Most recently, and I think most importantly, the new Hofner HM88 concert classical guitar.
This is definitely one of my top 10 favourite guitars I've ever played in terms of looks, and sound, and it's well up there in terms of play-ability and value for money as well. First I'll talk about the looks, which are fairly traditional granted, but what do you expect from a classical guitar. Even amidst this very traditional classical shape however, there are hints at something much more mature and modern, like the way the machine heads are engraved, and the way they inlay the wood in the rosette to look like the iris of an eye. The solid rosewood back and sides is polished in a high gloss finish which makes it look stunning, and the Spruce top is unfinished in order to give the guitar the maximum volume, projection, and tone possible. The German Master Luthiers haven't left a single detectable flaw in the finish and build of this brilliant instrument.
The sound of the guitar straight out of the box is immense! For a brand new guitar it sounds open and rich, and very loud. And as any classical player knows, that will only get better with age. Part of the reason this guitar sounds as phenomenal as it does is the fact that every Master series classical from Hofner is only made from tone woods that have been selected by the luthiers from the forest, and have been naturally aged in Hofner's warehouse. This top grade quality solid tone wood is ideal for building guitars that will last a long time, age well, and sound amazing. The master series guitars are also built by the Master Luthiers, meaning that there is a certain attention to detail that you don't get even with many other hand built guitars.
I should warn you, all this doesn't come cheap, but compared to most guitars of it's caliber, it's about half the price. Really the only guitar I could compare it to in the store right now would be the Masaki Sakurai from Japan, but that lists at $8000.00, and this is definitely a contender with that in my mind even though it's well under half that price. As I've been saying for the last year (since we started carrying Hofner), they are certainly doing something right over there to be able to bring us the quality they do throughout their lines, without being as expensive as stuff that is much inferior in quality.
Anyway, here are some pictures that truly don't do it justice in the slightest.
Then we have the Parker RF622GG
This is a US built Parker NiteFly with the radial neck joint, Parker vibrato with the Ghost Piezo pick-ups, 2 Seymour Duncan Humbuckers, and Sperzel Trim-Lok machine heads. These Parker guitars are quickly sweeping my heart off it's feet as my favourite electric guitars on the market. They certainly don't offer the value for money that Hagstrom does, and they aren't as versatile of company as Gary Levinson's Blade guitars. But from a sheer thrill factor when playing it, there really isn't anything that comes close. When I'm playing it full out on the Humbuckers and doing wicked lead riffs, gently plucking away on the ghost piezos, or exploring some completely undiscovered tonal area in between, the rest of the world just disappears. This is because it's just so easy to play, there is nothing limiting my ability to bring the music inside myself to the outside, other than my own physical and mental limitations. And that's truly the way it should be when you play guitar, if you have something like high string action, an uncomfortable guitar, or a bad sounding pick-up, what comes out of that speaker isn't completely what it could and should have been, and that's a shame. I'm not saying this guitar will make you a better player (though it will help a lot), but I am saying that it is pretty much as close as I've come to the perfect playing experience, and I highly recommend you try it out.
Oh and I think it looks fantastic too!
Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string acoustic.
This is a guitar I got ahold of on a trade, it's in great condition, sounds superb, and plays... well like a 12-string, which isn't awesome, but hey, what do you expect? It Has Grover machine heads, solid rosewood back and sides, and a solid spruce top in a dreadnaught shaped body. There is a good deal of bass projection, but like all 12-strings, it's definitely focused on the treble side of things, and it's got a great deal of volume as well.
Hagstrom HL550 Jazz guitar
It has a completely hollow body without the need of a tone block for mounting Humbuckers because it has only a single floating humbucker in the neck position. The Body is made entirely of Mahogany, which is rather odd for a guitar of this type, but it works well since it gets rid of a bit of the very tinny sound you get from sticking acoustic strings on what is essentially an acoustic guitar. However, I would still personally put a set of acoustic strings on to give it the extra tone and volume needed to play it acoustically properly. It's in a matte finish, so you don't need to worry about fingerprints, and the composite fingerboard and H-Expander truss rod will ensure that it will play well for years to come, and boy does it play well! Plugged in it sounds great as well, with a lot of body to the sound, and a rather deep tone that you don't often get in Jazz guitars. You do lose some versatility in tone due to the lack of a second pick-up, but it easily makes up for that by being able to play it acoustically.
Samson Carbon 49
This is a brand new keyboard controller from Samson Technologies which is made to work with your computer or specifically your Ipad. The Carbon 49 has 49 semi-weighted, velocity sensitive keys, transpose and octave up down controls, as well as USB and Midi outputs. It is designed to work with an Ipad specifically, with a built in Ipad stand, as well as the ability to directly control specific iPad apps such as Garage band, it can even be powered directly by your iPad, so you can use this very portable keyboard anywhere. It is compatible with Mac or Windows operating systems, and comes with Native Instruments Komplete elements intallation DVD which give you over 1000 sounds that you can use with the keyboard. Beyond all the features and portability however is the price, since it's just over a hundred dollars!