- Publié le 05/09/11 à 23:54 (contenu en anglais)The Kramer Baretta was one of THE guitars to own in the eighties. Due to the endorsement of one Edward Van Halen, Kramer was extremely successful in the early to mid eighties as one of the premier companies making superstrat guitars at the time. The Baretta was basically the company's take on Ed's famous one pickup guitar that graced so many stages throughout that time. It features an alder body, a maple neck with either a maple or rosewood fretboard, 22 frets with dot inlays (some later models had claw inlays) an Original Floyd Rose tremolo, Schaller tuners and a Seymour Duncan JBJ humbucker with a single volume control. The guitar was made in a variety of colours - both solid finishes as well as some cool custom graphics painted by people like Knapp or Kline. They were built in Neptune NJ, though many bodies/necks actually came from ESP in Japan.
The design of the guitar is reasonably ergonomic overall. The shape lends itself very well to fast playing, and the feel of the neck is totally appropriate to some EVH type technical flights of fancy. They were a high end guitar back in the day and the craftsmanship was excellent on these guitars. The body sits quite well on your person and it's well contoured and fairly light to boot. The upper fret access is great too. It's not quite as good as some of the later Ibanez RGs or JEMs but it's pretty awesome considering the time period.
Getting a good sound out of this guitar is pretty simple overall. It doesn't have a lot of controls, and it's not the most versatile ax in the world, but when used for technical rock or shred stuff, it has a sound that is the bee's knees, man!
I've tried this guitar through various different amps and it's definitely designed with the high octane player in mind. Though it doesn't really have the highest output in the world, it's definitely a rocker's guitar. The JBJ pickup has excellent harmonic content and put through a Marshall or Mesa, it just sings for rock rhythms or really crazy and wild sounding lead work a-la EVH or George Lynch. It's a bit less refined sounding to me than a Charvel San Dimas or an Ibanez but it has a certain raw quality that just works really well for eighties hard rock.
All in all I think the Kramer Baretta is a really excellent example of the 80s superstrat. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some of the later models, but it has that tone that everyone wanted or had back in the time of big hair and flashy guitars. They can be picked up for under $1,000 used which is a killer deal considering the quality and tone that's available. Definitely check one out.