I’ve owned Gibson ES-335s, 345s and 355s over the years, but, curiously, I let them all slip through my fingers at one time or another. But we guitar players are a strange lot, and we eventually seek to replace all the nice guitars we let go during the folly of our youth. I knew I had to have a 335-type guitar again.
A few years back, I heard that Hamer came out with a budget, semi-hollowbody import line. I started doing eBay searches until I found this slightly used Echotone that featured maple sides and back, a beautiful amber-flame maple top, bound f-holes and neck, a solid center block for sustain, and Seymour Duncan designed humbuckers. The pictures looked so stunning that I knew I had to have it. So I waited until the last few seconds of the auction, made my move, and won it for $325.66 (plus $25 shipping).
The seller only accepted cashier’s checks and money orders, but I asked him if he’d consider setting himself up to accept PayPal. Three days later, I was his first PayPal customer. Tip: Always try to pay with PayPal for the speediest, safest transactions. As there are more hoops to jump through in order to open a PayPal account, it can protect you from pranksters, flakes, and thieves.
When I received the Echotone, I was blown away at how much quality Hamer packed into a guitar in this price range. The neck was fast and easy to play, the finish was flawless, and the guitar sounded very cool. I have to tell you—these guitars smoke! They are some of the best values out there in guitar land.