Identifying Body wood of early Hamer import

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by CrimsonTider, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    Hello, I heard positives about this site through the Hamer guitar forum.

    I am trying to identify the body wood of a guitar I bought recently.
    Hamer Californian Slammer Series Korean from the Cort factory in 1994.


    A guy said a manual says Mahogany, others by look or factory say soft maple

    Guitar Info:

    Weight is around 7.5lbs. It has a chip mark in back and the wood is light tan. It has a few chips around the tremolo cutout.

    I can take closer pictures if needed. I would love to know the wood.
    Mahogany would be great but now I am assuming the maple. It is two pieces of body wood and a three piece neck.

    Any comments appreciated

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    Hard to tell from the pictures, but it doesn't really look like either mahogany, and 7.5 lbs would be on the light side for mahogany. It appears to have narrow, straight grain, which would suggest something that is quarter sawn. Could be alder, maybe basswood, possibly maple. With import guitars you don't really know, because there are so many varieties that could be used, and builders are often sketchy on those details. In any case, nice looking guitar!
     
  3. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    Need better pictures, but it looks like mahogany to me.
     
  4. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    I have to head off to work for a while but will show better quality close-up's when I get back.

    Thanks for the posts

    Greg
     
  5. cardamonfrost

    cardamonfrost Member

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    looks like Padauk to me. It comes in straight grain too, but the color is always like this.
    [​IMG]
    found a straight grain
    [​IMG]
    C
     
  6. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    It could be anything. Nice looking guitar though.
     
  7. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    BTW, you might get more definitive answers by posting over at the Hamer Fan Club.
     
  8. Stike

    Stike Member

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    More than likely it's Philipene Mahogany which is also called Luan. It doesn't have a lot in common with the Hondouran mahogany used by Hamer USA.
     
  9. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    Double
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  10. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    After looking online, I think you nailed it. I have spent hours looking for this information and so have many other Hamer Slammer Series owners. I saw guitars with this wood that look extremely close to mine, more so than any others that I have looked at.....hundreds in the past few months.

    I am going to take this answer and run with it.

    Thanks for all the replies again.
     
  11. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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  12. cmatthes

    cmatthes Member

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    Yep. They made those in Luan/Mahogany and stained Maple.

    No way would that be Padauk.
     
  13. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    Please excuse this very long post. It is my last post to this thread and I appreciate the help and am content on just playing this guitar now knowing it's a variety of a true Mahogany wood. I don' believe it to be Luan but another true Mahogany wood.
    Sounds From MY Guitar Clean with Amplitube 3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIMTUjPzmp0

    Heavy Metal attempts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa-6HD1Bdy0


    After looking up the guitar I posted, the top was quality Mahogany and the bottom the Luan.

    I know about maybe 5% as compared to many here, but I have some knowledge at determining quality wood. 30+ years with multiple guitars including my favorite 78 natural wood strat and can at least determine a solid good quality wood from a cheaper one due to always putting aesthetics/sound quality = to notes played. Pressing my ear to it and playing, a few knocks of the fist to boot, weight. No amp is needed.

    This is a long post but........
    For anyone interested in buying Hamer imports
    they can be confusing which leads to good deals, confusing Slammer Series with Hamer by Slammer for example. Generally the earlier the import the better. I put a link to a great article from Vintage Guitar 2000 about the history of Hamer and includes Hamer lineups ads with specs.

    The Imports
    1st gen 92 -98 Hamer Slammer Series - High quality, mid priced range, parts shipped from US assembled at Cort in Korea with strict guidelines. Hamer was concerned about their name with these forst imports. Many say these guitars are similar in quality to a USA Diablo. Cali's used Mahogany, Diablo's used Maple for bodies. No way they used a non professional wood but one similar to the USA, but not quit as good. = or better than Basswood.

    2nd Gen 98 - 2000 - Still in Korea, different factory. Similar parts, a little less quality, dropped Slammer series under headstock to just say Hamer while adding USA name to all domestic models. Turned onto today's Xt's at some point.

    3rd Gen 1998 -? - Slammer by Hamer, entry level guitar much lower quality than anything put out before or since. Good practice guitar for enjoyment at home.

    4th Gen - XT line. Good band for the buck, china?. A lot of Basswood, some alder. Similar to other big named $400 range guitars, not on par with 1st generation though. Good guitar worthy to gig with.

    Sorry for length of post again. This is my closing :)


    I re-weighted the guitar and it is close to 8lbs of a very solid body. It is a heavy guitar, and after reading about the faux mahogany cheap door making Laun, it can't be that, too heavy and solid. This guitar with a knock on the wood gives a sound of solid wood that I have not heard since my 78 strat. Heavier than both my basswood Jp Charvel and Alder USA BC Rich Gunslinger. It is a type of Mahogany as stated in Hamer ad, but a real Mahogany variety.

    Great articles. Part III keeps downloading as corrupted and includes 88-90 which I am very interested in.

    http://www.hamerguitars.com/img/pdf/HAMER02_WRIGHT_JUL_2000.pdf

    http://www.hamerguitars.com/img/pdf/HAMER_04_WRIGHT_SEP_2000.pdf

    Thanks for helping

    Greg
     
  14. jtees4

    jtees4 Member

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    I'll comment. It's very PRETTY wood...I like the color too. Very nice for a cheapie. I can say that because I own many cheapies. And a couple of not real cheapies.:huh
     
  15. Stike

    Stike Member

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    Even in the early 90's Hondouran mahogany was fairly well prized, just an educated guess but I highly doubt any Central/South American wood was used for the Slammers. Maybe they used African mahogany but even then that can wood from 2 or 3 different types of trees.

    I've seen import Cali's that weren't mahogany and in looking back at your pics the grain looks a bit like poplar or alder. They are a little blurry so it's hard to say for sure.

    End of the day if it sounds good to you that's all that really matters.
     
  16. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    I recently found the import ad. Hamer was very particular about their first imports and had the Cort factory follow a strict blue print and use Hamer's supplied parts. The Diablo's were Maple and the Californian's like mine are Mahogany, which variety is the question as you said. It's not the better Honduras used on the USA's because I have checked it against the grain, so maybe it is African, that would be nice. The wood on this import is heavy, solid and sounds very good with the ear to wood test. It is not inferior wood. This 1st generation is built like a mid level sounding Ibanez, Jackson imports today, same pickups as many of those. It sounds as good or better than any of the Japenese imports of the 90's that I owned, like the Charvel 3A. I was never big on the boring sounding basswood.
    The Duncan Designed H-103's are based, and are a less sensative version of SH-6 Duncan Distortions. I have ordered this neck pick-up. Everything else is fine after I lowered and adjusted the strings.

    I may have paid $125, but it is because of name confusion with the later cheaper ones from Indonesia and especially the "Slammer by Hammer" guitars from the guitar pricing blue book.

    "Hamer Slammer Series 1994-" and "Slammer by Hamer 2003-" are night and day. No comparison, but the the former gets priced to the later, which can benefit us buyers.

    Anyone that sees a Hamer Slammer Series MIK on the cheap will be able to triple their money in a couple of years after all the easier to identify older guitars start to dry up. The quality is excellent.

    Light Metal sound snippet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8DY9hIrpPQ
     
  17. Sweetwood

    Sweetwood Member

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    doubtful it's paduak. not at 7.5# nor the light tan chip. Paduak will chip orange and turn dark. It's some sort of mah I reckon, but hard to tell from the pics.
     
  18. grizdeluxe

    grizdeluxe Member

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    I have an early Korean made SATF doublecut. It has a nice Honduran mahogany neck and body with a thick maple cap under the flame maple veneer. The fit and finish are superb. It's a great sounding guitar.
     
  19. CrimsonTider

    CrimsonTider Member

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    Yeah it's not Paduak. I am fairly good at research on the net, and make my living as an IT person, but after at least a good two hours of straight looking, I have never been able to find the answer to the question about the exact wood of the first Hamer imports 93-98. These Hamer's were included in all the Hamer lineup ad's of the day. They were quality guitars and kept many of the features of the USA models, like multi piece neck and exact NECK wood for instance.

    I did find a pdf file on the net from the Hamer site, which is no longer listed anywhere on their site. It was part 4 of a series from vintage guitar in 2000 that tellS the hamer story. I used the URL to figure out the other address and snagged 3 of the 4 pieces, combines.......here it is.

    http://compusouth.net/images/Hamer_History_Vintage_Guitar_2000.pdf

    This was after I posted this thread. It has an advertisement from the mid 90's that shows the Hamer lineup including the "Slammer Series".

    It says that the import Diablo's were made of Maple (prob. soft) and that the Californians were made of Mahogany.

    This is the heaviest guitar I have ever owned, so I know it's not that plywood faux Mahogany suggested, I think it is either Honduras or more probable African. But it's Mahogany so says Hamer, and I know that it's at least a good solid form. Which variety is still a mystery. I will post another picture up close.

    I appreciate all the suggestions.
     
  20. Stike

    Stike Member

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    Luan is a trade name for Phillipene mahogany which like African mahogany can be a few different species all of which grows fairly close to or in Korea and China making it far more likely that this is what's used in a lot of import guitars. There is plywood made from luan but it is also sold as solid lumber.

    I once rerouted an import Hamer Eclipse for full size humbuckers. Seeing how the wood machined and seeing it without any finish was a pretty good indication that it definitely wasn't Hondouran and probably wasn't African.
     

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