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Digital Guitar Leads the Way in Music Innovation

For Immediate Release:

Gibson Digital Guitar Leads the Way in Music Innovation at WinHEC, the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference Held in Seattle , Washington May 22-25, 2006

Musical Giant Gibson Guitar to Exhibit and Provide Daily Demos

NASHVILLE, TENN - May 12, 2006 - Seventy years after the debut of the modern electric guitar, Gibson Guitar breaks through to the next generation with the Gibson Digital Guitar. With this guitar, players and listeners will experience an unprecedented level of string separation and resolution. This allows the guitar to be used in a surround sound environment where precise location and varying effects can be applied to the individual strings. The guitar, using Gibson's patented MaGIC technology, can also be networked with multiple other instruments in an Ethernet environment.

Gibson Guitar, the company that became the world's leading maker of fretted instruments by combining tradition with innovation, continues to make major advances in electric guitar technology. The Gibson Digital Guitar brings the 1930s technology of conventional electric guitars into the Digital Age, opening a virtually unlimited array of musical possibilities for guitarists.

The Gibson Digital Guitar System features:
- A genuine Gibson guitar, 100% compatible with existing equipment.

- Gibson's patented HEX pickup, which delivers individual signals from each string.

- MaGIC-enabled digital transport, carrying multiple channels in both directions over standard Ethernet cable.

- Gibson's BreakOut Box, with 8 outputs (1/4" jacks) - one for each string, plus classic humbucking pickup output and pass-through for microphone We have outputs for each string as noted, plus 3x3 outputs in addition to the classic mode…. Brian should verify the options on this.; 2 inputs carry audio back to guitar for monitoring; split mode assigns strings to different amps.

"It has always been my passion and desire to take creativity and musical _expression to a new level, to give musicians a bigger canvas on which to paint, without detracting from the intimate connection between the musician and the instrument," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp. "The Gibson Digital Guitar opens up a virtually unlimited world of possibilities to guitarists by removing some of the limitations that have been inherent in electric guitar design throughout its history."

Traditional limitations

Since its introduction 70 years ago, the electric guitar's pickup has translated the string vibrations into an electrical signal which is fed to an output connector on the body. Through the years, individual pole-pieces have allowed for small adjustments in individual string signals, and the guitarist has some control over tone and volume, but output has always been limited to a mono or stereo signal.

The signal itself is noisy by today's digital standards, and the guitar cable can also pick up stray sounds. This is the way electric guitars and cables have always been manufactured - until now.

Digital solutions from Gibson Guitar

Gibson's continued commitment to innovation has solved these problems. Leveraging state-of-the-art DSP and FPGA technology, Gibson developed a digital guitar that converts the analog signal into a high-quality digital signal inside the guitar. Stray frequencies entering the guitar pickups are eliminated along with analog line noise induced through the guitar cable. In other words, the limitations of analog technology are completely removed. A guitarist can run a cable over 100 meters with no loss of audio quality.

The best part of the Gibson Digital Guitar system is its delivery of signal processing on a string-by-string basis, providing increased quality and flexibility. This provides unprecedented control with the ability to adjust volume, pan and equalization of each string individually. Imagine using six guitar amplifiers - one for every string, or recording all six strings individually into a computer, or sending the six-string digital signal to a compatible guitar processor. The guitarist can have a crunch (heavy metal) sound on the low strings, medium distortion on the middle strings and a clean sound on the high strings.

A variety of third party products will connect to the Gibson digital guitar to create the most advanced electric guitar system in the world, all leveraging Gibson's break-through MaGIC technology to provide multi-channel, low-latency transmission of the digital audio signal.

MaGIC technology

The technology that enables the Gibson digital guitar is an Ethernet media delivery system called MaGIC, developed by Gibson Labs. MaGIC stands for Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier and is designed to replace all wiring systems in both the musical instrument fields and consumer electronic applications. The current nest of wires behind home entertainment systems can be replaced by a single Ethernet cable. MaGIC-enabled consumer electronics devices will allow daisy chaining devices and plug-and-play capabilities greatly simplifying the set-up process for consumers.

Recently, Gibson announced an agreement with Cirrus Logic, a major provider of digital audio semiconductors. The partnership is structured to develop and deliver a new generation of digital audio networking products in 2006. The companies will focus the development on next-generation gigabit Ethernet-based products designed to provide high-bandwidth, ultra-low latency and secure audio and video transport.

Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. Gibson's digital guitar represents the biggest advance in electric guitar design in more than 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Mich., and headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Baldwin, Chickering, Hamilton and Wurlitzer. For more information about MaGIC please visit High-res images:

Gibson locations at the Convention Center during WinHEC include:

Booth #213 at Expo Hall where attendees can play like a rock - star at the Gibson pod station and enter to win an exclusive Gibson guitar offered in an on-site contest. Experience the Gibson Digital Guitar kiosk at 4C Concourse. In Room 603 Intel Tech Sessions will take place and Gibson's 3-pod station will be on-site for all attendees to experience. Gibson Guitar also joins Intel and Cakewalk at Expo Hall and will participate in Digital Guitar demonstrations each day along with exclusive guitar giveaway events.


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