The FP is out of production. Japan has a large number of them at dealers. It is the same guitar as the US received. Rich even has a few '99 models in his stock and are priced very well considering the cost of buying one from a Japanes(sp) dealer.
IMO, the reason this madel has such a destinctive sound is due to the fabric laminate. It creates a warm, muffled tone that doesn't allow for brite highs. It has a heavey tone that is best used for solid rythm(sp) and pushed gain.
Excellent playing guitar, with tone for days.