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For years, professional classical guitarists have struggled with the unique challenge of performing with acoustic versus amplified sound. Yamaha Corporation of America, Guitar Products, offers a simple solution with the debut of the GCX31C Grand Concert Acoustic/Electric guitar, an ideal fusion of technology and craftsmanship that will satisfy the modern performer or acoustic purist. This latest entry into the venerable Handcrafted line will make its debut at Summer NAMM 2001.

The GCX31C features Yamaha's proprietary preamp design that incorporates an in-bridge piezo crystal pickup and a built-in microphone discreetly mounted on a gooseneck in the soundhole area. Players have the option to play the instrument unamplified, or to blend the pickup and microphone, capturing every nuance of the tone with natural openness and clarity.

Tone may also be adjusted subtly by moving the microphone closer or farther away from the right hand. The result is natural, realistic sound without the harsh effects or characteristic "pop" often associated with traditional piezo elements.

"Classical guitarists, including many of the top players, have been looking for an acceptable solution to the need for amplification," explains David Bergstrom, director of marketing, Combo Group, Pro Audio & Combo Division, "and as such have been dissatisfied with the traditional 'piezo-only' approach. Although Yamaha offers some less expensive options in other models, the GCX31C is a true concert guitar for the serious musician seeking that same solution for reinforcement."

Worthy of the concert stage or recording studio, the GCX31C is handcrafted at the world famous Yamaha Music Craft workshop in Hamamatsu, Japan, using the finest materials available. A solid American Cedar top produces a mature acoustic sound, and ages gracefully. Exotic materials that include solid Indian Rosewood backs and sides provide superior tone, individuality and timeless aesthetic beauty, while the Mahogany neck and solid Ebony fingerboard offer the playing surface that professionals expect. The GCX31C ships with a professional case, and is currently available.

"Pairing a true concert instrument with a practical amplification system is unprecedented," notes Gary Cook, product manager, Yamaha Guitars. "The results are nothing short of classic."

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