Kramer DMZ Aluminum Neck Fretless Reviews 5

I don't remeber where I got it or what it cost, but I remeber it was an online and since I was already familiar and pleased with two other aluminum neck Kramers, I went for it. Please forgive a rather long review, but this is a very unusal ax.

Nothing else on the planet sounds like an aluminum neck fretless with an ebanol fingerboard. It's a lined board, which I prefer. Also, has an aluminum nut and a zero fret. The Dimarzio P-bass PU has adjustable pole slugs and runs through two switches: 2-position and a 3-position mini toggles. The inlaid position markers are aluminum and look very cool. The E-string tuner is far enough from the nut that one can avoid getting the main winding of the string wound around the peg. I like that it looks very ordinary but the audience hears extrordinary sounds. I was once asked if I used any effects to sound "just like playing a horn".

It weighs 14 pounds and has a minor case of neck dive. Being fretless, it would have been very useful to have a neck PU as well, like many other DMZ series Kramers do have.

It's active, which explaines how it can offer a zillion combinations of its two toggle switches just to control a single split coil [P-bass PU]. Even with the active system, the single tone knob has no major influence on the tone. Maybe it's an active PU with passive tone. It is very active in the LOUD department. Neck is a cast aluminum "T" section beam woth phenolic fingerboard and wooden 1/4 round sections inlaid so that most your hand hardly touches any metal. Body is very non-descript P-style, with a heavy bent-metal bridge with keyholes in its base plate for the strings. 34" scale length with 21 positions marked. Small radius, like and old Fender, and a bit narrower guage, like older imports [but it's 100% made-in-New-Joizy, USA]. 2x2 tuners on the trademake "tuning fork" headstock appear to be Schallers. Head is also aluminum and integrated with the neck beam. There is no truss rod, and none is needed. Neck is approx P-bass profile and being cast aluminum, it isn't going anywhere. You can haul back on the head in playing position and the string height resists any change in action. A small amount of relief is built into the neck design. Control cavity cover is a heavy aluminum plate, just to top things off metal-wise.

Did I mention it weighs 14 pounds ? Well if [like me] you are never mistaken for a gorilla, then the saving grace is that, since it's fretless, you can use it for those jazz gigs where you get to sit on a stool while playing. OTOH, nothing else sounds like 14 lbs of hardwood and cast aluminum, so it's not like it's heavy for no good reason -- it delivers 14 lbs of tone. Multiply that by 2 octaves and 100 watts, mix in the a fretless whine that sounds of metal, not wood, and you might just imagine what it sounds like. It has plenty of classic big bottom but the mids and harmonic overtones are unique.

Golem rated this unit 5 on 2004-08-13.

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