Leaving a cold and wintry Sweden for sunny California in the middle of January is always a welcome experience. This year the weather was better that usual and so my average mood was even better than expected.
This year I was hoping for a lot of new stuff I had hear rumours about that didn't happen. To counter that I ran into a lot of cool people and saw a few interesting things that made winter NAMM very much worthwhile.
One of my
highlights was being invited by Craig Anderton from Harmony-Central to
host a video from Hall E. I have received permission to show it here on
my site as well so if you are interested in seeing that click on this
I have been to more than 50 MI trade shows and while I love good gear I also find the people behind the gear to be very interesting so in this report I have tried to include some of the nice people I met.
But as I know you are mainly interested in the instrument stuff let move on to that but first my usual disclaimer.
This personal report should bee seen as my very own point of view and does not reflect the wiev and/or opinions of any other person or company of which I may be associated either through my work or in these pictures. If you find any faulty information in this report please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have placed the products in alphabetical order for your convenience. I also have divided the report i 5 sections. Otherwise the load times would be problematicnasty.
Please also accept any language errors as english is not my native language.
65 Amps are getting more and more rave reviews. After having tried them myself I can understand why. New for the show was the Lil' Elvis.
I had the chance to see, try and hear the new Atomic Amps amp/cab unit. It has a 12" speaker and a tweeter and is voices as full range as possible to work with modellers like the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx. One cool feature with the amp/cab is that you can set the volume of the tweeter in order to have exactly the right amount of top end. I tried it it and the unit sounds very good. The Axe-Fx had the latest version software and the 3+ amp models would bemore than welcome in my studio.
Even though I think readers of this article are mainly interested in guitars (as i am), I just can resist great studio hardware. Here is some serious products from Avalon that I would love to have.
Baker / Fine Tuned Instruments
Gene Baker is a well know and well respected luthier with a number of very satisfied customers, Robben Ford being one of them. He was working at the Gibson Custom Shop and the Fender Custom Shop before starting up his own company.
Here is Gene to the left and guitar designer Frank LaMara of LA Custom Guitars designer to the right. You done have to meet Gene for long before you realize he has a wicked sense of humor.
All graphite construction and small sizes is what Blackbird is about. Interesting concept and while they look like they would be awkward to play, a short try proved otherwise. I will follow the development of this brand closely.
Apart from wearing "unusual" clothing Reinhold Bogner is in the forefornt of amp design, both regarding sound as well as visual design. This is the new Goldfinger amp.
Graphite top as a decoration or as a sound design element? According to the folks at Bulletproof Guitars it's both. It looks cool and the guitar played here sounded good so I guess they are on the right track.
Apart from making the Burris Boostier and the Burris Boostiest pedals Burris also make this utility looking amp by the name of Royal Bluesman.
Charvel, which is now also owned by Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, showed a few models. But what I liked most was taking a much needed break for my feet and watching the Charvel workshop they had brought with them. I always a pleasure to watch professionals at work.
If I could have brought one guitar back home with me it would have been the Collings I-35 top left. Not only is it one of the most gorgeous guitars I have ever seen, it also almost played itself. I only had to sit there loving it and it made beautiful music with me. It's everything I ever wanted from a centerblock hollowbody. In case you didn't get it yet, I really like this guitar!