How good are the Czech Spectors compared to the U.S. models?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Mar 4, 2001.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Just wondering is any of you Spectorheads had any opinions on the topic.

    What about Kramer era Spectors, how good are those?

    Will C.:cool:
  2. Here's the comparison:
    U.S.A. Series/ C.R. Series
    AAAA figured maple/ AA figured maple
    Haz Labs preamp/ EMG Pramp
    pao ferro fingerboard/ rosewood fingerboard
    Abalone inlays/ mother of pearl inlays
    $3900 and up "list price/ $1800-$2000 "list" price

    All else is the same. Sound is very approximate to each other. If you replaced the EMG preamp with the Haz Lab the sound would be identical.

    The U.S.A. Kramer Spectors sounds great as well. I wouldn't pay as much for a Kramer compared to a pre-Kramer or current U.S. because more basses were being produced anually when Kramer were producing Spectors (125-150 then as opposed to about 65 to 70 now). Therefore, the resale value would be less. You still can't go wrong with the Czechs. Actually, you couldn't go wrong with any of these. The best bet is to try them all yourself if you have the opportunity!!! Are you thinking of buying one???
  3. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.
    I have the Spector ns2000Q5 a Korean model - after installing a Aguilar OBP-1 pre amp, it's now my main axe. I've played the american model - very nice but but big $$. I wish I'd spent the extra for a chezch (?) model but I'm pretty happy with this one for now.
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Mr Dead hit it right on the head. I have a Kramer era, an SSD era & a new 99 molel. The Kramer is just as good as the rest. You just have to be careful what you buy from the Kramer era. Kramer did alot of weird stuff. Before I bought it, I called Stuart up & asked him about it. He said that this one was legit. I see an "American" Kramer era on eBay that looks pretty funky. It has gold tuners, black bridge, plastic nut. Dosen't look kosher!!!

  5. Yeah, these bozos are attempting to sell a Kramer era NS2-A (Korean neck through) as a U.S. made NS2. These imposters can't pass these basses of to experienced Spector owners. If you see a long serial number or none at all and are claimed to be U.S. Spectors, be aware. One thing's for sure. The NS2-A basses did not have figured bodies, so any Kramer era Spector sporting figured maple bodies are most likely the real thing. Solid finishes are more difficult to detect the imposters because both the NS2 (U.S.) and NS2-A (Korean) sport solid finishes.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Not just yet. I may in the future, but am doing some research for the sake of research right now.

    The only Spector I ever saw had a translucent blue finish and gold hardware. It had a price tag of $800. I wasn't so sure if it was a good deal or not, as I was sure it was a Kramer Spector. Played quite nicely for what it was, though.

    Will C.:cool:
  7. Kramer basses were produced from '86-'90 and then briefly re-appeared in '95 before their permanent demise. Was the wood figured or non-figured? Was the bridge black or gold? Was the nut plastic or brass? EMG or Spector pickups? Do you remember (or almost) the serial number? The answer to these questions would help to uncover which Spector model it was!
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Nah. I wasn't that interested. Being the first Spector I had ever seen (haven't seen one since) It was all the same to me. The bridge was gold plated, just like the tuners and I seem to remember the nut being black, although I might be wrong.

    Serial number? No recollection at all. I don't think I looked at that.

    Well, it was some three years ago.

    Will C.:cool:
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    The only thing about the bass I saw on eBay is that it has tthe Crown Inlays!!! Very weird!!! Stuart also told me that Kramer made alot of "Custom built" for Stars (signed in bid bands) in korea w/the inlays & gold. Nutty Kramer!!!
  10. When in doubt, the best thing to do is what you did. Call Stu Spector and he'll verify the bass. Also, the serial number history on the Spector site is helpful. There are some phony Spectors (U.S.) out there. I've seen them for myself!!!
  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Sorry to chime in so late...I've been out of town again. It's that wedding-planning stuff. It takes me away from my work as a sarcastic-know-it-all-Spectorhead! ;)

    Anyway, there is a difference between the Kramer and post-Kramer era Spectors that nobody mentioned: the graphite stiffening rods through the neck were not added until Stuart took production back from Kramer.

    Also, EMG didn't make an 18-volt pickup when Kramer was in business. Thus, the 18-volt EMGs came only after Stuart took over.

    Nonetheless, the Kramer era bass is largely the same as a post-Kramer era. I personally see no reason not to keep current, in this case, however.
  12. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    I briefly owned a brand-new Kramer Spector w/ P/Js. Sounded nice, but the neck was like rubber (easily moved, and with it went the tuning), and the bridge pup buzzed like the devil. I've never played an American Spector, but based on my experiences with the Kramer I've not felt the need to, either!
  13. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    RAM -

    I don't want to usurp your position as the "Spector-know-it-all" ;), but you are slightly incorrect about the EMG pickups/electronics.

    While it's quite true that the Kramer-era Spectors had 9V electronics standard, ALL EMG pickups and electronics are made to run effectively between 9 and 27 volts. It is entirely the choice of the builder as to how many batteries to slap into an EMG-equipped bass.

    The reason EMG designed them this way was so that they could be phantom powered if someone so desired. Further, due to that fact, it would be a very easy job to set a Kramer/Spector up to appear to have post-Kramer electronics (according to your description), all you have to do is wire a second 9V battery clip into it. I've done it to several basses, takes 2 minutes, a soldering iron, and a minimum of electronics experience (which I personally just barely have :D).
  14. Sorry to bring this old thread back up but how much are the Korean Kramer era Spectors worth anyway. How much do the usually sell for and how good do they sound.

    Here is one currently on ebay. The seller is listing it as a US made Spector but it is a Korean. At least the seller isn't pricing it as a US. IMO, a Kramer NS-2A in very good condition with case is worth no more than $450 (perhaps $500 if they upgraded the pickups). They sold new for about $700, the same as the current Korean made NS-2000 line. I prefer the NS-2A over the NS-2000 line because the NS-2A kept the original NS body style where as the NS-2000's body style is a bit off set. The NS-2A is a good sounding bass but certainly not comparable to the higher priced Spectors. You can increase their tonality if you swap out the stock pickups for active EMG pickups and exchange the plastic nut to a graphite or brass nut then.
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Dean sells some of their higher model "Edge" basses that are made in the same location in the Czech Republic as Spector. They are very similar in quality and construction, and are very nice indeed. You may want to take a look.
  17. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    The Czech basses are fine instruments, and from what I've read, measure up quite well to their U.S. made counterparts. I have an NS4CR, I think it's from the late 90's. It's a great bass, awesome sound, a pretty good player for different styles too.

    The neck is very stable, and the tuners are rock steady. You can set this thing down for long periods at a time, and other than the slight effects of the climate, it's always in tune or very close to it. The only thing I would change if I could is the way the bridge saddles are adjusted. They are basically free floating blocks of metal aside from the side screw. Once you have the heights and intonation set it's fine, but I am used to saddles that are set into the bridge with a screw instead of relying on manual placement of the saddle blocks.

    The only other thing that might be nice is an oil finished neck instead of the glossy paint on mine. That's just nitpicky because I like a slicker feel on the back of the neck. Still, I don't really even notice the painted neck when I play it. Other than that, it's a great bass built to last a lifetime, and I don't even plan on ever getting rid of it.
  18. That bass on ebay is what sparked my interest in the Korean Kramer era Spectors Mr. Dead. So basicly they are equivalent in tone to the NS2000 series. Well that means I would not spend more for a used Kramer era Korean than a new one of those (or a used one for that matter) unless someone can give me a reason to. Which leads me to another question, do the NS2000 series have the curved body in the back?
  19. IMO, the stock electronics in the NS-2000 are a bit better than the NS-2A. However, I'd suggest swapping out the stock pickups for active EMGs for either bass.

    The NS-2000 does have a carved body as well. As I said, the reason I'd prefer the NS-2A is because the original NS body style is kept intact where as the NS-2000 has a slightly different body style.

    The NS-2000 cost's about $700 new. I wouldn't spend anymore than $450 w/ case in very good condition ($500 if the pickups were upgraded) for an NS-2A.
  20. A friend of mine has that exact same Kramer Spector as the one on Ebay right now. I'd pay about $700 for it and walk away quite happy! The new era korean made ones are P.O.S., but those old Kramer ones play and sound great...even with their stock pickups.
    None of them really stand up to my USA series SSD NS-4p, though. I've played the czech ones and they just don't produce nearly as much bass end. Very well crafted though! I think with better electronics they would sound almost as good.

    Something to think about with such a major price difference!