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NAMM 2019: BOSS WAZA TUBE AMP EXPANDER

Posted in Amplifiers, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - January 25, 2019

Aaron from Boss shows us the new Waza Tube Amp Expander at the Boss booth, NAMM Show 2019.Crank your amp to its sweet spot and play at any volume while faithfully retaining the core tone and feel you love. This amazing device does it all – it’s a variable reactive load box, active analog power stage, mic’d cab simulator, IR loader, and recording interface, all in one integrated unit that’s road-ready and easy to use.

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NAMM NEWS 2019: FENDER CUSTOM SHOP DEBUTS ALL-NEW COLLECTIONS

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - January 24, 2019


Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the introduction of its Annual and Prestige collections, as well as the addition of the long-time Artist Signature series Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster and Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Stratocaster to the Fender Custom Shop lineup – all debuting at Winter NAMM in Anaheim, Calif.

Each year, an Annual Collection of models are conceived and created in the Fender Custom Shop to showcase the latest innovations and developments—everything from pickup design, wiring and finish processes, to wood combinations and more. “The Annual Collections give our Master Builders and Fender Custom Shop Teambuilt craftspeople a chance to experiment with new ideas,” said Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at Fender Custom Shop. “There’s a reason everyone in the guitar world calls Fender Custom Shop ‘The Dream Factory.’ We create guitars players never thought were possible, and continue to step up our game, surprising them with something new each year.”

Annual Teambuilt collections making their debut at Winter NAMM are the Limited Edition, Time Machine, Postmodern and Vintage Custom; in its second year, the Vintage Custom Series celebrates beloved Fender classics and unearths truly unique rarities, such as the flat-lam slab maple cap fingerboard on the Vintage Custom `62 Strat®. Joining the Teambuilt collections is Masterbuilt Custom, which features Masterbuilt designs – all made-to-order for dealers.

In addition to the annual collections, the Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster and Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Stratocaster both make their way into the Fender Custom Shop Artist Signature series lineup after a long run in Fender’s production line. Beginning 2019, both models will be available at Authorised Custom Shop Dealers. See below for full descriptions.

Also debuting at Winter NAMM 2019 is the 2019 Prestige Collection, featuring one-of-a-kind Masterbuilt guitars and basses from the Custom Shop’s most-esteemed Master Builders. “Our Fender Custom Shop Master Builders continue to amaze players with the unique talent and creativity they pour into the annual Prestige Collection,” Lewis said. “In the last year, we’ve added two new Master Builders at the Shop – Ron Thorn and Kyle McMillin, who have added new twists and flavors to our lineup.”

Fender Custom Shop’s 11 innovative Prestige Collection models – with one conjured up by each Master Builder – include:

•Paul Waller: Building Block Strat®
Paul Waller’s Building Block Strat® guitar is made of toy building bricks. Paul Waller has toyed with the idea of making a guitar like this since his buzz-worthy Cardboard Strat was released in 2015. “I love working with different materials to create guitars that are extremely unique,” Waller said. “LEGO® was a huge part of my youth, and undoubtedly had a huge impact on my career path.” Features include handmade hardware that emulates traditional brick pieces, only made of materials suitable for guitar construction. The vibrant traditional colors of toy building bricks work so well in blending the two mediums. “This guitar will appeal to the young at heart,” he said. “Most guitar players feel a connection to their youth, cranking out sounds of past experiences. For me, music is emotion in the form of a sound wave that carries us through a feeling. The fact that you can ride the emotion on a toy, provides a fun aspect to the emotion, bringing a smile to face of everyone who plays it.” Two guitars will be made with two matching amps masterbuilt by Jim Dolmage – dubbed the Building Block Deluxe™ Amp. This is a one-of-a-kind showpiece built on the framework of a ’57 Custom Deluxe amplifier. Thousands of toy bricks were painstakingly arranged to approximate the look of Fender’s iconic tweed-covered amplifiers. LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorise or endorse this project or product. Guitars and amps are not for sale.

•Jason Smith: Luna Y Sol – A$19,999
Jason Smith’s Luna Y Sol is a custom Precision Bass® inspired by his meeting with artist Madeline Hanlon at last year’s Winter NAMM show. Hanlon is known for her artistic style of wood burning, which was integrated into the Mexican folk art sun and moon design. Smith’s favorite aspect of the bass is its overall aesthetic appeal – from the detailed wood-burned image and thematic red coral inlays to the rich, warm wood tones, smooth blend of colors and the feel of the satin lacquer topcoat. “This bass feels amazingly comfortable, has a nice medium weight, and the sound of the Josefina Campos overwound pickups just gives the player a sonic experience like a P-Bass® on steroids,” Smith said. “This bass just seems to have it all, style, class, and tone!”

•Dennis Galuszka: Hawaiian Fish Hook Telecaster® – A$24,499
Dennis Galuszka’s Hawaiian Fish Hook Telecaster was inspired by Galuszka’s love of Hawaiian culture, where his in-laws are from. The Telecaster features a vintage pickup and rope binding on the hook – the first of its kind on a guitar. “I wanted to build something masculine and tough-looking, but still simple,” Galuszka said. “This instrument is for players that feel in charge when they walk on stage with a minimalist guitar.”

•Dale Wilson: Spalted Maple Telecaster – A$13,399
Dale Wilson’s Spalted Maple Telecaster was inspired by a singular piece of wood and unique acoustic vibe of Fender Custom Shop Founding Master Builder Fred Stuart’s Founders Design Herringbone Telecaster. The guitar features a Violin Burst that highlights the beauty of the spalted maple top, herringbone binding and P90 pickups in conjunction with a handwound Josephina Broadcaster pickup. Ideal for any player or collector who appreciates exotic wood guitars with a wide range of tones, the Spalted Maple Telecaster makes its debut at Winter NAMM 2019.

•Todd Krause: Goldfish Stratocaster – A$25,999
Todd Krause’s Goldfish Stratocaster was inspired by two guitars he previously built for NAMM, a Trout guitar and Weiner Dog Stratocaster, with the two ideas colliding into one. The guitar features inlay work from Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn and detailed goldfish-inspired artwork by Sarah Gallenberger.

•Greg Fessler: Battle of Missionary Ridge Tele® – A$18,899
Greg Fessler’s Battle of Missionary Ridge Tele was inspired by the famous Civil War battle fought November 25, 1863 near Chatanooga, Tennessee. The wood tells a unique story and was sourced from Capital Park, which is located alongside the California State Capitol building in Sacramento, Calif. In 1897, The Daughters of the Army of the Grand Republic donated several saplings that were gathered from major battlefields of the Civil War and carefully transplanted into the rich California soil as a lasting memorial to those who lost their lives in the war. Those trees reside in an area of Capitol Park called “Memorial Grove.” This guitar is made from wood derived from tree No. 125, which was removed due to heart rot and instability of limbs. The tree and its memory live on in this exemplary Telecaster guitar.

•John Cruz: Exotic Thinline Stratocaster – A$22,899
John Cruz’s Exotic Thinline Stratocaster uses beautiful exotic hardwoods with character as well as a custom inlay design. The orientation of the Claro walnut combined with the Inlay scheme help glorify the natural beauty of this wood. Ideal for players and collectors that appreciate breathtaking hardwoods, this guitar combines ultimate playability, a classic body shape and the feel of a Fender Stratocaster.

•Yuriy Shishkov: Silence – $92,899
Yuriy Shishkov’s Silence Stratocaster is an abstract art guitar piece with watercolor painting, silver cloisonné, rubies, diamonds and sapphires. It can be viewed from 360 degrees, and Shishkov encourages those witnessing it to create their own “meaning” as an observer.

•Ron Thorn: Coronado Antigua Burst – A$31,499
Ron Thorn’s Coronado is his fresh take on the classic Coronado model using a laminated/pressed arch top and back with an alder rim and center block. Custom-made pickups were designed specifically for this guitar, while the RSD J-Bridge and tailpiece round out the hardware. A unique dove-tail bolt-on neck joint, tilt-back headstock, and a variety of other refinements make this a finely crafted instrument worthy of the “Custom Shop’s Finest” designation.

•Kyle McMillin: The Exotic Hybrid – A$13,399
Kyle McMillin’s The Exotic Hybrid was inspired by a design he made in his garage nine years ago. “I made some minor changes that I wish I had done back then, and also redesigned the guitar to incorporate Fender’s traditional body shape and headstock,” McMillin said. The guitar features a Stratocaster body and Telecaster headstock; a directly mounted TB4 humbucking pickup; and a custom control configuration designed so the switch is out of the way when strumming. “In the past, I would accidentally hit the selector switch on a Stratocaster while playing,” he said. “In this design, the switch is still within the swing of your arm’s reach, but just a little further from your standard strumming region, so you can’t accidentally bump the switch.” The Exotic Hybrid is ideal for players who love an exotic look and variation on Fender’s traditional designs.

•Scott Buehl: Prestige Frosted Duco Tele® – A$17,299
There are many compelling features about this Tele starting with the Red frosted duco lacquer finish. Duco finishes were first made popular in the 1930s. As the duco paint dries, it crystalizes and creates a stunning look. The guitar hosts an alder body, mahogany neck, original Blackguard Tele (bridge) and a TV Jones Classic Filtertron® (neck) pickups. There is an RSD Tele bridge and Schaller® M6 mini tuning machines for ultimate stability and intonation. Buehl added a custom clear pickguard to allow the duco finish to shine through. All these features together create a classic Tele with a host of never-before-seen features.

Finally, Fender will also debut three unique amplifiers and respective sets:

One of A Kind Walnut Double Champ Amplifier 120V – USD$12,000
Masterbuilt by Shawn Greene, this amp is one-of-a-kind featuring all-solid walnut construction, hand-rubbed oil finish. It also acts as musical furniture or an end table for use in the living room or studio. The amp also includes a ’57 Champ circuit; hand-wired with Fender “yellow” tone caps; two custom Celestion G8 speakers for “double champ” performance; and a slotted walnut grille. It’s backed by “sound suede” grill cloth and has a tasteful black ebony feather inlay on top corner.

`64 Deluxe Tiki Amp & Stratocaster Set – A$21,999
Light those patio torches and grab that Strat, because the Fender Amp Custom Shop has combined the exotic spirit of the South Sea islands with a sonic slice of Fender history in the gorgeous form of the ’64 Deluxe Tiki amplifier. Elegantly designed and crafted by Amp Custom Shop Master Builders Shawn Greene and Jim Dolmage, the amp’s rustic select-pine cabinet is beautifully laser-etched with stylized Polynesian Tiki imagery inspired by the work of Fender designer Mike Whelan. The amp also features “torched” wood-burnt cabinet edges, hand-wired `64 Deluxe Reverb circuitry, a single 12” Celestion® Cream speaker and a Custom Shop logo on the back. This unusually distinctive one-of-a-kind amp is paired with a matching Tiki Stratocaster guitar that will have you soloing over “My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua” in no time (if you can after all that rum punch).

`64 Deluxe Kraken Amp & Telecaster Set- A$21,999
From the bottomless creative depths of the Fender Amp Custom Shop comes a most unusual one-of-a-kind piece combining perhaps the most fearsome of all fabulous sea beasts with a classic sonic slice of Fender history—the ’64 Deluxe Kraken amplifier. Elegantly designed and crafted by Amp Custom Shop Master Builders Shawn Greene and Jim Dolmage, the amp’s rustic select-pine cabinet features exquisitely laser-etched imagery (inspired by the work of Fender designer Mike Whelan) depicting a deep-sea diver of old in truly dire straits—­entangled in the formidable tentacles of the enormous Norwegian sea monster that once struck stark terror into the hearts of seafarers everywhere: The Kraken. The amp also features “torched” wood-burnt cabinet edges, hand-wired ’64 Deluxe Reverb circuitry, a single 12” Celestion® cream speaker and a Fender Custom Shop logo on the back. This unusually distinctive one-off amp is paired with a matching Kraken Telecaster guitar with which you can explore untold musical depths.

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

2019 Annual Collections Include:

Vintage Custom:

•Vintage Custom ’57 Strat®

•Vintage Custom ’62 Stratocaster®

•Vintage Custom ’58 Telecaster

•Vintage Custom 1958 Jazzmaster

Postmodern:

•2019 Postmodern Strat® Maple – Journeyman Relic®

•2019 Postmodern Strat® Rosewood – Journeyman Relic®

•2019 Postmodern Tele® – Journeyman Relic®

•2019 Postmodern Bass – Journeyman Relic®

Time Machine:

•1959 Heavy Relic® Stratocaster®

•1965 Journeyman Relic® Stratocaster®

•1967 Stratocaster® Rosewood Relic®

•1952 Telecaster® Relic®

•1956 Telecaster® Journeyman Relic®

•1965 Custom Telecaster® Relic®

•1959 Jazzmaster® Rosewood Journeyman

•1964 Jaguar® Lush Closet Classic

•1960 Precision Bass® Heavy Relic®

•1961 Jazz Bass® Heavy Relic®

Limited Edition:

•Limited Edition Roasted Pine Double Esquire® Relic®

•Limited Edition Big Head Strat® Rosewood Journeyman Relic®

•Limited Edition Roasted Tomatillo Strat® Relic®

•Limited Edition Roasted Tomatillo Strat® Rosewood Relic®

•Limited Edition Thinline Loaded Nocaster Relic®

Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster – A$7,299 (Available January 2019)
If there were a Mount Rushmore of Stratocaster Masters, Stevie Ray Vaughan would be one of the greats enshrined there. Almost single-handedly responsible for the electric blues revival of the 80s and 90s, he used his beloved Strat® to blaze his way to the top of the charts. Only the artisans at the Custom Shop could craft this guitar that Vaughan co-designed with us before his untimely passing. It’s one of the most revered guitars in the world, and we’re proud to make it a permanent addition to the Custom Artist Collection. SRV heavily modified his Strat to match his energetic, yet controlled, playing style. We included a trio of hot, high-output Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special™ pickups for fiery, authentically Fender tone that’s as big as the Lone Star state. As an homage to his personal hero, Jimi Hendrix (who’s also been known to pick up a Strat) SRV used a left-handed vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge on his guitar, allowing him to work the tremolo arm with his elbow—a modification we cheerfully recreated. The two-piece body is crafted from alder selected for its weight and grain, and its NOS lacquer finish will age and wear in a distinctly personal way, just like the original. The tinted riftsawn maple neck has an “Oval C” profile that’s slightly thinner on the treble side, making it easier to bend those strings into the stratosphere—a precise recreation of his favorite guitar’s neck profile. Other features include 5-way pickup switching, vintage-style wiring, 3-ply Black “SRV” pickguard, vintage-style tuning machines, bone nut and round string tree. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.

Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Stratocaster® – A$8,699 (Available January 2019)
Nobody brings the fury to the fingerboard like Yngwie J Malmsteen, the legendary guitarist who single-handedly invented the neo-classical shred genre on his modified Vintage White Stratocaster. As only the artisans at the Custom Shop can do, we co-designed this guitar with Malmsteen, constantly refining the design until he loved it, right down to the special pickups and the distinctively scalloped fingerboard. Originally released in 1988, the Yngwie Malmsteeen Stratocaster was one of the first official Fender signature instruments, and we’re proud to add this Custom Shop model as a permanent part of the Custom Artist Collection. Balancing dynamic response and articulation, the custom Seymour Duncan® YJM Fury single-coil pickups are voiced for their positions, reinforcing each other to create a high-performance, responsive set of pickups. The two-piece select alder body wears a NOS lacquer finish with WLS undercoat while the tinted maple neck sports a “Custom C”-shaped profile that’s designed for fleet-fingered playing. Not just for shredders, the 9.5”-radius fingerboard is scalloped, just like Malmsteen’s original, which provides more control along with enhancing your ability to bend and manipulate notes. Combining the vintage-inspired style of a “big” headstock, vintage bridge and “F”-stamped tuning machines with player-oriented enhancements like 21 super-jumbo frets, brass nut and special strap locks drilled into the guitar for extra security, this instrument will bring new life and ideas to any player’s music. Other features include 5-way pickup switch, vintage-style wiring, 3-ply Eggshell pickguard, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and wing string tree with metal spacer. Includes Yngwie Malmsteen Signature .008-.046 light gauge electric guitar strings, deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.

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NAMM NEWS 2019: NEW ROLAND FP10 DIGITAL PIANO

Posted in Blog, Gear, Keyboards (digital & acoustic)    //    Post Date - January 23, 2019

When inspiration strikes, take a seat at the latest model in Roland’s renowned FP piano series; the entry-level FP-10. This affordable digital piano is always ready to play, with a reassuringly authentic feel from the 88-note PHA-4 Standard keyboard, joined by Roland’s evocative SuperNATURAL piano tones through onboard speakers or headphones. With its portable, space-saving design, the FP-10 is the ideal instrument for home use, whether you’re practicing techniques in the spare room or giving performances in the living room. Plus, with Bluetooth® connectivity and powerful onboard features not offered by any other digital model at this price, the FP-10 is the ideal second piano for more experienced players.

*The Bluetooth feature may not be available, depending on the country where the product is purchased

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NAMM NEWS 2019: ROLAND & BOSS GUITAR PRODUCT RELEASES

Posted in Amplifiers, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - January 23, 2019

WAZA TUBE AMP EXPANDER
First-of-its-Kind Tube Amp Command Center
Bringing together a diverse range of professional tone tools for the very first time, the Waza Tube Amp Expander elevates the tube amp experience to a new level of versatility for stage performing and studio recording. This amazing device does it all—it’s a variable reactive load box, active analog power stage, mic’d cab emulator, IR loader, and recording interface, all in one integrated unit that’s road-ready and easy to use.
Backed by our advanced Tube Logic approach, you’re able to crank your amp to its sweet spot and play at any volume while faithfully retaining the core tone and feel you love. And with extensive connectivity, built-in BOSS effects, 10 fully customizable rig setups, and deep real-time control, you have unparalleled creative command for any scenario. Packed to the max with breakthrough BOSS innovations, the Waza Tube Amp Expander is an essential companion for every tube amp player.

BOSS GT-1000 VERSION 2 FIRMWARE
Free Update Adds More AIRD Preamps, Overdrive and Distortion Effects,
and New Master Delay Types

Delivering unmatched sound quality and musical expression, the GT-1000 ushers in a new era of performance in amp/effects processors. This premium tone machine debuts the groundbreaking new AIRD (Augmented Impulse Response Dynamics) technology, realized with decades of advanced BOSS research and supported by an ultra-fast DSP engine, 32-bit AD/DA, 32-bit floating-point processing, and 96 kHz sampling rate throughout.
Based on BOSS’s acclaimed Tube Logic approach, the comprehensive AIRD system in the GT-1000 brings unparalleled musical response and flexibility to a digital guitar processor. AIRD amplifiers live and breathe like real tube amps, providing inspiring feel and authentic tonal dynamics that were previously unattainable. And with sophisticated AIRD Output Select functionality, you’re able to consistently achieve this amazing sound with any setup, from standard guitar amps to full-range playback systems.
The GT-1000 also features a huge range of cutting-edge BOSS effects to enhance your tones, with numerous routing options and extensive real-time control at your command. And with the convenience of built-in Bluetooth®, you can adjust sounds, configure control assignments, and organize patches wirelessly from your mobile device using the BOSS Tone Studio app. Packing immense creative power in a streamlined pro design, the GT-1000 is a game changer that brings new levels of musical expression to guitarists everywhere.

Download info HERE

NEW ROLAND BLUES CUBE SPARKLE CLEAN TONE CAPSULE
Transparent Clean Tones, Tuned by Jeff “Skunk” Baxter
The Blues Cube Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule brings yet another premium voice to your Blues Cube amplifier. Designed in collaboration with renowned guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, this expressive Tone Capsule delivers a versatile range of clean tones with punch, presence, and clarity. Our ever-evolving Tube Logic approach fully captures the sonic nuances and dynamic feel of the KT66, a vintage output tube noted for its big, full sound and high headroom. The Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule is ideal for any guitarist who shapes their sound with pedals, and is also great for country and jazz players, pedal steel guitarists, and anyone who loves to play with rich clean tones.

SSP $299

“Blues Cube amplifiers are revolutionary and the Tone Capsule concept is brilliant. I’ve been working with Roland for over 40 years, and they’ve unlocked the secret to creating a guitar amplifier with superb features, extraordinary capabilities, and unmatched tone. Instead of spending hours modifying and tailoring the electronics to get the sound, features, and performance I need, all I have to do is plug in my Tone Capsule and the amp is instantly customized exactly the way I want it. I have been waiting for a guitar amplifier like this for a long, long time.”—Jeff “Skunk” Baxter

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NAMM NEWS: GIBSON REVEALS NEW PRODUCT LINE-UP AND ARTIST COLLABORATIONS

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - January 18, 2019

As previously announced, in 2019, after more than a century, GIBSON artists, players and fans will experience the all American-made instrument brand rejuvenated. The guitar of choice for artists in rock, pop, country, blues, folk, jazz and beyond, the new GIBSON era celebrates iconic models while looking to the future with instruments that will nurture new players across generations, genders and genres of music. GIBSON will showcase the new line-up and artist collaborations next week at NAMM in Anaheim, CA, January 23-27. The new GIBSON guitars will be available for purchase later this year.

“We’re paying tribute to the Golden Era of Gibson by restoring authenticity for musicians with our new lineup of Classics,” says Cesar Gueikian, GIBSON’s Chief Merchant Officer. “True to our DNA, our new Les Paul Standard returns to the classic design that made it famous. And the same can be said of other models” adds Gueikian. Designs like the Les Paul and the SG once again embrace the features and construction details that made them legends in the first place: a Les Paul Standard ‘50s spec and a Les Paul Standard ‘60s spec as well as one with P90 pickups; a Les Paul Special in TV Yellow and Les Paul Junior Tobacco Burst; an SG Standard and two new 61 spec SG’s with “maestro” and “sideways” Vibrolas.

Les Paul Standard 50’s spec.

Les Paul Special in TV Yellow.

“We’re refocusing on our core range of guitars that will become the foundation for our future,” Gueikian says. “And that will give us the ability to bring new ideas to market with limited runs.

The new Contemporary lineup includes a Les Paul Tribute Double Cut Junior with a single P90 and a Les Paul Tribute Double Cut Special with dual P90’s, both offer fans an accessible price point with the quality and craftmanship of a GIBSON guitar made by our luthiers in Nashville, TN. “The Contemporary line also introduces a new concept with the Les Paul and SG Modern,” adds Gueikian. “We did a listening tour visiting with dealers, artists and guitar enthusiasts and took the best ideas into the new Modern offerings. They incorporate many contemporary updates that players have embraced such as lighter-weight bodies, innovative slim taper neck profiles for full-access to the high frets, ebony fingerboards, high output versatile pickups and a push-pull control system to pivot between the humbucker and the P90 sounds, both of which have defined so many genres of music since we invented them.”

“This refocusing extends well beyond GIBSON’s electric guitar designs onto our acoustic designs,” adds Gueikian. For starters, there is the new Gibson Generation line of acoustics–high-quality, USA-made guitars built by the same hands that make the J-200 and J-45’s by providing premium access aimed to younger, or newer, “generations” of players. This new Gibson Generation line’s first offerings, the G-45 Studio and G-45 Standard, priced at $999 and $1299 respectively, feature solid Sitka spruce tops and walnut back and sides and exquisite finishes. “We are very excited about the new Gibson Generation line offering the Gibson craftmanship at an accessible premium price point.”


Gibson Generation: G45 Standard.

At the pinnacle of GIBSON, is the Gibson Custom Shop which is currently making the most historically-accurate vintage re-issues ever made. “We have recently put our Custom Shop re-issues in the hands of some of the most knowledgeable vintage experts and collectors, who inspected every detail and put them through the lens of the ‘ultimate guitar geek test’ and they were blown away by our craftmanship, accuracy, aging techniques and sound,” says Gueikian. “And then you have our made to measure custom program, where our artists and fans can design their own guitar, which today represents a large and growing share of our Custom Shop production. That’s a testament to the quality, craftmanship and innovation being driven out of the Custom Shop.”

“The future of GIBSON will see a much more holistic, integrated approach to working with our artists.”

GIBSON teamed with Chuck Berry’s Son and Grandson to create Berry’s famed ES-350T which will be out this year. “We x-rayed the original down to the micro-level to recreate it,” adds Gueikian. GIBSON will also release a limited-edition, Chris Cornell Tribute Model ES-335; only 250 will be available with a portion going to charities in his name. Over the years, GIBSON partnered with Chris to work on his original ES-335 Artist Model and it was immediately clear that he had an innovative eye for guitar design. Features like the aged Lollartron humbucking pickups, clear “no number” Top Hat knobs, Olive Drab Satin finish, and Mother-of-Pearl Chris Cornell ‘signature’ peghead inlay make this guitar one of GIBSON’s most distinct artist offerings to date and more importantly a fitting tribute to Chris Cornell.

Across all of GIBSON’s product lines, the story will continue be told with the brand’s greatest partners–its musicians. In addition to receiving input and advice from legendary players like Slash, who tested the new line of Les Paul classics and has taken them on his new tour, GIBSON currently has a wide array of exciting signature models in development with musicians (see the list below with more to come later in the year). “Our artists are going to be an integral part of what we do,” Gueikian says. “Our solutions for guitarists will continue to leverage the past and set up the future at all levels. We’re excited about musicians from the past, present and future at all levels. We work for the artist, it all starts with our musicians.

There is a renewed commitment to additional guitar brands under the GIBSON umbrella, including Epiphone, Kramer and Steinberger, the first of which GIBSON President and CEO James “JC” Curleigh says will play a significant role in the company’s new vision. “If you look at Epiphone’s heritage, it dates back to 1873—and its full story is yet to be told. And who played Epiphone? Paul McCartney. Bob Dylan. John Lennon. There’s an incredible lineage there, and Epiphone guitars are some of the highest-quality accessible guitars in the world. They’re amazing instruments, especially for the price, which is why so many working musicians play Epiphone. The Epiphone story is one that we can’t wait to tell through a modern-day lens.”

Signature Artist Guitar Announcements 2019
George Thorogood – Epiphone Ltd Ed Thorogood “White Fang” ES-125TDC
Jared James Nichols – Epiphone Limited Edition Jared James Nichols ‘Old Glory’ Les Paul Custom Outfit
Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell Tribute Gibson ES-335
Dave Rude – Epiphone Limited Edition Dave Rude Flying V Outfit
Dave Amato – Custom Shop Dave Amato Signature Axcess Les Paul
Brian Ray – Custom Shop Brian Ray 62 SG Jr.
Lee Roy Parnell – Custom Shop Lee Roy Parnell Signature 1959 Les Paul Standard
Slim Harpo – Slim Harpo ’62 ES-330
Michael Clifford – Michael Clifford Signature Melody Maker
Chuck Berry Estate – Custom Shop Chuck Berry Tribute ES-350T

Gibson guitars distributed in Australia by Australis Music Group

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FENDER MUSIC AUSTRALIA DONATES 300 GUITARS TO DISADVANTAGED SCHOOLS   

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 18, 2019

Earlier this week, Fender Music Australia donated 300 new acoustic guitars to the national Don’t Stop the Music campaign, who will distribute the instruments to disadvantaged primary schools around the country.

The campaign, led by Musica Viva, the Salvation Army and the ABC, aims to promote the transformative effects of music in the classroom. The initiative has been documented in a three-part ABC TV series starring Guy Sebastian.
Fender’s donation at the Musica Viva national office in Sydney was a substantial contribution to the Don’t Stop the Music campaign and reflects the company’s commitment to the Australian music community and providing music education to support these children on their musical journey.

“When I saw Don’t Stop the Music on TV, I instantly knew it was something Fender needed to be a part of,” said Fender Music Australia’s General Manager, Mark Amory. “The best way to help out was to get a bunch of instruments in the kids’ hands and encourage them to make music and enjoy themselves,” he said.
Fender has been an international icon of the music industry for over 70 years, creating instruments used by legendary artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan.
“Thousands of students across Australia are missing out on music education, and all the benefits associated with learning music. With the help of generous donations such as this from Fender, Don’t Stop the Music and Musica Viva aim to make a real difference to children’s lives,” Musica Viva’s Director of Education, Colette Vella, said. “Fender’s donation was an outstanding result for Don’t Stop the Music, which has now gathered over 4,000 instruments for Australian schools,” she said.

For more information on Don’t Stop The Music or to make a cash or instrument donation, please visit musicaviva.com.au/dontstopthemusic/

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DIVINYLS REBOOTED LINE-UP TOUR REHEARSAL SNEAK PEEK

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 17, 2019

Ahead of their upcoming Australian tour, the rebooted Divinyls featuring founding member, guitarist and songwriter Mark McEntee has introduced the band’s cracking new vocalist Lauren Ruth Ward and all Australian rhythm section via a sneak peek performance clip taken at recent rehearsals in Perth, Western Australia.

The new combination featuring McEntee, Lauren Ruth Ward and Aussies J Cortez and Malcolm Clarke rip through a snippet of the classic Divinyls track Boys In Town breathing a new energy into the song, paying homage to the past but definitely dragging the material kicking and screaming into 2019.

“For true fans of Divinyls music, this is a chance to relive some of those great songs live again,” states McEntee. “It’s not about replacing anybody,” he continues, “this tour is about getting the chance to play and bloody celebrate these great songs again, live and loud, and hopefully people are interested in that.” On the addition of Lauren Ruth Ward McEntee adds, “I’d never seriously thought about getting Divinyls back on the road until I heard Lauren sing, there had been offers, but this girl is the real thing and I just had to jump on the opportunity.”

Lauren Ruth Ward is a force of nature. Having moved to Los Angeles in 2015, the Los Angeles-based artist quickly built a large and loyal local following with her 70s-tinged psych-blues swagger and voice of gold. As a young up and coming artist Lauren brings her own voice and message to Divinyls, while at the same time respecting the legacy and lyrics of the late great Chrissy Amphlett.

The reformed Divinyls hit the road in late February with only one thing to prove, how great these enduring anthems still are and how much they still mean to so many.

Divinyls Tour dates

WEDNESDAY 27TH FEBRUARY- WINTERSUN HOTEL- GERALDTON
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FRIDAY- 1ST MARCH – GATE ONE THEATRE – PERTH
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SATURDAY 2ND MARCH- DUNSBOROUGH TAVERN- DUNSBOROUGH
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SUNDAY 3RD MARCH- GATE ONE THEATRE – PERTH
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WEDNESDAY 6TH MARCH- THE GOV – ADELAIDE
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THURSDAY 7TH MARCH- FORUM- MELBOURNE
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FRIDAY 8TH MARCH- UNI BAR- HOBART
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SATURDAY 9TH MARCH- SALOON BAR- LAUNCESTON
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SUNDAY 10TH MARCH- LORNE HOTEL-LORNE
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WEDNESDAY 13TH MARCH- ANU- CANBERRA
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THURSDAY 14TH MARCH- WAVES- WOLLONGONG
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FRIDAY 15TH MARCH- ENMORE THEATRE – SYDNEY
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SATURDAY 16TH – MARCH- LIVE AT THE FORESHORE-NEWCASTLE
WWW.LIVEATTHEFORESHORE.COM.AU

WEDNESDAY 20TH MARCH- COOLANGATTA HOTEL- COOLANGATTA
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THURSDAY 21ST MARCH – EATONS HILL HOTEL – BRISBANE
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FRIDAY – 22ND MARCH -VILLA NOOSA HOTEL – NOOSAVILLE
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SATURDAY 23RD MARCH- RACEHORSE HOTEL- IPSWICH
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MONDAY 25TH -MARCH DISCOVERY – DARWIN
WWW.DTIX.COM.AU

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FLEETWOOD MAC ANNOUNCE AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 16, 2019

Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band Fleetwood Mac today announced an Australian tour, set to kick off on August 9 in Perth and taking in Brisbane on August 20, Sydney on August 27 and 29, and concluding with two shows in Melbourne on September 2 and 4. Produced by Live Nation, the tour will feature the new line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie along with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, and follows the band’s 50+ city North American tour.

Tickets for Sydney and Perth shows go on sale at 12 noon local time, and Melbourne and Brisbane from 1pm local time, on Friday, January 25.

Exclusive pre-sale for Optus customers, thanks to Optus Perks from 10am local time for Sydney and Perth, and 11am local time for Melbourne and Brisbane on Tuesday, January 22.  Concluding 10am local time for Sydney and Perth, and 11am local time for Melbourne and Brisbane on Thursday, January 24. For more information on how to purchase, visit optusperks.com.au or download My Optus App today.

A limited number of LaneOne Premium Packages will also be available, including amazing seats with premium benefits such as transportation, preferred entrance and more at laneone.com.

For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit: livenation.com.au.

“Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents. We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realise that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound,” said Mick Fleetwood.

“We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the calibre of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” said the group collectively. “Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honouring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”

Fleetwood Mac was founded by Peter Green in 1967 and was named after Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.  After Peter Green left in 1969, Fleetwood and McVie remained as original members, and the band has since featured a cast of brilliant talents. Most notably, Christine McVie joined the band in 1970, with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining in 1974. The enduring spirit of Fleetwood Mac stands for an incredible body of great music that has connected with generations of people all over the world for more than 50 years.  Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and the GRAMMY-award winning band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

FLEETWOOD MAC AUSTRALIA 2019
RAC ARENA, PERTH                                        FRIDAY AUGUST 9
BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE    TUESDAY AUGUST 20
QUDOS BANK ARENA, SYDNEY                   TUESDAY AUGUST 27
QUDOS BANK ARENA, SYDNEY                   THURSDAY AUGUST 29
ROD LAVER ARENA, MELBOURNE             MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2
ROD LAVER ARENA, MELBOURNE             WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4

TICKETS ON SALE AT 12 NOON FOR SYDNEY AND PERTH, AND AT 1PM FOR MELBOURNE AND BRISBANE, ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 25.
Optus Perks pre-sale begins 10am for Sydney and Perth, and 11am for Melbourne and Brisbane on Tuesday, January 22.  Concluding 10am for Sydney and Perth, and 11am for Melbourne and Brisbane on Thursday, January 24.

Live Nation pre-sale begins 12 noon for Sydney and Perth, and 1pm for Melbourne and Brisbane, Thursday, January 24 until 8am Friday, January 25.
ALL TIMES LOCAL

For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit www.fleetwoodmac.com & www.livenation.com.au 

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GIBSON ANNOUNCES LIMITED-EDITION CHRIS CORNELL TRIBUTE GUITAR

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - January 16, 2019

GIBSON announced today, Tuesday, January 15, the release of a limited-edition Chris Cornell Tribute ES-335 guitar. The guitar will officially be unveiled at “I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell” the star-studded concert event honoring Chris Cornell’s legacy and contribution to music history on Wednesday, January 16 at The Forum in Los Angeles. For more information, visit: http://www.chriscornell.com.

“Chris Cornell was not only one of the most iconic singer songwriters of all time, he was a modern innovator who left a legacy that transcends music genres and generations,” says Cesar Gueikian, Chief Merchant Officer, GIBSON. “It is our honor to release this tribute ES-335 in his memory. It’s a guitar Chris fell in love with and which became a part of his creative expression. Chris was a special artist and we hope that this guitar will inspire fans to find their sound, and inspiration, just like Chris did, for many years to come.”

GIBSON partnered with Chris to work on his original ES-335 Artist Model and it was immediately clear that he had an innovative eye for guitar design. Features like the aged Lollartron humbucking pickups, clear “no number” Top Hat knobs, Olive Drab Satin finish, and Mother-of-Pearl Chris Cornell ‘signature’ peghead inlay make this guitar one of GIBSON’s most distinct artist offerings to date. Available in a limited release of only 250 pieces available for purchase worldwide in Spring 2019.

The “I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” will feature members of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave, as well as, special performances from the Foo Fighters, Metallica, Ryan Adams, and more. Jimmy Kimmel will be on hand to host the concert. Tickets will benefit The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, and The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and awareness for this painful and debilitating genetic disorder. GIBSON will donate two of the limited-edition Chris Cornell ES-335 models in partnership with the show to raise additional monies for both foundations.
Gibson distributed in Australia by www.australismusic.com.au

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NAMM NEWS: FRAMUS 2019 GUITAR RELEASES

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - January 15, 2019

This year’s Framus novelties, to be revealed at NAMM are dominated by three-dimensional tops and strikingly curved contours, which are already familiar from the Framus Idolmaker and which make the Diablo II and Panthera II models unmistakable and extremely aesthetic. The Stormbender Devin Townsend model will also be available as a 7-string Masterbuilt from 2019.

The Framus model Diablo was completely revised and now presents itself as Diablo II, with carved top like the Idolmaker.
All instruments of the Masterbuilt and Teambuilt model series feature Plek Fretwork with IFT – Invisible Fretwork Technology. The fret edges of all Masterbuilts are rounded in addition.

1. New Framus 2019 – Masterbuilt Custom Shop


Panthera II Studio Supreme Masterbuilt
The Panthera II Studio Supreme features a mahogany body with matching wooden electronic compartment cover, carved AAAA flamed maple top, flamed maple neck with tigerstripe ebony fingerboard with 22 Jumbo frets and fluorescent side dots, Graph Tech Ratio locking tuners with wooden knobs, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: APH-1N Alnico II Pro (neck), APS-1 RW/RP Alnico Pro II staggered single coil (middle), SH-5 Custom (bridge), volume and tone controls (push/pull for humbucker splitting, 5-way pickup switch, 2-way “lead free” switch, TonePros Tune-o-Matic bridge, stop tailpiece and Warwick security locks.


Diablo II Supreme Masterbuilt
The Framus Diablo II Supreme is equipped with carved AAAA flamed maple top with mahogany back and matching electronic compartment cover made of wood, set-in mahogany neck with tigerstripe ebony fingerboard with 22 Jumbo frets and fluorescent side dots, Graph Tech Ratio Locking tuners with wooden knobs, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: Sentient (neck) / Nazgûl (bridge), volume and tone controls, Framus 5-way switch, TonePros Tune-o-Matic Bridge, string through body and Warwick security locks.


Diablo II Supreme X Masterbuilt
The Framus Diablo II Supreme X is equipped with US swamp ash body with matching wooden electronic compartment cover, carved AAAA flamed maple top, bolt-in flamed maple neck with rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium standard frets and fluorescent side dots, Graph Tech Ratio Locking tuners with wooden knobs, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: SCR-1N Cool Rail (neck), SSL-1 RW/RP (middle), TB-4 JB Trembucker (bridge), volume and tone controls (push/pull for humbucker split), Framus 5-way switch, Wilkinson by Framus vibrato system and Warwick Security Locks.


Diablo II Progressive X Masterbuilt
The Framus Diablo II Progressive X features a mahogany body with matching wooden electronic compartment cover, a carved AAAA flamed maple top, a bolt-in flamed maple neck with tigerstripe fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets and fluorescent side dots, a Graph Tech Ratio locking tuners with wooden knobs, a locking nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: SH-2N (neck), TB-4 JB Trembucker (bridge), volume and tone controls, a Framus 5-way switch, an original Floyd Rose vibrato system and Warwick Security Locks.

Stormbender Devin Townsend Signature 7-String Masterbuilt (No pic available yet)
The Framus Stormbender 7-String is equipped with carbon fiber center, maple top with mahogany back with matching wooden electronic compartment cover, flamed maple neck with tigerstripe ebony fingerboard with 22 Jumbo frets and fluorescent side dots, Graph Tech Ratio locking mechanics with wooden knobs, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction saddle, active Fluence humbuckers, controls for volume and tone (push/pull for voice selection), toggle switch for pickup selection, Evertune Bridge system and Warwick Security Locks.

2. News Framus 2019 – Teambuilt Pro Series

Panthera II Studio Supreme Teambuilt
The Panthera II Studio Supreme features a mahogany Body with carved AAA flamed maple top, maple neck with tigerstripe ebony fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets and fluorescent side dots, Graph Tech Ratio Locking Machines, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: APH-1N Alnico II Pro (neck), APS-1 RW/RP Alnico Pro II staggered Single Coil (middle), SH-5 Custom (bridge), volume and tone Controls (push/pull for humbucker splitting, 5-way pickup switch, 2-way “lead free” switch, TonePros Tune-o-Matic bridge, stop tailpiece and Warwick Security Locks.

Diablo II Pro Teambuilt
The Framus Diablo II Pro is equipped with carved US swamp ash body, bolt-in maple neck with rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium standard frets, Graph Tech Ratio Locking machines, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: SCR-1N Cool Rail (neck), SSL-1 RW/RP (middle), TB-4 JB Trembucker (bridge), volume and tone controls (push/pull for humbucker splitting, Framus 5-way switch, Wilkinson by Framus vibrato system and Warwick Security Locks.


Diablo II Supreme Teambuilt
The Framus Diablo II Supreme is equipped with carved AAA flamed maple top with mahogany back, mahogany neck with tigerstripe ebony fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets and fluorescent side dots, Graph Tech Ratio Locking machines, Graph Tech Black Tusq Low Friction nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: Sentient (neck) / Nazgûl (bridge), volume and tone controls, Framus 5-way switch, TonePros Tune-o-Matic Bridge, string through body and Warwick Security Locks.
Diablo II Progressive X Teambuilt

Among the features of the Framus Diablo II Progressive X are mahogany body, carved AAA flamed maple top, bolt-in maple neck with tigerstripe ebony fingerboard with 22 jumbo Frets, Graph Tech Ratio Locking Machines, locking nut, Seymour Duncan pickups: SH-2N (neck), TB-4 JB Trembucker (bridge), volume and tone controls, Framus 5-way switch, original Floyd Rose vibrato system and Warwick Security Locks.

Upgrades for all Teambuilt instruments from 2019
All Framus Teambuilt guitars will be delivered with certificate of authenticity and original photo from 2019.

For more information, please visit: www.framus.de

Framus distributed in Australia by Amber Technology

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