Where Did Fender Japan Go?

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Recently there’s been some chatter online about the status of Fender Japan. There were many great guitars coming out of Fender Japan – indeed you may remember this post from 2012 in which I had a look at some particularly beautiful Fender Japan instruments. There’s currently a discussion over at TalkBass.com about Fender Japan. It started with forum member GazzBass, who said “I guy in my local music store in Osaka told me there will be no more stocks of Fender Japan guitars and once they are gone that will be it. I also heard they were closing the factories. That’s all the info I could get from him. Anyone else heard about this?”

Several other members go on to say they’ve spoken to folks working in Japanese music stores who have confirmed that the distribution agreement has ended and that Fender Musical Instrument Corp is taking over. This would certainly explain why the Japanese website for Fender now looks very much like the FMIC site instead of its own unique design like it was up to quite recently.

Once upon a time I was a finance journalist, so I dug into Fender’s prospectus from their abandoned IPO a few years ago (filed on March 8, 2012) and found the stuff that sheds some light on exactly who Fender Japan is/was, for those who are unfamiliar. Read More …

The Return Of The Epiphone Tony Iommi SG

Tony Iommi Epiphone

Aaah this is great news: Epiphone is reviving a version of its Tony Iommi SG. There are a few changes compared to the previous model. According to Epiphone.com: Later this summer, Epiphone will formally announce the new Ltd. Ed. Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom, which will be Tony’s second signature guitar for Epiphone. It features the historic SG profile–now a Tony Iommi trademark–with a Mahogany body finished in beautiful gloss Ebony. The Mahogany neck has a 1960’s SlimTaper™ D- profile and a black graphite nut and the Ebony fingerboard has Pearloid “Cross” inlays with white binding and a Tony Iommi signature on the back of the headstock. Read More …

Aristides Instruments 080 8-String

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PRESS RELEASE: After many requests, Aristides Instruments releases the eight string 080 guitar. The new 080 continues Aristides’ tradition of using a one piece body and neck construction, integrally layered with Arium. This model is also the first Aristides Instrument to be constructed of 100% man-made materials and features no wood – not even the freatboard. The new model made its first appearance at Musikmesse in Frankfurt Germany this month. Customers can place orders now through authorized dealers or direct from the factory.

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The Electro-Harmonix Octavix

From ehx.com: Octavix delivers the definitive late 1960’s fuzzed out, octave up sound together with modern enhancements that update the classic concept. Housed in EHX’s rugged nano package, the Octavix features Volume, Boost and Octave knobs. Volume regulates the output level of the pedal. Boost controls the amount of fuzztone and Octave adjusts the volume of the octave above. A mini-toggle lets the player select between 9 or 24 volt power rails and determines the power supply voltage for the entire circuit. At 9V the pedals behaves like the classic, saggy fuzz box. At 24V the Octavix delivers a tighter sound and a richer octave tone. True bypass ensures maximum signal path integrity.

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Introducing the DOD Gunslinger

PRESS RELEASE: HARMAN’s DigiTech today announced the debut of the DOD Gunslinger MOSFET Distortion, a pedal that’s locked and loaded for smoking guitar sounds at any setting. The Gunslinger employs a newly-designed MOSFET circuit to deliver a wide range of distortion tones from a touch of overdriven grit to full-bore high-gain saturation. “The Gunslinger’s MOSFET circuit delivers saturated tones and touch sensitivity normally associated with tubes,” said Tom Cram, Marketing Manager, DigiTech. “The pedal is ideal for adding a little more complexity to already overdriven tones, or on its own for thick, rich chord rhythm crunch and singing high-gain lead tones.” Read More …