Overview comments regarding this used Hamer Monaco Studio Pro from 2002 :- £1999 will allow you to buy a boutique hand built instrument that is laden with tone – There is of course an obvious comparison to a Les Paul, yet the Hamer Monaco Studio Pro offers far more than just outstanding cosmetic features – Yes it is hard to ignore that delectable flamed maple top, decked out in a traditional nitro-cellulose ’59’ burst gloss finish, but it only gets better once you hook it up to your amp and put it through its paces – From chilled out blues licks to bone crushing rock licks, this Hamer is a blaze with expressive tones – Thanks to a one piece Honduras mahogany body, with hollow sound chambers, you’ll discover more articulation than would be found on a Les Paul, hence moving more towards the tonal qualities of a 335 – The hollow chambers brings this guitar to the scales at an astonishing 7lbs 12oz, but don’t worry about any lack of sustain as this guitar just sings all the way until the cows in the meadows start drifting back home – The hand built, impeccable attention to detail is present and correct including 22 medium jumbo frets, that are profiled and polished to perfection, along with the ‘victory’ mother of pearl fingerboard inlays and ‘Hamer’ headstock logo – An extra nice touch is the grained ivoroid binding around the body, fingerboard and headstock
The hardware is all from the top draw, with Schaller 3-a-side tuners, plus a tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece, whilst even the pots are specially ordered with an improved taper, that allows you to preserve that expressive tone, whilst backing of a notch on the volume pot – This allows you to control the amp, from the guitar, so wind it up for more singing overdriven tones, or back it of for more clean or subtle overdriven tones – Surprisingly the Monaco Super Pro has a Fender-esq 25.5″ scale length, yet even re-strung and set-up with a set of 10’s you have a firm but slinky feeling playing action – The mahogany neck has a fullish, Les Paul-esq profile which again should please those who like many Gibson attributes, but prefer the hand built attention to detail that Hamer offer – I almost forgot to mention that the Monaco SuperPro is equipped with a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers, with a Custom humbucker in the neck position and the Custom Custom in the bridge position – This is one of those instruments that the more you play it, the more tones you find, especially when both pick-ups are on together as having 2 independent volume controls allows you to blend the 2 pick-ups nicely – Whilst the guitar has a 2002 serial number, it has only had one careful owner since first purchased as a new guitar – Used sparingly, so very little in the way of any blemish to report, as you examine that gloss finish – It doesn’t make the ‘as new tag’ but it is certainly very clean – The figured maple top looks perfect – Slight surface blemish on the rear of the body
Further details :-
- Includes the original Hamer deluxe case + a manual/warranty booklet
- One piece Honduras mahogany body with hollow acoustic chambers in the wings of the body – Hence solid central block for pick-ups + bridge assembly etc
- Carved figured maple top with ’59’ burst nitro gloss finish
- Grained Ivoroid binding for the body, fingerboard and headstock
- Hamer ‘Victory’ mother of pearl inlays
- Fender-esq 25.5″ scale length
- Dunlop strap locks buttons
- Schaller machine heads
- Tune-o-matic bridge + tailpiece
- Medium/Jumbo frets – less width but more height – Larger than vintage frets and maybe a tad less in size than modern ‘jumbo’ frets
- Whole guitar weighs 7lbs and 12oz
- Vintage round neck profile – measures .839″ at the top nut end and .953″ around the 12th fret – So a touch less chunky than a R8/R9 vintage Les Paul
- Seymour Duncan Custom humbucker in the neck position that measures 13K – Seymour Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge position that measures 13.9K
Tonal character :- The Fender-esq 25.75″ scale length will have an influence on the tone, as will the chambered magogany body – In short it delivers more articulation that many Les Paul’s you’ll play – As such it leans more to the versatility of a good 335 – Overall the tone is more lush and cultured, rather than pure ‘hot and brutal’ but it can kick dirt as required – On clean amp settings it possesses enough natural character to not sound ‘bland’ with a laid back voice clearly apparent from the neck pick-up – With more of a hot ‘country’ pick’in voice from the bridge position – Add a shed loads of overdrive on the amp, as required – Like a Les Paul it is not a pure hot death metal guitar, yet it doesn’t lack girth and energy – The 25.5″ scale length ensures it stays tight when laying into power chords and riffs and you’ll find the scale length will help with any Drop D tunings as required – In my opinion the guitar shows its true colours when played with more subtle gain on the amp, that is somewhere between Green/Kossoff and Bonamassa/ZZ Top – Now utilise the volume pots on the Hamer to control the level of gain that you require – As such a volume setting of 6 or 7 will deliver more of a chilled out cleaner voice, yet it won’t loose any of the guitars goodness – This option can be your ‘base camp’ setting – Now turn the volume back towards 10 as and when you require more gain, with a touch of extra bite – This approach delivers far more emotion as you and the guitar now control the amp – A great guitar for fans of Robben Ford or Steely Dan where the guitar’s culture offers more expression
Just a pity that the USA boutique Custom Shop was closed down once the Fender Corporation acquired the brand – But at least you can now acquire a fine used example
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