Kramer Focus VT111S Deluxe Reviews
Got it for Christmas (I specifically asked for it) exclusively from musicyo.com...they cost 85 bucks for the deluxe and 80 for standard.
Right out of the box it was a gorgeous red with a dazzling black pickguard. It really had no visible flaws, save for a TINY blemish on the neck. I strummed it a few times unplugged and, honestly, it sounded almost as good as my friend's dad's telecaster from the early 70s does unplugged. I plugged it in to the cheap Kramer 10 watt amp I got with it and was fairly shocked at the sound. although the amp isn't that great, it sounded pretty sharp. Sounds good clean and is pretty grinding with distortion.
Not much I don't like here-the D string was extremely buzzy at first, but I just loosened it and jammed some cotton under it at the nut and now it's fine. Low E has some minor fret buzz, but only if you really give it a whack.
Put together very well for such cheap materials. Even my klutzyness couldn't knock it out of tune, even though it's already been inadvertantly jammed into several walls.
Kids bring their guitars into school to play during free time every day, so I see pretty much every cheap electric in existance. This guitar is unlike many of them. It looks good, sounds better than any of the Squiers and cheap Ibanezs, and is very durable. This is one case where you really get more than what you pay for.Ryan
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I purchsed my Focus over the internet in June 2002 from MusicYo. Cost was $84.99 plus shipping. Since I was a first-time customer, I received a $10 off coupon. After years of playing an acoustic I wanted to get back into electric guitar, but really didn't know what I wanted, though a "strat" is what I had my eyes on.
First off, I liked the price. What one gets is a relatively well-made copy of a Stratocaster, without the price - and without the worry of banging it up or losing it. Upon arrival, the guitar was strung and nearly in tune. It was also set up fairly close, though I have had to fiddle with it several times to get the intonation close. It's also a fairly nice looking guitar: wine red, rosewood fretboard, black pickguard and pickups, and chrome hardware. The guitar has proven it's versatility. I play through a Carvin SX200 (100 watt, two 12inch speakers) and leads sound good, but I am most happy with it when playing with the middle or neck pickups; the rhythm sounds are great.
The second thing I noticed about the Focus was the tuners. I scrapped them right away and bought a set of Carvin tuners that were on sale. This resulted in a guitar much easier to tune and keep in tune. The third thing I noticed was a very slight hump on the underside of the neck in the area of the third fret. I don't notice it when I'm playing, but I do when I am checking the feel of the guitar. Another thing I noticed was the lack of sustain when playing on the upper frets. (Maybe I should buy some new strings!)
Overall finish on the guitar is good. The pickups are, of course, cheap, and I did replace the bridge pickup with a hotter model. But I am going to change it back because the hot pickup just exaggerates the weaknesses of the other two. The hardware is strong and the volume/tone knobs are solid and so far haven't given any problem. I do not know what the body is made of, though a guitar shop owner I know said it is a solid body.
This is a great guitar for the price. It's well-made, sounds good, and for someone with not small hands, it would be perfect as a starter model. If your teenager wants to play guitar - and wants a strat - this is the one to get him or her. I believe it is better than the low-end Squier and maybe better than some of the pricier copies. Regarding MusicYo, they are fast and responsive. I know, because I've purchsed several other items from them. Oh, by the way, I think I'm going to get a Fender American Deluxe or American Standard Stratocaster. (I could buy 12 Focuses for that price.)Rat Nest
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MusicYo.com for $84.99
At such a low price what isn't there to like about it? This is my second electric guitar, my first one was a Squier Stratocaster Standard - and man I regret getting that after I recieved my Kramer!
This Focus has kick ass action, it's a dream to play on. It's relatively light so there won't be a problem to have this strapped on for hours. Also, for stock pickups on such an inexpensive guitar it sounds great!
I really can't find any faults with this guitar. However I'm not too crazy about the simple cosmetics, such as the pickguard and the volume/tone pots. But it's sort of silly for me to whine about it when the damn guitar is so affordable.
For $59.99 the Focus QuadRod (http://www.musicyo.com/product_specs.asp?pf_id=429) can hush my whining, and at the same time enhance the sound of the guitar with its QuadRail and DualRail pickups. Something I'll definetly get a hold of!
I can honestly say the construction on this Korean made Kramer Focus is ridiculously better than my Indonesian made Squier. The Squier had a large blob of dried glue running from the nut down the neck, it's horrid (and that's just one example).
The Focus is amazingly well made. I ran my fingers all over this guitar and it was nothing but smooth. It all fits together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle.
The finish on my Kramer (Candy Apple Red) is beautiful and much better than I expected.
The machine tuners seem decent enough, I went willy-nilly with the whammy bar to see how bad the guitar would get out of tune, and honestly, I didn't hear much of a difference.
I can tell that this guitar will last me a long time, and at it's priced I can easily afford another one.
If you're a beginning to intermediate guitarist on a budget (who isn't?) I can honestly say the Kramer Focus VT111S will do you damn proud. The guitar can rock! And as your playing improves so can the guitar. Within the next few months I'll be installing the QuadRod Pack and Sperzel tuners (Ha, putting more money into the guitar than I paid for it - go figure).
You can't go wrong with this guitar! Get it!
PS - I only bought the Deluxe version so I could get it with a TKL gig bag and use my $10 coupon. Comparing specs of the Standard and the Deluxe I couldn't find a difference.Andrew Killmer
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