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Hamer Newport or Duesenberg Starplayer TV?

pennylink

Member
Messages
1,863
I've been looking at semi-hollow guitars with a P90 vibe and tremolo. Am trying to narrow things down... which of these two would you go for and why?

  • Hamer Newport (with Phat Cats)
  • Duesenberg Staplayer TV (P90 neck / HB bridge)
 

Retreads

Member
Messages
364
I can only speak for the Duezy, because that's what I have, but I'd recommend it to anyone. The P-90 is in the neck, you won't get that pointed growl like in a Jr. or a Special (though the P-90's output seems just hot enough for all else).

Here are some things to consider...
-New Starplayer TVs have the string-through tuners. I think they're pretty stable and accurate, but you might not. Same ratio as their older traditional tuners. Try them first.
-Duesenberg has the best trem I've ever used. Think Bigsby + In-tune.
-Nickel & Silver hardware on the Duesenberg tarnishes over time. In a good way.
-It has a longer scale length than the Hamer. Fender scale length with a Gibson radius and width. I see that the Hamer goes to an even bigger radius at 14."
-The Starplayer is on the heavier side...getting to be LP-type heavy.

Good Luck!
 

frisco kid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
Well, you'll pay nearly double for the Korean Duesenberg vs. the USA Hamer...both are excellent build and materials wise, both are also spruce tops...having owned both, the Starplayer is not twice the guitar the Newport is. The Hamer is 24.75 scale while the Starplayer is 25.5 so that may or may not affect your decision.
 

serial

Member
Messages
2,258
I just snagged a Newport (2000) for $800. One of the finest guitars I've ever owned. Scary good. USA made and the nickel tarnishes like any other. I see Duesenbergs as another internet gear page flavor of the month and in time, even Mike Campbell will play something else. FWIW, I've only played one and it was Mike's. I didn't get on with it-the neck was too thin for my liking (although he had a Mosrite sitting on a couch in the lounge area that was the thinnest, narrowest neck on a guitar I've ever picked up-made the Duesenberg feel like a telephone pole!).
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,282
The Newport is one of the best guitars I've ever played. Immaculate build and killer tones. The one Starplayer (not sure which exact variant) was priced similarly and definitely was not the equal of the Hamer as far as build and fretwork. In my opinion the Hamer was much better sounding as well, but that's just me. The Hamer just felt like a more refined instrument.
 

DavidMgT

Member
Messages
405
I own a 2008 Newport and it is perfectly built and plays incredibly. Hamer was pretty obsessive about building great guitars in the Dantzig era. Their guitars, for instance, go as far as having dovetail neck joints - something usually used in building high quality acoustic guitars. Every detail of the Newport is impeccable.

Here is a pic - Mine is a Newport Pro (Humbuckers and maple top)

 

duaneallen

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,945
I'd get a USA Hamer over a Korean guitar any day of the week. Especially since the Hamer would be cheaper in price. I owned one, and its and amazing guitar.
 

Grant Ferstat

Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place...
Messages
12,565
I just sold a Duesenberg Starplayer TV.

It was a cool guitar irrespective of the arguments about origin. German assembled/Korean made blah, blah, blah...

I would not actually characterise it as a typical P90 sounding guitar though. Firstly the bridge pickup is actually a humbucker not a P90 style single-coil. Secondly, whether it's the longer scale of the guitar or the spruce top, or the pickup itself I didn't find the neck P90 had the same characteristics of those that I've heard in the same positions in ES330/Casinos, Les Paul Specials or LP56/54 style guitars.

The Duesenbergs are their own thing and are best approached in that way. If you're hoping to cover the sounds of various Gibsons or Gretsches they'll disappoint.
 

pennylink

Member
Messages
1,863
The verdict seems to be that they are both worthy contenders. I was able to try a Starplayer TV, but unfortunately I can't find a local dealer with any Newport left so I have to rely on buying used without trying first.

The Duesenberg I played sounded good, but somehow I wasn't blown away. Maybe Hamer is the way to go since I'm familiar with the neck carve which I like.
 

pennylink

Member
Messages
1,863
OK, so I pulled the trigger on a barely used Newport with Phat Cats and Bigsby. Won't be able to pick it up for a couple of weeks though :waiting
 

pennylink

Member
Messages
1,863
So got a used black cherry burst Newport on saturday. Great tones from the Phat Cats and suprprisingly quiet for P90's. Having trouble staying in tune with the Bigsby though, even when I'm not using it. Perhaps the nut, bridge, etc. hadn't been lubricated. Maybe I'll start a new thread looking for advice on the best way to set it up. Never had trouble with the trem on my Strat, but this is my first Bigsby guitar...
 
Last edited:

dwoovre

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
321
Graphtech saddles.
I don't like them on everything, but they work great on my Newport. One of my all time favorite guitar designs.
 

909one

Member
Messages
2,200
I used to have a Newport with Phat Cats and it was a great guitar. One of the best I have owned. One of the main reasons I sold it was because I hated the orange finish. If I would have found one of the sunburst ones used like the picture in this post I would still have it now. Its a great guitar. Those phat cats are awesome too.
 




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