Well my jaw nearly hit the floor when I read this announcement last night, exciting stuff! Mike Fortin as you probably know is an amp designer whose own brand of amplifiers have been making waves for years and now he has been snapped up by Randall who are making a huge comeback in the Metal Amps scene thanks to his designs. Ola Strandberg of .strandberg* guitars is the genius behind the some of the most unique looking extended range guitars on the planet and has players such as Tosin Abasi and Misha Mansoor owning his instruments and singing their praises. Paul De Maio is the Artist & Relations, Sales and Marketing guru for Strandberg Guitars and Randall Amplification and I don’t know all that much about Allan Marcus other than he is a monster guitar player and used to work for Strictly 7 Guitars. Together Ola, Mike, Allan and Paul are forming a new company called Astral EXR Systems, a new extended range instrument & signal processing company. This new venture is additional to all their current individual projects and endeavours so they are going to be very busy!
Now here is where things get interesting, as you may know Strictly 7 Guitars have been manufacturing the Strandberg Boden production series guitar, the waiting list on the custom shop version is pretty long so Ola wanted a way for customers to be able to still get their hands on at least one of his models. The big news now is that Ola and Co. are moving the production of the Strandberg Boden to Washburn USA’s Custom Shop, Washburn have 120 years of guitar building experience and are launching a new Metal guitar series this year called the Washburn Parallaxe, I think this is a great move as they obviously have the resources to produce large orders of the Boden at the highest quality.
Here is the official announcement from Astral EXR Systems:
We are vey happy to announce the birth of a new extended range instrument & signal processing company… Astral EXR Systems (AES).
AES is now looking after global distribution of the .strandberg* production series as well their manufacturing in alliance with the second longest established guitar company in the world…Washburn Guitars USA.
Beyond the initial set of .strandberg* production series, look for many exciting new products from us in the coming months that will further highlight our spirit of constant innovation, collaboration and adventurous design.
We very much look forward to all that is to come.
It’s time to move things ahead….
Ola, Mike, Allan & Paul