Tell me about the Hamer USA Vanguard....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dewman, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    Thinking of buying one. Its got 2 P90s, silver metalflake and semihollowbody. How's it sound and are the necks the fat USA necks or the early 90s style thin neck?
     
  2. Mike_C

    Mike_C Member

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    Great guitars The one I have access to has a chunky neck. it is a great playing guitar with a very cool finish. It's all mahogany under that silver finish.
     
  3. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    How's the tone? In the ballpark of an SG Classic or PRS Soapbar??
     
  4. Steeltoe

    Steeltoe Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here's my '99. The neck is a medium C. Not chunky, but
    not thin. Tonewise, it has it's own semi hollow vibe, nothing like a SG though. I haven't played a PRS soapbar either. Full on it is very ballsy, but cleans up
    by backing down the volume. You can blend the pickups
    when in the middle position. I've had mine since new, and would never let it go. Fairly lightweight too. Great guitar.
    Rings well acoustically.
     
  5. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    I had a humbucker model for a while. A very nice guitar that eventually got replaced by another Hamer. I think they were all made with the vintage neck carve, so it wouldn't be a skinny 90's neck. It won't have the focus of a solidbody P90 guitar like an SG or PRS soapbar, whether that's a good or bad thing is up to your personal tastes.

    -Austin
     
  6. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    I plan to hear it from the guy next week- so we'll se hat it sounds like. Looks like a nice guitar and the price is right . Its a deal reaker if the neck isnt fat (versus those D shaped thin necks they used to use in the early 90s)

    Any clips you guys might share...??
     
  7. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    Can you dial in some 335 ones? Les Paul 56 historic type tones? Just I've never owned a small body semiacoustic, only 335s. I was looking for this guitar to sort of cover SG Classic tones, but it might not...Are these honky at all?

     
  8. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Member

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    I have a Mahogany Artist...basically the same guitar w/ different finish options. If the Vanguard has the same pups, they are kind of rude out of the box. I have not, but plan to, replace these withs some AlNiCO P-90s with more conservative outputs.

    So if you don't get what you're after , try pulling the tone & volume controls down to about 8, and try again.
     
  9. Steeltoe

    Steeltoe Member

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    Dewman,
    I would say it is closer to an SG than a 335. But it really
    has it's own thing going on. Perhaps it's a little more
    like a LP Jr, but being a semi hollow, it really has it's own voice. It's very good for rock and blues. I am not
    very good at describing tones. Give one a try if you can.
    Mine is very resonant and lively.
    If there is one flaw, it would be a semi dead spot at the
    13th fret of the G string. It is not much of an issue though. Never stopped me from gigging with it.
     
  10. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    They also did these in a cherry mahogany:

    [​IMG]

    And they're still available in korina:

    [​IMG]

    I have one of the korina models. Very cool guitar, essentially a semi-hollow LP Jr. Very light, medium-to-full C-carve on the neck. A great rock or blues guitar, but also a wonderful clean jazz sound. There is nothing not to like about it.
     
  11. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Member

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    For anyone who's looking into them a little further, the name changed when they offered the cherry mahogany and Korina versions... the original Vanguard was only offered in silver. The others are called "Artist"s.

    To further confound things, the same guitar in cherry mahogany, but with humbuckers, is the "25th anniversary" model.

    The concept of the Vanguard (P-90s in a semi-hollow body) was one of two models that originally interested me in Hamers.
     
  12. Vintage-tone

    Vintage-tone Gold Supporting Member

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    I ve tried a few and they were all lovely instruments, great value for the money even tho I would tend to think that the pups are harsh and closer to a P100 than a true P90.
    I would surely swap em for Lollar or Sheptone or a set of vintage P90's if i had one. I m sure that would bring the natural tonal qualities of the guitar even more.
     
  13. RichieRich

    RichieRich Senior Member

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    where's the best place to purchase one like that silver flake model at the beginning of this thread? i love it and i could use the higher output p-100ish pickups.
     
  14. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    I dig the silver metalflake versus the naturals...
     
  15. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    As a slight aside, the pickups in the Vanguard (and all the P90 Artists and Studio) are a Seymour Duncan Hot P90's in the neck and Custom P90 in the bridge. I think they're fantastic, but many people don't like them and end up swapping them out for something more vintage. Vanguards haven't been made for a while, so if you want one, start hanging out on eBay. they turn up fairly regularly, but I believe the humbucker models are more common than the soapbar ones (on the used market anyway).

    -Austin
     
  16. cmatthes

    cmatthes Member

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    The best place for a Silver metallic one would be on eBay, since Hamer won't shoot metalflakes any more. They discontinued that finish 5 or so years ago, so not too likely that any dealers will still have them hanging as NOS.

    They are criminally underrated guitars though - nice across a wide variety of applications.
     
  17. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I had a Vanguard with P90's like the one shown and currently own an Artist with humbuckers. These are great guitars. However don't be fooled by the semi hollow thing, these really get more of a solid body tone. They don't sound anything like a 335. The get great rock and blues tones. I think they are sort of a cross between an SG and a Les Paul. The Vanguard doesn't have the bite of a P90 Les Paul (I traded in my Vanguard for an R6). It has a rounder tone on the bass string side. The treble strings are similar.

    They go for between $750 and $1,000. Look on Ebay and over at the Hamer fan club website. They come up frequently.
     
  18. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    Damn. I had a line on one for a good price and made a decision to by a tele instead! I'll have to keep an eye out for another one. Rich, enjoy that Vanguard- do give us a proper tone report!!
     
  19. RichieRich

    RichieRich Senior Member

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    Thanks for the lead, Dewey! I got a GREAT price on that Vanguard and I'm looking forward to tearing it up when it gets here. A full tone report will be posted.
     
  20. Steeltoe

    Steeltoe Member

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    I am going to swap out the duncans for a set of Fralins-
    stock bridge and 10% underwound neck.
    My question is, should I order the gibson braided shield or 2 conductor w/shield?
     

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