1985, Kramer purchased the Spector
guitar and bass company. It
should be noted that during this time, Kramer was doing extremely
well and was well on the way to becoming the biggest domestic manufacturer
of electric guitars thereby, putting them in a position to buy out
smaller companies in an effort to expand the size of it's base.
Spector circa 1981 |
Established in 1976 by Stuart Spector and Alan Charney, the Spector
company specialized in creating highly coutoured neck-through
designed basses and guitars. The flagship of the Spector line was
the NS bass. Designed by Ned Steinberger(NS), a Spector apprentice
in the 70's, the NS bass was an offset, double cutaway with a bulbous
top horn and flaired lower horn. It sported oval inlays with cutouts
on both sides, rosewood or pau ferro fretboard, a asymmetical headstock
with a stylistic "S" logo and a truss rod cover with "Spector"
engraving. Pickups were EMG P & Js. Other NS detail were Schaller
tuners and a 34" scale. Up until the Kramer involvement, these
guitars and basses were made on a limited basis. When Kramer took
over in 1985, many of the Spector attributes were kept the same.
The USA produced models were moved to Neptune, NJ and is recorded
in Kramer history as being one of the few Kramer lines totally made
in USA (Neptune) guitars and basses.
Neptune, NJ - USA models
- 4 string, arched body, neck-through constuction, pau ferro fretbaord,
gold hardware, Spector bass bridge, 2 octave neck, oval/notched MOP
inlays, EMG P & J pickups w/active electronics, jumbo size frets,
maple body with quilted top option.
- same as above in 5 string version, two "J" pickups and 9
- Same as NS-2 but with an oil finish and dot markers.
- 6 string guitar version. Carved top, contoured maple, double cutaway
body w/Floyd Rose, oval/notched MOP inlays, rosewood fretboard, HSS
EMGs. Controls were vol, tone, 5 way switch, and SPC control.
Blackhawk - The Blackhawk is a rather rare model that
consists of a Spector designed neck and body, along with a Floyd rose,
one bridge humbucker, and a single coil in the neck position. Scotti
Hill and Rachel Bolan of Skid Row were sometimes seen playing one of
these. It was designed by Chris Hofschneider in the Kramer Custom Shop
(then ran by Stuart Spector), and is now the current guitar tech for
Bon Jovi. Additionally, these guitars were played by Scott Ian of Anthrax
and sometimes Richie Sambora would be seen playing these. These are
extremely rare instruments in the Spector/Kramer line.
-Same as NS(carved top) with dot inlays, rosewood fretboard, active
Spector P and J pickups, treble and bass controls, one volume and one
-NS design with flat top, dot inlays, black hardware, Spector pickups
and rosewood fretboard.
-bolt on version of NS-2B
-Same as NS-6(carved top) with black hardware, Floyd Rose, 1 vol, 2
tones, Spector pickups and coil tap switch.
-Same as NS-6A with flat top.
-Same as NS-6B but in a bolt-on design.
the end in 1990, there was also a NS-2J model, a Japanese version of
the NS-2. Identical but had no figuring on the maple.
Available colors for the USA made models were
candy red, red stain, candy blue, blue stain, white, black, guard red,
natural, and tobacco sunburst.
Import colors were black, white, red stain, blue stain, and cherry sunburst.
were as follows depending on time of purchase:
versions of the NS-2 and NS-5 cost an additional $300
Kramer leadership, it's estimated there were approximately 1650 NS-2
and NS-2Os made, 74 NS-5s, and 150 NS-6s. It is unknown how many imports
were made at this time.
Kramer/Spector bass and guitar lines continued until the end of the
company in 1990. After the bankruptcy, Spector continued to make basses
sporting the SSD(Stuart Spector Design) logo and in 1998 finally gained
the rights back to the Spector name. He is currently producing basses
now in USA, Czech Republic, Korea, and China. Some of the old Spector
and Kramer characteristics carry on through the modern day Spector brand.
As an example, some Spector Basses still sport the Holoflash finish
Guitars - 2005
In 2005, Spector release the ARC6 guitar line, a throwback to the guitars
Spector made with Kramer in the 80's. The newer models do not feature
a Floyd Rose tremolo, but do give the look and feel of the older line.
Stuart Spector Design has debuted the new ARC6 electric guitars at Winter
NAMM 2005. These are handcrafted USA made instruments featuring the
finest woods and components. The 22 fret, 25" scale length set
necks are available in either mahogany or
solid Honduran rosewood. The carved mahogany bodies have hidden chambers
for enhanced tone and lighter weight and are capped with select figured
maple tops. The choices of pickups are Harmonic Design humbuckers &
Z90 models, and EMG active humbucking pickups. Chrome plated hardware
is standard including, Gotoh mini tuners, and Pigtail light weight bridge
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