Hamer Guitars was an American manufacturer of electric guitars founded in 1973, in Arlington Heights Illinois by vintage guitar shop owners Paul Hamer, Jol Dantzig and John Montgomery. The company's early instruments featured guitar designs based on the Gibson Explorer (The Standard) and Gibson Flying V (Vector), before adding more traditional Gibson-inspired designs such as the Sunburst. Hamer Guitars is generally considered the first "boutique" electric guitar brand that specifically catered to professional musicians, and was one of the first guitar maufacturers to produce a 12 string bass guitar.
The company was incorporated in Illinois in 1976 by Montgomery, Dantzig, James Walker and Hamer. It was acquired by Kaman Music Corporation in 1988, which was purchased in turn by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation in 2008. Hamer offered a wide array of electric guitars and electric basses , and, since its foundation placed an emphasis on producing high-quality instruments with vintage aesthetics as well as creative innovations. Kaman marketed a lower-priced line of Asian-built instruments called the Hamer XT Series and Slammer by Hamer, which was discontinued in 2009. In February 2013 Fender announced that the Hamer brand was being discontinued after 40 years of production (Source: Wikipedia).
Basic List of Hamer USA Production Models
• Chaparral 12-String Bass
• Standard Custom
Hamer was the 1st company to;
Use exposed coils on a guitar. Use black hardware on a guitar. Offer graphics as an option on a guitar. Offer custom options on a guitar. Offer a Floyd Rose tremolo on a production guitar. Offer a locking tuner on a production guitar. Offer a production 12-string bass guitar. Offer a workable production hybrid electric/acoustic guitar.
Hamer USA Guitars: Serial Numbering System
From 1974 through 1981 Hamer USA employed two separate serial numbering systems, one for custom instruments and one for production models:
Custom Instruments: These instruments are easily recognized by the use of a four digit number stamped into the wood on the back of the peghead. The numbers ran from #0000 through #0680. All of the early Hamer USA Standards and 12-String basses as well as a number of prototype instruments were included in this serial numbering system.
Production Models: Production models are stamped (initially with ink, later into the wood, on the back of the peghead) with either a five or six digit serial number. The first digit indicates the year that the instrument was built. The next four or five digits are sequentially stamped in order of production. For example, serial number 7 0001 was built in 1977 and was the first production model guitar built. Similarly, 0 1964 was built in 1980 and was the 1,964th production guitar built.
The serial numbering sequence by decade is below:
1970s: 7 0001 - 9 1450
1980s: 0 1451 - 9 241920 1451 - 9 24192
1990s: 0 24193 - 9 50155
2000s: 0 50156 - present