Kramer DMZ3000

This another one of my aluminium neck guitars although Kramer added "Ebonol" fretboards and timber inlays in the back of the neck to give a more traditional "feel". Weather this works or not is up for debate.


I got this a few years back simply because it was there and had an aluminium neck. I've never really known much about these Kramers but this one plays and sounds great.

The neck is a little more comfortable than my TB but overall the TB "feels" better and I prefer the sound of the TB.


Kramer made aluminium neck guitars from '76 to '85 when it was deemed not profitable enough to continue. There's an excellent site about these Kramers here if you're at all interested.

While to me they don't have the feel and "mystique" of the Travis Bean, they are a great guitar in their own right.


The headstock on the Kramer is known as the "tuning fork" headstock for obvious reasons and to me isn't as "nice" as the Travis Bean but still works exceptionally well and balances well. This is the same headstock my Vaccaros had as they were related in that Harry Vaccaro worked with Kramer during the 70's and 80's.


 

 

 


This one is "mostly" original except for the bridge pick up which is an EMG, certainly not my first choice in pick ups. They were listed as having "3 SDS-1 vacuum injected, sealed single coil pick ups" and the other two sound pretty good. If one of these ever turns up at the right price, I'd probably grab it just to get it back to original.

The rest of the guitar is fairly conventional with a hardtail style bridge and Strat style selector and control options.


The neck is inlayed from the back with timber to make the aluminium feel not so extreme. It's an interesting idea that didn't really "fix" the "problem".

In reality is was the idea of the aluminium itself, not the actual neck that guitarists couldn't get their head around. The "weird" inlays and the strange headstock was too radical for most guitarists, just like Travis Bean had encountered and in '85 Kramer decided they idea wasn't worth pursuing.


It's a real shame because I think in a less conservative world the aluminium neck (and other composites, resins and metals) would be far better accepted as a better alternative to the old school timber design and construction.

For me, to build a solid body guitar out of timber like a Tele says we haven't come anywhere in 60 years, which simply isn't true. The materials available to use today are infinitely better for building guitars out of but guitarists just won't have it. Sure, there's plenty of manufacturers out there who have tried and keep trying but the response is always one of  scepticism and sells to a very limited open minded market.



 

Aug 17 2013 Written By: Tim Brennan