Aria, Epiphone, Fender, Gibson, Gordon Smith, Hondo, Ibanez, Ovation, Roland, Steinberger, Vox, Westone, Yamaha.
Not much to go wild about on the old wood, wire and pickup front. Most of the new models hail from the Orient, anyhow, and British distributors often don't get to see them until they turn up on the Frankfurt stands.
Following our report on the Tokyo trade fair, there have been plenty of enquiries concerning the Steinberger copies, appearing under the name Riverhead. They should be snapped up in Germany and we'll keep you posted over who wins the right to import.
Westone are expecting expansion in their very successful range, and Yamaha reckon there might be some fresh models, but at the moment they seem to be focussing their attention on the keyboard and home recording business.
Fender are being far more coy about what they have up their sleeves. Who knows, but an educated guess... all right, just a guess... would say that it's about time the Squier range grew a little. And look out for some radical redesigns elsewhere in the catalogue.
Guild have been an active bunch. Pictured opposite is the new D-15 dreadnought, crafted entirely from mahogany, it says here, and "the most affordable flat top Guild has produced in recent years". That's 500 dollars worth of affordability. There's also the F-45 electro-acoustic which is unusual thanks to its 24 frets and very thin neck, and a solid body, the FS-46, which sounds from its spec sheet as though it's following in the fretprints of the Gibson Chet Atkins.
While we're with the Americans, Seymour Duncan will be showing a brand new replacement pickup designed to fit the Rickenbacker 4000 Series bass guitars. It's said to be the first such replacement pickup ever built for the fabulous Rickies.
And, of course, there's the very wonderful GR700 programmable guitar synth from Roland with 64 memories, a strange shape (at least the prototype in Tokyo was), and accepting all its program instructions from a PG200 programmer, initially released to work alongside the JX3P poly synth.
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