Updates: August 2017
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Hamer Phantom A7

Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar Synthesizer Controller

Features and Specifications:

  • Body: Multilaminate Honduras mahogany
  • Finish: Nitrocellulose lacquer
  • Neck: 3-piece glued-in maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 22
  • Bridge: Kahler tremolo with added plastic shim to reduce stray resonance
  • Nut: Hamer Lubritrak
  • Tuning machines: Schaller
  • Pickups: Hamer Slammers (one humbucker combined with a single-coil, plus one single-coil)
  • Scale: 24 3/4"
  • Truss Rod: Single, adjustable forward and back
  • Neck Width: 1 11/16"
  • Body Width: 13 1/2"
  • Body Depth: 1 3/4"
  • Overall Length: 40 1/2"
  • Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz
Glenn Tipton with his Hamer Phantom A7 Vintage Roland Synthesizer Controller
Glenn Tipton and his Hamer Phantom A7
Click to enlarge

Introduction to the Hamer A7 Phantom:

The stylish Hamer Phantom A7 would perhaps be lost to guitar synthesizer history, except for its featured prominence in the Judas Priest tune, "Turbo Lover." It was guitarist Glenn Tipton who was responsible for adding the hard sync sound, played on his Hamer Phantom a7, controlling a Roland GR-700, that kicked off this tune.

The distinctive sound of "Turbo Lover" is patch 3-5 ("Lead III"), from the original (version 1.1 - 1.4) software. Full list of patches here.

The grinding sound of "Turbo Lover" (patch 1-4) is classic oscillator cross-synchronization. One oscillator is force to restart its wave cycle (period) by a second oscillator.

In the GR-700, oscillator two is set to sync to oscillator. Meanwhile, the pitch of oscillator two is swept up by a control voltage from the envelope generator.

Without the classic oscillator cross-synchronization we would simply hear oscillator two sweep its pitch in a somewhat meaningless way. With the classic oscillator cross-synchronization, we can hear the harmonic content change while the basic pitch of the oscillator follows the pitch of oscillator one, which tracks the note played on the guitar.

Links to more information:

Photos Black:

Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Click on any image for larger view.

Photos Red:

Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Click on any image for larger view.

Photos White:

Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Hamer A7 Phantom Guitar
Click on any image for larger view.

Video - Turbo Lover (Judas Priest):

Schematics - Repairs - Service Bulletins:

There are no known service bulletins from Roland addressing any Hamer A-7 problems. The Hamer guitar uses the Roland STK-1 electronics package, the same electronics as found in the Roland G-707