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— Just one year after the Grand Opening of its 30,000-square-foot Manhattan Superstore, Guitar Center continues to change the musical instrument retail landscape of New York City
by hiring key industry professionals like Judd Goldrich —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, February 2, 2005 — Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq: GTRC), America’s leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer, announces that Judd Goldrich, grandson of the late Manny Goldrich, who in 1935 started the legendary Manny’s Music of New York City, has joined Guitar Center’s Manhattan flagship store. The announcement of Judd Goldrich’s hiring comes on the heels of Guitar Center’s latest announcement of better than anticipated fourth quarter 2004 sales, and further underscores the company’s ongoing plans for growth and long-term expansion. Judd Goldrich is based at GC’s 30,000-square-foot flagship Superstore located on 14th Street in the heart of Manhattan’s world-famous Union Square.

In his new position, Judd Goldrich will work closely with Tim Miller, Guitar Center Manhattan Superstore General Manager, and together with a highly qualified staff of sales professionals, will continue to expand GC’s presence in the New York/Tri-State music community.

“When I first heard that we might be able to land Judd Goldrich, one of the biggest fishes in the retail music sea, and that Judd would be working in my store, I was totally thrilled!” stated Tim Miller. “When I met Judd for the first time, I felt tremendous chemistry and knew this was going to be an incredible partnership that was going to set New York on its ear. Judd’s lifetime of experience in music is a tremendous asset to the Manhattan store, and when I say he knows everyone in New York — I mean he knows everyone in New York. I’m very proud to have Judd on the GC team.”

Judd Goldrich has a rich history in the New York music scene as well as a special relationship with the top professionals and legends in the industry. As a child, Judd Goldrich grew up crawling on boxes at his grandfather’s store Manny’s, and began working there when he was 10 years old. Starting out in the stock room, Judd worked his way up to sales in the guitar department, and after college he came back to run the legendary 48th Street store. Leading players like the late John Entwhistle of The Who, who attended Judd’s Bar Mitzvah, as well as James Taylor and Paul Simon, would turn to him regularly for help with their musical needs. After running Manny’s on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Judd decided that it was time to come home to New York, and realized getting a position with Guitar Center was the only logical choice. “Because of my background, on the outside looking in, I have always looked at Guitar Center and realized that they have achieved a prominent position in the industry, yet I never had a total understanding of their philosophy of doing business,” stated Judd Goldrich. “Now that I am part of the Guitar Center organization, I instantly see that GC is so focused on their customer’s needs and doing whatever is necessary to keep that customer happy above and beyond a great price. I realize this is the formula for why they are so successful. And that is what I am bringing to my customer base — it’s what I was taught to bring to work by my family and it’s what I continue to believe in today.”

…ends 527 words

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the nation's leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. We presently operate 138 Guitar Center stores, with 114 stores in 46 major markets and 24 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, the American Music division operates 19 family music stores 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.

For further information on Guitar Center, contact Tina Montano at (818) 735-8800 ext. 2285,
or log onto www.guitarcenter.com.



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