Unlike Travis Bean guitars and basses, Kramer's aluminium neck was basically a T-shape in cross section with a fillet of timber to either side so as the give warmth to the back of the neck against the player's hand. Kramer produced more basses in their early period of metal-necked instruments in a ratio of approximately 4:1, mainly because bassists for some reason seem to be more willing to experiment with new ideas than guitarists (which is something I have often complained about - c'mon guitarists, stop being so conservative!).
The above-pictured Kramer KL-8 bass is an 8-stringed beauty (OK, it's only strung with 4 strings in the photo, no need to point that out in the comments), has a pair of DiMarzio pickups and a whole bevy of switching options. Note the wooden inserts (looks to be walnut, maybe?) in the back of the neck. Note the four machine heads at the body end for the octave strings. This concept of tuners at both ends of the instrument was also used around the same time on 12-string guitars and 8-string basses built by the likes of Wasburn and BC Rich (also 10-string guitars in the latter case). Actually, speaking of BC Rich, the whole design is rather reminiscent of their guitars; only the forked headstock gives the game away that it's a Kramer.
The eBay seller has listed this bass as being from the 1980s, but I think it's more likely to be 1970s, although conceivably it may have been from the last year of production of aluminium necks in 1980.
Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $1,500.
G L Wilson
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