Has someone at Kramer been binge-watching Cobra Kai on Netflix? Over there, the 1980s is still a thing, and guitar design doesn’t need to take heed of any of the 30+ odd years that have passed in the meantime. That’s the only reason we can think of to explain why Kramer has gone full-on ’80s-tastic metal and rock in its assortment of guitars for NAMM 2021.
So here we go for Kramer’s new line-up. Beware: many of these models look, well, dated. And not in a cool retro way. Cesar Guikian of Gibson said of the new collection, “We levelled-up with our Kramer re-birth and new focus, giving hard rock and heavy metal shredders what they wanted.” Time will tell if they did.
Snake Sabo Baretta
Let’s take a look at the signature models. The Snake Sabo Baretta was leaked today, so we knew this one was coming. But now we can see it in all its, ahem, glory. It is very, very, very 1980s. I’m not sure that I will be able to rock a snake when I’m a grandparent. But Skid Row’s Snake Sabo thinks he can, and he’s giving it his all with this green rock machine in the promo picture below. Snake Sabo says of his new involvement with the new series, “I’m so proud that the Kramer brand has been resurrected by Gibson and humbled by the fact that they’ve allowed me to be a part of it.” This model has a set of Kramer 85-T humbucking pickups and a Floyd Rose 1000 trem system. Oh, and a massive green snake on the front. Ouch.
RRP – USD 949
Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager
Again, this Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager model was leaked earlier today. To be honest, it looks every bit as daft as the Snake Sabo model above. This one is fitted with two Epiphone ProBucker pickups and also has a Floyd Rose 1000 trem system.
RRP – USD 899
Charlie Parra Vanguard
Peruvian guitarist Charlie Parra has a new signature Vanguard model, a subtle V-shape with EMG 57 and 66 pickups. It also sports a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge designed by Epiphone.
RRP – USD 899
What is Gibson doing?
When I was a kid in the 1980s, Kramer was the very best. But I simply do not understand what Gibson is doing here with the Kramer brand. This feels like a ragbag of odd, mismatched models, with some questionable hardware choices.
Tell us what you think of this Kramer re-launch. Does it hit the mark, or leave you out in the cold?