DW Acquires KMC Music Percussion Brands From Fender 

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) has announced that its subsidiary KMCMusic, Inc. has sold its owned and licensed percussion brands including Gretsch Drums,
Latin Percussion, Toca Percussion, KAT Percussion, and Gibraltar Hardware--as well as the Ovation guitar brand and the exclusive U.S. distribution rights for Sabian Cymbals--to Drum Workshop, Inc., the manufacturer of DW drums, hardware, and accessories. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
   "This is an amazing opportunity to extend our passion and commitment for the art of drumming," said Chris Lombardi, CEO of Drum Workshop, Inc. "We're excited to welcome these legendary American brands to the DW family."
   "We are extremely proud of our team's effort to nurture and grow each of the individual brands and are enthusiastic for their future," said FMIC's interim CEO and board member Scott Gilbertson. "We recognize the strategic opportunity for DW and are confident that they will be champions of the brands moving forward."
   Don Lombardi launched the company in 1972 when he opened the Drum Workshop teaching studio in Santa Monica, California. A tinkerer with a passion for all things percussion, Lombardi was constantly experimenting with products. In 1974, he developed a height-adjustable trap seat that was well received by his students and drummer friends. Using profits from the trap seat, in 1977 he acquired the tooling and patents of the Camco drum company and reintroduced the acclaimed Camco 5000 nylon strap bass drum pedal. 1982 saw the introduction of the first Drum Workshop drums.
   DW produces high-end drums at a plant in Oxnard, California and imports the competitively priced Pacific percussion line. DW drums are the choice of legions of top professionals.

Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

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We polled our readers to find the coolest guitar shops in the US, and here are the first half of the results, in no particular order.

The 20 Coolest Guitar Shops in the US, Vol. 1
"We asked PG readers what is the coolest guitar shop they've been to in the US. And while long-gone favorites like Manny's Music (New York) and Black Market Music (San Francisco) came up again and again, there were even more current shops topping readers' favorites list. We compiled the 20 most mentioned stores and quickly realized there were too many great photos we'd have to cut in order to get them all in one gallery. So here's the first installment in no particular order. If you're wondering where your favorite is, it may be coming next time, or we might not be aware of it, so feel free to leave your faves in the comments section."

A recreation of George Harrison's '61 Sonic Blue Strat, hand-painted in psychedelic Day-Glo colors and affectionately named “Rocky.”

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