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FENDER CUSTOM SHOP PROMOTES CARLOS LOPEZ TO MASTER BUILDER AS PRODUCT DEMAND CONTINUES TO GROW

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - May 17, 2019

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) this week announced a new Master Builder joining the Fender Custom Shop: Carlos Lopez. With decades of experience in guitar luthiery, he’s worked on many guitars during his four years as an Apprentice Master Builder under esteemed Fender Master Builder Todd Krause.

“Demand for masterbuilt Fender Custom Shop guitars are in more demand now more than ever, which explains why we’ve added three new Master Builders since 2018,” said Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at Fender Custom Shop. “Our apprentice program continues to foster some of the best up-and-coming builders in the business, and Carlos Lopez was always a standout throughout his time working for Todd Krause. We’re eager to see all the dream guitars he’ll build for players around the world.”

Lopez is no stranger to the Fender Custom Shop. After graduating from the Musician’s Institute’s Guitar Craft Academy in 2007, he earned a full-time position on Fender’s production line and was later called to work in the Fender Custom Shop. Lopez brings a comprehensive understanding of the business to his work, having served in nearly every position in the Shop—including tune testing, relicing and fretwork—until he was promoted to an Apprentice Master Builder for Todd Krause. With Krause, he worked hand-in-hand on high-profile projects for top artists, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Robbie Robertson and Robin Trower.

“I have had the opportunity to learn and be mentored from the best of the best throughout my professional career,” said Carlos Lopez, Master Builder at the Fender Custom Shop. “I can’t put into words how special it is to be a part of such an iconic brand with some of the finest builders in the world.”

In his new position as Fender Custom Shop Master Builder, Lopez is looking forward to having creative control to bring his ideas to life, and then revealing them to the world at NAMM 2020

Visit Fender Australia’s website

Master Builder

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NEW VOLTAGE RESEARCH LABORATORY FROM PITTSBURGH MODULAR SYNTHS

Posted in Blog, Gear, Keyboards (digital & acoustic)    //    Post Date - May 10, 2019


Musician and sonic architect-attentive electronic instruments-maker Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers is proud to debut Voltage Research Laboratory — a completely different, organic analog synthesizer, functionally influenced by the behaviours and systems of the natural world, with which adventurous users can explore the natural systems and lesser-known fringes of analog synthesis as a wildly experimental and extremely deep sonic playground — at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11.

As Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ most ambitious and experimental synthesizer offering to date, Voltage Research Laboratory comprises three separate modules that are 100% compatible with the ever-popular Eurorack small-format modular system, housed together in a purpose-built, handmade Eurorack case. Collectively they are so much more than an assemblage of tools and functions, rather representing a unique modular synthesizer seriously designed to reward deep experimentation, encouraging the creation of unique sonic systems.

Central to Voltage Research Laboratory’s unique sound palette is its lifeforms voltage lab module. Musically or otherwise, it originates with a complex oscillator pair — primary oscillator and secondary oscillator — that utilise a wide range of shaping and manipulation options to move away from basic geometric shapes to more harmonically rich tones. There is also a custom wave folder with enhanced waveform warping, linear FM, amplitude modulation, ring modulation, waveform cycling, hard sync, and more besides — all available for serious sonic research.

More manipulation comes courtesy of a set of multi-function generators — function generator a and function generator b, which work as interactive voltage processing systems to create and modify complex control voltages. Acting as voltage-controllable envelopes, LFOs, slew generators, and more, these function generators give life to evolving control signals.

Thereafter, twin dynamics controllers — dynamics controller a and dynamics controller b — bring everything together. After all, as a unique circuit expanding on the classic low pass gate, the dynamics controller with variable response adds an organic depth to the lifeforms voltage lab module by simulating the natural behaviour of sound. Saying that, the multi-mode signal processor features a 12dB resonant filter, VCA, and percussive low pass gate modes.

Meanwhile, back in the natural world, sound interacts with its surroundings, so the lifeforms voltage lab module makes use of an analog delay to simulate this interaction and create an artificial sense of time and space. Sonic manipulation of delay time and feedback add depth and warmth through chorus-, Doppler-, echo-, flanger-, reverb-, and slapback-type effects. Chaos can be found everywhere. Electronically, random gates and control voltages spark uncontrolled reactions, disrupt systems, and generate ideas. It is for that very reason that the lifeforms voltage lab module includes noise, stepped random CV, a pseudo-random sequence generator, pitched random CV, pitched random sequences, and random gates to add multiple levels of unpredictability to any patch.

Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ Voltage Research Laboratory itself includes the lifeforms touch controller module. Intuitive and inspiring, it effectively overcomes the creative restrictions of a traditional chromatic keyboard with a set of fully-configurable, multi-dimensional touch pads as a duophonic touch controller. By bringing into play two sets of five touch pads, it offers a flexible and interactive performance surface, so performances can be interpreted with a unique combination of monophonic and duophonic responses. The lifeforms touch controller module’s channel animator also allows speedy generation of complex sequences or glitchy chaos — all in all, then, the perfect launchpad for any experimental journey, be it musical or otherwise.

As a Voltage Research Laboratory exclusive, the lifeforms utility module features a unity gain signal mixer/splitter along with stereo headphone and line outputs, rounding out the functionality of this completely different, organic analog synthesizer. The three Voltage Research Laboratory modules are housed in a beautiful 96hp Eurorack enclosure, shaped with the warmth of walnut and the strength of steel. Suitably named, the Lifeforms Research Console case perfectly pairs classic desktop synthesizer ergonomics with a modern Eurorack form factor and a clean, reliable power supply.

Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers distributed in Australia by Innovative Music Australia

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LTD. ED. LZZY HALE SIGNATURE EPIPHONE EXPLORER

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - May 8, 2019

Epiphone, a leader in affordable professional instruments, proudly welcomes LZZY HALE of Halestorm to their Signature Artist family. The “Ltd. Ed. Lzzy Hale Signature Explorer Outfit” features a classic Explorer in an Alpine White gloss finish, Alnico Classic PRO humbuckers, Grover™ Rotomatic machine heads, an Ebony fingerboard and gold hardware. A Custom Hard Shell Case and Certificate of Authenticity are also included.

For over two decades as the founder and leader of Halestorm, LZZY HALE has been called one of the greatest metal guitarists of her generation. And for her debut Signature model, LZZY worked closely with Epiphone’s luthiers in Nashville to design an Explorer to match her fiery fretwork.

This guitar was something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” says LZZY. “In passing, they’d say, ‘We should do an Epiphone…’and I’d say ‘yeah…yeah… that would be great.’  And now here it is! Having an Epiphone signature is extremely important to me because it gives me a broad reach. I’ve had signature models before, but they’ve also been pretty much a mortgage payment. Even from a financial aspect, with my Epiphone, I get to give the gift of music and put a great guitar in the hands of people who want it. It could be someone’s first guitar, but it’s not something you’ll ever have to upgrade. This a real guitar and it feels like home to me. What I love about an Explorer is when you see someone playing one, you know they’re going to rock. It has those edges to it. I always feel like a rock star with my Epiphone.”

The Ltd. Ed. Lzzy Hale Signature Explorer Outfit has a Mahogany body with an Alpine White gloss finish with multi-layer black and white binding and a gold metallic pickguard. The Mahogany neck has a Custom “C” profile made to LZZY’s specifications, an Ebony fingerboard with block inlays, medium jumbo frets, a GraphTechTM nut and a traditional Explorer headstock with a vintage Epiphone logo in gold. LZZY’s Explorer is powered by Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO™ Humbuckers that have the tonal characteristics of classic 1950s humbuckers, but instead use Alnico V magnets with a slightly higher output for a more modern sound.

Visit www.Epiphone.com for full details. Epiphone distributed in Australia by Australis Music Group

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EPIPHONE ANNOUNCES ‘LTD. ED. JARED JAMES NICHOLS ‘OLD GLORY’ LES PAUL CUSTOM OUTFIT’

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - May 6, 2019

Epiphone has announced the worldwide release of the Ltd. Ed. Jared James Nichols “Old Glory” Les Paul Custom Outfit, the premier Epiphone Signature model by the phenomenal guitarist from Les Paul’s hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin who Music Radar named their Top 5 “Upcoming Guitar Players in the World” citing Jared’s “wild, untamable solos.” The Jared James Nichols ‘Old Glory’ Les Paul Custom features a classic 1950s style Les Paul Custom body with a single Seymour DuncanTM P-90, an Ebony fretboard, GroverTM Rotomatic tuners, and an EpiLiteTM Case along with a signed Certificate of Authenticity.

“I’ve been playing the prototype of ‘Old Glory’ on stage since the day I got it,” Nichols told Epiphone.com. “Ever since Joe Perry loaned me a 50s Les Paul Custom with a single pickup, I knew I needed one of my own. This is an incredible guitar. I can’t put it down. I’m so honored and grateful. Thank you, Epiphone!”

During the past five years touring with his trio and supporting his critically acclaimed album, Black Magic, Jared has been making fans around the world while also earning the admiration of legendary artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zakk Wylde, and Aerosmith for his deft fretwork (without a pick!) and deep love of the blues. And when your hometown is Waukesha, WI–the birthplace of Les Paul–you really have no choice but to take up guitar. Fans can see the Jared James Nichols “Old Glory” Les Paul Custom Outfit, live in action as Jared will make special appearances for demos and jams in the Music EXP Tent for Gibson during the Welcome To Rockville (May 3-5), Epicenter Festival (May 10-11) and Sonic Temple Festival (May 18-19). Jared James Nichols entire 2019 U.S and European tour dates are listed below.

The Ltd. Ed. Jared James Nichols ‘Old Glory’ Les Paul Custom Outfit is modeled after Jared’s favorite stage guitar and features a 50s style Les Paul Custom with an Ebony finish, historic binding, and an Ebony fingerboard, but with the striking look of a single Seymour DuncanTM P-90 and a Gibson-style ‘Custom’ plaque inscribed Blues Power. ‘Old Glory’ also comes with an EpiLiteTM Case and a signed Certificate of Authenticity.

“Jared epitomizes what our Epiphone and Gibson brands are all about,” said Cesar Gueikian, a longtime fan and Chief Merchant Officer of Gibson Brands. “He is a true student of the guitar and takes commitment and performance to a level I have only seen in the greatest musicians. The Epiphone ‘Old Glory’ we are unveiling today pays tribute to JARED and his favorite stage guitar and we hope it will inspire new generations of players, too. All of us at Gibson and Epiphone are proud of Jared and excited to see how he shapes sound with the Old Glory. Jared’s future is bright and we are honored to be part of his journey.”

Jared James Nichols pictured at Gibson WInter NAMM party in January

Look for the Ltd. Ed. Jared James Nichols “Old Glory” Les Paul Custom Outfit at Authorized Epiphone Dealers everywhere.

Epiphone distributed in Australia by Australis Music Group

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GIBSON ANNOUNCES NEW ORIGINAL, MODERN and CUSTOM SHOP COLLECTIONS

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - May 1, 2019

For the past 125 years, Gibson has been synonymous with creating, shaping and owning sound across generations of artists and multiple genres of music. At the start of the year, Gibson emerged as the legitimate leader again with their much-anticipated return to NAMM, the world’s largest music industry show. The ‘new’ Gibson showed up with compelling and relevant guitars, combined with a re-energized Brand and renewed commitment from all of the Gibson Artists. The big question was, “When is the launch of the new collection?”

Gibson is pleased to announce that their new collection has been launched around the world. With the new Original, Modern and Custom Collections, Gibson is setting the stage for the next era of amazing guitars. By leveraging its iconic past and leaning into the innovative future, this is already considered by many to be the best collection from Gibson this century.

“The energy continues to build around our new collections and we are very proud that we could draw on our heritage for the Original collection and build on our innovation for the Modern collection. Not to mention taking our Custom Collection to a whole new level,” says Cesar Gueikian, Chief Merchant Officer of Gibson. “In fact, based on the momentum, excitement, and demand, we made the decision to launch the new collection two months earlier than planned, a first for Gibson,” asserts Cesar.

Over the past few months Gibson has been setting the stage for this ‘comeback’ moment. With Artists, Dealers and Fans fully engaged on the journey, there is widespread endorsement for the way Gibson is approaching the next era of shaping sound for past, present and future generations.

“Our vision of becoming the most loved, the most played, and the most relevant Guitar brand, again, is becoming a reality,” adds James ‘JC’ Curleigh, President and CEO of Gibson.

Gibson Original Collection:
“The Golden Era returns with the new Gibson Original Collection,” says Cesar Gueikian. “With this classic line we are paying tribute to our iconic past, bringing back the guitars which shaped the sounds across all generations and genres of music.” The Gibson Original Collection brings classic design, innovation and authenticity back into the hands of Gibson fans. The Gibson Original Collection includes the Les Paul Standard 50’s, Les Paul Standard 60’s, Les Paul Special in TV Yellow, Les Paul Junior in Tobacco Burst, the SG 61 Standard with factory stop-tail, Maestro and Sideways vibrolas, SG Special and Junior, the classic ES-335 Figured and DOT, Firebird, Flying V and Explorer, as well as, the J-45, Hummingbird and J-200.



Gibson Modern Collection:
The new Gibson Modern Collection builds on Gibson’s solid legacy of coveted innovation by introducing modern features that will shape the sounds for future generations of musicians. “The Modern Collection reflects a new era of innovation, something Orville Gibson started in 1894 and Ted McCarty fueled in the 50’s and 60’s. It incorporates many contemporary updates that players have embraced, such as lighter-weight bodies, push-pull systems to switch between the Burst Bucker and P90 sounds, innovative slim-taper necks with asymmetrical profiles, shaved heels for effortless access to the highest frets as well as maximum sustain and stability,” explains Cesar Gueikian. The Gibson Modern Collection includes the Les Paul and SG Modern, Les Paul Studio and Tribute models, the new ES-235 and modern versions of the ES-335, Flying V and Explorer B-2, and modern Hummingbird, J-45 and J-15, as well as the Parlor acoustic models.

Gibson Custom Shop Original Collection:
“The Gibson Custom Shop is the pinnacle of craftsmanship, quality and sound excellence. Each instrument celebrates Gibson’s legacy through accuracy, authenticity and attention to detail,” says Cesar Gueikian. “This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Les Paul Standard, the holy grail, with our most historically accurate recreation of the most iconic guitar in history.”With Gibson’s new Original, Modern and Custom Collections, Gibson has ignited its new chapter as the guitar of choice for artists in rock, pop, country, blues, folk, jazz, and beyond.

Gibson distributed in Australia by Australis Music Group

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VOX VX15 & VX50 GTV LIGHTWEIGHT AMPS

Posted in Amplifiers, Blog, Gear, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - April 29, 2019

Released at Winter NAMM in January were additions to the VX line of modeling amps including the entry-level VX15 GT and Nutube-equipped VX50 GTV. Vox Australia’s Tom Baeppler shows us what they can do here in this video demo. Tom goes through a range of different amp models and effects as well as demonstrating the line mode which allows the use of Acoustic Guitars or keyboards.

VX15 GT
15W Entry level modeling amplifier. Grab. Go. Jam.
• “VET” modeling technology boasts the ultimate in sound quality, both in character and amount
• A numerous and diverse array of tube amp and boutique amp models are provided, including VOX’s legendary AC30
• Internal structure that’s carefully calculated for powerful sound, featuring a sealed bass-reflex body constructed of ABS

VX50 GTV
• 50W Guitar amplifier with big sound from a small and light weight format. Grab. Go. Jam.
•  Equipped with a USB audio interface that allows the Nutube sound to be recorded directly to your computer
•  Ultra-lightweight design that overturns expectations for guitar amps
•  “VET” modeling technology boasts the ultimate in sound quality, both in character and amount
• Internal structure that’s carefully calculated for powerful sound, featuring a sealed bass-reflex body constructed of ABS

https://www.facebook.com/VoxAmpsAustralia/

 

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ROLAND HP700 DIGITAL PIANO SERIES

Posted in Blog, Gear, Keyboards (digital & acoustic)    //    Post Date - April 11, 2019

Playing the piano is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, whether teaching yourself or watching your family discover a passion for music. Roland’s all-new HP700 series supports your ambitions with gorgeous piano sound, sophisticated styling, and helpful features that’ll keep you coming back for more. And with the flexibility and expression to suit any genre or playing standard, you’ll have an instrument that grows with you for years to come.

An HP700 piano can be the centerpiece of a room—or so discreet you hardly know it’s there. For silent practice day or night, connect headphones and enjoy immersive sound that won’t disturb your family or neighbours. For interactive study, wirelessly connect the piano with your smartphone via Bluetooth® and play along with your favourite tunes or sharpen your skills with online tutorials. For performance, adjust the volume-controllable internal speakers to fill the room with music. And when you’re not playing, you can use the HP700 piano as your home entertainment system, streaming music with clear, detailed highs and rich, powerful lows.

HP704
The HP704 has a tall, elegant cabinet, a powerful four-speaker audio system and the highly-expressive PHA-50 keyboard. Available in polished ebony, charcoal, dark rosewood, light oak, and white finishes.

HP702
Compact, simple and stylish, the HP702 delivers a superior piano experience—for less than you’d think. Available in charcoal, dark rosewood, light oak, and white finishes.

Check out an overview of the series HERE

And also check out Piano Every Day, a free iOS/Android smartphone app that encourages you to play more often. Browse and purchase from Sheet Music Direct’s online library of over 70,000 music scores. Try the One Week Master option to track and display your progress as you learn a new piece, complete with exercises if required. If you love the piano, learn something new and play more often with Piano Every Day.

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ALL-NEW BALL FAMILY RESERVE INSTRUMENTS 

Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - April 9, 2019

The Ernie Ball Music Man Ball Family Reserve series is a celebration of our heritage in instrument craftsmanship. These rare pieces are offered in limited production runs and allow us to present instruments to the public that were previously reserved for family and our loyal artists. This month features the StingRay Special 4H in Hades Black, the St. Vincent HHH in Turquoise Crush, and the StingRay 5HH in Giants Orange Quilt.

STINGRAY SPECIAL 4H IN HADES BLACK
This StingRay Special bass features a Rosewood fingerboard with ornate pearloid block inlays. Offering a beautifully roasted maple neck with black Ernie Ball Music Man tuning machines and a 22 fret neck with hand-fitted white binding. Limited to 81 pieces worldwide.

ST. VINCENT IN TURQUOISE CRUSH
The Ball Family Reserve St. Vincent HHH features a lightweight African Mahogany body in an exclusive Turquoise Crush sparkle finish. Offering a satin finished, figured maple neck with white pearl Schaller locking tuners. Featuring Rosewood fingerboard with peal block inlays and a headstock painted to match the body. Limited to 87 pieces worldwide.

STINGRAY 5 HH IN GIANTS ORANGE QUILT
This Ball Family Reserve StingRay 5 bass features a stunning figured 5A guilt maple top which is hand-stained with a translucent orange finish. Offering a beautifully figured roasted maple neck with black Schaller tuning machines, 9 volt preamp, and alnico pickups. The Rosewood fingerboard on this bass guitar features pearl block inlays and hand-fitted white binding. Limited to 91 pieces worldwide.

Ernie Ball Music Man products distributed in Australia by CMC Music

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ORANGE TREMLORD 30 AND PEDAL BABY 100

Posted in Amplifiers, Gear    //    Post Date - April 5, 2019

Orange Amplification’s latest new products, the TremLord 30 and Pedal Baby 100 are receiving rave reviews worldwide and are already proving to be a hit with artists. The TremLord 30, Orange’s most vintage guitar amp ever, is a 30w 1×12 all valve guitar combo with built-in valve driven tremolo and…

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FENDER® CELEBRATES GUNS N’ ROSES BASSIST DUFF MCKAGAN WITH SIGNATURE BASS

Posted in Bass, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - March 29, 2019

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) this week released the Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass® the latest iteration of Fender’s collaboration with the Guns N’ Roses bassist and New York Times bestselling author. The newest model in Fender’s Artist Signature Series captures the true musical essence of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee McKagan. Best known for his work with Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver McKagan has had an epic music career,  entertaining and inspiring countless fans. Now, with the Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass, he will continue influencing the industry with a bass guitar that epitomizes rock culture and caters to his unique, melodic playing style that’s impacted bass players and music-lovers everywhere.
“The Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass is a nice evolution of the original bass we released with him,” added Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “While we were developing it, we worked closely with Duff and the first guitar tech for Guns N’ Roses – McBob – to give this bass even more versatility than ever. Duff played these basses on the latest Guns N’ Roses world tour and new features like instant Drop- D tuning with the Hipshot® Bass Xtender came in handy during those 30-song sets with 3 to 4 different tunings.”

ABOUT THE DUFF MCKAGAN DELUXE PRECISION BASS – AUD$2,199
The Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass is based on the ‘80s Jazz Bass Special he used while recording Appetite for Destruction. An evolution of his signature model, this bass adds all the features and stylistic touches that Duff loves. The black painted Modern “C”-shaped quartersawn maple neck has a “Deluxe Jazz Bass Special” headstock logo and rosewood fingerboard with pearloid block inlays, along with the number “12” at the twelfth fret. A must-have for live performance, the Hipshot® Bass Xtender allows instant Drop-D tuning with the flick of a lever. Duff’s signature sound comes from pairing a Fender vintage-style Precision Bass split-coil pickup with a Seymour Duncan® STKJ2B Jazz Bass single-coil bridge pickup. This thunderous tone can be shaped precisely by the Fender TBXTM (Treble/Bass Expander) tone circuit. Additional features include a Pure Vintage ‘70s bridge and a Duff skull-and-crossbones neck plate. A deluxe gig bag is also included.

“The original bass I bought was the only one I took on the road for the Appetite for Destruction tour,” McKagan said. “We had a backup bass, but we didn’t need it. At some point we went to get another bass, but we couldn’t find a Jazz Special, so we went to Fender. To flash forward, be a Fender artist and have my own signature bass with this company is incredible. Fender is James Jamerson, John Paul Jones and it’s the bass that all the greats played. I’m still kind of in awe, and I don’t take it for granted.”

New features inspired by the legendary bassist’s preferences include: instant Drop-D tuning, tonal versatility from a TBXTM (Treble/Bass Expander) tone circuit and a sleek black-painted neck with pearloid block inlays and binding. The signature bass also features a Pure Vintage ‘70s bridge and, as a special touch, a neckplate adorned with Duff’s signature skull-and-crossbones artwork.

McKagan also recently announced the upcoming release of his much-anticipated solo album, Tenderness, which was produced by and features Grammy® award-winner Shooter Jennings, as a musical follow-up to 2015’s best-selling book, How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions). McKagan and Jennings began recording in March 2018, working out of Station House studios in Echo Park, Calif., where they wrote and recorded in-between McKagan’s tour with seminal rock band Guns N’ Roses and the release of Jennings’ eponymous album, Shooter.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors popular and iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. “It’s an honor to collaborate with such an esteemed and iconic bassist like Duff,  who inspires musicians of all generations and continues to raise the bar through his recorded work and on stage in one of the world’s most iconic bands,” said Matt Watts, VP Artist & Integrated Marketing. “It’s signature artists like him that build on Fender’s tradition of bass excellence.”

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

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