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"New-look" sound has been found.

It's hard to believe, but electric guitar design has gone virtually unchallenged for the last 50 years--until now. So, while we won't be throwing away our Fender Stratoscaster or Gibson Les Paul anytime soon, they will be gathering dust for awhile while we wail away on our new Ruby Red Hollow Body from RKS Guitars, Oxnard, Calif. "Love it with your ears; hear it with your mind; feel it with your soul," is how RKS designer Ravi Sawhney describes his new music maker, a five-year labor of love he collaborated on with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason.

Part of the electric-hued Pop Series that includes the Dark Star and Sunburst, the Ruby Red and its brethren present the unique essence of "Open Architecture" construction, where each handmade guitar begins with a core instrument perfected for balance, ergonomics, and tone. Ribs and bodies then can be added in a wide variety of finishes and colors. The result is a new category of guitar that can manifest itself into a virtually unlimited number of permutations tailored to different players and their personal preferences.

"It's not how you feel about an object; it's how an object makes you feel about yourself," declares Sawhney. Moreover, the instrument's rich sonics are as triumphant as the unprecedented visuals of the stunning neck-through-body build. RKS believes in pushing the environmental envelope as well. Traditionally, most guitars are made using six to eight pounds of specific "tone woods" from South and Central American rainforests. Manufactured strictly in the U.S., RKS guitars employ aircraft aluminum alloy and a wood-based polymer while using less than two pounds of domestically grown alder and maple in each unit. Is it any wonder that an eye-popping neon green "Fine Lime" RKS guitar ended up on the cover of Business Week with the title "The Best Product Design: 2005 Award Winners"?

More good news--at least for guitar enthusiasts--is on the way. The next two RKS Guitars to hit the scene will be the futuristic hollow body "Wave" and "5-String Bass." Like their predecessors, the pair are sure to be a unique visual phenomena that are complemented by organic, full-spectrum sound.

RKS guitars range from $2,000-4,000. Visit or call 805-988-2144 for more information.

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Title Annotation:WHAT'S NEW? Holiday Gift Guide; RKS Guitars' Ruby Red Hollow Body
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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