Kramer The Duke Bass
Kramer The Duke Bass

The Duke Bass, 4-string bass guitar from Kramer.

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content in English
Audiofanzine FR 04/11/2008

Kramer The Duke Bass : Recensione di Audiofanzine FR (content in English)


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Value For Money : Excellent
(Originally written by Tibo1987/translated from Audiofanzine FR)

Kramer THE DUKE Bass, made in the USA, short scale, aluminum neck, headless. 1981.

Inspired by Steinberger headless models.

It's a real UFO and it sounds a bit strange. Aluminum doesn't produce much resonance in the low frequency range and there's almost no wood on this instrument so it sounds metallic.

24 frets, short scale (it's a bit confusing).
Stick-like shape that allows a good access to the upper frets.
It had originally a humbucker in the bridge position and I added a jazz pickup in the neck position, both active EMG.

The bass is light, rugged, strange and I bought it only for its look.

Shaller machine heads and bridge. The bridge is good but not the machine heads so the bass doesn't stay in tune and the machine heads are too responsive and not very sturdy.


I don't play it that often. I use it mostly for fun on stage when I don't need a big sound.

I like its compact size and light weight and also the indestructible aluminum neck (it can be a big advantage in some live situations).


I think the instrument was originally conceived for metal musicians playing with a pick but I personally find it sounds funky. The sound has powerful growling mids and it's a real pleasure when you play close to the bridge. The sound isn't round so all those rockers out there looking for a Precision/Ampeg sound should stay away from it.


I bought it in the USA and it wasn't expensive. I find it wonderfully awful and that's the reason why I bought it. Surprisingly the sound is good for funk music. I will rewire the pickups and change the machine heads but I can't complain for the price I paid.

This bass has killer looks and a good sound. The short scale is a bit disturbing and it might be the reason I sell it, if I do. If you like its looks and you want something radically different at a small price, this bass guitar is made for you.