Kramer Pioneer Imperial Reviews 5

I found my Kramer in a local music shop back in 1983, brand new for $895. This was what I thought was a huge amount for a brand I had never heard of. I traded my old worn out Rickenbacker (frets were gone), and a late model Gibson I had gotten from my dad (traded a Gretsch Tennessean) even up. I have never regretted the trade.

Besides being the prettiest bass I have ever seen (sunburst, maple fingerboard, gold hardware), this has the sweetest neck I have ever played. I also own a Jazz 5 string, and there is NO comparison. I use GHS lights, Boomers or Super Steels, and have no buzz up to the end of the scale. I play southern and contemporary gospel, some jazz and country, and this bass takes care of everything. The only reason I got the Jazz was because I wanted a 5 string. I hardly ever play it. I have used this bass on stage, in the studio, and in church, and have never been let down by it.

I have had problems with the bridge pickups, but after having them replaced in the late 80's, they worked fine. The only thing that might be better would be active electronics for more low end, but I have found that a good eq, along with a compressor/limiter gives me a pretty good imitation of this.

Quality is great throughout. The woodgrain in the neck is straight, and the finish is flawless, even after 22 years. I have read others saying the gold hardware had started to flake, but mine is still solid, although it has started to show a little patina, after traveling through 6 states.

I made an investment 22 years ago. It may not be worth anywhere near what I put into it back in 83, but I do not regret my investment in the least. This bass is a keeper.

Craig rated this unit 5 on 2005-06-28.

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