Ming showed off several impressive drum kits made of carbon graphite. Even the rims and most of the hardware are made of the stuff, making for very resonate drums that are also extremely lightweight. More conventional (and heavier) rims are available as well. The company also makes stands using carbon graphite (below), making lugging your kit around a more pleasant experience.
Keeping with the innovation theme is this Gibson LPX robot guitar which is based on the Les Paul body shape. Gibson also showed conventional Les Pauls with their Min-Etune tuning gears which can automatically tune all six string of the guitar at once to a variety of tunings. Check out our review of the Min-ETune equipped Les Paul here.
The Italia Modena Electric Sitar is played like a conventional guitar but sounds like the distictive Indian instrument from which its name is derived. In addition to the six conventional strings, the Electric Sitar has 13 shorter strings that vibrate sympathetically. A clear plastic guard prevents the player’s arm from dampening the sympathetic strings.
Luthier Dennis Fano of Fano Guitars has several models of his Alt de Facto line which in the various body shapes are combined with characteristics as if all the major manufacturers were working in conjunction with each other. This SP-6 has the body shape of a Les Paul; the German carve of a Rickenbacker; the bridge, bridge pickup and control plate of a Telecaster; and a neck Filtertron pickup as used by Gretsch. Then usually the guitar is relec’d to look as if it came from the golden age of guitar manufacturing.
In cool amplifier news, a new revitialized Magnatone showed several models of reissues of the namesake’s groundbreaking and influential amps. The demos of these amps was very impressive.
In a totally different direction is this Roland Cube Lite. With three different modes (clean, crunch and extreme), this little desktop amp allows you to jam with tracks from your iPhone with Roland’s Cube Jam app.
Washburn’s Paul Stanley model takes on an entirely different vibe in the Time Traveler series: The guitarist is know for his work with the band Kiss, but this slightly relec’d PS2012R would look at home in the hands of Jeff Tweedy or Johnny Winter. Also available in white, red and gold.
The Godin Montreal Premier is the company’s latest design with a semi-hollow construction, graceful new body silhouette, and their own unique f-holes. Made in Canada!
Taylor introduced a new original body style, the Grand Orchestra which measures 16.75″ across the lower bout.
– Jake Kelly