NGD: Kramer Pacer Imperial

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Thread: NGD: Kramer Pacer Imperial

  1. #1

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    NGD: Kramer Pacer Imperial

    In my NGD thread for the Kramer Focus a few days ago, I noted that I was getting a Pacer Imperial (which the Focus is based off of) with which to compare. Well, here it is, straight out of 1983. I also included a few bad photos of the two guitars together for comparison's sake.

    The Pacer has a quartersawn maple neck, maple body, OFR and Schaller hardware, and Schaller Golden 50 pickups. The Focus has a flatsawn neck, alder body, OFR and Gotoh hardware, and Whothefuckknows pickups.

    You'll notice that the Focus has rounder edges, with the horns not being cut down quite as much and the belly cut not being as aggressive. Between that and the differences in construction, the Focus feels and sounds more neutral and Strat-like, whereas the Pacer has a very strong individual identity. I wouldn't say one is better than the other; they're just very different.

    In fact, the second I plugged in the Pacer, it was like "oh yeah, I know that sound!". Basically, the sound of every record made between 1982 and 1986. The maple body and Schaller pickups (sort of Duncan Custom-ish) give it a very compressed sound with a sharp and focused top end. I wouldn't characterize it as "bright," simply because it also has lots of low-end. It jumps right out at you.

    Interestingly, Joe Satriani played a Pacer Imperial on his first two albums, and you can also hear *that* immediately when you plug it into a Marshall-type sound. Supposedly, Joe had Ibanez copy the neck profile on his Pacer when they developed the JS series, and I can feel the similarity, though the neck on mine is probably slightly a rounder "C" than the JS guitars. Same thickness, though. My Focus has a slightly thicker neck, much more like a '60s Fender.

    Because I'm such a gear whore, I'll probably end up keeping them both.

    I got the Focus for $279 and the Pacer for $500, which is absolutely ridiculous for such high quality guitars. These are just about the last of the '80s shredders that are still undervalued.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: BOSTON
    MB: Fender 5 string Jazz
    Rig: JVM 210H-JCM800 2X12

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    man I remember back in the day , these things were everywhere. I never owned a Kramer but
    my best friend at the time had 3 of them so i would noodle on them all the time
    You can keep your Doctor....Period!
    I won't come in your mouth...Period

  3. #3

    Join Date: Aug 2012
    Location: Chicago, Il
    ME: Strat
    Rig: MKV25, Port City OS Wave

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    You guys give me 80's guitar GAS so bad. My ESP built Barrington had that baseball bat/tele neck that was absolutely fantastic.
    ^ probably sarcasm.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: The B.L., WA.
    ME: Buckethead Les Paul
    MA: Washburn
    Rig: Titan Custom

    iTrader: 21 (100%)


  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Soviet Canuckistan
    ME: Decibel Javelin
    MA: Ibanez AJ307CE
    MB: Fretless Precision mutt
    Rig: Mesa F-30

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Damn, nice deals on those! Quite striking in their similarities and their differences.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jul 2011
    Location: St.L
    MA: Alvarez FDT243C
    MB: Spector Euro4LXStarr
    Rig: 6505+ / SVT-II Pro

    iTrader: 1 (100%)


  7. #7

    Join Date: Jan 2013
    Location: Edmonton
    ME: Kramer Proaxe
    MB: Ibanez SR605
    Rig: Mark V/5153

    iTrader: 9 (100%)

    Kramers are like the perfect 80's guitar. Great score
    Learn to be quick anyone can be slow

    Do you look at the toilet paper after you wipe?

  8. #8

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    ME: ESP LTD H-207
    MA: Taylor 310
    Rig: Mesa 20/20

    iTrader: 0

    $500 bones for that Imperial is a steal.

    I've got a Deluxe. It was my first quality guitar. I'll never give that thing up.
    We're all musicians, still searching for our roots.

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