Never knowingly outgunned in matters of aesthetic excess, Kramer has upped the ante for loud electric guitars sporting even louder finishes with its all-new but very 80s Custom Graphics models.
Taking its classic Barretta S-style design – with one 3D black and white swirl 84 model in the mix – Kramer has gone to town on these, as though Steel Panther or similarly minded aesthetes were set loose on the ultimate heavy metal arts and crafts project.
We'll show you the models below, but before scrolling down you might want to dial the brightness down on your screen. There's a lot for the optic nerves to handle. Spec-wise, the Barrettas share an alder construction with thin-profile bolt-on maple necks and maple fingerboards, a 25.5" scale, and a Floyd Rose 1000 Series Tremolo with LRT-L40 Trem Stop and EVHD-Tuna Drop D Tuning System as standard.
Again, they don't look subtle; they don't play subtle. But before you suspect that good taste has flown straight out the window, there is a crowd-pleasing Seymour Duncan JB humbucker mounted at the bridge position of all Custom Graphics models. Very cool, and doubly so when placed in a minimalist control circuit wired with a 500K master volume pot with push/pull functionality for toggling between series and parallel modes.
Now, crazy graphics finishes are a matter of taste but it's just as director John Waters once said: only those with good taste can appreciate bad taste.
Custom Graphics The 84 “The Illusionist“, 3D Black/WhiteSwirl
You might recognise this finish from mind control programmes, or perhaps Winter NAMM 2020 when the Bo Pittman graphic was first made available as a custom shop option. Here it makes its debut on a production line model and the trippy finish looks like it'll confuse audience members and big cats alike.
Custom Graphics Baretta “Feral Cat” Rainbow Leopard
This Rainbow Leopard finish was designed by Chris Stemmer and apparently influenced by classic Kramer Leopard graphics, though we suspect the animal kingdom has to be in with a percentage of the royalties, too. This'll be catnip to Sunset Strip veterans, but might have jazz purists reaching for the litter tray.
Custom Graphics Baretta “White Lotus”, White Lotus Candy Blue
Reading what Kramer has to say about this one, it seems like it might be inspired by Karate Kid?
Kramer: “In many cultures, the lotus flower represents purity, enlightenment, regeneration, and rebirth. The Baretta 'White Lotus' graphic was designed by Kramer Custom Graphic Artist Eric Caspers, who was inspired by movie underdogs from the 80s who overcame the odds to triumph in the end.“
We love you, Kramer, but purity, enlightenment, regeneration, and rebirth are not the first things that spring to mind when reaching for a Baretta. Still, cool finish.
Custom Graphics Baretta “Viper”, Snakeskin Green Blue Fade
Some serious reptile dysfunction going on here but this one, which calls to mind Dave 'the Snake' Sabo's signature Baretta, should poll well among the black t-shirt demographic.
It is another Chris Stemmer design, and on this evidence, we'd bet good money he has all the David Attenborough box sets.
Custom Graphics Baretta “Danger Zone”, Warning Tape on White Red
One for the health and safety conscious, or simply a reminder to maintain social distancing when onstage and playing a set of Ratt and Love/Hate covers, the “Danger Zone” finish is from the mind of Eric Caspers.
Custom Graphics Baretta, “Hot Rod“, Blue Sparkle with Flames
Finally, the flames... It was inevitable that it would all end in flames, and this Hot Wheels-inspired finish from Chris Stemmer has a cool go-faster vibe about it.
And that's it. Prices TBC. For more details, head on over to Kramer.