Despite being re-branded for the new millennium, we suspect shred legend Kramer is still happiest knocking out ‘80s widdlesticks, and likely needed all its willpower not to scallop the Striker’s 24 frets.
Boringly, it’s built on a derivative doublecut shape, but with a mix ’n’ match pickup configuration and floating vibrato it’s well up for the fight.
Minor finish issues (untidy frets, wires visible in the pickup cavities, stiff micro-tuners) are swept aside by a strong physical performance, with a flat neck, low action, light strings and the test’s best access confirming that, yes, the Striker is aimed directly at technicians.
Indeed, you’ll play so fast that it will take a moment to realise that tonal character is a little thin on the ground. Five options are on the table, but the general impression is of competence, rather than brilliance, with the bridge humbucker crunching away without scaring the horses and the twin singlecoils bringing admirable bite but negligible body.
It’s better dirty, though.
For £269, the Striker is solid, not spine-tingling. Its physical prowess is the best thing about it, and while it has better own-brand pickups than many entry-level electrics, they don’t harness the warmth and darkness of the mahogany body, making for an axe that’s great for fast single-note runs but stalls a little when you want to play with soul. Still, the more distortion you throw at it, the better it sounds, so maybe sink the cash you’ve saved into a stompbox?
Pros: Price, fast board, pickup options.
Cons: Bit of a flat tone.
BUY: Kramer Striker 211 Custom Series currently available from Thomann