Kramer Duke Bass [headless aluminum neck] Reviews
Was browsing online for "Steinberger-type"
basses. Best I recall it was about $250
from someplace in NJ with the word "guitar" in their name.
Altho it's a "space bass" it's really very
different from a 'berger, especially in
that it does not require double the ball
"Steinberger" strings. I also like the
cast aluminum neck wihtout the weight of a
normal-size Kramer. I like Kramer metal
necks both for sound and simplicity [no
adjustment for string weight or climate
changes, no tension rod].
Sound is less wild than with big Kramers, less "piano" and more "fender bass", but not muddy. It's a 30" scale, and slighty
narrow gage, so it plays very fast.
Altho it doesn't need double ball strings,
it does require short or medium scale sets.
The tone control does pretty much nothing
[but a "mystery switch" does give it two
different tone settings, both good].
The rear edge is angled, and is lined with
tuning pegs, so it's tricky to set it down
on a guitar stand [can't use a hanging
stand -- it's headless]. These are mini-
bass pegs, guitar style, so you have hide
the cut end of the core under the windings
or it sticks out and snags you when you
reach back to tune it.
It's a brick. Schaller bridge, pegs, and
PU. The PU is like two jass PUs welded
together, and is in the Musicman position.
Neck is the famous cast aluminum job with the wooden 1/4 round inserts and phenolic fretboard. Bass has 2 knobs and a mystery switch. The switch seems to be maybe be
series-parallel, but I'm not sure on it.
Can't identify the body wood, but there's
very little of it, so who cares anyway ?
Almost every Duke ever made is black, and
that includes the back of the neck which
can sometimes be a tiny bit "grabby" but
not severe like some other glossy necks.
Overall length and width is same a 'berger
so it fits cases or bags for that genre.
It's a weird, unique, but simplistic and
minimalist ax with a big heart and voice.
The metal neck gives it decent sustain
despite the short scale, but depending on
your attack and position, you can still
get that percussive "short scale sound".
Any open-minded player would enjoy messing
around with one and they don't cost much.
If you find you want it for your main ax,
it won't let you down. It's very solid.Golem
rated this unit