Baretta Infinity Sustainer
Mike Wolverton - May 1, 2004
Rating: 4 Bananas out of 5
purchasing a used Baretta Infinity Sustainer, I really didn't know what
to expect. I have tried out several other Yo-Kramers, and have been very
impressed. Needless to say, after trying out the BIS (Baretta Infinity
Sustainer), I was VERY impressed, not only with the sound, but with the
quality and value of this fine instrument.
first took a visual inspection of the guitar, and cleaned up the
model I purchased. The neck and body were in very good condition,
and seemed to blend rather well together in terms of symmetry. Its
no coincidence that it worked out nicely, the BIS's body shape matched
that of the Dinky soloist shaped vintage Barettas of the 80's. The
only thing that did not match was the arm contour and lower scoop
contour that was found on earlier Barettas. This is one of my criticisms,
however, we will get to that later.
neck was the same neck used on other Yo-Kramers, the same elliptical
profile, and fretboard radius. It is very comfortable to play, and
reminds me very much of a "pointy era" vintage Kramer.
The frets were very nicely dressed, none were popping out of the
fretboard - overall the neck construction was very comparable to
an older vintage Kramer neck. It features a nice, satin finish on
the back of the neck that's not too heavy, and not too light as
to protect it from the elements. The nut width on the review model
was 1 11/6th at the nut, so it is of a wide variety. The neck also
features 24 frets, and the Floyd nut is mounted to the top of the
neck, not through the back.
another impressive feature is the Floyd II tremolo. Unlike older
Floyd II's on vintage overseas Kramers, this particular trem holds
up to the heaviest of abuse, and works nicely for tremolo vibrato.
However, I was not impressed with the floating nature of the trem,
it didn't seem to want to pull back when I wanted high note vibrato.
This is due to a metal shim being underneath the front of the Floyd.
I don't know what the purpose of that shim is, but it did limit
the amount for sharp pull backs on the Floyd. I am sure though that
the shim could be removed to allow for more movement.
the BIS really shines is through its controls and tone. Even before
turning on the Sustainer circuit, I was instantly impressed with the
harmonics and overall "natural" sustain the guitar had. It
definitely had me in shock immediately after plugging it in. Once again,
I'm really impressed with the Quad-Rails, going against what my fellow
Kramer brethren have said about these particular pickups. I found the
tone to be much chunkier and "in your face" than the Yo-made
Striker 424, and I would attribute that to the extra thickness in body
wood found on the BIS.
playing around with the general tone of the quad rail, I flipped
on the 18 volt Sustainer. WOW, what a nice feature for this guitar
because in comparison to vintage Sustainers, the pickup held the
note nicely, but unlike the old, does not over engage other strings
that are not in use. Palm muting was an absolute necessity on older
Sustainers, this one is much more quiet and "focused"
on the string you wish to sustain. Additionally, I found the control
layout for the Sustainer switches to be much more appealing than
the old, located in a more functional place than on older Kramers.
Additionally, the guitar was very quiet when palm muted, the active
circuitry is very well shielded. There is also an intensity switch
that controls how much the string is driven while in Sustain mode.
My favorite mode, however, is harmonic mode because of the wild
violin type sounds you can get out of the sustainer.
actual Sustainer pickup differs from the old vintage Kramer Sustainer's
quite a bit. Instead of being housed in a humbucker type of size, its
made into single coil size. This is probably why it doesn't "over
engage" the strings as mentioned in the prior paragraph (an assumption).
One thing both share though, is the low battery indicator. The light
pops on in red when the batteries are starting to get low. Don't worry
though, you're gig won't be blown as all the circuitry keeps working
if the battery goes out.
Overall, I'm very impressed with this instrument. My problems with the
guitar are minor, in my opinion, although others may consider these
points to be more negative. The paint on the Sustainer looked as if
it had "shrank" and some of the filled areas under the paint
could be seen (in terms of the surface texture, not seeing through the
paint). Additionally, one small thing that could have been added to
the guitar is a better battery replacement compartment, that utilizes
pop-up battery holders. The player must take the cover off with a screwdriver,
and then replace the batteries. Pop-up battery compartments are much
easier to use in that they can be changed more quickly and easily. My
last critique of the guitar is the body shape (as mentioned earlier
in this review). The shape matched the old Baretta II dinky shape exactly,
however, it was missing the arm contour and lower scoop contour for
easier higher fret access. While the lower scoop contour is not all
that important to me, the absence of the upper arm contour did make
the instrument a little less comfortable to play. Add these two contours,
and the body would be exact to old as well. This is just a suggestion
for future Yo Kramers utilizing this body shape.
and all, this guitar is a MUST by for anyone looking for a Sustainer
circuit guitar. The Fernandez Sustainer system alone (without a guitar)
retails at about $299. So with this guitar being at the $399 price point,
you can't go wrong. Aside from the Sustaining circuits, this guitar
is also a value add to anyone wanting a new Yo Kramer in their stable.
If I closed my eyes while playing this guitar, I'd swear I was playing
an old vintage Baretta II.
Way to go YO!!!
The Baretta Infinity
Sustainer can be purchased at Musicyo.com when in stock.
laminated, Hard Maple, 24 fret, rosewood fingerboard, pearl dots
Slim-Taper, 16" radius fingerboard
style non-reverse, pointy, 14 degree pitch angle
QuadRail (B4S) Middle: DualRail (M2S) Neck: Infinity Sustainer Driver
18 volt active Sustainer circuitry, 5-Way Switch, Volume, Tone,
Mode, Sustainer on/off, low batt light
"Floyd Rose" Locking Licensed tremolo
Metallic, Red Metallic, Metallic Blue
Note: Ibanez and Dimarzio are all registered trademarks/patents/copyrights
of their respective owners. Any and all references to Ibanez and Dimarzio
are for comparison purposes.
and Content © Copyright 2011 Infinite Sky Designs