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— St. Louis-based The Trak Meet recording studios is the first US customer to take delivery of the revolutionary SSL AWS 900 Analogue Workstation System —

— Other key sales of the SSL AWS 900 to be announced shortly —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, August 23, 2004 — Guitar Center and GC Pro, America’s leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer, has announced the delivery of the first SSL AWS 900 Analogue Workstation System. The sale was handled by Guitar Center’s Bridgeton, Missouri store, with the purchase made by St. Louis-based recording studio The Trak Meet, home to the renowned hip-hop production duo of Alonzo “Zo” Lee Jr. and Shamar “Sham” Daugherty, better known as the Trak Starz. David Angress, Guitar Center executive vice president, announced the sale, which comes on the heels of the firm’s appointment as the exclusive US sales, service and support organization for the groundbreaking SSL AWS 900.

The SSL AWS 900 will be the centerpiece of the newly designed recording studio, creating a world-class digital recording and mixing environment for The Trak Meet owners Zo and Sham, who recently completed working on the soundtrack for the animated DreamWorks film, Shark Tale, and are currently writing songs for upcoming Jennifer Lopez and Chingy projects. One of the key factors of the sale of the AWS 900 to the Trak Starz was the close working relationship they have developed with GC’s Bridgeton, MO sales professional, Joe Thomas. “When Zo and Sham were in the planning stages of designing and building The Trak Meet, we sat down several times to discuss what their vision was for the ideal recording studio,” remarks Thomas. “Zo has been a customer of GC for over four years, and he has trusted our judgment and recommendations regarding what gear will work best for his situation. Based on their requirements, the SSL AWS 900 was the perfect solution — it has the functionality as well as the legendary SSL sound and world-class reputation. In addition, we were able to help them out with a custom designed console desk that houses the 900, which blends in perfectly with the studio’s architectural design. They are very happy customers!”

The Trak Starz, Zo and Sham, are credited with helping establish St. Louis in the hip-hop community. Among their latest achievements, the Track Starz masterminded the multi-platinum debut for Chingy, writing and producing all the music for his album Jackpot (including the hit single “Right Thurr”), remixed the Britney Spears and Madonna collaboration “Me Against the Music,” as well as Ludacris’s “Splash Waterfalls.” The Trak Starz were also the driving force behind new Capitol Records artist Houston’s hit single “I Like That,” which they wrote, produced and parlayed into a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. The production team is now very excited about working in their own studio with the SSL AWS 900 Analogue Workstation System. “The nature of our business, and the clients we record or mix, has us working on SSL boards all the time,” notes Zo. “Being able to offer our clients a new work environment designed to meet their specific recording requirements, including an SSL console that interfaces directly with Pro Tools, is a more cost-effective recording alternative to traveling to larger cities to do our work,” Zo concludes. Sham echoes Zo’s sentiments: “SSL is obviously an established world-standard and the new 900 takes their legendary sonic quality plus preeminent reputation and now makes it available to the high-end project studio environment. I think this board is going to revolutionize the market and the entire recording process. The 900 will enable facilities like ours to produce materials on par with the million dollar studios at a fraction of the cost — and that’s good for everyone.”

In addition, Guitar Center helped Zo and Sham decide on the purchase of a wide selection of additional equipment while building The Trak Meet. They chose Digidesign’s Pro Tools system including Control 24 work surface, MH192 high-definition audio interfaces, Apple PowerMac G5 computer with 23" HD display, amplifiers from Crown, microphones including BLUE Bottle, Neumann U87AI, and Sony C800G, KRK E8T monitors, outboard gear from Universal Audio, Empirical Labs, TubeTech, dbx, Trident, Groove Tubes, software solutions from Waves, Syncro Arts, McDSP, and a host of other gear. It’s all being interfaced with Mogami cable.

About the SSL 900 Analogue Workstation System
Using SuperAnalogue electronics time tested in the trend setting SSL XL 9000 K Series SuperAnalogue console, the AWS 900 is the only console that provides the dual benefits of a fully featured SuperAnalogue signal path, coupled with a comprehensive DAW controller at this price point. The 900 was built from the ground up for a 5.1 surround environment. Signal routing, inputs/outputs, monitoring and signal processing are all permanently available on the console. Top quality motorized faders provide conventional audio level control as well as controlling the levels in a DAW.

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Guitar Center is the nation's leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. We presently operate 131 Guitar Center stores, with 111 stores in 46 major markets and 20 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, the American Music division operates 20 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.

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