What is the consensus on the Hamer Monaco III?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mike M, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M Supporting Member

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    I just really love the way they look. No dealer in Atlanta has one to play. i would have to say that is my biggest issue with Hamer, you never see them. It got a Edtors pick from GP. What does the tone compare to? Neck size? Action? Joe from Hamer is going to be at a guitar stor here in Atlanta in the next few weeks and I am going to check them out.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rama

    Rama Member

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    Well, I have a lot of guitars and it's my #1...no small feat.

    Neck is on the big side of medium.

    Playability is as good as it gets.

    Tone.......think giant strat. It is a little dark, but when you dial a little treble in it just sings. All 5 positions are great.

    Bridge p-90 has a little twang due to the 25 1/2 in scale.

    The spruce top gives it a wonderful woody detail you won't find anywhere else.

    Bigsby is icing on the cake.
     
  3. 60HzShuffle

    60HzShuffle Member

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    I agree with everything Rama said. When I got mine from Willcutt's, the description said think "thousand pound strat" and that is right. All 3 pickups alone sound great as well as the in-between sounds.

    The construction on mine is immaculate and I play it a bunch. I think the neck is like a 50's profile on a Gibson but more consistent (meaning not as tapered). The wood choice is very good.

    Here is mine http://www.jamyerscpa.com/pictures/Monaco3/monaco3-2.jpg. Mine was one display at the 2005 NAMM show and it looks like Willcutt's just got the same one spec-wise in from the 2006 NAMM show.

    Hope that helps...
     
  4. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    It would be my dream guitar, save for one flaw. The middle pickup. I'm one of those clumsy players who is impeded by it. I just know they'll release a two pickup (and preferably hard tail) version of it some day. I actually got a price quote for a custom version to those specs. Went like this: 'Let's see...delete bigsby, $250extra!; eliminate one pickup, $150 extra! So you see...I'm waiting. AC
     
  5. arniez

    arniez Supporting Member

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    According to the last Hamer price list I saw the M3 in hard tail version is the same price as the Bigsby. Deleting the middle pick uo will cost you an upcharge. You might consider ordering a standard Monaco hard tail with phat cats instead of buckers and see how that options out. I do believe the M3 is more solid in the center of the guitar, kind of 335ish, than the standard Monaco.
    ArnieZ
     
  6. hrowe

    hrowe Member

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    Or you could do what I did. Buy the humbucker model and trade out the Duncans for some Harmonic Design Z-90's...
     
  7. gitman

    gitman Member

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    I would also like to know some more about the consrtuction differences between the variuos models and how they compare :
    is the Mon-III and the Monaco ( with the HB's ) a true hollowbody ( like a Gretsch for instance )or a chambered guitar with f-holes ( like their Monaco Super Pro ) ? is the guitar on the dark side to begin with or is the choice of pickups responsible ? thanks !
     
  8. monacosis

    monacosis Member

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    g-man,
    the M3 is a semi-hollow with a center block beneath the pick-ups and bridge. the Monaco is more a of a true hollowbody with a block beneath the bridge. i had both and they are both superb (and very different) instruments, but i kept the M3.

    mike
     
  9. Alister

    Alister Supporting Member

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    Is the Monaco Elite, then, also a semi-hollow, without the f-holes?
    I can't tell, even from their web site.
     
  10. Supasso

    Supasso Member

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    From the PDF catalogue, the Monaco Elite is a solid body.
     
  11. Alister

    Alister Supporting Member

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    Yup. It was the Artist series I was thinking of, which seems closer to a 335-type model. The Artist Customs look magnificent, as do the others.
     
  12. gitman

    gitman Member

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    Mike !
    could you elaborate a bit on sonic differences between the two ? is the Monaco somewhat similar to a PRS McCarty HB - that one also has only a
    large post beneath the bridge and the rest of the body is hollow/thin top and back .... do they weigh the same ?
    Thanks !
     
  13. Karmateria

    Karmateria Member

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    The Monaco, Superpro and M3 are all 25.5" scale. The Monaco Elite is 24.75".

    Superpro= hollow with maple top no f-holes, TOM, Stop tail.
    Monaco= hollow with spruce top, f-holes and TOM/Bigsby.
    M3= hollow w/center block, spruce top, TOM/Bigsby.

    Elite= smaller body solid mahog. with maple top (think Les Paul).

    The M3 is capable of many Fender-ish tones, only "bigger" and more "woody" sounding. More grind on the bridge pup sound due to having a P90 there. The tone control is VERY effectice, and gets the guitar into "jazz" teritory easily.

    Probably the most versatile guitar I've ever played. Puts the 513 to shame too.

    Karma
     
  14. monacosis

    monacosis Member

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    gitman,
    i can't compare to any PRS (never played one), but the two monacos are very different sounding guitars. The Monaco (HB) has a woody round tone - definitely the darker of the two guitars. i used big flatwounds to exaggerate the jazz vibe. also, the stock SD p'ups are too hot for the guitar, IMO.

    the Monaco III is, as many have said, the fattest strat you have ever heard. i personally don't care for strat tones, but the P90 are so much bigger at full volume that i think the M3 is in a totally different tonal neighborhood. i usually stay with the neck pick-up (i never use the in-between sounds) but i can quickly go from a pretty convincing trad jazz tone to some rootsy twang when necessary. BTW, i use Lollar P90s and it was a pretty big improvement to my ear.

    my M3 is pretty heavy, probably close to 9 lbs. the monaco was much lighter - close to being neck-heavy, but not quite. wish i could have kept both, but i have been playing the M3 exclusively since i got it about 3 years ago (supposedly the first production model after the GP guitar). in fact, the M3 is essentially my only guitar these days - and that's a good thing!

    mike
     
  15. Karmateria

    Karmateria Member

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    Mine weighs in just over 8 lbs.

    Agreed, the M3 can jazz out, then turn into a rockin' machine with the twist of the chicken head!

    Karma
     
  16. jman

    jman Member

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    the M3 is one i'd REALLY like to try...it would be a great companion to my Newport.
     
  17. baj2k

    baj2k Supporting Member

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    Oh no... don't get me started again... :BOUNCE Be sure and buy a used one...
     
  18. gitman

    gitman Member

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    quote: The Monaco (HB) has a woody round tone - definitely the darker of the two guitars.

    the Monaco III is, as many have said, the fattest strat you have ever heard. i personally don't care for strat tones, but the P90 are so much bigger at full volume that i think the M3 is in a totally different tonal neighborhood. i usually stay with the neck pick-up (i never use the in-between sounds) but i can quickly go from a pretty convincing trad jazz tone to some rootsy twang when necessary. BTW, i use Lollar P90s and it was a pretty big improvement to my ear.

    my M3 is pretty heavy, probably close to 9 lbs. the monaco was much lighter - close to being neck-heavy, but not quite. wish i could have kept both, but i have been playing the M3 exclusively since i got it about 3 years ago (supposedly the first production model after the GP guitar). in fact, the M3 is essentially my only guitar these days - and that's a good thing!

    mike[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Mike ! one more ? here : when you compare the 2 UNAMPLIFIED, is the Monaco still the "darker" guitar ? judging by its construction ( true hollowbody ) it should have a faster attack and decay i would guess. lots of players have commented about the debateable pickup-choice by Hamer so that aspect should not play such a big role ; one can always put brighter sounding PU's in the guitar but when the instrument by itself is on the dark side one can only come so far of course...
    my goal here is this : i am trying to find out if one of the two models could
    be a substitute ( for lack of a better word ) for my Gretsch Tennessee Rose, which is simply a bit too large and awkward to handle with the funny control-layout and such. i really like the size and shape of the Monacos, the longer scale is a plus and if one of them could be coaxed in that Gretsch direction it would be great guitar for me.
     
  19. monacosis

    monacosis Member

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    keep in mind my experience with the guitar was with heavy flatwounds so i was def going for a darker tone. having said that, i still think the monaco is the darker (unamplified) of the two.

    will the monaco do the Gretsch thing? i dunno.......... seems like most of the right acoustic ingredients are there.

    all this monaco talk has me missing mine.......

    mike
     
  20. Mike_C

    Mike_C Member

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    Think Steroidal stratish sound. Very versatile and very comfy to play. I have a monaco and have played plenty of M3's as well as having a Hamer Standard with 3 p-90's and a similar wiring to the M3. If you had only one Hamer to pick the M3 would be the one to get.
     

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