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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - September 5, 2019

The 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show was another successful event for Australian Musician and the Australian Music Association. With a great blend of international acts and the very best of our local performers in concert or in clinic, there was something for everyone. Best of all was the amazing array of gear from our biggest brand distributors and retailers to the makers and dealers of the boutique and rare. Here’s a little video we put together which captures the spirit of the 2019 show.

See you on August 1 and 2, 2020

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - August 12, 2019

The Omnific is a progressive instrumental band from Melbourne, Australia featuring two bass players and a drummer. They’ve become  a regular and popular attraction at the Melbourne Guitar Show, whether on stage or on the CMC Music stand. The Omnific’s new EP ‘The Mind’s Eye’ is out now

The young trio has established working relationships with reputable companies Darkglass Electronics, Ernie Ball Music Man & Neural DSP, seeing them represent the brands with pride at the guitar show, bringing attention amongst the ‘Gear-Nerd’ community. Coupled with their online play-thru, gear demo and music videos, the band’s reach is beyond what many would expect from this impressive Melbourne trio so early in their career.

“Recorded on August 4th at the Melbourne Guitar Show 2019, representing Darkglass Electronics and Ernie Ball Music Man. We took line outs (pre-pedalboard) and recorded our basses directly into a Scarlett 2i2, tucked away behind the cabs in the video. We then mixed and created new tones using the Darkglass Ultra Suite (for amp and cab), and the Plini Archetype (delay and reverb). Video by Liam Davidson (Lord Media) Thumbnail photo by Deb Kloeden (Amnpify) Stream, love, buy our new EP ‘The Mind’s Eye’ :” – The Omnific

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Posted in Artists, Interviews, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - August 8, 2019

LA-based singer, songwriter and guitar slinger, Dennis Jones played the Melbourne Guitar Show last weekend and blew everyone away with his smokin’ blues guitar licks. Dennis played his own set on the Saturday with his Melbourne-based band featuring Ben Wicks on bass and Johnny Tesoreiro on drums. He was back on Sunday for the end of show finale jam, playing alongside Mal Eastick, Pete Robinson, Charlie Bedford, Michael Spiby, James Ryan, Kathleen Halloran, Roger McLachlan and Marcus Ryan.

After the guitar show Dennis sat down to speak with Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips.

Dennis plays The Fyrefly, St.Kilda Friday August 9 and the Palais Hepburn, Hepburn Springs on Sunday August 11 in the afternoon before heading home.

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - August 7, 2019

Melbourne Guitar Show 2019 Coverage
Report: Greg Phillips. Photos: Jason Rosewarne (unless specified)

The annual fabulous festival of fretted instruments, the Melbourne Guitar Show has been run and won again at Caulfield Racecourse. Three floors of exhibits, performances and sessions, running all day meant that people had to make choices but whichever area of the event they ended up at, there was sure to be product or performances of quality and interest.

Upon entry to the show area on day one, punters were greeted by the Triple M street team and their spinning wheel full of prizes donated by some of the exhibitors including a Katana Mini amp and Waza MT-2W Distortion pedal from Boss, Slinky strings from Ernie Ball Music Man, stickers from Fender, as well as a whole bunch of merch Triple M brought along too.

Once inside the ground floor level, an assemblage of attractive, well stocked exhibitor stands were looking inviting, many featuring guitar show special offers. Of course you could find all of the well known brands such as Fender, Jackson, Gretsch, Gibson, Epiphone, Ibanez, Schecter, Ernie Ball Music Man, MarkBass, Ampeg, Yamaha, Line 6, Vox, Boss etc, all spotlighting new gear releases. Fender’s walls were lined with the wonderful new era-specific Vintera series guitars in all the vintage colours you need. You can catch Angus Marshall talking his way around the new gear on the Fender stand HERE. Gibson is back in business in a big way after a huge Winter NAMM relaunch and backing it up at Summer NAMM with many new releases. Australis Music Group were proudly flying the Ibanez flag with a special guest appearance by Jake Bowen from iconic metal band Periphery. Jake delivered a fascinating masterclass, utilising his new signature model JBM10FX Ibanez guitar. We caught up for a chat with Jake which you can watch HERE. Of course as well as the big brands, there were also plenty of the lesser known but equally as exciting products and curiosities on view. Eastman guitars for example are just gorgeous looking instruments and sound wonderful too. So too the Duesenbergs on the Cranbourne stand and the Hagstroms as well are extremely hard to walk by without picking one up for a play. There was much interest in the new Kemper Amps Profiler Stage unit at the Innovative Music booth too, as it was just released at Summer NAMM a couple of weeks ago.

Then there are the independent makers, the incredible luthiers who display some of the most beautiful instruments you’ll ever see. Take Ruben guitars for example. Every year Ruben Becker is on a mission to make the most incredible instrument possible and this year was no exception. On display behind glass was the amazing “Celt”, featuring outstanding Brazilian Rosewood, a 2850 Ancient Sitka Spruce soundboard, solid platinum, rubies and a gorgeous Celtic Sword pearl fingerboard inlay. The $74,000 guitar was actually sold on the weekend too. Always one of the most popular exhibits at the show is the Charles Cilia guitars stand, one of our most respected local builders. You can tell he’s much admired in the industry by the amount of high profile players who step by to say hello to Charles. Everywhere you looked there was quality craftsmanship, particularly from the independent builders. It wouldn’t be a guitar show without colourful industry character Owen Ray and his amazing collection of rarities and treasures, many of which were #1 models off the production line.

Ruben Guitars ‘The Celt’

From Owen Ray’s collection

It’s not just the guitars which were impressive, some of the amps and pedals were mind blowing too. As we know from previous years, George Evans make a mighty fine amplifier and they were certainly getting work out on stand this year. So too were the audio products from Brookfield Tube Audio and Lovell. Yamaha Music have taken on Australian distribution of Earthquaker Devices pedals and their booth was one of the more eye catching on the weekend, chock full of awesome effects. The retailer stands were great too as they carried various brands for people to browse. It wouldn’t be a guitar show without the collective stock of high class gear from KCs Music, GH Music, Cranbourne Music, Guitar Brothers down from Queensland, Musos Corner and Bass Centre, always adding much colour to the event. Check out the guitar show exhibitor list HERE for a rundown of everyone who was involved.

There was plenty of on-stand performance action with tunes from Tonight Alive’s Jenna McDougall for Fender. CMC Music had a full schedule of performers too, highlighted by the return of The Omnific and also Mixdown editor Nicholas Simonsen on the other side of the media coin playing tracks from his band Caution: Thieves’ repertoire.

Jenna McDougall (Tonight Alive) by Greg Phillips

Before people headed upstairs to the acoustic guitar exhibits, Mezzanine stage and workshop room, there was always time to grab a snack or grab a seat at Cafe Corner where I Heart Guitar blogger Peter Hodgson was hosting the Meet the Players sessions. These are invaluable sessions in which Peter gets to interrogate famous guitarists and get them to reveal all of their career and gear secrets. On day one Peter chatted to Jeremy Barnes, James Norbert Ivanyi, Michael Dolce, and a bunch of great fingerstyle guitarists, such as Van Larkins, Phisha, Drew Roller and Ella Belfanti.

At the top of Escalator East you’d find the Acoustic Guitar product. Taking up a prime postion straight off the escalator was Cole Clark Guitars, not only showcasing their usual high quality locally made acoustic guitars but also their amazing ingenuity. Of great interest this year was their FL2ECBLBLHUM
 model acoustic guitar featuring a humbucker, which possesses true clean and real dirty sounds, as was demonstrated on stand and in clinic by Lloyd Spiegel. Watch Lloyd demo the guitar HERE.

Some other name brands looking and sounding immaculate on stand were Taylor, Yamaha, Fender, Washburn, and Tanglewood. Once again, the independent exhibitors were shining too on the acoustic level such as Cargill Custom Guitars – Southern Tonewoods, Octigan, Eborall and Avocet Cigar Box guitars. On the artistic side there were Melbourne Guitar Show regulars George Racz with his sought-after custom-made leather guitar straps, partnered with Gypsy Spelling of Double Bass Tattoo’s extraordinary pencil art. The stunning looking Timberline Harp guitars were getting plenty of attention too. We spoke to Tonekey Imports-Timberline Australia’s Braegen Russell before the show about the guitars. Watch it HERE.

Just a jump to the west of the acoustic gear section lays the Marsh Mezzanine stage. Day one on the Mezz kicked off with the rousing blues slide sounds coming from Anna Scionti’s cigar box guitars, playing tracks from her debut album Orphan Diary. The mighty Minnie Marks followed, belting out killer licks and dirty riffs, winning many new friends in the process. Ash Grunwald couldn’t wait to hit the stage with his new signature Pratley guitar and rip into tunes from his soon to be released new album Mojo (out August 30), it’s been five years between releases. Phil Manning and South Australian legend Chris Finnen then traded fingerpickings and were joined by Florida based artist and music festival director Steve Arvey, who just happened to be in town. The organic trio featuring Rob Papp, Jon Wade and Rob Mercer had a lot of fun generating infectious grooves, a fine warming up for the International Blues Day Celebration which included Nick Charles, Liz Frencham, Minnie Marks, Phil Manning, Ash Grunwald, Shannon Bourne, Anna Scionti, Charlie Bedford and Corey Legge. A highlight of the session and maybe even the show was Shannon Bourne’s stunningly poignant tribute to local blues legend Chris Wilson, who passed away earlier this year.

Anna Scionti

Ash Grunwald

Next door in the Winner’s Circle Workshop Room, some serious nerd talk was taking place in some fascinating product information sessions, which included a tube and solid state amp blindfold test, thanks to Brett Kingman, an Earthquaker Devices pedal launch, another fine Positive Grid Bias Amp showcase and an entertaining session by Lloyd Spiegel for Cole Clark, featuring that humbucker-laden acoustic guitar. The rooms were extra buzz-worthy for the two sessions by our international guests. First up as mentioned earlier Jake Bowen flashing his signature Ibanez guitar and offering tales of Periphery, then courtesy of Schecter guitars came Keith Merrow with his signature axe, providing some stunning and chunky sounds from the stage.

Jake Bowen with AM editor Greg Phillips

Keith Merrow by Greg Phillips

Upstairs the new 1876 Exclusively acoustic stage, ably stage-managed by Ben Kelly was a perfect place to wind down and chill out, while catching some top notch acoustic talent such as Paul Carey & Julian Scheffer, Van Larkins, Ella Belafanti, Phisha, Corey Legge and Ben himself. Once more, the Marsh Whammy bar stage provide world class entertainment from local and international guitar stars. Versatile guitarist Chris Bieniek, who could be seen in the Herald Sun during the week promoting the show, didn’t disappoint with his ridiculously slick fingerwork. The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod has been pumped for months about playing the guitar show and became somewhat of an unofficially ambassador, appearing absolutely everywhere in the media for the guitar show cause. When Sarah finally got to hit the stage she didn’t let anyone down either, delivering a superb set of rockin’ tunes wrapped in a ball of energy and enthusiasm. Her purpose-built guitar loop system worked a treat too. Check out an interview we did with Sarah pre-show about her gear HERE. James Norbert Ivanyi is one of the most respected players in the prog rock music scene and it’s no wonder why, he’s pretty amazing. LA-based blues rocker Dennis Jones, playing with his Australian band Ben Wicks on bass and drummer Johnny Tesorierio, inflicted an electric blues storm upon us, playing tunes from his 6 albums and a few well worn covers. It was the first official Australian stage performance for Dennis and judging by the audience response, it won’t be his last Aussie tour. Wrapping up day one in spectacular fashion was the much-anticipated Simon Hosford and his band Fair Warning performing Van Halen’s debut album live. It was indeed one of those ‘you needed to be there’ gigs! Simon and band had gone into painstaking detail to give us this show and the crowd showed their appreciation. All those lightning fast, melodic Eddie licks were there and Eugene Hamilton played the perfect Diamond Dave frontman. The rhythm section of Gerry Pantazis on drums and Jason Vorherr on bass played a pivotal role in keeping it all solid for the fireworks on top. Gerry even went to the trouble of including an actual Alex Van Halen cymbal to his kit. It was a joyous combination of musical skill and fun rock n roll.

Sarah McLeod

Dennis Jones

Simon Hosford

The second day of the show brought Diesel to the track, not to perform but to fulfill his promise to give a guitar lesson to the winner of Triple M’s Club competition, Lee Wilson. Actually it was partner Glen who won but donated the prize to his long-time Diesel fan wife Lee, who also received a Fender Player guitar, which Diesel signed for her. Once done Diesel headed downstairs to sign copies of his newly released EP Sunset Suburbia Vol 1. Your Sunday morning breakfast menu consisted of either a Fractal Audio workshop, a country music performance by the oh-so-funsome Cartridge Family, a world-class performance of classical and Latin guitar by Sergio Ercole (Read his pre-show interview HERE), or a dose of Jeff Beck, played superbly by Robyn Payne’s Engine Room. At what a great opportunity for many to witness the magnificent skills of Robyn on bass and keyboards.

Triple M Guitar and lesson winner Lee with Diesel

The Cartridge Family

It was tremendous to see the reformed 70s country rock legends Stars in action at midday. Although lead singer Mick Pealing was suffering from a cold, he made a sensational effort to deliver a memorable show. With Mal Eastick, Roger McLachlan, Nick Charles out front helping with vocals and a back catalogue Australian classics, having Stars at the guitar show was a treat for everyone. Elsewhere in the building Adam Miller, who is now Nashville-based showed why he is now such a sought-after international performer. James Norbert Ivanyi was back, this time revealing the tricks behind his prog rock trade in the workshop room during his Tone design for prog metal guitar session for Boss. American shredder Keith Merrow returned for Schecter too and seemed to be having a ball on his first trip to Australia. Sessions followed for Vox amps by Jimi Hocking and Fender’s Matt Colyer gave a great presentation on the awesome Acoustasonic Telecaster, which we first saw at Winter NAMM earlier this year.

Jimi Hocking


It was encouraging to see so many families in attendance and a lot more younger people sitting on stands playing guitar with inspiration in their eyes, the future is looking bright. The beautiful Melbourne musician community was on show again and on it’s very best behavour. As always it’s wonderful to see so many well known musicians in the aisles who weren’t booked for the show but showed up as punters anyway and seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as everyone else. Spotted around the venue this year were Stephen Cummings, Mental As Anything, Colin Lillie and Augie March and I’m sure there were many more.

Meanwhile back down on the ground floor, Peter Hodgson was holding court at Cafe Corner with packed rooms for his chat and play sessions with local legends Dave Leslie and Phil Manning. Upstairs Nick Charles rounded up his annual posse of fingerpickers and launched into another memorable acoustic guitar jam, which this year included Lloyd Spiegel, Van Larkins, Chris Finnen, Sergio Ercole and Adam Miller. However, it was the level two Marsh Whammy Bar stage where the major excitement was building. The penultimate performance of the weekend saw Jeremy Barnes rip into it. I think that the term shredder was coined specifically for Jeremy, who has been officially timed at playing 40 notes per second.

Peter Hodgson by Greg Phillips

Chris Finnen, Adam Miller and Sergio Ercole

On stage the fabulous guitar show crew were placing mics, tweaking amps and making room for multiple pedalboards in readiness for the marquee spot of the show, the Triple M Super Jam. Kicking off proceedings was Charlie Bedford, a guitarist the Melbourne Guitar Show began nurturing five years and with many gig miles under his belt since, he’s developed into a class act. Charlie traded soulful licks with special guest from LA Dennis Jones and the super jam was off and running. Mal Eastick then joined Dennis for a smokin’ version of Stevie Ray’s Cold Shot before they came together for what many are saying was an event highlight, a magical duet on Mal’s own tune Swept Away. Pete Robinson and James Ryan then donned guitars taking the jam from the sublime to the fabulous with a merry rendition of Status Quo’s Caroline. Guitar show debutante Kathleen Halloran joined the fray with Charlie Bedford and grabbed her stage time opportunity with gusto and gave us some superb note choices. Kathleen is clearly destined for a bright future. The Badloves Michael Spiby was up next, prompting the full cast to join him on a spirited version of his band’s hit Green Limousine. With Spiby on vocals, ‘The Weight’ gave Kathleen another chance to rip some tasty licks. With the pre-planned jam songs exhausted, James Ryan left it to American guest Dennis Jones to select BB King’s The Thrill Is Gone to end the show. The thrill might well be gone for another year but the stories and inspiration will linger.

Mal Eastick and Dennis Jones

Mal and Dennis with Kathleen Halloran

Kathleen Halloran

Marcus Ryan, Charlie Bedford, James Ryan, Kathleen Halloran and Peter Robinson

The Melbourne Guitar Show wouldn’t be possible without the support of the main sponsors, the exhibitors and members of the Australian Music Association, the fantastic businesses, stores and builders that bring the amazing music tools into the community. The range on show was stunning and the love and vibe that the music products community and our artists bring to the event is what makes it so special. It was heartening to see so many people walking out of the show with their newly acquired dream item, be it a guitar that they’ve had their eye on for years or the very latest in music making technology, inspired by what they’d seen and heard on the guitar show stages and stands over the weekend. Thanks to our supporters Triple M, 3PBS, Marsh Insurance, Advanced Audio, Ernie Ball Music Man, Bose, Fender, Yamaha, our media partners Beat/Mixdown and Noise 11 and most importantly the attendees and we’ll see you on August 8 & 9 in 2020.

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Posted in Artists, Interviews, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - August 7, 2019

Jake Bowen, guitarist from cutting-edge American metal band Periphery joins Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips at the 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show to chat about his masterclass for Ibanez Australia and his new Ibanez signature instrument—the JBM10FX, which he demonstrated at the guitar show.

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Posted in Amplifiers, Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear, Melbourne guitar Show News, Pedals    //    Post Date - August 7, 2019

Angus Marshall from Fender Australia shows us the Vintera series guitars, Classic 65 Deluxe Reverb and Classic 65 Twin amps, plus new pedals from Fender at the Melbourne Guitar Show 2019

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News, Win    //    Post Date - August 7, 2019

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show.

We had a few promotions running leading up to and during the show and we can now announce the winners:

Whammy Bar Wednesday promotion
Prize: Boss RC-1 Loop pedal
Winner: Marie A Veneziano, Glenroy

Online ticket promotion
Prize: Joe Bonamassa Meet and Greet tickets to his Melbourne show on September 23rd
Winner: Steve Richie, Highett

MGS 2019 Attendee survey
Prize: Vox Ac2 rhythm Desktop Amp
Winner: Scott Watkins

Thanks to Boss, Vox Australia and Joe Bonamassa

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - August 1, 2019

In celebration of the release of the first EP Sunset Suburbia (Vol. I) out this week, Diesel is also hitting the road for an extensive tour beginning in October.
AND Diesel will be signing copies of the EP (available on vinyl too) at the
Melbourne Guitar Show Caulfield Racecourse Sunday August 4 at 11.45am Ground Floor Merch Area

Read our interview with Diesel HERE


Thursday 10 October
20 Years At The Brass Monkey
Brass Monkey | Cronulla, NSW Tickets on sale Monday 2nd September
* Solo show

Friday 11 October
Central Hotel | Shellharbour, NSW

Saturday 12 October
Manly Leagues Club | Manly, NSW

Friday 18 October
Entrance Leagues | Bateau Bay, NSW

Saturday 19 October
Wingham Akoostic Festival | Wingham Showground | Wingham, NSW

Friday 25 October
Gateway Hotel | Geelong, VIC

Saturday 26 October
York On Lilydale | Lilydale, VIC

Friday 1 November
The Juniors | Kingsford, NSW

Saturday 2 November
Hornsby RSL | Hornsby, NSW

Saturday 9 November
Bridgetown Blues Festival | Bridgetown, WA

Sunday 10 November
96FM Kickstart Summer Concert w/ Jimmy Barnes
Ascot Racetrack | Perth, WA

Friday 15 November
The Triffid | Brisbane, QLD

Saturday 16 November
Southport RSL | Gold Coast, QLD

Friday 22 November
The Gov | Adelaide, SA

Saturday 23 November
Get Your Blues On | Renmark Riverfront | Renmark, SA

Friday 29 November
Lizottes | Newcastle, NSW

Saturday 30 November
Lizottes | Newcastle, NSW

Friday 6 December
The Basement | Canberra, ACT

Saturday 7 December
Paddington RSL | Paddington, NSW

Friday 13 December
Lizottes | Newcastle, NSW

Saturday 14 December
Lizottes | Newcastle, NSW

• Sunset Suburbia (Vol. I) EP Out  through Bloodlines Aug 2


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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - July 31, 2019

Owen Ray is a Toowoomba based musician/guitar tech with over 50 years experience in the music business. Owen’s passion and specialty however is in the collection, restoring and sales of collectable vintage guitars, amps and memorabilia.

Many people who come to the Melbourne Guitar Show head straight to Owen Ray’s stand to see what rarities, treasures and curios he has in store. This year will be no exception, as you can see from the list below. Come on down to Stand #4 and check it out for yourself.

As founder and owner of two successful musical instrument stores, he was often invited and traveled to Europe and America to tour such factories as the Fender, Gibson, Music Man, G&L, Peavey, Rogers drums, Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer piano and organ and Rickenbacker factories. Owen, having once held the largest collection of Maton guitars in the world, has also toured the Maton factory many times. He has received recognition from Fender, Peavey and Ibanez for design development to these brands and proudly displays these awards in his office.

Owen has numerous photos of many industry greats he has met including Leo Fender, George Fullerton, Freddy Tavares, Tom Walker, Harold Rhodes, Les Paul, Ernie Ball, Jim Dunlop, F W Hall, Sam Hutton and many more. However, his favourite photo is of him and his son Stewart sitting with Leo Fender in Leo’s workshop a few weeks before Leo passed away. Owen was told it was the only photo allowed of Leo to be taken in the last five years of his life. After Leo’s death, Leo’s wife Phyllis presented Owen with a G&L guitar pendant that Leo had worn on his favorite coat lapel. Owen feels both honored and privilaged to have it and the memory of Leo.

Here’s some of what Owen will have on stand at the Melbourne Guitar Show this year

Ltd.Edit. Eureka. Number ! of only 50 made. New
Mini 12 string electric. signed by rock legends ,THE  SEARCHERS.
1964  Ibis sunburst with original case
Custom Shop   BUSH  BALLADEER.made by Andy Allen
Custom  Shop   BG 808  The Artisan
Ltd Edit.Carlisle  Number one of the limited run.
12 string electric Custom FB 1220.
Mini Diesel Custom 12 string with factory thin neck
60th Anniversary ,   EM 325C. Number ONE of only 60 made. Custom timbers.
Maton  Maxim F hole electric C 1959

Fender 40 th Anniversary  P Bass. New. 1992. unplayed
Hofner Original German Beatle Bass Vintage 63.
Ernie Ball 20 th Anniversary Bass Amazing quilt maple top 1996
EKO mod 1100 . 100% original with orig case.  Mint.
Fender 1951- 2001  Commemorative .New With cert,signed by owner of Fender.
Epiphone Thunderbird Bass Custom
Fender American Deluxe  Active P Bass Cherry SB .new   2005
Fender  50th Anniversary  P Bass  Ltd, Ed.
Fender Hot Rod P Bass.Ltd
B C Rich  Eagle  new.
Peavey Zodiac  EXP, Maple neck Special P.J.model

Fender  Strats , Telecasters .Duo Sonic.
Chandler USA .  Yamaha  and Gretsch

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Posted in Melbourne guitar Show News, Win    //    Post Date - July 31, 2019

Hey, while you’re at the Melbourne Guitar Show this weekend, tell us what you think of the show to go into the draw to win an awesome AC2 RhythmVOX Desktop Guitar Amp courtesy of Vox Australia.

Now with twice the output, and even more realistic look, the AC2 RhythmVOX allows you to bring iconic VOX tone with you anywhere you go!
Seek out the attendee survey details on the walls at the show, take a couple of minutes to offer your opinion and go into the draw!

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