The Love Story...


Chicago has a music vibe that is undeniable and contagious. In 1973 , a small troupe of builders set out to build modern guitars with a vibrant vintage soul. In that moment, Hamer Guitars created the boutique custom shop guitar category. It is fitting that the home of the blues gave birth to the finest electric guitars on earth.

This is the Hamer story and legacy. It is about artisans dedicated to creating the finest instruments, from the best materials. The truth is that at Hamer we outbid everyone for the top tone woods, over inspect, and select the cream, leaving the rest to the less discriminating builders. Then we lavish more time and attention on every detail than is possible in a mass production environment. Each Hamer guitar is truly hand-built in a manner unparalleled anywhere else. Naturally this process is not inexpensive, but this is not our goal. Our desire is to build soul into the finest crafted electrics in the world. Period. The evidence of our passion can be seen in every part of our instruments. Starting with the frets, which are individually hand-seated to a precise radius with an accuracy that eliminates the need for fret filing. The result is a playing surface that is laser-straight and plays like a dream right out of the box.

What makes this possible is the total construction concept in our necks. We begin by slow-drying our maple, mahogany and rosewood in a time-consuming manner that reduces the breakdown of the wood fiber. Months of drying time means more resonance and durability. Then we color and density match pieces from the same board in an inverted grain construction we call the "stressed system". This uses the internal forces of the wood to reinforce itself. The benefit is a neck that completely resists warpage.

Our practices of allowing the neck blanks to stabilize for additional months between steps allows us to create trouble-free necks that are "pre-aged" to perform sonically, better than the very best vintage guitars without the fear of twisting with time.

The Hamer low-mass, single truss rod design is adjustable in two directions without the tone-robbing size and weight of a double rod design. More wood means more wood tone.
Each of our dovetail neck joints are hand chiseled to a tight final fit that allows all sides of the joint to transmit vibration. This method provides over 40% more surface area than is used in other more typical designs. More area means more resonance, for an instrument that has a bold acoustic voice.
To be sure that voice isn't lost in the electronic translation we carefully match our pickups to the tonality of each instrument. This means using the appropriate pickup for each position when needed, rather than relying upon placement for tonal variation. All of our electronic components are capable of a lifetime of use with the quality feel that comes only from high-grade parts. Our volume and tone controls are custom-tapered parts made to our ear-tested specifications, rather than relying on off-the-shelf items—a practice that others find too costly to pursue.
Hamer's hand-wired control cavities are fully shielded from noise with the highest quality nickel-based paint, and sealed with an anodized aluminum cover. Most people will never open these cavities, but when the reviewers at a guitar magazine did, they called it a work of art.
Finally, even though our finishes are of depth and clarity rarely found in wood finishing, they are not merely cosmetic, but are an integral part of the guitar's sonic signature. Using a specially formulated guitar lacquer, we build the finish up over a period of more than a week carefully sanding in between coats to keep the finish thin and flat. Our colors are custom mixed in our paint shop, and applied with an airbrush in layers. This layering technique is what makes the Hamer sunbursts the most envied finishes in the industry. By keeping the finish thin, we preserve the resonance of the guitar rather than muting it with pounds of coating. This keeps our guitars alive, with an acoustic "airiness" that is repeatable rather than rare. In all, we spend over three weeks on the finish of each Hamer.