The Kramer Baretta was a guitar manufactured by the Kramer guitar company originally located in New Jersey. The Baretta featured a Floyd Rose locking tremolo system and one Seymour Duncan JB humbucking pick-up. The Baretta was discontinued in 1990 when the company went bankrupt until Gibson bought them in the late 90s. The most notable player of the Kramer Baretta is Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen. The model was originally styled to be Van Halen's signature model, although he never endorsed it on stage. The banana headstock was copied from his "custom shark" Ibanez Destroyer. The single diagonal pickup was taken from his "frankenstrat" guitar and was set diagonal to calibrate for the narrower string spacing.One little story - A chance encounter between Dennis Berardi and Eddie Van Halen's managers on an airplane flight set the foundation for Kramer's meteoric rise in the 1980s. A meeting between Eddie Van Halen and Kramer execs took place, and Eddie was sold. At the meeting, he reportedly quipped that he would help make Kramer the "#1 guitar company in the world." One of the most, if not THE most sought after Kramer, the Baretta is probably one of the most underated guitars that influenced rock history. The Baretta was introduced sometime in 1983 when Kramer wanted an Edde Van Halen signature model. Edward had made many homemade guitars before endorsing a Kramer, and his influence when making those guitars governed the look of what would be the Baretta. It should also be noted that, down the line in the history of all electric guitars, Edward Van Halen's influence is vastly misunderstood and unknown to the industry.
Although the original Kramer company came to an end in January 1991, Kramer Baretta series are still very popular in current instrument market. Thus our hand work shop decided to bring Kramer Baretta guitars into our custom made series. The Baretta is truly the guitar that defines the Kramer brand, and is probably the most recognizable model name throughout the Kramer model line. Many people refer to Kramer models as Barettas that are Pacers, etc, but a Baretta is generally known as "that single pickup guitar." There are many different stages of how the Baretta was constructed, including many changes to parts through the years.
Kramer Baretta - 1983
In 1983, after discussions with Edward were completed on his signature model, the Kramer Baretta was introduced. These Baretta's are considered to be the "Holy Grail" not only within the Baretta realm, but also within the entire Kramer line. This model was what really got Kramer cookin in terms of guitars en masse'. The guitar features a non-angled headstock, larger in nature compared to the later models that featured the angled banana head. The headsstock itself was modeled closely after an Ibanez Destroyer. The headstock has a funny story in that it was invented when the boys at the Kramer factory (Paul Unkert) developed a Destroyer "like" guitar one fateful evening.You can read more about this within former Kramer employee Steve Z's story, in addition to checking out some photos from the fateful evening. However, the guitar that surfaced out of that evening was the Kramer Ad Franky, a close twin of the original Frankenstrat. The "Ad Franky" headstock is slightly different shaped than a Destroyer and the production run Baretta, however, the 1983 Baretta head is almost identical to the Ibanez design.
Kramer Baretta 1983The guitar has standard Baretta features; Original Floyd Rose, Reverse Zebra Schaller Humbucker (Golden 50), Gotoh 90 degree tuners, and many that have been witnessed have maple bodies so they tend to be heavy, but Poplar has been witnessed as a wood type too. It has been said by a few former employees that around 250 or less of these models were produced in 1983 and 1984 before the move to the angled headstock. They were offered in Black, White, and Creme and featured ONLY Rosewood fretboards. Some say there were maple board 1983 Barettas, however, it has been researched by an experienced Kramer collector that none of those were production run Barettas. Those that are out there are mostly transition necks between the non-angled and angled era, or possibly early prototype runs.
Kramer Baretta - 1984/1985
Sometime within 1984, the headstock was changed to an angled banana design. Bodies and necks changed often, with quite a few manufacturers being in the mix. Starting out, Sports constructed the angled banana necks. These necks featured the notorious "luthier joint" problem. Some of these necks even fell right off after shipment to the factory. Some were usuable, some were not. At this time, Kramer started looking elsewhere for necks, including LaSiDo out of Canada. LaSiDo "supposodly" had the same problem as well, so some of these necks which feature an elongated headstock also had issues. All of that being said, the necks that did make it are of sound construction and are thought of by some as the most comfortable playing necks among the Kramer line. Necks were available in R2, R3, R4, and R5 configurations. The backshape tended to be fairly slender compared to classic "beak" necks. Additionally, color models such as the red, creme and white colors had matching headstocks. Maple fretboard models are considered to be uncommon.In 1984 and 1985, Kramer switched to Duncan pickups, and the Baretta was included for the change. The Seymour Duncan JB became the standard, still featured in the Zebra color scheme. The majority of Barettasfeatured reverse Zebras, but there were some Schallers and Duncans that were installed as standard zebra, with the creme coil being closer to the Floyd.
Kramer Baretta 1984
Kramer Baretta 1985
Kramer Baretta - Special
Kramer is the number one name in high-performance guitars for high-performance rockers, and the new Baretta Special has a pedigree like few instruments out there. Styled in the image of the original Kramer Barettas of the early to mid 1980s, one of which was the choice of the legendary Edward Van Halen, the Baretta Special has the distinctive offset double-cutaway body and droopy "hockey" headstock that set the rock world alight nearly 30 years ago, while providing the power and playability required to do justice to its namesake. With a powerful humbucking pickup, vintage-style vibrato tailpiece, and a stunning Vintage White or black finish, this entry level shred machine is the perfect introduction to the Kramer world without breaking your wallet.
Kramer Baretta SpecialNote: we have replicated Eddie Van Halen's 5150 succesfully. If you are satisfied with it, please click here.If you are not satisfied with the design, color or configuration of this model, here we have the custom service! We will build one that you love in a very short time . Please don’t hesitate to contact us.Aiming to build your dream guitar!If you don’t like the guitar above and you want a guitar dreamed for so long,what to do? It’s so easy,please send the picture and the parameters of the guitar you want.We only need Pics and specs, and we can make the guitar same with your original guitar. You wonder learn Why? Pls click here to find the answer. Send your dream guitar pics and specs to us, let us make it come true together.All the guitars we built are based on our customers’ requests. There are so many different options for you to choose if you don’t want a standard one, you can check our custom shop for the details. The best way to go about obtaining this information for you is to contact us and let us know what you’re looking for. We can discuss these options and figure out what is the best for you. Your business is important to us and we want to provide you with the best customer service we are capable of. We want this to be the best guitar-buying experience you’ve ever had.And please, don’t be hesitate to contact us if you have any question.
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1. This guitar is available in both right handed and left handed version. Even it is not showing in lefty version, we still able to customize this guitar in left handed for you. You just have to tell us when you place the order.
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