Kramer Pacer FT112S Reviews
I purchased this guitar from musicyo.com for $99.00. Yes, $99.00. I liked its looks and I liked what I had been reading about the new Kramers and what great deals they were for the money, so I decided to take a shot. For $99.00, I don't expect much.
I love this guitar. We are now living in the best era in history for a player on a limited budget. When I was in high school (late 70's-early 80's), 99 bucks would buy you a guitar from Woolco or Sears that wouldn't stay in tune, had a warped, oversized neck on which the frets were dressed so badly that bleeding was not an unusual effect of practicing. The trem unit on such a guitar appeared to have started life as a Honda kickstand, and the electronics worked badly when they worked at all, with pickups so microphonic that the guitar could double as a Karaoke machine. I'm happy to report that times have changed. My Kramer has one of the nicest necks I've ever played, decent electronics (including much nicer pots and pickups and switch than on my old Squier Strat, which cost twice as much), and great looks. I got the blue metallic finish (called Lake Placid blue on the website, for reasons unknown--it isn't that, but it looks great), which is very nicely applied, and much better than I'd expect on such a cheap guitar. Adjusting the action to eliminate some buzz has taken some doing, but it plays like a dream. I get pretty decent strat-tones with it, and the bridge humbucker extends the range of useful sounds substantially. The pickups all have more output than my Squier, but you're looking in the wrong place if you want Gibson sounds. Through a Tube Screamer into a small tube amp, this is a fine tone machine.
Why would you paint the back of a perfectly good maple neck? It feels pretty smooth despite that, but it looks really odd to eyes accustomed to the Fender approach. The rear-routing for the tremolo is a bit sloppy, with one spring actually touching wood in the middle. This might present problems for a heavy whammy-user (though such people are buying the wrong guitar--get a higher-end kramer with a Floyd), but hasn't affected playability for me.
This guitar seems pretty tough. As I said, the finish is lovely, and the hardware, pots, tuners, etc all seem to be of higher quality that I have any right to expect in this price range (and nicer than what's on my Squier).
I love this guitar! It's no PRS or Hamer, but for $99, I don't think you can find a better instrument. In fact, if Kramer didn't make other guitars, I'd argue that you couldn't find its equal under $300-400. With Kramer, though, you can now get a well-built NECK-THRU model for under $250! What great times we live in....
Luis A. Cordon
rated this unit