Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Reader Guitar of the Month: Hapas Kayzer 8FF

Reader Guitar of the Month: Hapas Kayzer 8FF

An 8-string named “Columbus” makes its way across the Atlantic.

Name: Arnold Hablewitz

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Guitar: Kayzer 8FF by Hapas Guitars

My guitar was built by Hapas Guitars in Berlin, Germany, by luthier Robert Solas. The model is known as the Kayzer 8FF and was nicknamed “Columbus” by Solas because it’s the first of his instruments to make it across the Atlantic.

In early 2014, I was fully engrossed in 8-string playing, but I found most off-the-wall 8-strings were lacking in tone, resonance, and overall playability. This mostly stemmed from the 27" scale they all seemed to have, which had way too much string tension on the high strings and way too little on the low strings. I decided I needed a custom axe built to my specs.

I began with a long list of luthiers and custom shops. Then I made three lists to help me rifle through my options: 1.) Non-negotiables that I needed. 2.) Non-negotiables I didn’t want. 3.) Things I liked that weren’t deal-breakers, but that could be deal-makers. In the end, Hapas was chosen because of how accommodating Robert was to my vision of my dream instrument.

I received my dream guitar in March of 2015. It has a swamp ash body, a 5-piece rosewood/ebony neck with a swamp ash headstock, and a rosewood fretboard with 24 stainless steel frets. The scale length is a perfect solution to my aforementioned issues with a 26"-28" fanned-fret configuration. The pickups are Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Jazz (neck) and Alternative 8 (bridge) “slanted soapbars” to accommodate the fan. The finish is a thin, hand-rubbed red stain that really allows the wood to resonate with each note. It’s actually already wearing down in spots because I cannot put this instrument down.

Not only is it my go-to 8-string, it has become my only 8-string. I literally didn’t even touch my others after I received this—they became expendable. PG

Send your guitar story to

With a team of experts on hand, we look at six workhorse vintage amps you can still find for around $1,000 or less.

If you survey the gear that shows up on stages and studios for long enough, you’ll spot some patterns in the kinds of guitar amplification players are using. There’s the rotating cast of backline badasses that do the bulk of the work cranking it out every day and night—we’re all looking at you, ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue.

Read MoreShow less

Alex LIfeson, Victor

Anthem Records in Canada and Rhino Records will reissue the first-ever solo albums of Rush's Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. Lifeson’s 1996 album Victor and Lee’s 2000 offering My Favourite Headache will be re-released on August 9, 2024.

Read MoreShow less

The "Sandblasted" SE Series features a swamp ash top with a unique sandblasted finish in five color options.

Read MoreShow less
Fall Out Boy Rig Rundown [2024]
Fall Out Boy Rig Rundown with Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman & Pete Wentz Guitar & Bass Gear Tour

The string-section trio for the iconic Chicago pop-punk band has gone digital, but Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman, and Pete Wentz still aren’t afraid to get weird—and sometimes, downright dangerous.

Read MoreShow less