The Kramer Vanguard Page

Along with the Pacer and Voyager, 1981 was the debuting year of Kramer's V-shaped guitar, the Vanguard. Unlike the Pacer and Voyager though, the early Vanguards were available with an aluminum neck option. The first type was the aluminum necked, forked head Vanguard Special. Features were a single Ultra spec hum, 1 vol, 1 tone, and a non trem bridge/tailpiece. The Vanguard Custom was the equivelent of the Special but sported the wood neck with Strat style head and a Flicker or vintage trem. There was also a Vanguard Special bass released in this era which also had one hum. These two Van guitars were the earliest types and only lasted 2 years and they were dropped by 1984.

Vanguard Special w/ Classic Headstock

In early 1983 the two Vans were joined by the wood-necked Vanguard Imperial with two hums and a Floyd. These had the new Classic head and also the "tips" of the wings had sharper points than previously. At this time, Kramer also offered the aluminum necked Headless Vanguard guitar and bass. The Headlesses had the tuners in the "V" portion of the body and both 1 hum each. These are pretty rare. The Vanguard Special bass name was changed to the Vanguard Standard in 1983 also. The alum necked Headlesses and the wood neck Vanguard Imperial made it to 1984 then was dropped. The Vanguard Standard bass (alum neck) was dropped the same year.

Vanguard Special Bass w/ Aluminum Neck

Shown below is a transitional Vanguard with the "King V" type shape seen on other Jackson guitars. Its obviously a transition peice between the round pointy Vanguard era to the pointy era Vanguards. There was additionally another model seen with this shape in the made and sold Japanese line. As of this writing, the transitional Vanguard displayed below is the only American Series ever seen with this shape.

Transitional Vanguard with large "King V" shaped body

In 1985 the body of the Vanguard was retooled to resemble a Randy Rhoads kind of shape with the extended upper wing and shorter lower wing. It had the hockey stick headstock, 2 hums, a Floyd, 3 way switch, 1 vol, and 1 tone.

In 1986 the Vanguard, like all the other Kramers, got the pointy droopy variety headstock added. The Vanguard probably made it to 1986 and then was dropped. The body shape did appear on certain import models like the later Focus 4000.

White "modern" Vanguard
1985 Vanguard Catalog Page
Maple Neck "modern" Vanguard

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