So it's been a while since I did a NGD. At the same time, I broke my phone last week, after babying it for nearly 4 years and keeping it in near mint condition, it fell about 18 feet onto a metal step. So new phone, way fancier camera/macro lens, figured I'd try it out. I've been increasingly getting into old 80s guitars from the US. Reading brochures and reading about some of the motivations of those guys, I really appreciate what they were trying to do in setting up high quality guitar shops as an alternative to Gibson/Fender. It's funny now -- I would say maybe something like Abasi guitars is sort of trying to do that now, in terms of making instruments for people trying to change what the typical guitar is like, but now everything is outsourced and the design and builds are separated. I kind of appreciate these old shops that would just do everything themselves, solve all the engineering issues themselves, and both design and build. Anyway, one of the most iconic 80s guitars for me is the Hamer Californian, especially the flame maple one. I saw one pop up here in Japan and decided to go for it. It's pretty cool! 27 frets, and access to the 24th is super good. Flame maple. Kind of like a Caparison TAT special way before (interestingly they also released the first ones in an amber color). Ebony board with the "boomerang" inlays. I used to think these were stupid, but I like the effect in person. The body is all maple and quite heavy, but the timbre of the instrument is a little different than the usual. There's definitely some brightness and presence in the highs, but the sound of the lows is still "round", for lack of a better word. It reminds me of my maple through alder Caparison TAT in the sound of the lower strings, but with more cut on the higher ones. Nice flame maple top: But what's cool is it's not a just flame maple top, but a flame maple body: That's probably the main standout feature. The 80s were a cool time for trying some new things in guitars / US made guitars. It's cool how the inlays actually cross the fret boundaries. The 25-27th frets are from the fretboard overhanging the body, which is kind of interesting. Makes me think of maybe getting a fretboard replacement on a bolt on horizon to get a custom 27 fret one without full custom shop prices. I guess the one thing I'm learning though is everytime I buy a 80s/90s guitars, there's a problem. Issue #1, a bit of jankiness on the binding. I thought it would be an easy fix but seems like there's some sticky glue in there and the binding would have to be taken off, and that goop scraped off before it'll rest flat. Issue #2, previous owner replaced the trem with one that needs the usual floyd route instead of the smaller Hamer one. Hamer had those early floyds where the saddle lock screws didn't really protrude at all. Some dents into the laquer from where these longer ones couldn't clear it: Issue #3, Shitty shim on the neck and looks like some poke through on the other side. Again, looks like the previous owner just didn't realize that trems have different spec. No pic really, but something to address. Overall not sure it's a keeper / if I feel like addressing these thing to get it setup properly. I have new short screws coming this week which will hopefully get the bridge sitting in the route properly and the action in standard tuning a bit lower. Guess I gotta go learn some whitesnake or something!