“A painstaking tribute to the guitar that changed music forever”: Kramer’s MIJ 1983 Baretta reissue offers a detailed recreation of the shred guitar that, with a little help from Eddie Van Halen, made it the biggest guitar brand of the ’80s

Kramer 1983 Baretta Reissue
(Image credit: Kramer)

At one point, Kramer was the most in-demand guitar brand in the world. That accomplishment was due in no small part to Eddie Van Halen’s 1981 endorsement of the firm, and a few years later, its super-sleek Baretta build.

The Baretta was itself partly inspired by Van Halen’s custom-made Kramer 5150, and early builds were produced in the US at Kramer’s New Jersey base, using predominantly Japanese parts. 

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Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.