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— GC Pro sourced and sold the majority of the new studio’s gear
and was the famed producer’s “invaluable” resource for information and technology —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, August 16, 2005 — GC Pro, the dedicated professional audio division of Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq: GTRC), America’s leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer, has helped Mike Elizondo assemble his ultimate personal studio. Elizondo’s new Phantom Studios, near his home in the hills surrounding Los Angeles, is filled with the gear he uses to create best-selling tracks for the artists he produces, writes and plays with, including 50 Cent, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Pink, Fiona Apple and many others. Phantom Studios is built around a new Solid State Logic AWS 900 Analogue Workstation System, which, like most of the other equipment in the facility, was purchased through GC Pro, the ultimate solution for pro audio technology.

Phantom Studios has a lot of cool design features, including a system that automatically dims the monitor levels when the control room door opens. It’s also loaded with new and vintage keyboards, amplifiers and other instruments, reflecting Elizondo’s background as an in-demand session musician. Elizondo found he could count on GC Pro’s unrivalled breadth and depth of product offerings to secure most of the new equipment for his studio. “I wanted a room where I didn’t have to worry about the budgets and things like that, where I could develop an act and work as much as I could, where I didn’t have to worry about the cost, yet get the quality as high as possible,” says Elizondo, who adds that much of his inspiration came from many of the great recording studios in L.A. and elsewhere he’s had the pleasure of working throughout his career. “Also, the engineers I’ve been fortunate enough to work with or know, [I] just picked their brains about aesthetically what would be cool, old gear, new gear, and just kind of compiled a list of all the things that were mentioned multiple times,” he explains. For Phantom Studios, Elizondo notes, “I had the advantage of building a studio from scratch, so I had to put my gear list together in conjunction with the size of the room. I knew what was going to go where even before it was built. It was a great advantage, knowing exactly what gear I was going to get, and where it was going to be placed, how it was going to be patched in, the whole thing.”

Colleagues Matt Serletic and Greg Collins alerted Elizondo to the benefits of the SSL AWS 900. “I was just immediately blown away at how functional it was, and how compact it was as well,” he recalls. “After witnessing what it could do, I set up a demo of the console [and] with my engineer got an hour-long tutorial on the whole thing. We were able to bring our own hard drive and call up a mix on their AWS 900. I was totally sold. It is the perfect combination of traditional SSL technology for a home studio environment. The AWS 900 was the last big piece of the puzzle, as far as being able to take the record process, the mixing process to the next level.”

GC Pro — exclusive distributor of the SSL AWS 900 console — proved to be the crucial resource for almost everything else Elizondo needed to make his studio dream a reality. “I don’t know what the ratio has been, but a good 60 or 70 percent of the gear I’ve gotten for the studio was all through GC Pro,” he says. “Working with GC Pro has been amazing. We’d compile lists of products, and get instant feedback on what was out there to choose from. GC Pro became an invaluable source of information.”

…ends 599 words

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the nation’s leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards, live-sound/DJ and recording equipment. We presently operate 151 Guitar Center stores, with 121 stores in 48 major markets and 30 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, the Music & Arts division operates 77 retail locations specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving thousands of teachers, band directors, college professors and students. Guitar Center is also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the U.S. through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalog and web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company’s web site at www.guitarcenter.com.

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