Thanks! Just came across this Vintage Guitar mag article, too. https://www.vintageguitar.com/1877/t...mer-part-four/
As mentioned, ca. ’97 Hamer began to shift its Korean imports from the Slammer Series into the Import Series, switching Slammer production to Indonesia. The Import Series, sometimes called the Hamer Guitar, was intended to be the company’s mid-line offering. Since Korean manufacturers have dramatically improved their quality in recent years, these are high-quality guitars, designed in the U.S. and made overseas. Hamer’s Korean Imports carry the Hamer logo (no “USA,” see the sidebar on logos).
In ’98 the Import Series included the Sunburst Arch Top Flame Top (SATF), Standard (STD), Rick Nielsen Signature (RNS), Echotone (ECO), Stellar 1 (ST1), Californian (CAL), Diablo (DAB), and Cruise 4 (CRS) and Cruise 5 (CRV) basses. The Sunburst Arch Top Flame Top, Californian, Diablo, and Cruise basses were continuations of previous Slammer models. As alluded to earlier, in terms of design the Import Series was very similar to their previous American counterparts, although materials were sometimes different. Pickups on the Import Series were Duncan Designed.
The Import Sunburst Arch Top Flame Top was basically the equivalent of the Hamer USA Studio, which descended from the Sunburst Archtop Standard. Carved flame maple top over mahogany, rosewood dotneck with three-and-three head. Color options were Cherry Sunburst, Purpleburst and Blueburst.
The Import Standard basically replaced the old USA Standard. This looked like the old model, complete with pickguard, but was now made of solid maple with a glued-in neck and scimitar headstock.
The Import Echotone and Stellar 1 did not have USA equivalents. The Echotone was basically a version of the semi-hollowbody Gibson ES-335. With a glued-in neck, the Echotone had bound solid maple top and back with bound f-holes. The 22-fret fingerboard was bound rosewood with dots. Twin humbuckers, three-way, two volumes and two tones, finetune bridge, stop tailpiece and elevated black laminated pickguard completed the picture.
The Import Stellar 1 was clearly a nod to the success of Paul Reed Smith guitars, with slightly offset double-cutaways, the upper horn extended a bit. This featured a maple body with a set maple neck. The top was carved, highly figured “silky maple.” The unbound two-octave fingerboard had pearl dot inlays. A three-way, volume, tone, finetune bridge and stop tailpiece rounded out the Stellar 1.
The Import Californian was our old 27-fret friend, again pretty much the same except for having a solid maple neck and body.
The Import Diablo, too, was similar to its forebear, with maple body and neck.
The Import Cruise basses were replicas of the latter model, with the Fender-style profile and the little batwing pickguard. Body and neck were maple.
The Hamer Import Series remains available to this day.