Kramer Pacer Classic
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Kramer Pacer Classic

Pacer Classic, ST モデル from Kramer.

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King Loudness 09/01/2011

Kramer Pacer Classic : King Loudness のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

"Not a bad reissue"
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The Kramer Pacer Classic is a recently introduced reissue of one of the first widely popular Kramer guitars from back in the early eighties. It's based on one of the original Pacers, with the "duckbeak" headstock, Floyd Rose tremolo (Kramer had the exclusive right to use them in those times) high output humbuckers, a unique body design based on the Strat and a fast playing maple neck. This guitar is a reissue of that guitar made to an extremely attractive price point (under $400).

It features an alder body, a maple neck with 22 frets, sealed tuners, a Floyd Rose licensed tremolo, a pair of high output humbuckers and a control layout with dual volumes, a master tone, and a small 3 way selector switch for the pickups. They're made overseas in China and are distributed by Gibson.

UTILIZATION

The design of the guitar is somewhat ergonomic. My test guitar was definitely on the heavy side of the spectrum and it's not a guitar I'd want to play/hold for extended periods. Unfortunately, I fear that this guitar (like many in the sub $400 price bracket) is plagued with inconsistent quality control, so one guitar may not be like the next one in the slightest. Its body is fairly dense and feels cheap - not a great sign. The shape sits on the body well and the neck to body joint is crisp and clear, allowing for very good upper fret access. The neck is fast and has a nice profile to it, reminding me mostly of the Charvel Pro Mods. It's not an Ibanez Wizard, but it's not a baseball bat either - it's a lot like a slightly slimmer vintage Strat profile.

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is fairly simple. There's not a whole lot of switching options so you're left to the amplifier and your hands to dial in the tones that you want. The pickups are average sounding at best so you're not helped much there, but if you're playing through a decent amp it sounds fine without much tweaking.

SOUNDS

One of the biggest downfalls of the guitar is that it is plagued with cheap parts that don't really do the design justice. That's no more apparent than in the electronics and bridge. The pickups are cheap humbuckers (most likely the same ones used in lower line Epiphones) that really don't offer much in the way of great tones. There's a little bit of a brown sound thing going on when put through a good EL34 loaded amp like a Marshall but overall the pickups are a disappointment. The clean tones are fairly anemic overall, and the low gain tones are simply unremarkable. The guitar really only sounds great to my ears when hit with a fair amount of gain and reverb to deaden the pickups enough just to play. If you put in some GFS pickups or something it would be a definite improvement and you'd still be ahead in the long term.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I give props to Kramer for trying, but this guitar just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it was the one I tried... but the quality control and tone were just enough to make me not enjoy the instrument much at all. The bridge in particular was a sore point - the Floyd Rose bar was so loose that I bet I could've yanked it out with one solid tug. Definitely not a great sign. I'm sure the guitar would make a great modding platform and hey, maybe that was a lemon, but given that experience I wouldn't bother with it and I'd just try to find an original Kramer for not a whole lot more.