Get an up close and personal look at the new Rasmus guitars from Suhr, thanks to these sick new promo shots. Suhr guitar fans have been waiting a long time for a lower-priced version of the legendary models from the former Fender Masterbuilder, and now the Rasmus line is finally being unleashed upon us. Follow the jump for tons of pics, and more info on this exciting new collection of guitars. With a MSRP of jus $1,332.00, the famous Suhr feel is now within reach.
Suhr guitars have a deserved worldwide reputation for unmatched quality and attention to detail. But this quality and performance comes at a relatively high cost due to the source of origin, the premium materials and the high number of experienced master builders and craftsmen at Suhr Guitars. Still, it has always been our motto to provide excellent value no matter what the price point is and this is again the philosophy behind the Rasmus instruments that we are introducing in 2010.
The USA–built Suhr instruments have been out of reach of many young and serious aspiring players who seek the best possible playability and tone from a guitar but can’t break their bank account to acquire one. We’ve been hearing about this for years from the younger segment of the guitar community and we decided to examine this situation in 2008 after we introduced the 24–fret Modern model, which has become our most popular custom model and continues to attract a younger generation of serious dedicated players.
We looked at many options at lowering the cost here in our US factory like we did with the popular Pro Series instruments, but we came to see that it’s simply not possible to hit a certain price point without working with an outside manufacturing source based in Asia. The goal became to produce the best possible quality guitars at a lower price point that more serious players can afford — not to produce larger quantities of imported instruments that merely look like Suhr guitars.
Not all guitar factories in Asia are the same. Just as there are cheap products that we find in Wal*Mart we can also find premium goods like the Apple iPhone and many other high–end products that are manufactured in state–of–the–art factories in Asia. Our goal was to work with one of the most highly respected and capable guitar factories in Asia with the technology, experience, and the know–how to build instruments to Suhr’s demanding quality standards and specifications. We did not go looking for the cheapest; we went out looking for the best.
This is where Ed Yoon, Suhr’s Director of Marketing and Sales, comes in. Ed had worked in the 1990’s for the largest guitar company in the world sourcing instruments from the Asian guitar–manufacturing base. With 10+ years of experience working with factories spread out over 5 countries in East Asia, Ed had a clear idea of the type of factory that could produce limited quantities of high quality instruments built to our standards. Ed decided on a factory that he had a very close working relationship with and which he helped develop since 1994 when it started out as a big empty building.
Ed adds: “I have visited over a hundred guitar factories all over Asia — from the humungous factories of multinational corporations covering million plus square feet to small factories that look like mud huts out in the Asian country side to everything in between. We wanted to work with a factory that considered quality the overriding factor in what they offered. We also wanted to work with a very professional organization that was easy to communicate with. There was no doubt in my mind who we’d want to work with. It wasn’t too big and it wasn’t too small. They had the technology, ISO9000 certification for implementing strictest quality standards, the experienced workforce, and a beautiful state–of–the–art facility.”
Once the source was determined, it was time to go to work. The work started in late 2008 and we worked closely with the factory on the first set of samples. There was much technical discussion and visits by both sides to understand each other’s manufacturing methods and quality standards. We decided to settle on our popular Standard and Modern models as the basis for the Rasmus line. More than any other, these two models have helped determine the visual identity of Suhr Guitars and we also recognized that these are the two models that were most sought after by the younger crowd for their sleek “modern” looks and playability.
The Rasmus Standard is based on the 22–fret Standard model that was developed by John Suhr in the 1980’s. It’s the body shape that put John Suhr on the map as offering a familiar design with refinements that gave off a distinctive look for an instrument in its class and the playability and functionality that demanding musicians require. The Rasmus Modern is based on the 24–fret Modern model introduced in January 2008 and this is the model that can be viewed as the first original model from Suhr Guitars since it was established in 1997.
The Standard and Modern are versatile modern instruments that can perform superbly in a variety of musical genres and playing styles. From sweet vintage-style sounds to contemporary hard rock and metal sonic assault, the Standard and Modern models look familiar yet look sharp and sleek for the younger players who are looking to define their own playing style and develop their own musical voice. But the truth is that these guitars aren’t just for the teenagers or 20–somethings. They’re for players of all types – from current Suhr owners who want a reliable and sturdy backup to players who are simply looking for the best possible quality instrument at a certain price point.
So what sets the Rasmus guitars apart from the competition? It wasn’t merely enough to work closely with what we consider the best guitar manufacturing operation in Asia. We needed to go the extra mile so that the experience of playing a Rasmus is very close to playing a USA–made Suhr in terms of playability and sound. So with this in mind, we decided to offer genuine USA–made Suhr pickups, Japanese–made Gotoh bridges and the same German-made fret wires that we use on our Suhr instruments. The woods are of the highest quality imported from North America (Alder and Maple) and Indonesia (Rosewood) and meet our strict weight guidelines.
But this wasn’t enough. Every Rasmus guitar will be Plek’d and set up by Suhr master builders before being shipped from the Suhr factory. Yes, we will disassemble each guitar, Plek the neck with our top–of–the–line Plek Pro computerized fret–leveling machine and do the set–up and QC check ourselves. You can be assured of superb playability due to the Plek process, excellent sound courtesy of the Suhr USA pickups, and reliable functionality offered by the same Gotoh bridges that we use on our own Suhr guitars.
You can also count on the same stellar customer service and product support that has made Suhr Guitars famous in the exclusive high–end market for custom instruments. No detail is too small for us to overlook and we will support the Rasmus guitars in the same way that we’ve always supported our own USA–made Suhr guitars and other related products. The Rasmus guitars will only be available through authorized Suhr dealers in limited quantities. Rasmus requires a lot of our time and effort and that means there will be a limit to how many we can Plek and set up in our shop. This also means that each Rasmus will get the Suhr attention to quality and workmanship. Our commitment to quality is as strong as ever and this commitment will show in every Rasmus guitar.
You may be asking why the name Rasmus? It is a name derived from John Suhr’s real Danish family name, Rasmussen that has a root name of Rasmus. John cares about quality and he wouldn’t put his name on anything that does not meet his very high standards for quality, integrity, reliability and value. It means that John Suhr and the rest of us at Suhr Guitars are committed to offering the Rasmus guitars with the same dedication and passion we put into our USA–made Suhr instruments. This is the DNA of Suhr Guitars and we are proud to offer the Rasmus with the same mindset to our discriminating customers and serious players all over the world.