Kramer Baretta - Plain & Simple Shredder Glory

Kramer Baretta - Plain & Simple Shredder Glory

"Would it Cheer You Up If You Bought One Of Those?"

In this Guitar Gavel podcast episode we are the recipient of an absolutely brilliant conversation with Adam Gray. Fortunately/unfortunately Adam had a hard stop or we would have talked for hours. Acoustic guitar fans- this one's for you!

Adam’s story includes more about his guitar supporting wife, fate, and Adam’s tenacity to hunt down guitars that are successively better than the previous. Through his investigative skills Adam managed to commission the first custom guitar from Tom Sands, an apprentice of Ervin Somogyi.

Adam is a terrific conversationalist and storyteller, add that to his extensive acoustic guitar knowledge and the result is something along the lines of “Inside the Actors Studio”.

Other guitars include: Martin made OM-28 1931 replica, Stefan Sobell custom acoustic, Hahn T-Classic tele style guitar, and for fun an Andrea Castagneri violin from approximately 1717

Kramer was riding high in the early 1980s with their Pacer guitar leading the charge.  Kramer’s Rockinger trem system had caught the attention of Eddie Van Halen who was looking for hardware that would stay in tune.

That eventually led to a collaboration between Kramer and EVH resulting in the Baretta model being launched in late 1983 (most notation shows 1984).  And that’s a literal rocket “launch” as the Baretta and EVH helped make Kramer the best selling American guitar maker the following year. 

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The body remained the same as the Pacer of that year (earlier Pacer’s were slightly different), but there were a number of other changes:

  • Perhaps the most notable was the new banana headstock.

  • A Rockinger Tremolo was part of the original Pacer equipment and was swapped out for a Floyd Rose by the launch of the Baretta  

  • The first generation pickup was a Schaller Golden 50 which was uniformly changed to Seymour Duncan in 1985.

  • In 1986 Kramer switched to a more pointy headstock, similar to Jackson.

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