Ravi Sawhney, president-CEO of leading US creative firm RKS Design in collaboration with Rock ’n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Dave Mason
RKS’ new generation of electric guitars feature the finest materials: a rosewood fingerboard, maple and alder core, and aircraft aluminium ribs. But in a departure from convention, RKS replaced the traditional mahogany body with Eastman Tenite™ cellulose plastic.
“We really cheated ergonomically," explained Sawhney. "We contoured the back of the guitar so that it leans against your body. It has less movement, which releases your attention a little bit and all of a sudden you are not thinking about holding the guitar.”
“Everything we’ve done allows you to play better – but we’re not telling you why you play better. One of the reasons is you’re not thinking about balancing the guitar, it just nestles against you, leaving you with more coordination and dexterity to play. We’ve heard musicians say that because it lays against them when they’re on stage, they feel the guitar singing to them."
Made from wood pulp, Tenite™ is known as The Natural Polymer. It is the go-to choice for designers creating products that feel good to the touch, everything from screwdriver handles to wrap-around sunglasses. It was an obvious choice for RKS. “The combination of Tenite™ and our open architecture solid core created a resonance that is sustained and spectacular,” explained Sawhney. "It takes an amateur musician and makes him a better musician. It takes a professional musician and makes him a better musician. Everyone does more with our guitars than they’ve ever done before. It’s amazing to see.”
In recognizing RKS guitars as one of the best new products, BusinessWeek praised the bold, colorful design for doing more with less. The magazine championed the disruptive influence of great design, calling the RKS open architecture "the most radical change in electric guitars in almost 50 years."