Left Handed Kramer Guitars

Left Handed Kramer Guitars 2022 – Legendary Shredders!

by Chris

August 12, 2022

4 Comments

Share this post

Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by Chris

Left Handed Kramer Guitars

After writing about left handed Epiphone guitars, I thought I’d check out what left handed Kramer guitars are available, as they’re also part of the Gibson Brands Family.

Go straight to the guitars.

Who Are Kramer Guitars?

Headstock of a Kramer Nite-V guitar

Kramer Guitars was founded in the late 1970s when Gary Kramer parted ways with his friend and business partner Travis Bean. They had started Travis Bean Guitars together in 1974.

Kramer took the Travis Bean guitar design, which used aluminum necks running through to the guitar’s body and had the pickups mounted within the aluminum. Kramer used this design, but also added wooden inserts in the necks to cut down on weight and to get around the Travis Bean patent and file his own.

Gary Kramer partnered with friend Dennis Berardi, who introduced Kramer to luthier Phil Petillo who would then make prototype guitars for Kramer. Berardi also brought in Peter LaPlaca (Vice-President at Norlin, the company that owned Gibson at the time), and businessman Henry Vaccaro. Together they opened a manufacturing plant in Neptune, New Jersey.

During a successful showing at NAMM, Kramer Guitars took a large number of guitar orders and it was then time to start production.

Gary Kramer claims that LaPlaca placed all responsibility on him to sort out the mass production of these guitars, and having little knowledge of this process, he decided to move back to California. Kramer said that LaPlaca and Berardi came up with an offer to buy the company from him, allowing him to collect royalties and be Kramer Guitars’ West Coast artist public relations representative.

Gary Kramer claims this never happened and things didn’t work out as planned, with no royalties being paid and the agreement falling apart.

From this point, Gary Kramer no longer had any connection to the company, other than by name.

Kramer Guitars became known for producing instruments using high-quality, fancy materials and hardware, and by 1981 switched to producing guitars with wooden necks, keeping production costs down and appealing to more traditional players. By 1982, Kramer stopped producing their “Alumi-neck” guitars.

The early ’80s also saw a chance meeting between Berardi and Eddie Van Halen‘s manager on an airplane flight. Eddie was looking for a tremolo system that stayed in tune, which Kramer guitars offered, so Eddie met up with Kramer and later began endorsing their guitars.

Eddie Van Halen with a Kramer guitar

By 1983, Kramer switched to the Floyd Rose system, which proved to be a wise move. At that time, Kramer was the only guitar company that offered Original Floyd Rose tremolos stock on their production guitars, making them even more popular.

Kramer Guitars enjoyed much success over the next few years, outselling both Fender and Gibson two years in a row in 1985 and 1986. Also during this period, Kramer expanded their business and acquired Spector Bass.

By 1987 Kramer had moved all guitar neck and body manufacturing to ESP Guitars in Japan. Kramer’s “American Series” were merely assembled in Neptune, New Jersey using Japanese parts. Kramer also had several cheaper guitar ranges made in Korea.

At this time, a series of unfortunate events led to the company running into financial difficulties. A labor strike in Korea left the company unable to keep up with orders, a lawsuit with Floyd D. Rose over royalties also cost them dearly, and on top of that, Kramer was over-spending on advertising and endorsements.

The Kramer company effectively came to an end in 1991, however owner Henry Vaccaro was the only original partner who wanted to keep the brand going, and in 1995 he tried producing Kramer guitars from surplus parts, but very few were actually made.

In 1997, the Kramer brand was sold to Gibson Guitar Corporation after filing for bankruptcy, and they have since reissued classic Kramer guitars and limited runs with custom art.

What Do I Think of Kramer Guitars?

Kramer Guitars - Modern Collection

To be honest, I never knew much about Kramer guitars when I first started playing guitar; I had heard of them and was aware of the brand, but I wasn’t really a fan of their “banana” headstock at the time, so didn’t pay a great deal of attention to them until more recently.

Also, I started playing in 1990, so with the company pretty much ending in 1991, I didn’t really get much chance to get to know them!

However, I have taken a liking to some of their interestingly decorated custom graphics guitars in recent years. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, none of them are available in left handed configuration.

Different Types of Kramer Guitars

Three Kramer guitars; a Candy Apple Red Jersey Star, a Pearl White Pacer, and a Candy Blue SM-1

For their electric guitars, Kramer has the following different ranges of guitar available:

  • Original Collection
  • Modern Collection
  • Artist Collection
  • Custom Graphics Collection
  • Packs Collection

Left Handed Kramer Electric Guitars

Please note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may get a small commission if you buy anything when you click through. If you do make a purchase, then thank you so much! It really helps me keep this website going.

As you may know, Kramer has a decent number of guitar models available to righties. So how many left handed Kramer guitars are there?

Have a look below.

Please note: At the time of writing, there are no images of any left handed models on the Kramer website. The below image has been reversed to give you an idea what the lefty version looks like.

Kramer Striker HSSNEW

Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Striker HSS (Majestic Purple)
Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Striker HSS (Jumper Red)
Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Striker HSS (Ebony)

$349.00 MSRP

  • BODY: Mahogany
  • BODY FINISH: Gloss – Majestic Purple, Jumper Red, Ebony
  • SCALE: 25.5″ (648mm)
  • NECK: Bolt-on Maple with Mounting Ferrules
  • NECK PROFILE: Kramer K-Speed SlimTaper C
  • NECK FINISH: Satin
  • FINGERBOARD: Malpe with Black Dot inlays
  • FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 320mm
  • NUT TYPE: Licensed Floyd Rose R2 Lock Nut, Top Mount
  • NUT WIDTH: 43mm
  • FRETS: 24 Medium Jumbo
  • HARDWARE COLOR: Black
  • TUNERS: Die Cast
  • BRIDGE: Licensed Floyd Rose
  • NECK PICKUP: Kramer Alnico 5 SC-1; Black
  • MIDDLE PICKUP: Kramer Alnico 5 SC-1; Black
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Kramer Alnico 5 HB-1 Zebra Coil
  • CONTROLS: Master Volume, Master Tone, 5-way Selector

Check price/availability at:

Kramer Pacer ClassicNEW

Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Pacer Classic (Radio Blue Metallic)
Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Pacer Classic (Scarlet Red Metallic)
Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Pacer Classic (Purple Passion Metallic)

$379.00 MSRP

  • BODY: Alder
  • BODY FINISH: Gloss – Radio Blue Metallic, Scarlet Red Metallic, Purple Passion Metallic
  • SCALE: 25.5″ (648mm)
  • NECK: Bolt-on Maple with Chrome Plate
  • NECK PROFILE: Kramer K-Speed SlimTaper C
  • FINGERBOARD: Malpe with Dot inlays
  • FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 304.8mm
  • NUT TYPE: Licensed Floyd Rose R2 Lock Nut, Top Mount
  • NUT WIDTH: 41.3mm
  • FRETS: 22 Medium Jumbo
  • HARDWARE COLOR: Chrome
  • TUNERS: Die Cast
  • BRIDGE: Licensed Floyd Rose
  • NECK PICKUP: Alnico 5 Classic Humbucker with Double White Exposed Coils
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Alnico 5 Classic Humbucker with Double White Exposed Coils
  • CONTROLS: 2x Volume, Master Tone, 3-way Mini Toggle

Check price/availability at:

Kramer BarettaNEW

Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Baretta (Ebony)
Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Baretta (Jumper Red)
Left Handed Kramer Guitars - Kramer Baretta (Bumblebee Yellow)

$799.00 MSRP

  • BODY: Maple
  • BODY FINISH: Gloss – Ebony, Jumper Red, Bumblebee Yellow
  • SCALE: 25.5″ (647.7mm)
  • NECK: Bolt-on Hard Maple
  • NECK PROFILE: Kramer Thin Profile
  • NECK FINISH: Satin
  • FINGERBOARD: Maple with Dot inlays
  • FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 12.6″ (320mm)
  • NUT TYPE: Floyd Rose R2 1000 Series Lock Nut with Black String Retaining Bar
  • NUT WIDTH: 1.63″ (41.28mm)
  • FRETS: 22 Jumbo
  • HARDWARE COLOR: Black Chrome
  • TUNERS: Mini Die Cast
  • BRIDGE: Floyd Rose 1000 Series Tremolo
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Seymour Duncan JB zebra-coil humbucker
  • CONTROLS: Master Volume with Push/Pull Series/Parallel Switch, 3-way Paddle Mini Toggle

Check price/availability at:

Kramer NightSwan

Left Handed Kramer Guitars - NightSwan with a Jet Black Metallic finish

$899.00 MSRP

  • BODY: Mahogany
  • BODY FINISH: Gloss – Jet Black Metallic
  • SCALE: 24.75″ (628.6mm)
  • NECK: Bolt Neck with Black Kramer Neck Plate; 3-piece Hard Maple
  • NECK PROFILE: C-Shaped
  • NECK FINISH: Satin
  • FINGERBOARD: Ebony with White Pearloid Dot inlays (size varies) in “Ping Pong” Configuration
  • FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 16″
  • NUT TYPE: Floyd Rose R2 Lock Nut, Black
  • NUT WIDTH: 1.63″ (41.28mm)
  • FRETS: 24 Jumbo
  • HARDWARE COLOR: Black Chrome
  • TUNERS: Die Cast Mini 6-Inline – Black
  • BRIDGE: Floyd Rose 1000 Series Tremolo
  • MIDDLE PICKUP: Seymour Duncan JB
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Seymour Duncan JB
  • CONTROLS: Master Volume, 3-way Paddle Mini Toggle

Check price/availability at:

Left Handed Kramer Acoustic Guitars

At the time of writing, there are no left handed Kramer acoustic guitars in the current lineup.

Left Handed Kramer Basses

Unfortunately for left handed bass players, there are no left handed Kramer bass guitars available at the time of writing.

Final Thoughts

At one point, Kramer Guitars was one of the most popular and successful guitar companies in the world, and there are a number of cool-looking right handed guitars available. At the time of writing, there are three left handed Kramer guitars available to us.

Kramer offers some really nice models to our right handed friends, including the Jersey Star, SM-1, and Baretta Hotrod. Let’s hope there’ll be some more lefty Kramer guitars in the future! At least there are a couple extra models this year compared to last year.

What are your thoughts on Kramer guitars? Do you own any? If so, what do you have and what do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credits: kramerguitars.com & Kramer Guitars on Facebook

    • Yeah, I’ve seen them available for preorder online, but the lefty barettas aren’t (yet) on the Kramer website. I’ll add them to this page when they do 🙂
      I guess they’ve not been released yet.

      EDIT – They’re now on the Kramer website, so I’ve added them to this page!

      Thanks for your comment Etienne!

  • Im 47 been wanting a lefty baretta since the 80s, and other guitars i cant have, still waiting. With all the money save in 40 odd years bought homes and hot rods instead, a blessing in disguise i guess all the better for it. So please continue to not make leftys available as im good my one fender strat.

    • But you can never have enough Fender Strats though, eh? lol

      I guess it all comes down to what your priorities are. Sure, it’s great having multiple guitars, but I guess we don’t necessarily need them, and other things can be more important in life to own.

      A lefty Baretta would be nice though 😉
      Thanks for your comment Chris!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    >