The most anticipated gear of 2019: Electric guitars
If you’re planning to add a new member to your electric guitar family this year, here are nine hyped-up models that we think will make the cut.
Harmony Guitars Standard & Reissue models
The reborn Harmony Guitars revealed a trio of modern takes on the company’s classic models last year, and after a year of further R&D, the new standard line will be available in March this year. Also new for 2019 is the Juno – a reimagined take on the H44 body shape – and fans of old-school Harmonys will be delighted by a new range of vintage-faithful resissues, starting with the H19, H72 and H63.
Fret-King FKV25JCAR John Jorgenson
Fret-King has announced the FKV25JCAR John Jorgenson signature guitar, an update to his T-style signature model. Its body is solid American alder, rather than chambered, with a painted F-hole. As well as a Canadian maple neck and an Indian rosewood fingerboard, it has a matched pair of Wilkinson WVT single coils and two ‘ghost’ coils under the pickguard.
Ibanez Andy Timmons ATZ100
Among a wealth of new standard and signature models revealed by Ibanez this year, this 20th anniversary version of virtuoso Andy Timmons’ personal guitar stands out from the more shred-focused crowd. The ATZ100 is the summation of two decades of collaboration between Timmons and Ibanez and features interesting appointments such as an ATZ S-Tech one-piece roasted-maple neck, three DiMarzio The Cruiser single-coil-sized humbuckers, and a Wilkinson-Gotoh VSVG vibrato bridge.
Ibanez’s venerable RG line has been bolstered by some new Japan-made Prestige 5000 models for 2019, and the RG5120M is perhaps the most interesting new addition. The Frozen Ocean Blue shred machine features an African mahogany body with an ash top, and a Super Wizard HP neck that’s built from a five-piece maple and wenge combination, which also has a 17-inch-radius bound birdseye-maple fretboard adorned with offset mother-of-pearl dot inlays. Most interesting, however, is the inclusion of Fishman’s Fluence active humbuckers as standard.
Epiphone DC PRO
Epiphone has delved into its history to design the new-for-2019 DC PRO, which is inspired by the brand’s 70s-era Del Rey Double Cut, this time pairing modern features with premium cosmetics. The guitar’s mahogany body is capped with a AAA flame-maple veneer top, while the neck is also mahogany, featuring a custom C-shape with a 12-inch-radius pau ferro fretboard and classy pearloid-and-abalone inlays. Pickup-wise, there’s a pair of Epiphone ProBuckers with coil-splits and a treble-bleed circuit that maintains tonal clarity even at lower volumes.
PRS SE Paul’s Guitar
The various iterations of Paul’s Guitar have been the instrument that showcases Paul Reed Smith’s most cutting-edge discoveries relating to great electric-guitar tone. By adding that to the company’s more affordable SE range, Smith is bringing some of that learning to a wider audience than ever. With TCI ‘S’ Treble and Bass pickups delivering pure vintage tone, the mini-toggle switches allow true single-coil operation of both pickups for maximum versatility. The guitar is also available in three classic PRS shades – Amber, Aqua and Fire Red.
Gretsch G6620T Players Edition
Gretsch celebrated the 15-year anniversary of its fabled Custom Shop during NAMM 2019, and expanded its Players Edition with a range of new models and finishes. Resplendent in its new Round-Up Orange finish, the G6620T Players Edition Nashville Center Block Double-Cut with String-Thru Bigsby teams a maple top, body and headstock construction with a 22-fret ebony fingerboard sporting Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays, and a pair of High Sensitive Filter’Tron pickups. You’ll also find a mean-looking Black Falcon and a Silver Sparkle G6229 Jet BT elsewhere in the range.
Schecter Nick Johnston Traditional
This affordable signature model for the Canadian guitar virtuoso stands out among the pointy fare in Schecter’s 2019 range. The Indonesian-made S-type offers all the functionality and playability that any technician would desire, but with classic looks. Sporting the classic combo of alder, maple and rosewood in the wood department, the guitar features a trio of the online fret-blazer’s signature single coils and is available in either Atomic Green or Atomic Silver.
Heritage Masterbuilt Custom H-137
Heritage Guitars produce fine modern takes on the iconic instruments made in the very same Kalamazoo factory back in the 1950s. Away from the production models, however, Heritage has released four new Masterbuilt Custom guitars that showcase the very best of what its luthiers can do. Most eye-catching of the four is the H-137, which features a beautifully figured curly maple top in Neptune Blueburst laid over a solid one-piece mahogany body.
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