It’s rather interesting isn’t it? You think that instrument builders and bass builders and their associated companies all work in a kind of isolation. But they don’t really and Kramer Guitars is no exception.
In the case of Kramer the company started off with a couple of partners and key innovators. But Gary Kramer become the namesake of the company, even though he did not stay with the company for all that long. Prior to Kramer Guitars, Gary Kramer had partnered with Travis Bean for a short run with his guitar company. Other business partners and company managers started their on companies and third party builder built off shore instruments and parts.
Later you have history repeating itself, with a small company being bought a big company and the big company only produces the small company instruments in name only. Then the original founder comes back building his own new and improved instruments again, while having to fight to use his own name.
Here’s a note from 101 Basses on Facebook…
I’ve been trying to research my Kramer Focus bass. It’s a rather tangled web. There’s Kramer (http://www.bass-aholic.com/
basses/K/kramer/kramer.shtml) that’s owned by Gibson (http://www.bass-aholic.com/ basses/G/gibson/gibson.shtml). Travis Bean (http://www.bass-aholic.com/ basses/T/travis_bean/) used to be a partner of Gary Kramer. Peter Unkert, a Kramer sales manager has UNK (http://www.bass-aholic.com/ travis_bean.htm basses/U/unk/unk.shtml) And Gary Kramer now has his own company. (http://www.bass-aholic.com/ basses/G/gary_kramer/) With all that it seems that Focus might be Japanese. Maybe built by Matsumoku (http://www.bass-aholic.com/ gary_kramer.shtml basses/M/matsumoku/) What happened to the days when these guys built a guitar in their garage? matsumoku.shtml
… This story is never ending. Please “Stay Tuned” as more unfolds!