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Hamer Cruise USA vs. Skyline well...everything!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Surprise Panda!, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    I am really interested in Hamer Cruise USA Basses now. But I still love Lakland. If I got a Lakland it would be either be a Hollowbody, a Decade Skyline, or a 55-02. :crying: I know, it's tough.

    I hate decisions! :spit:
  2. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    I used to have a USA Hamer. It was really a great bass!

    I currently have a Lakland Skyline and it's an awesome bass!

    This doesn't help you at all I realize. Their both great and I wouldn't want to make that decision. Hmm...buy the Skyline now and save for a good used Hamer down the road?
  3. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Umm, depends on what you're comparing. A Cruise Bass is essentially a really, really well-made Jazz bass clone. Like the Lakland Joe Osborne or the Daryl Jones. However, they're not much at all like the other Laklands.

    So what's to compare? I had two Hammer Cruise basses, one with the Gotoh, and one with the 2-Tek bridge. I wish I'd kept the one with the 2-Tek. But it wouldn't replace my 4-94s nor my 55-01. And I'm still seeking "my" Jazz bass clone, which will probably be a Skylone JO or a Fender Classic '60s.

  4. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The old US Cruise Basses really are the best deal going in high end jazz-like basses. The Cruises are incredibly well built instruments, and Jol's anal-retentive quality control really shines through in these things. :)

    I've noticed their price has been going up, though. I picked up my 5er 2Tek Cruise for about $300 in 2002. I see them going between 450-600 these days. I guess more folks are realizing what a great value these things are.

    The Skylines are fine instruments, too. Which bass is better for you? Only you can decide.
  5. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    I'm a big Hamer USA fan, so take this for what its worth.

    The Hamer will be much more like a typical Fender Jazz than any of the Laklands you listed. Personally, with the possible exception of the newest Fenders, I think Hamer Cruises smoke Fender in general quality and playability. Also, they don't demand a high price on the used market so if you can find one, it'll be relatively cheap. Just saw a four string for sale over at the Hamer fan club forum for $480...which is insane considering that US Hamers are pretty much hand made.

    That's not to say that the Laklands are bad. I like those a lot as well. Especially the 55-02. Personally, I'd avoid the Decade like the plague though. Those things are butt ugly IMO.
  6. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Yeah, I see what you mean

  7. I paid $500 for my 96 2-TEK CruiseBass and you can still find them for about that price. Hamer was one of the first boutique builders and their quality control was always excellent, thanks to Jol. The 2-TEK CruiseBass had a list price of about $1,400 in the mid-90's, so they weren't cheap by any means. Getting a boutique quality instrument boasting the finest woods, components and workmanship for about $500 is a no-brainer.
  8. Panda, I think you have a GAS problem.
  9. nixdad

    nixdad Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    The US made Hamers are awesome (basses or guitars.) Hamer has never been given the credit they deserve. The quality and craftsmanship are second to none.

    I was the western U.S. product specialist for Hamer (and Trace Elliot) for Kaman Music from 1993-1997, and worked closely with Jol on the design of the Cruisebass 4's & 5's.

    When Kaman decided they wanted the new Cruisebass to be a traditional design (rather than a new design or a re-issue of the pointy 80's CB's,) our goal was to update the Fender Jazz bass. The 2-Tek bridge had just hit the market and received rave reviews, so we incorporated this into the design (a model with a standard bridge model was also available.) I designed the new pickguard, and suggested the matching headstock for certain colors and the asymetrical neck for the 5-string models (based upon the Tobias neck design.) We basically updated the instrument to bring it up to date for the times. Fender debuted their new updated P-bass and Jazz basses at the same NAMM show when we launched the new CB's (this was '95 or '96,) but their new models missed the mark and were not well received. Additionally, as far as I remember, the Cruisebass 4 string 2-Tek was the first bass to receive a perfect score in Bass Player Magazine.

    The thing that drove me nuts about Hamer was the marketing approach. Instead of driving home to the public the fact that their instruments (guitars) stood up to anything by Gibson or Paul Reed Smith (they actually blew Gibson away) for a fraction of the price, they chose to run very artsy-fartsy ads. The ads were beautiful and classy (like the guitars, which I'm sure was the point,) but did little to raise public awareness. Like bassists, smart guitar players should be searching for older Hamers as well.

    I still have the prototype CB 4-string 2-Tek metallic blue w/matching headstock that was used in the ads (the prototype has a 1 piece maple neck, not a 3 piece maple neck as was done for the production models.)

    Thanks for letting me share a little bit of Hamer history. Enjoy your Cruisebass!
    Pet Sounds likes this.
  10. Do you have the review?
  11. Kindness


    Oct 1, 2003
    Hamer Cruise USA:




    vs. Lakland USA and Skyline:




    Well, hmmm... what would I do if I had to choose? I wouldn't. They are totally different instruments and I love them all. That said, based on my first hand experience (with many more instruments than just those pictured), I believe the Lakland Skylines to be every bit as well made as the Hamers. So, in a vacuum the Hamer Cruise USA vs. Lakland Skyline is a tossup. However, factoring in price, the Hamers are a steal. If I wanted a jazz bass, I'd go Hamer. If I wanted one of these other Lakland designs, I'd go Lakland. I'd be happy in all cases.
  12. mc2ny


    Aug 1, 2003
    Hamer USA Cruisebasses are great, especially the ones with the 2TEK bridge. I have a few 4-string ones with matching headstocks.

    I did have a natural 5-string but it was just too damn heavy for my taste.
    If I can find a lighter one, I'd buy it. The 5 played and sounded great, just too weighty with the 2TEK.

    BTW....that flip-flop blue-green one was the late Howie Epstein's of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers. One of Hamer's cooler mid-90s, non-catalog colors that is sort of like Sherwood Green with a blue pearl clearcoat over it, that makes it change colors at different angles. I've seen a few Hamer Eclipse guitars in this color but this is the only Cruisebass.

  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I had this Cruise Fretless for a while and I just never jived with it. I could never get the low E string to sound good, it was just dead no matter what strings or pickups I installed. The bottom three strings were phenomenal though!

  14. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA


    Do you have the GIRL from that Cruise bass ad!??!?

  15. Zapp


    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    Searched out this dormant thread...
    I have a gloss black Cruisebass 4 usa 2-Tek with some sort of active EMG's. Anyone know which model pickup was used? I think mine was made right near the end of the era so probably mid-90's.

    Second: what strings work well on this one in your opinions? I'm playing High Beams on it now and thinking of trying to get a little more warmth. Lately I've been favoring or looking for a bit more thunder. I tune down one whole step...

    Third: what's a good combo amp for this bass? Right now I'm using a GK 700 rbII and a Aggie 12 [not neo... the other one].
    I find with that amp I'm needing to actually cut the treble and high mid or its too screetchy, even with the treble trimmed at the pot. pretty much the same issue when I play my Sterling 4. I had an Eden world traveler 400w but it was just too clean... would make a great home theatre amp but for bass I wanted something with more attitude. also have an old Workingman 12 and frankly the Cruise sounds better through that little combo - it just has its limits as a live rig..
  16. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    I would not call that attractive.
  17. Is that the trans burgundy? If so, then I've never seen it look like that before.

    That's hot.
  18. Are you serious?

    Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks I suppose. But still...:rollno:
  19. I agree 100%
  20. I will use any opportunity to rave on about my Cruise bass. They are extremely rare in the UK but i have always wanted one after seeing a band over here and hearing the bass and loving it. When i was told it was a Hamer Cruise bass i kinda looked at the guy. but he was smart and told me all about them and so i was on a mission. Anyway i got mine about 3 years ago. INCREDIBLE! Quality, tone, feel, sustain, even tone all over the slim neck. I couldn't and still can't believe it. I recently took it to a shop to get it setup and at first the tech was quite dismissive about it. When i went to pick it up about 3 days later the guy wanted to know if i would sell it! Haha - no i said. He couldn't believe the build quality and sound. I do have a Fender Jazz bass (which i never play) and a Lakland 55-01 (i wanted active settings for some other stuff) but my main bass is the Cruise. And its soooooooo sexy!