Since our guitars sounded very different, somehow between acoustic and electric, we understood we also needed a new look. Rolf dreamt it, around 1988. inspired by the mystics of the mother of his son, he called it Avalon.
Ned Steinberger made headless tuning known in the beginning of the 80ies. but only for steel strings. he used a screw in the bridge to move a slider. the Paradis Elegy worked the same. but nylon strings are a lot more elastic. while steel strings extend about 1cm to reach tuning, nylon strings need 5cm – thats why we still wind them up. later this idea was seen in travel guitars etc, but in 1988 it was new. and Rolf’s esthetics would not allow the tuners to be seen, so we had to learn to tune blindly in the back which is not really difficult. the bigger challenge was to change strings. so Rolf invented locking tuners that do not need a screw but the string force itself locked a tube on the axis!
the first prototype was made in Dec 1988, we have it here. the second prototype which looks like the following series except for the electronics was ready for the Frankfurt Musikmesse in 1989 and called attention.
At Messe 90 he had 10 instruments and sold them. Several big guitar manufacturers and shops like Aria, Sam Ash wanted to order them in quantities. Rolf had a hard time to deal with those experienced business people and ended up agreeing on a price he could not really make it for.
1990 numbers were 002.90 to 011.90. after that, the numbers started with the year:
91001 to 91085 (the first 30 were sold through ProArte)
92001 to 92055 (the last 5 are painted)
93001 to 93016
94001 to 94021
95001 to 95057