RECENTLY passing through the SI offices was a Kramer 650G six-string electric, featuring the 'T-Section' aluminium neck exclusive to that maker, (rrp £596.27/$779.00).
I tried it on a gig with my 4-piece 60s revival band and overall found it to be a very enjoyable guitar to play, but would have it only as a (rather expensive) second guitar to the Fender Mustang that I regularly use.
There are several reasons for this: it's an excellent guitar for chording, the body/neck joint allowing you to get right up above the octave with comfortable chord shapes. Also the width of the neck makes chord-playing a relative joy — this guitar would probably be worth a look for jazz players for this reason.
Didn't really notice the aluminium neck for anything — the sustain qualities of the guitar were very noticeable, but whether this was due to the aluminium or the powerful pickups is open to debate. The powerful pickups were ably demonstrated by the fact that the output from the pickups seemed more than double that of my Fender, and caused distortion on my AC30 at half volume unless I kept below 8 on the guitar volume.
The controls generally were well laid out — the toggle switch particularly handy for quick tonal changes between pickups coming into a solo. I found that there was a much more dramatic increase between 6 and 10 on the volume pot than between 1 and 6, but can't really comment on the tone control efficiency as I was using the guitar flat out on treble because of having to compete with a Wurlitzer electric piano, which tends towards a mellow sound.
The rest of the band were divided on the Kramer sound, splitting quite naturally into those for the status quo, and those who preferred the Kramer. Interesting thoughts, considering the cost involved.
Sound Reports & Views
Review by Mark Stevens
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