too late for that. Let alone that the customs fees were already paid and the state never returns that.
I don't mean to doubt you or start a bickering match. I'm just relaying what I know I read and heard. :)

I wish I could find the interview that Gary Kramer himself did and explained it all. Roughly It said, He 1st went to Gibson to see if they would build the regular production guitars (that we all eventually bought straight from GKG and a few select stores in the end) with a prototype of a GKG Custom with an original Kramer logo on it and Gibson said they couldn't do it with the quality he wanted and the price he wanted to sell them for. They said they could cut some corners and sell them for the price but Gary was against it and moved on to find someone who could which ended up being a small korean place with a few master luthiers.

I know they were not made in the LTD plant and the serial numbers are not located in the same place either. LTD s# are basically all on the back of the headstock and I can't find any proof of them being anywhere else. But I know what I read (and going nuts trying to find it again) that Gary Kramer himself interviewed and said and what Leo Scala told me. I have to go with what the Owner and creators said since I have found nothing else telling me otherwise. And they were talking about the regular production guitars not anything about the Custom Shop stuff.

I'm sorry you got burned on a custom GKG, that sucks but I have heard horror stories from about every well known custom shop.
09' Gary Kramer - Custom (vintage white)
08' Schecter - Damien Special FR (trans red quilt w/GFS-VEH's)

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_xxx_
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by _xxx_ » Wed May 08, 2019 4:24 pm

I mixed it up with LTD, but there are several brands with that placement, like the korean Steinberger from the Yo period:

Image

Not that it matters who built it, as said I agree that they're built well and play well. It's just the materials I wasn't satisfied with - the tone was lacking despite the pup upgrade, thus I sold it a year or so later.

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Sid Saylor
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by Sid Saylor » Wed May 08, 2019 6:24 pm

_xxx_ wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:24 pm
I mixed it up with LTD, but there are several brands with that placement, like the korean Steinberger from the Yo period:

Image

Not that it matters who built it, as said I agree that they're built well and play well. It's just the materials I wasn't satisfied with - the tone was lacking despite the pup upgrade, thus I sold it a year or so later.
It's all good I just don't want to be passing any miss information around. Even Though I have a pretty good memory, things can get misconstrued sometimes over time and it's good to be called out on it if wrong. There's a lot of misinformation around with guitars and with the GKG's especially, just because of them being relatively rare and unheard of. Like the GKG at Guitar Center for example in another post saying it was a custom shop for like $1,300 it was actually just a regular production model Crusader Limited LOL even though nice, it was one of their cheapest offerings. It's gone now (was there yesterday), so either they got called out on it or some sucker finally bought it. Anyways, I derailed this thread far enough Cheers my friend :toast
09' Gary Kramer - Custom (vintage white)
08' Schecter - Damien Special FR (trans red quilt w/GFS-VEH's)

DersuUzala
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Re: GKG Custom

Post by DersuUzala » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:46 pm

I see that tool is still around and selling his BS to whomever will listen. Sad really.

I know Leo is on top of the world at the moment, his instruments being played nightly by some of the world's greatest guitar players on world's greatest stages.

This troll after all these years? Doing GKG and UNK 'builds'. Geez. By the way I was there almost every step of the way, he's mostly lying to you all about that build, and he was offered his money back because they didn't want their name trashed by a lunatic, who apparently did not stop to this day.

Cheers,
Dersu Uzala

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