NAMM 2021 isn't taking place in the physical realm this year, but you'll find all the hottest January gear launches in our guide to the biggest guitar, amp and pedal releases of 2021 so far.
Kramer has debuted its new Artist Collection, featuring collaborations with Skid Row’s Dave “Snake” Sabo, LA Guns’ Tracii Guns and Peruvian shredder Charlie Parra.
First up is the Snake Sabo Baretta, inspired by the Skid Row founder’s favorite road guitar. The Baretta boasts a replica graphic commissioned by Sabo and created by legendary Kramer artist Dennis Kline.
Features include a new Kramer 85-T Double Black Open Coil Humbucker designed by Gibson USA luthier Jim DeCola, a K-SpeedSlimTaper neck with jumbo frets, a Floyd Rose 1000 bridge system and an EVH D-Tuna Drop D Tuning System.
Said Snake, “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. The Snake Baretta started out as a simple idea 35 years ago and played such a big part in our formative years. Now Kramer has kindly released it as a limited edition. I hope everyone enjoys this guitar as much as I have since it was first made in 1985.”
The Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager, meanwhile, features a star-shaped mahogany Voyager body with a black metallic finish and flame graphics, a three-piece set maple neck with a Slim C profile and a classic Kramer pointy headstock with a Kramer Pyramid logo on the front and a chrome wrench holder on the back.
There’s also a pair of Epiphone ProBucker pickups, each with its own volume control and coil-splitting push/pull switch, a Floyd Rose 1000 series tremolo and a top mounted R2 locking nut and chrome string retainer bar.
“I play the guitars my heroes play, and those guitars are Gibsons,” Guns said. “As the future has arrived now, I have designed the ultimate metal guitar with Kramer guitars loudly and proudly called the Kramer Gunstar Voyager for my shredding friends. Made to metal!”
Finally, the Charlie Parra Vanguard, his second Kramer signature model, boasts a mahogany body, three-piece satin-finished maple neck, bound ebony fretboard with 22 jumbo frets, dot inlays with 12th fret Day of the Dead owl, a single chrome knurled master volume control and three-way pickup selector switch mounted on a satin aluminum pickguard.
Pickups are EMG 57 and 66 humbuckers with chrome covers, and there’s also a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and Stop Bar tailpiece and a recessed output jack on the upper horn.
Parra's signature is engraved on the truss rod cover, and the Vanguard is finished in Candy Apple Red Gloss.
"I’m so humbled and honored to be part of the Gibson family as their first South American signature artist thanks to the comeback of Kramer,” said Parra. “This limited-edition Kramer Vanguard honors the classic ‘80s look and vibe with a twist of modern hardware, 24 fret madness and full access cutaway. I hope guitar players everywhere enjoy this instrument that may look tough, and heavy, but plays really smooth!"
In addition to the new Artist Collection, Kramer has also unveiled its back-to-basics Original Collection, designed to capture the look and feel of the “original shredder guitar.”
The new collection includes the classic Baretta Special and Focus VT -211S, as well as the Jersey Star, Pacer, SM-1, NightSwan, The 84, the Baretta and more.
Kramer’s Modern Collection, meanwhile, brings present-day features to classic designs, including neck-to-body joints, contemporary hardware and tremolo options, cutting-edge pickups and electronic options and more.
Modern Collection guitars include the Assault 220, Assault Plus, Nite-V, Nite-V Plus and the D-1 Bass.
“We leveled-up with our Kramer re-birth and new focus, giving hard rock and heavy metal shredders what they wanted,” said Gibson's Cesar Gueikian.
“This is just the beginning for Kramer, we have big plans for the brand’s future, starting with these exciting collections and collaborations plus a few more we will be announcing throughout 2021.”