Kramer has always been one of the visually louder electric guitar manufacturers. And when they're catering to the needs of Eddie Van Halen, Vivian Campbell, Richie Sambora, Elliot Easton and Mick Mars, to name a few, who can blame them?
In keeping with its in-your-face visual aesthetic, the company has unveiled a line of axes inspired by '80s pop culture, the Custom Graphics Collection.
Designed in collaboration with various visual artists, the lineup contains an assortment of Baretta models – boasting finishes ranging from the glittering flames of Hot Wheels cars to retro fashion snakeskin – as well as a rather mind-bending take on the company's The 84 model. Let's dive in.
“The Illusionist” The 84
Designed by fine artist Bo Pittman, “The Illusionist” incorporates hot rod motorcycle-style graphics into a 3D black-and-white swirl finish. It features an alder body, maple neck and fingerboard, single Seymour Duncan JB humbucker – controlled via a push-pull volume knob for parallel or series switching – and a Floyd Rose tremolo with EVH D-Tuna tuners.
This model was originally placed on display at 2020's winter NAMM show and was such a hit that Kramer developed a full production run.
“Feral Cat” Baretta in Rainbow Leopard
Designed by artist Chris Stemmer, the “Feral Cat” Baretta pays homage to the iconic Kramer Leopard, sporting a purple, green and blue paint job. Build-wise, it features an alder body, satin-finished maple neck, Seymour Duncan JB zebra-coil humbucker and a Floyd Rose 1000 Series bridge, like all Baretta models in the range.
“Hot Rod” Baretta, Blue Sparkle with Flames
This one's built for speed, and to achieve it, Chris Stemmer has adorned its front face with a sizzling Hot Wheels-inspired flame decal. Like “The Illusionist” 84 model, this axe was originally displayed at winter NAMM 2020, and has now been made available to the public.
Again designed by Chris Stemmer, the “Viper” Baretta pays homage to some of Kramer's historical snakeskin finishes on its Pacer and Baretta II models, although it has a markedly more colorful aesthetic.
“White Lotus” Baretta
Explains Kramer: “In many cultures, the lotus flower represents purity, enlightenment, regeneration and rebirth. The Baretta 'White Lotus' graphic was designed by Kramer Custom Graphic Artist Eric Caspers, who was inspired by movie underdogs from the '80s who overcame the odds to triumph in the end.”
We'd wager this one's inspired by The Karate Kid, but who knows.
“Danger Zone” Baretta
And finally, the “Danger Zone” Baretta sports a yellow and black warning tape aesthetic on red and white. Designed by Eric Caspers, this axe serves as a warning to audiences either to adhere to social distancing, or prepare for the dangerous levels of shred that await.
All Custom Graphics Collection guitars are available now for $999. For more information, head to Kramer.