Kramer, XKG-20, 1980


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The Story Behind


About the Builder:

Kramer was founded in the late 1970s by Dennis Berardi and Gary Kramer to manufacture aluminum-necked guitars.

The Kramer aluminum neck era ran from 1976 to 1985 and was the legacy of the company before switching over to the more popular wood neck models uring the 80s. The first production batch of Kramers were introduced in November 1976. All of these early Kramers featured a "forked" aluminum headstock and aluminum "skeletal" neck (the Dukes had no headstock). These necks, designed for sustain, contained slots that ran the length of the neck for holding the wood fills in place. (See diagram) The idea of the wood inlays were to reduce the coldness feel of aluminum. Usually but not always, the wood neck fills were the same type and color as the body. The Ebonol fretboard contained large Phil Petillo designed "center-touch" frets, a zero nut and aluminum dot inlays. The higher up models had the mother of pearl "crown" shaped inlays. Scale lengths were 25". Tuners were Schallers. They were manufactured at the Kaiser Aluminum plant on East Avenue in Erie, Pennsylvania. The necks were attached to the body by two bolts and the bolts were covered by an oval shaped aluminum plate. Control cavity covers were also aluminum. Some bass models were available fretless as well as half fretted/half fretless also.

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About the Guitar:

In 1980, Kramer offered the XK series. This contained two guitars and two basses. The guitars are labeled as the XKG, the basses as XKBs. First was the "10" series which was a wedgeshaped body reminiscent of a Randy Rhoads type shape with a notch cutout at the crotch. The XKG-10 and XKB-10 both sported this type body. Controls on both were one volume and one tone. Next was the "20" series which was a clear copy of the DMZ1000 guitar shape minus the neck pickup. It was a streamlined double-cutaway with one humbucker and a volume and tone knob. The XKB-20 bass had a single P-bass pickup and one volume and one tone. All XKs had face-mounted jacks. The "10"s had a small oblong metal plate that held the controls and jack. Necks were standard dotted fretboard aluminum with 22 frets for the guiatr and 24b for the bass.

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