A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive for May, 2012

BTX Offering Luxi(TM) Electronics’ Presenter(TM) for HDMI(R), DisplayPort, and VGA/Audio Signals

Solution is Alternative to Traditional Switching and Splitting; Three SKUs Replace Thousands and Dramatically Simplify Installations more

HARMAN Prepares For Next Stage In Evolution of HiQnet™ Configuration and Control Software

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – At InfoComm 2012, HARMAN will introduce the single-most comprehensive audio networking solution for professional sound applications. The announcement will mark the next stage in the continuing evolution of HARMAN’s HiQnet™ configuration and control software.

HiQnet was designed with the active participation of leaders in the professional systems integration community and has been deployed successfully on some of the largest and most ambitious audio integration projects including the Olympic, NFL, MLB, EPL and World Cup stadia; cutting edge, demanding performing arts venues; high-capacity houses of worship and prestigious parliamentary chambers where reliability and intelligibility are especially critical.

“This announcement marks the culmination of our long-term strategy to provide a powerful singular platform that will be the standard for audio networking going forward. Our latest introduction will underscore the power and potential of HARMAN’s system-level approach to professional audio system design and development,” stated Adam Holladay, market manager, HARMAN System Development and Integration Group.

HARMAN HiQnet™ is the world’s first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. HARMAN HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by engineers from across HARMAN’s Professional Division and is coordinated by the System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.3 billion for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012.

High Resolution Systems Introduces New Features, Apps and Open Systems Support for UDC Software at InfoComm12

High Resolution Systems will be showcasing a number of new features for its popular UDC (Universal Device Controller) software at InfoComm12, Booth N668. The innovations include new user interface options, Windows 8 and Apple iOS apps, and a renewed dedication to the concept of open systems for maximum client flexibility.

“It’s our goal to support any tablet or smart phone – to leave the options wide open for our customers to use any hardware they choose as their control platform,” says High Resolution’s Drew Taylor. “We’re big advocates of giving the customer the flexibility to get really creative about how they integrate hardware,” in contrast to the closed control systems on the market which offer only proprietary or limited hardware choices.

With that in mind, High Resolution Systems supports the Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) trend, which finds customers using Apple iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches, Android and Windows tablets and smart phones for PRO AV control depending on venue and convenience factors. The introduction of UDC Controller Groups now enables customers to build multiple versions of the same page in their control system, specify them as a controller group and have different resolutions and aspect ratios automatically available for a range of control devices as needed.

“A customer might want to use an iPod Touch in a meeting room or boardroom for basic AV control and also want to have the option for finer control with an iPad with more buttons,” Taylor explains. “Once the customer sets the Controller Groups, UDC automatically sends the appropriate page to the connected device based on resolution; the iPhone will get the iPhone resolution pages in the controller groups and the iPad will get the higher resolution controller pages, all automatically handled by UDC,” Taylor explains. “As with all other features in the UDC Software, this new Controller Groups feature is available on every device through our built in Webserver as well as our new iOS app and Windows Tablet app.”

This new feature for UDC comes on the heels of the debut of a Windows 8 client controller app, available from High Resolution Systems, for an extended feature set on Windows-enabled devices.

A new dedicated iOS app, HRS Control Pro, for extended control from all versions of iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch in landscape and portrait modes, has just become available in the Apple App Store.

Both the Windows 8 and Apple iOS client apps offer the ability to download different UDC configurations and store them for offline viewing. “This allows customers to use them in a demo mode; it’s a very useful sales tool that allows our customers to take their control systems projects anywhere they go and have ready for demonstration,” says Taylor.

At NAB the company introduced new UDC variables, logic and slider features, which work with existing UDC macros to provide very powerful options for configuring UDC control systems. “Powerful, advanced features that you would normally find when custom coding an app are now part of UDC’s user interface for quick implementation. And they are very easy to use,” says Taylor.

Customer requests for sliders prompted High Resolution Systems to roll them out for the entire UDC user base. A slider is typically used for volume and lighting control and is one more step for us beyond simple button based control.

Variables and logic work together when customers need to execute complex strings of commands. Buttons set the variable, which is typically a value for recalling a preset or control for a device such as volume level. Another button will send the command using the current value of the variable. UDC Logic enables the user to compare variables and extend them further, sending commands to apply variables simultaneously across the board in advanced executions.

Taylor notes, “Variables and Logic are part of our ongoing set of feature updates designed to support advanced applications and programmers that are used to custom coded solutions. We are providing the advanced features programmers need to build complex control systems while making the job of control system configuration and management available to all AV and IT technicians.”

At InfoComm, toggle switches and lists have been added to user interface design options. Toggle switches offer simple on/off functionality. Customers may now also build their own custom lists and define the display name and value of each item control Pro Av equipment. In addition, they can create lists of from supported devices, such as image processors and media servers, and execute the functionality – to play clips or pre-sets, for example – tied to those devices. The new lists also work on UDC’s web-server feature and Windows 8 and iOS apps.

“What’s particularly cool about lists in UDC is they utilize our ability of querying a device,” says Taylor. “Customers no longer have to reconfigure UDC when clips or presets are added to their controlled devices; lists can refresh with new items automatically and update all connected tablet controllers.”

Taylor notes that “these new features all have one goal: to build more powerful choices in the user interface and control system design. They allow customers to have more options when designing, configuring and maintaining their Pro AV control system. With the addition of five new user interface elements, UDC software now offers options to build everything from basic to the most complex user interface-based control systems. Our goal is to support a wide range of applications and empower the Pro AV and IT integration market”

About High Resolution Systems
High Resolution Systems, a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers is a company with a strong systems engineering and applications background. Its founders have decades of experience in the audio visual rental and staging industry, broadcast applications, A/V installations and system design. This combined experience allows them to provide the highest possible quality solutions to its customers in the most efficient manner. For more information, visit www.hrscontrol.com.

Sennheiser’s Professional System Division Names B&H Photo Video “Dealer of the Year” for Third Year in a Row

bh_sm.jpgOLD LYME, Conn. – May 30, 2012: The U.S. subsidiary of headphone and microphone manufacturer Sennheiser named B&H Photo Video its 2011 dealer of the year for excellent sales, customer support and comprehension of Sennheiser’s diverse line of professional audio systems and solutions.

“We are pleased to announce B&H as Dealer of the Year, Professional Systems,” said Jeff Alexander, vice president of sales and marketing for Sennheiser Electronic Corporation’s professional systems division. “Having achieved Dealer of the Year for three years in a row is quite an accomplishment. B&H remains an incredible resource to the professional audio community and is known for having one of the easy-to-use websites in the industry. We congratulate their entire team for their continued success and for their incredible ongoing customer commitment.”

“We are extremely pleased to receive the Dealer of the Year Award from our more

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Sennheiser Partners with Channel IQ to Implement Dealer Verification Badges for its Network of Authorized E-commerce Dealers

Old Lyme, Conn., May 30, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with channel management solutions developer Channel IQ to implement an innovative badging program for its network of authorized e-commerce dealers beginning this month. The program provides assurance to consumers that they are purchasing genuine Sennheiser products from an authorized dealer.

The authentication system, developed by Channel IQ with cooperation from Sennheiser, provides ‘instant dealer verification badges’ on authorized e-commerce sites, thereby adding an extra layer of protection for consumers during the online purchasing process. The badging system also enables Sennheiser to more effectively implement pricing controls, while mitigating the potential for grey market and counterfeit activity.

“By partnering with Channel IQ on this authentication program, we are able to tighten our distribution network while providing assurance to our loyal customers that they are purchasing genuine Sennheiser products,” commented Bill Whearty, vice president of sales and marketing for Sennheiser’s U.S. Retail division. “This is a tool that will help protect our premium brand image, while providing consistency in pricing among our valued dealer network.”

Sennheiser is an early adopter of the new Channel IQ program, which is beneficial to both consumers and dealers. The dealer verification badges — which provide third party indemnification to the consumer at the SKU level — each contain a unique serial number that changes any time a page is refreshed and cannot be copied.

“Channel IQ has a longstanding relationship with Sennheiser on minimum advertised pricing (MAP) violations and monitoring, and they were the first to step forward and implement this progressive program,” commented Jeff Messer, general manager, brand protection services, Channel IQ. “Consumers want to know that they are purchasing products through a secure and trusted partner. This program not only provides that confidence, but also adds legitimacy and authenticity to a dealer’s online shopping cart. It is a win-win for the consumer, the dealer and Sennheiser.”

Sennheiser is a world leading manufacturer of high performance and best-selling headphones and microphones, considered indispensable among music lovers, audiophiles, recording studios, sound professionals, custom installers and home theater enthusiasts. Sennheiser products feature superb sound reproduction quality, making them the first choice for many high-profile recording artists.

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GUITAR CENTER OPENS NEW STORE IN PASADENA, TEXAS

— Pasadena Guitar Center store is the latest location to open as part of GC’s ongoing 2012 expansion —

Westlake Village, CA (May 30, 2012) – On the evening of Thursday, May 10, 2012, Guitar Center held the grand opening of its new location in Pasadena, Texas, located at 5140 Fairmont Pkwy Pasadena, TX 77505. Guitar Center Pasadena is Guitar Center’s 227th retail location.

The Pasadena store opening is part of Guitar Center’s ongoing strategic expansion plan, and the grand opening event introduced customers to a vast selection of products and a dedicated staff with unparalleled musical knowledge and experience. To celebrate this event, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend celebration featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways and free events catered to local musicians. The grand opening events also included a free live performance on May 10, and free workshops continuing on May 23 and June 1.

Guitar Center’s newest Pasadena location features showrooms equipped with the latest products for musicians — from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment. The new store also features Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility, which is creating unrivalled opportunities for Pasadena musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios provides music lessons from beginner to advanced featuring certified instructors teaching world-class curriculum as well as one-on-one courses on Pro Tools, Logic Pro and GarageBand. Guitar Center Pasadena also features GC Garage, Guitar Center’s on site guitar repair service. Musicians could try out the GC Garage for free on Grand Opening night. With purchase of a guitar, customers also received a free, 22-point personalized set-up.

As part of Guitar Center’s initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center Pasadena offers unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many other aspects of the music industry first-hand. Musicians interested in learning about the industry will be able to come to the store to interact with and pick the brains of several industry leaders. Pasadena shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless isle” include Pasadena inventory, but it also provides easy access to $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of stores and warehouses across the nation. Customers have the ability to combine a myriad of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience. Free Recording Made Easy classes are conducted every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 am for anyone who wants to make the exciting journey into recording their music.

Ongoing Guitar Center Initiatives
In addition to special programs at the new Pasadena store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. Pasadena residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

• Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.

• Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program which aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording 3 songs with accomplished GRAMMY® Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash. The grand finale took place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.

• Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, performed alongside GRAMMY-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.

• Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.

Guitar Center Pasadena is open seven days a week. Store hours are 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 Friday; 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Saturday; and 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday.

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Gemini Sound Takes EdgeFest 22 to the Cutting Edge with an All-EAW® KF740 Main Stage Rig

Dallas-based production company Gemini Lighting, Sound and Video, Inc. enjoyed first U.S. use of new KF740 Zero Degree Adapter to “flat-front” top four modules of each main array

Whitinsville, MA, USA, May 23, 2012 – EdgeFest has become a staple of the alternative touring circuit and an unofficial start to the summer season every April. This year’s EdgeFest, the 22nd edition of the show was no exception, featuring artists including The Black Keys, Garbage, Cake, Cage the Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, Switchfoot, Evanescence, The Ting Tings and Dead Sara. The concert took place on April 22 at the FC Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and was sponsored as always by Dallas-Fort Worth’s 102.1 The Edge FM.

Longtime EdgeFest sound system provider Gemini Sound once again brought an all-EAW® PA system to the main stage. This year’s show took EdgeFest to the cutting edge of live sound by featuring for the first time a PA system with main hangs consisting entirely of EAW KF740 Three-Way Full Range Line Array Modules. Each of the left and right line array hangs consisted of 18 KF740 enclosures, and eight more KF740s were used per side for extreme left and right side fills.

The main array represented the first U.S. use of EAW’s new Zero Degree Adapter accessory that allows sound system designers to “flat-front” the top modules in an array. Flat-fronting maximizes coupling of line array modules for increased output and longer throw. “Because we were in a soccer stadium and needed an especially long throw, the Zero Degree Adapter further enhanced the KF740’s capabilities,” stated Tim Cain, Owner and President of Gemini Sound. “We simply flattened out the top four modules on each side, and it gave us the additional coverage we were looking for. It’s a great solution that EAW came up with for this kind of application.”

Gemini Sound used all of the 48 KF740 enclosures it owns to build the PA system, including the 20 more it acquired last October, plus four more that EAW sent from its Massachusetts factory to round out the system design. In addition, the system used 40 EAW SB1000z subwoofers, 20 per side, to create a massive, full-range system that rocked EdgeFest into the night.

Cain remains a huge fan of the EAW KF760 module, which was the main system he used for EdgeFest’s PA system for the last several years. “It’s a great system, but it’s generally used with the EAW KF761 as a downfill on the bottom of the hang,” he explains. “The KF740 allows us to build the system out of one type of module, which creates a very, very consistent-sounding system with consistent tonality all the way down. Furthermore, the KF740 weighs 107 pounds, which is about 140 pounds lighter than the KF760. That meant that our main hangs this year were less than 2,000 pounds per side, versus 4,000 pounds last year. That’s a lot of manpower that you don‘t have to use to put the system up, yet still get the same level of performance in terms of power and reach.”

In addition, Cain complimented what he called the “true-90-degree dispersion” of the KF740 enclosure, which further reduced the amount of side fill that had to be designed into the system. “The KF740 is one of the finest boxes that EAW has ever built, in my opinion,” says Cain. “It’s going to be the foundation for a lot of PA systems going forward.”

For more information, please visit www.eaw.com.

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GUITAR CENTER OPENS NEW STORE IN COCONUT CREEK, FLORIDA

— Coconut Creek Guitar Center store is the latest location to open as part of GC’s ongoing 2012 expansion —

Westlake Village, CA (May 22, 2012) – On the evening of Thursday, April 26, 2012, Guitar Center held the grand opening of its new location in Coconut Creek, Florida. The store is located at 4449 Lyons Road, Suite J-106, Coconut Creek, Florida 33073. Guitar Center Coconut Creek is Guitar Center’s 226th retail location.

Guitar Center Coconut Creek’s grand opening introduced customers to a vast selection of products and a dedicated staff with unparalleled musical knowledge and experience. As with all new store openings, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend celebration (April 26-29) featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways, free events and live performances catered to local musicians.

Guitar Center’s newest Coconut Creek location features showrooms for customers equipped with the latest products for musicians – from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment. The new store also features Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility, which will create unrivalled opportunities for area musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios is now the most modern and affordable lessons facility in the area. Guitar Center Coconut Creek also features GC Garage, Guitar Center’s on-site guitar repair service. Musicians could try out the GC Garage for free on Grand Opening night, and with a guitar purchase, customers could also receive a free, 22-point personalized set-up.

As part of Guitar Center’s ongoing initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center Coconut Creek will offer unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many other aspects of the music industry first-hand. Musicians interested in learning about the industry will be able to come to the store to interact with and pick the brains of several industry leaders. Coconut Creek shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless isle” include Coconut Creek inventory, but it also provides easy access to $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of stores and warehouses across the nation. Customers have the ability to combine a myriad of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience. Free Recording Made Easy classes are also conducted every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 am for anyone who wants to make the exciting journey into recording their music.

In addition to special programs at the new Coconut Creek store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. Coconut Creek residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

• Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.

• Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program which aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording 3 songs with accomplished GRAMMY® Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash. The grand finale takes place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.

• Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, performed alongside GRAMMY-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.

• Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.

Guitar Center Coconut Creek is open seven days a week. Store hours are 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday; and 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday.

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Oklahoma City Sounds oh-so Pretty as Upstairs Productions Steps up to a Carl Tatz Design Dual PhantomFocus™ System

— Engineer/producer Ted Curtis chooses Carl Tatz Design’s PhantomFocus™ System to transform the monitoring in his Oklahoma City personal studio, Upstairs Productions —

Nashville, TN: “Well, as Carl will attest to, I was a hard sell. I had SERIOUS problems and doubted anyone could fix them. And the results? He knocked it out of the park! It’s simply incredible. The only regret is I wished I had done it sooner. Thanks Carl!” beams Oklahoma’s Upstairs Productions owner/engineer/producer Ted Curtis about his new Dual PhantomFocus™ System (PFS).

“Boy he’s not kidding about being a tough sell,” laughs Carl Tatz of Carl Tatz Design LLC and creator of the PhantomFocus System (PFS) monitor tuning protocol. “Ted has amazing ears and was determined for us to step up to the plate after being so disappointed in the past by everything he had tried to make his monitors sound the way he wanted them to.”

Tatz explains, “This was a textbook example of breaking the myth that having a well designed control room, whether designed by me or another designer, along with great monitors will render great monitoring. The fact is that the monitoring will never begin to approach the sonic impact and accuracy that the PFS can deliver – not even close – and keep in mind that most of these systems are near field.”

As part of his meticulous research, which included his studying all the literature, reading up on the various articles and reviews as well as interviewing PFS users, Curtis traveled to Nashville to experience the PFS for himself in a couple of Carl Tatz Design award winning control rooms. After hearing the systems, he quickly became a believer and decided to make the purchase. However, in spite of his being knocked out by what he heard and the assurance that we bat a thousand on all systems, his enthusiasm was still guarded because of his multiple failed past attempts to optimize the monitoring in his own room.

Expanding on his experience related to his massive console that required thoughtful consideration during the physical implementation of the PFS, Curtis observes, “The 9098i is so sensitive and precise, and the bandwidth and low-end is so remarkable, that not having proper monitoring makes it nearly impossible to work on. You simply can’t guess at it. Before we started I had an 18dB tight Q dip at 125HZ, a mountain range dip between 35Hz and 50Hz, a large bump at 20Hz, and several other issues in the 500-1550Hz range and 3-4K range. It was simply awful. It took many trips to the car to get it right IF you even got it right then. By that time you had completely lost perspective and lost all of your confidence. Well I’m glad to say now, for the first time in my life, I hear EXACTLY what I mixed in the control in both cars, absolutely no surprises. It’s really exciting if not a bit scary. I don’t have anything to blame anymore. I’ve already come a long ways in the confidence department in the short time I’ve had the PFS installed. I urge anyone who is struggling in the same way I was to give it a shot. It may likely change your life.”

Curtis continues, “Just the ability to put something in the mix in the exact place and level you want it to be, is now effortless. You simply mix it the way you want to hear it and it’s right, no more compensation. Snare drum level adjustment is easy. Additionally I’ve never experienced panning like this either. You can hear every single move, no matter how small, as you move from side to side.”

After maintaining the number one position in the Mexican food business for over 20-years in OKC with his Ted’s Cafe Escondido restaurants, Ted understands attention to detail and truly appreciates and demands the best which explains why he goes on to say, “I truly appreciated Carl’s obsession to get things right. Simply put, it’s not done until it’s done. He spent many hours getting things aligned and adjusted, then many hours more tuning, trying crossover points, re-adjusting, etc. At some point you think he’s a mad man! But when it comes time to sit in the driver’s seat, and you hear the results, you understand why he does things the way he does them. His true passion to do his best shines through. In a high-speed world where most don’t care, nor have time to do their best, Carl excels beyond anyone’s expectations.”

Curtis chose to move up to the Dynaudio Professional M1 near fields driven with the new Bryston 4B SST2 amp and use his existing ADAM S5A MK2s in a Dual PFS configuration where both near fields and mains share the same PFS frequency response curve. “The results were predictably stellar,” comments Tatz. “And Ted, who was considering closing the room down before hiring Tatz because his very high expectations were not being met, now drives his monitors with the same thrill and pinpoint accuracy as his exotic Porsche based RUF 3400K sports car.”

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GUITAR CENTER OPENS NEW NORTH CHARLOTTE STORE

— North Charlotte Guitar Center store is the latest location to open as part of GC’s ongoing 2012 expansion —

Westlake Village, CA (May 14, 2012) – Following an eventful Q1 that saw the retailer expanding its operations in Tucson, Arizona, and Highland Park, Illinois, Guitar Center held the grand opening of its new location in North Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 19, 2012. The store is located at 8813 JW Clay Blvd., STE A, Charlotte, NC 28262-5416. Guitar Center North Charlotte is Guitar Center’s 225th retail location.

Guitar Center North Charlotte’s grand opening introduced customers to a vast selection of products and a dedicated staff with unparalleled musical knowledge and experience. As with all new store openings, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend celebration (April 19-22) featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways, free events and live performances catered to local musicians.

Guitar Center’s newest North Carolina location features showrooms for customers equipped with the latest products for musicians – from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment. The new store also features Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility, which will create unrivalled opportunities for North Charlotte musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios is now the most modern and affordable lessons facility in the area. Guitar Center North Charlotte also features GC Garage, Guitar Center’s on site guitar repair service. Musicians could try out the GC Garage for free on Grand Opening night, and with a guitar purchase, customers could also receive a free, 22-point personalized set-up.

As part of Guitar Center’s ongoing initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center North Charlotte will offer unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many other aspects of the music industry first-hand. Musicians interested in learning about the industry will be able to come to the store to interact with and pick the brains of several industry leaders. North Charlotte shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless isle” include North Charlotte inventory, but it also provides easy access to $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of stores and warehouses across the nation. Customers have the ability to combine a myriad of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience. Free Recording Made Easy classes are also conducted every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 am for anyone who wants to make the exciting journey into recording their music.

In addition to special programs at the new North Charlotte store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. North Charlotte residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

• Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.

• Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program which aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording 3 songs with accomplished GRAMMY Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash. The grand finale takes place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.

• Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, performed alongside GRAMMY-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.

• Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.

Guitar Center North Charlotte is open seven days a week. Store hours are 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Friday; 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Saturday; and 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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