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Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - February 13, 2019

Fender’s Allen Abbassi shows us the Jimmy Page Telecaster at Winter NAMM 2019

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) recently announced it is collaborating with one of rock’s most legendary guitar players – Jimmy Page – to recreate his famous 1959 Fender Telecaster 50 years after Led Zeppelin formed in October 1968. Among music’s most iconic guitars is Jimmy Page’s Telecaster, known for its two “mirror” and “dragon” designs. It helped launch Page’s career in The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, and the guitar was used to record “Led Zeppelin I” along with countless hit songs on world-renowned albums. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin and Page’s storied career as a guitar icon, Fender will release four artist signature guitar models throughout 2019, giving fans and collectors the chance to own a piece of history. Two models will be made on Fender’s production lines, and two will be produced in the Fender Custom Shop – dubbed the “Limited Edition Jimmy Page Telecaster Set.”

“It’s an incredible honor that one of the most-respected rock legends has entrusted Fender to recreate one of his most-prized guitars,” said Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at Fender Custom Shop. “Some of the most-esteemed artists in the world work with the Fender Custom Shop, because it is the pinnacle of craftsmanship for the Fender brand and the guitar-building community.”
“This unique Fender Telecaster has an amazing backstory and helped inspire some of the greatest rock music of all time, both in the later years of The Yardbirds and at the genesis of Led Zeppelin,” added Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Now we’re giving a new generation of players access to two great instruments in honor of Jimmy, his storied career and amazing musical body of work created and performed on this guitar.”

Page originally received the Telecaster in 1966 from Jeff Beck, who gifted it to Page for recommending him to The Yardbirds. Through the years, the Telecaster took on several looks and personas, as Page customized it aesthetically and sonically. When he first received it, the guitar was undecorated in its factory white blonde finish and remained that way until February 1967, when he added eight circular mirrors to the body. Page played his mirrored Telecaster only briefly in the final years of The Yardbirds, and by mid-1967 he was ready to change the look. He removed the mirrors, completely stripped and repainted the instrument himself, this time hand-painting a mystical dragon on the body.

When Led Zeppelin was formed in October 1968, the Dragon Telecaster became Page’s go-to instrument and he played it on stage and in the studio until 1969. It was also the main guitar used on the legendary Led Zeppelin I album. Page went on tour in 1969, and upon his return, he discovered a friend had kindly stripped the body and painted over the dragon paint job. The paint job compromised the sound and wiring, leaving only the neck pickup working. He salvaged the neck and put it on his brown string bender Tele, and has since re-stripped and restored the body in full.
“This guitar is so special and has so much history, so I approached Fender to see if they’d be interested in recreating it,” Page said. “They really got it 110 percent right, or 150 percent right. It’s so absolutely as it is, as it should be, and as it was.”

“Visiting the Fender Custom Shop to sign and paint the guitars with Paul Waller was a real thrill,” he added. “To see all those absolute gems on the wall, it’s a pretty amazing experience.”
Among the four artist signature models will be two highly collectible, limited edition Fender Custom Shop versions masterbuilt by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Paul Waller – one with mirrors and the other with the painted dragon. For nearly eight months, Page has worked closely with Paul Waller, Master Builder at the Fender Custom Shop, to advise throughout the process, assuring every detail was accurately recreated. Only 50 units of each Fender Custom Shop model will be made available with personal touches from Page himself, including a handwritten signature on the headstock and hand-painted flourishes on the guitar body’s dragon artwork. Known for its world-renowned quality and craftsmanship, the Fender Custom Shop has built instruments for some of the world’s most-esteemed guitar and bass players over the past 31 years.

“Jimmy first approached us in February with the idea to recreate this Telecaster, and as we were planning, I could feel his passion throughout the process,” said Paul Waller, Fender Custom Shop Master Builder. “To achieve his vision, I wanted to get every little detail replicated exactly, so you couldn’t tell the difference from the originals and these models. That’s what we’re known for in the Fender Custom Shop: quality craftsmanship and authenticity.”

Fender will also build both mirror and painted versions on its production lines, which will be more accessibly priced for a broader base of fans to purchase. While these will not be hand-signed and hand-painted by the artist, Page did consult with Fender throughout the design process to ensure the guitars are true-to-spec of the original Telecaster.

All Jimmy Page models will be released throughout 2019 and will be available at local dealers.

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Posted in Blog, Gear, Pedals    //    Post Date - February 13, 2019

Rodrigo from Fender shows us the new range of effects pedals at Winter NAMM 2019

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) recently announced the expansion of their successful effect pedals line as part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to the category. Debuting at Winter NAMM 2019 in Anaheim, Calif., Fender is taking its pedal offerings to the next level with the introduction of six all-new models featuring original designed circuits including: Bubbler Chorus, Lost Highway Phaser, MTG Tube Distortion, Downtown Express, Tre-Verb, and The Pinwheel. Priced from A$299 to $469, these additions provide players looking to enhance their sound and expand their tone a wide variety of expressive options.

Designed in Southern California, these new Fender pedals were engineered with insight from professional gigging and studio musicians, artists and some of the industry’s best minds. At the helm is in-house expert Stan Cotey, who spent 25 years in professional audio, as well as 13 years designing and engineering many of Fender’s digital and tube guitar amplifiers; he leads a team of engineers that are behind some of Fender’s most innovative modern pedals and amplifiers.

“The initial launch of our effects pedals line in 2018 was very successful. Our first wave of pedals featured a lot of distortion and overdrive effects, knowing that this year we would be able to focus on modulation effects to help further broaden a player’s palette,” said Richard Bussey, Director of Product Development – Accessories. “These new additions to our effects pedals play well into Fender’s rich history with amplifiers and amplifier effects, while also catering to the bass community with our first official bass effects pedal – The Downtown Express.”

These effects pedals are engineered for artists who are looking for stage-ready features and Fender’s signature sound and aesthetics, including sleek and modern exteriors crafted from lightweight, durable anodized aluminum. The enclosures are engineered for heavy-duty use, while switchable LED-backlit knobs show control settings at a glance, perfect for every performance environment. These six all-original circuits all have enhanced feature sets that provide players with maximum tonal possibilities, including:

• Bubbler Chorus (A$299) is a great way to add some dimension to your guitar tone—thick, wide and rolling, it’s been the foundation of many classic guitar sounds. It breathes new life into this classic analog effect, offering new ways to shape your tone. Switchable Slow and Fast speeds with independent Rate and Depth controls let players dial in the perfect sound for your music, while the Wave toggle switch lets you select between traditional Sine and Triangle waveforms. The Sensitivity control allows modulation rate changes based on your playing dynamics.

• Lost Highway Phaser (A$299) brings powerful, flexible analog phasing to your rig. Foot-switchable Fast and Slow speeds— each with their own independent Rate and Depth controls—let you easily alternate between slow, moody phase shifting all the way to rapid and warped modulation. The Wave toggle switch selects between Sine and Triangle waveforms while switchable 4- and 8-stage phasing makes it easy to add extra resonance on the fly. The Sensitivity control allows modulation rate changes based on your playing dynamics.

• MTG Tube Distortion (A$399) is co-designed with Bruce Egnater and is an all-original Fender circuit. Instead of trying to emulate the sound of tube breakup; we decided to use actual vacuum tubes and give players the real deal in a compact pedal. The heart of the MTG’s design is a NOS (New Old Stock) American made 6205 preamp tube. 3-Band EQ with Tight control and switchable boost—with its own Level and Boost controls—makes it easy to dial-in just the right sound.

• Downtown Express (A$449) is a one-stop shop for bass tone-shaping by putting everything a player would need for killer bass tone right
at their feet. All the bass essentials are there— compressor, 3-band EQ and overdrive—each switchable on its own, or kill the signal for silent tuning. The Direct Output makes it easy to integrate this pedal into any performance situation—stage or studio. This pedal also includes a switch that lets players reorder the compressor and overdrive circuits to taste.

• Tre-Verb (A$469) brings players the sound of genuine Fender amplifier Tremolo and Reverb effects. These lush, dynamic amp effects inspired entire genres of music. Included in the Tre-Verb are classic reverb voicings based on Fender’s renowned spring reverb units from 1963 and 1965 and multiple tremolo modes to make sure players can get the exact sound they need for their music. A full suite of tone-shaping controls, including tap tempo for the tremolo effect, make this pedal sonically flexible, while the stereo inputs and outputs ensure it’s easy to connect to any pedalboard or amp.

• The Pinwheel (A$469) gives a classic sound achieved with an organ speaker and amplifier. Featuring three different rotary speaker voices, including Fender’s very own Vibratone effect. Switchable Slow and Fast speeds let players spin up the perfect sound for their music, while the onboard Overdrive adds some texture to the tone. The Sensitivity control allows modulation rate changes based on playing dynamics

Fender’s new effect pedals will be available in 2019 at local dealers.

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Posted in Acoustic Guitars, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - February 12, 2019

Matt from Fender shows us the new American Acoustasonic Telecaster at Winter NAMM 2019.

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) celebrates the release of a new state-of-the-art acoustic guitar series and the expansion of the ever-growing California Series at Winter NAMM 2019 in Anaheim, Calif. The additions include the powerful, American-made Acoustasonic Telecaster and the beach-inspired California Series in satin finishes.

Equipped with a fully-hollow body and Fender’s patent-pending Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS), the American Acoustasonic Telecaster is designed to deliver a naturally loud voice with spirited harmonics. This hybrid acoustic-electric guitar boasts an Acoustasonic Noiseless™ magnetic pickup – designed for authentic, hum-free Fender electric tone – helping artists transition from a smooth acoustic voice to a bold electric tone at the flip of a switch, as well as omitting feedback and eliminating many of the complications associated with playing acoustic guitars live. A mahogany Telecaster neck with ebony fingerboard and open-pore satin finish make this contemporary guitar comfortable and easy to play.

New, sleek satin finishes come to California Series acoustic guitars inspired by and born from the lifestyle and laid-back culture of Southern California. Catering to the diverse aesthetic tastes of Fender’s artists, these guitars present a distinct, bold look and sound that disregards acoustic guitar conventions while bringing the character and feel of Fender’s famous electric guitars to the category. From the Stratocaster® headstocks and vibrant colors, to the distinctive Fender body shapes – Malibu™, Newporter™ and Redondo™ – that make players stand out, the introduction of the satin line brings new style to performers on stage and off.The expansion of the California Series now includes six additional colors, including: Satin Slate, Satin Bronze, Satin Olive, Satin Ice Blue, Satin Midnight and Satin Burgundy.
“We are proud of the purposeful innovation we put into each of our products, especially when it comes to the game changing American Acoustasonic Telecaster,” said Billy Martinez, Fender VP Category Manager, Acoustic and Squier Divisions. “The Acoustasonic Telecaster is powered by the Fender and Fishman®-designed Acoustic Engine, which melds classic analog with future technologies like never seen before. We’re super excited to see what artists do with this unprecedented range of acoustic and electric tones made possible by a single instrument.”

Visit Fender Australia

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Posted in Acoustic Guitars, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - February 12, 2019

Tom from Takamine shows us some new guitar models at NAMM Show 2019 including: CRN-TS1 Slope-shoulder Dreadnought, LTD 2019 Limited edition Moon and arch top and back Thinline model.
Takamine distributed in Australia by

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Posted in Bass, Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - February 11, 2019

Drew from Ernie Ball Music Man shows us the new guitar and bass models at NAMM Show 2019 including: StingRay Short Scale basses, ‘Tiger Eye’ Majesty, Jason Richardson Artist Series 7 string Cutlass, Hunter Hayes Artist Series Cutlass, Dustin Kensrue (Thrice)  StingRay guitar.

Ernie Ball Music Man distributed in Australia by CMC Music.

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Posted in Accessories, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - February 11, 2019

Drew from Ernie Ball Music Man shows us the new range of accessories at the NAMM Show 2019 including: Prodigy picks, guitar straps, Ultra and Burly series strings, VP JR Tuner, Ukulele strings, and Axis Capo.

Ernie Ball Music Man distributed in Australia by CMC Music

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Posted in Acoustic Guitars, Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear, Other Fretted    //    Post Date - February 11, 2019

Dan Skatvold from Eastman Guitars show us the new El Rey mandolin, T484 electric, SP Series, E2D acoustic and Double Top series guitars at NAMM Show 2019

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

Two great new products were released by Kawai at NAMM Show 2019, the AURES K300 hybrid upright piano and the VPC1 Midi Controller.

Warrick Baker from Kawai Australia shows us the new Kawai AURES K300 hybrid upright piano at NAMM Show 2019



Answering the prayers of virtual piano musicians everywhere, the VPC1 packages Kawai’s superb RM3 Grand II wooden-key keyboard action into a professional MIDI controller.

As acoustic piano makers, we understand the importance of first-class touch, so kept things as uncomplicated as possible – a superb action, some USB and MIDI connectors, and a beautifully designed, well-built cabinet.

There are no knobs to snap-off or faders getting in the way of your mouse – just a power switch, 88 real wooden keys, and an incredible concert grand playing experience.

The keyboard action is the most important part of a controller. It doesn’t matter how many gigabytes have been sampled, or how advanced the modelled resonances are – if the controller’s action is sub-par, the virtual piano just won’t feel satisfying to play.

Fortunately, the VPC1 is equipped with Kawai’s latest RM3 Grand II action, featuring our trademark wooden keys and smooth, consistent movement. Unlike other controllers, the VPC1 incorporates additional grand piano keyboard characteristics, such as graded hammer weighting, ivory-like key surfaces, let-off simulation, and bass note counterweights.

These premium features combine to recreate the exceptional touch of a fine concert grand, allowing your favourite virtual pianos to finally feel as good as they sound.

The VPC1’s RM3 Grand II action adopts many of the characteristics of a grand piano keyboard action. Perhaps the most distinctive of these characteristics is the familiar ‘seesaw’ movement of the key.

Connecting the VPC1 to your PC or Mac requires just a single USB cable – that’s all. The VPC1 can draw power from the computer’s USB bus, reducing cable clutter by doing away with the need for an external AC adaptor.
While the VPC1 has been developed primarily for controlling software pianos, standard MIDI jacks are also provided for connecting to hardware sound sources.
Perhaps there’s an old synth or expander module that you just can’t part with, or a semi-weighted board that sounds fantastic, but is let down by a flimsy action – the VPC1 can breathe new life into your existing setup.
It’s even possible to control separate sound sources simultane-ously, adjusting IN/OUT routing for USB and standard MIDI with the VPC Editor software.


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Posted in Accessories, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - February 9, 2019

Dave Baker shows us the new range of Rockboard products at the Warwick/Framus/Rockboard booth at the NAMM Show 2019.

Distributed in Australia by

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Posted in Blog, Gear, Percussion    //    Post Date - February 9, 2019

Roland’s Global Strategic Product Marketing Manager (Drums & Percussion) Jules Tabberer-Stewart shows us the new TM-1 Trigger Module at NAMM Show 2019.

The TM-1 is a unique trigger module that makes it easy to add more sounds to your acoustic drum kit. And those sounds can be anything you like, from the TM-1’s onboard kick, snare, tom, cymbal, and percussion samples to your own samples and loops. Just connect any compatible Roland trigger pad to the TM-1 and directly play the sounds you need, or mount an RT-series trigger to one of your acoustic drums and play with your preferred sample layered on top in perfect sync, with no lag whatsoever.

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