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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my new 1983 Kramer Focus 2000. Credit for the abysmal photo quality goes to today's shitty weather that prevented me from taking pictures outside.











Since my current lead-playing style involves constant string bending that stresses my left hand, I've been wanting a shredder guitar with a thick neck for some time. Even the Jackson necks are mostly too thin for me now. I thought I would have to do a Warmoth build to get exactly what I wanted, but then I remembered that the early Kramers had fat necks. I've also finally realized that I hate the sound of neck pickups on 24-fret guitars, so I wanted something with 22 frets and a neck humbucker in the 'proper' position. Kramer's Pacer models fit the bill.

For those who may not know, the Focus series was Kramer's original budget line that was made in Japan by ESP. They originally sold for about $400 less than the "American" Kramers, whose necks were all sourced either from Lasido in Canada or from ESP, with bodies from a Connecticut vendor, and were assembled in New Jersey.

Because the Focuses were actually high-quality ESPs, the only important difference between the two lines lies in the cheaper tuners and electronics used the Focuses. They all had German-made OFRs. So, essentially, I got a genuine Japanese ESP for $279! :woot:

When I pulled the trigger on eBay, I had no idea whether the neck would actually be the right thickness, since I hadn't had a chance to play a "beak neck" Kramer in many years. To my delight, this neck turns out to be almost exactly like the profile on an EJ Strat, basically a really fat Fender '60s "C" shape. That's precisely what I was looking for.

I believe the body is alder or poplar, based on the tone. Many of the early USA Pacers had maple bodies, so in this respect the Focus might be the better of the two versions.

Pickups are usually what people hate about the Focuses. They came with some no-name pickups that are vaguely Duncan-ish. Since the strings on this guitar don't appear to have been changed since 1986, I can't evaluate the pickups properly until I get it set up to my liking, but I actually don't think they're that bad. I'll probably change them anyway. The only thing I don't like about the guitar is the small toggle-type pickup switch. That was a Kramer thing, but they are fussy and don't last as long as the traditional Les Paul-style switches. The one on this guitar still works, but I haven't decided whether I'll replace it.

I still might try out a USA Pacer Imperial for comparison, but I don't absolutely feel the need to. The old Focuses for selling for under $200 a few years ago, but prices have started to rise slightly in recent years. They're still a killer deal, however.
 

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Brilliant. Those old Focusses are great. Plus nothing beats a nice meaty neck. Well done.
 

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Jesus, did Michael J Fox take those pictures?
I've favored playing my strat over my much lusted after RG1527M for the reasons you stated, neck pickup placement, and neck thickness. Cool grab man, how much do these go for? Sounds right up my alley.
 

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When Chris posts a NGD you know shit is right in the world. The needs contrasting pickups and cliplock. Probably neon green.

Agreed on 22 frets sounding better on the neck pickup. You need to pick up a Rhoads obviously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jesus, did Michael J Fox take those pictures?
I've favored playing my strat over my much lusted after RG1527M for the reasons you stated, neck pickup placement, and neck thickness. Cool grab man, how much do these go for? Sounds right up my alley.
:lol:

I edited the OP after you posted to add some better pictures. Take another look.

I paid $279 for this one, which seems to be about the going rate. Basically $250-300 seems to be the general range for the Focuses, which is just silly considering how good they are.

Even the 1982-83 USA beak neck Pacers rarely break $800. The only Kramers that have really appreciated in value are the Nightswans and the 1984 Barrettas with the larger EVH-style banana headstock.
 

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Very nice, man. Love that color - is that a burnt orange?

Great deal. Grats.
 

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I can't believe those go for so cheap. It even has the Floyd with the wood screws. Nice score. :yesway:
 

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It's hard to beat these guitars for the prices I see them got for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice Suhr. :lol:

That sounds like a hell of a deal for such a quality guitar. I'd have had no clue about its pedigree, but, from what you say, sounds awesome. And it all looks to be in amazing condition for its age.
The funny thing is that I briefly thought about getting a Suhr Standard, but the prices on even the used ones are way out of my range.

Very nice, man. Love that color - is that a burnt orange?
Metallic red. It has some sticker damage on the front, but I don't really give a shit about stuff like that...at least not on a $280 guitar.

Last night, I pulled the trigger on a USA Pacer Imperial, so I'll doing a comparison thread as soon as it arrives.
 
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