Kramer Duke Bass [headless aluminum neck] Reviews 4

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 4 on 2003-09-26.

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