One Of The Best
Telecaster Style Guitars Money Could Buy
Too Bad They Discontinued it
1994 HAMER T-51 ''Tele Style''
Electric Guitar In ’93, Hamer introduced a trio of
guitars that were geared for the Modern Vintage
market, the T-51, Daytona, and DuoTone. The T-51 was
Hamer’s first venture into making a Telecaster.
Except for the straight Hamer six-in-line headstock,
this is a pretty close copy of the Fender original.
The T-51 lasted only until the factory relocation in
’97. A fine instrument with total attention to the
detail of tradition. The single-cutaway body is
made from two piece of Southern ash, with a bolt-on
hard rock maple neck. The 25 & 1/2'' scale
fingerboard is maple with 22 frets and black dot
The Pickups are Duncan Broadcaster and ’54
single-coils. The '54 has a chrome-cover and is at
the neck mounted on a black single-layer Tele-style
pickguard. The Broadcaster pickup is the
typical black open-coil unit slanted treble-side
back, mounted in the slot on a Wilkinson HT-100
bridge assembly (with six adjustable lock-down
saddles for improved stability). It's sound is
This Guitar was discontinued along with 20 other
great models when the company moved to New Harford
CT and came under the corporate umbrella of
Ovation was a one large company that had earned my
respect in this industry for their tendency to try
to do things right. This buyout of Hamer happened
around the time that Bill Kaman Senior retired &
Bill Kaman Jr (Both Billionaires) decided to leave
the company. I mean why go to work when you have a
Billion dollars. Unless of course you are a
workaholic like someone I know all too well.
The Kaman family were rich corporate moguls but with
one very important difference.
They Both Loved Their
Guitars !!!!! There Was A Passion....
Now the wall street bean counting creeps, who run
our country didn't like it one bit that Kaman had
diversified into guitars. Guitars aren't as
profitable as helicopters and none of the
stockholders wanted anything to do with the guitar
business. Therefore Hamer became the red headed
The new management at Hamer made
every mistake possible. It was
like they took lessons from Gibson.
First Mistake: Ovation
used their jobber reps to sell the guitars. Jobber
reps don't know diddley-squat about boutique
guitars. Their way of getting orders was to take a
dealer out to dinner and get him drinking. (There
are some exceptions notably both Ovation reps I
worked with were tech-heads and above average reps)
They let anyone with a warm body become a dealer
(Disaster) Oh they made a little show
out of authorizing dealers but even a tiny dealer
who gave 6 lessons a week and sold strings could now
order a Hamer in for someone. The Rep would always
get him one sideways.
Third Mistake: Big
Corporations have what is known as
Every rep had a quota and
that's why the Second mistake became intolerable to
dealers who wanted to actually get behind the
They discontinued all the
great distinctive specialty models that had made
Hamer their reputation in the first place.
Ovation went to Korea, Indonesia & China to bring in
low quality look-alike guitars and call them Hamer's.
Oh sure they made tons of money selling $65.00
guitars to dealers for $280.00 who then sold them to
the public at $399.00. This destroyed the
cache value of the Hamer brand. Hamer collectors got
hurt in the process and I relaxed my purchasing.
In The Music Industry Hamer was known as the line to
carry when you couldn't get Gibson. Gibson was
an easy sell, Gibson dealers made unbelievable
profits while Hamer dealers didn't make the same
profits because the market would not support the
cost of building good guitars. Hamer quality &
level of workmanship has almost always been better
than Gibson's. Remember Hamer was founded by a bunch
lovers who wanted to make something better.
Clearly They Succeeded.