NAMM Report(s)

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
I had a fun time at NAMM to say the least.  Met up with Wyliee, Skuttlefunk (who apparenty did some amazing business at the show), and Orpheo.  I thought I'd just post some pics, notes, and highlights for me and maybe the other members who went can do the same in this thread.

People I met at the show besides forum members:

- MJ of Seymour Duncan
- Brian Wampler - lovely man, I told him I used his mod instructions to make my Boss DS1 not sound as crappy. 
- Jimmy Vivino of Conan O'Brien's Basic Cable Band (he gave me his business card and told me to email him so he can get me into the show... it has his phone number on it...  :eek:)
- Jim Dunlop - very briefly ran into him

I also saw a bunch of apparently somewhat famous metal guitarists signing, but honestly I can't identify anyone from the metal scene since that's not really my style of music.  I'm reasonably sure I spotted Paul Reed Smith at one point, as well as Electro-Harmonix founder (and inventor of the Big Muff Pi) Mike Matthews.  I saw a bunch of guys I recognized from youtube product demos and shootouts (but alas, I never saw the alligator boots of Gearmanndude).  Oh, and I saw Enigma there.  Google him if you haven't heard of him... he's a sideshow performer, can't miss him. 

Oh yeah and I saw this guy just randomly playing at the Framus booth unannounced:

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That's Earl Slick of the New York Dolls who has played a lot with David Bowie.  There were literally only like 5 people including me stopped to watch him play, very low-key. 

Stuff I bought:

- ZVex Instant Lo-Fi Junky pedal
- ZVex Fuzz Probe weird Fuzz Factory with a theramin plate attached to it - so. much. fun.
- Some buffalo horn carved picks - thought I'd give them a go, they've got a different grip on them that I found interesting.
- Ernie Ball coated strings - they were like 75% off retail price so I figured I'd try them and see if I like them as much as my Elixirs
- heated musician's gloves for playing outside - again, they were a good price and I've definitely played in the park at night a few times and my hands got uncomfortably cold

Okay finally, the cool products I saw or heard about that I thought were worth mentioning:

- Magnatone amps are back - holy living crap, they were awesome.  After a while you get desensitized to all the amps blaring all around and it all just turns into background noise even if the sound is great.  I was just walking past the booth and I stopped in my tracks when I heard these things being demoed.  Seriously worth checking out - and I think they are featured as top picks from the show from several publications now. 
- Obviously I was impressed with the ZVex booth.
- Earthquaker Devices - very nice pedals.  The Organizer is pretty interesting, but they had a lot of cool classic type sounds as well.
- Wampler - as to be expected, exceptional pedals.  Check out the reverb and faux tape delay.
- Mojo Hand pedals were really nice, I liked their delay a lot. 
- I played a TV Jones guitar - nice feel to it.
- The new Taylor electric solid bodies were pretty amazing, the SGish looking ones especially. They sounded really good just through a headphone amp, and played awesome.
- Sperzel and Schaller now make copper finish tuners.  Schaller has this Da Vinci series that is very nice on the eyes if you like a modern look, and that is available in chrome, gold, copper, and I think kind of a matte finish chromey looking color as well. 
- I found a guy who makes distressed copper hardware, and not only that but will also plate any hardware piece you want in any metal finish you want if you just ship the part to him!  That was exciting.  His stuff was really cool, and he apparently does custom pieces for a lot of builders out there. 
- Seymour Duncan is releasing it's "Whole Lotta Pickup" Jimmy Page humbuckers finally after years of them being more of a custom shop thing.
- TonePros now also make distressed parts including copper. 
- MOD Kits DIY was there, sounded pretty good, and kind of got me intrigued because of their tube powered pedal kits.  They showed me an instruction book - much more professional looking and detailed than BYOC.  And it's all original designs and point-to-point, and most of their kits are fairly easy on the wallet.
- Option Knob was kind of cool.  It just makes it so you can control your pedals easier with your feet.  I thought they were a little overpriced though.  They have an extender arm for easier control if you like to change settings a lot with your volume or tone knob on the guitar a lot while playing as well. 
- Musician's Institute now offers a week long guitar building workshop.  $1600 bucks and you build your own guitar from scratch in their workshop. 
- Graphtech now makes picks out of TUSQ.  I found their claims to be a little dubious about the benefits of that, but they also had a lotion that apparently neutralizes PH on your hands so you don't destroy your fretboard and strings as quickly.  Again, not sure if it's snake oil, but if you have really acidic hands, it might be worth a try.  I think you can get free samples from them. 
- "Ratio" tuned machine heads also from Graphtech... yeah not sure if it's all BS but there you have it.  Each one in a set is designed for a specific string, so it supposedly is easier and faster to tune.
- Vox has a new delay pedal similar to the Line6 DL4.  It sounded good and was fun to play with.  It's called a Delay Lab. And come to think about it, I played a Vox guitar that I liked, but I can't remember which one it was now...
- D'Addario has some new fangly strings that have more even/consistent tension across the whole set or something.  Judge for yourself if it sounds silly.
- Digitech had the Whammy DT pedal there that can be set to only drop or rise by a specific interval.   
- Eastman guitars - holy crap.  Check out the archtops and the 335ish stuff.  Unbelievably nice for Chinese-made guitars.  Apparently they're totally hand made. 

An $11,000 Duesenberg
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George Benson signed Ibanez
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Eastman guitars.  I WANT!
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At the Wampler booth
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Jam session at the National booth
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Reverend guitars galore
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Mike Matthews (the Santa Claus looking guy)
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James Trussart Tele
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A really pretty Carvin
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Part of the ZVex hand-painted counter
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Sweet mother, that's a lot of Marshalls
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Orange amps up the yin yang
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Some crazy looking Godin
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I think that's about it that you guys might be interested in.  If I think of more stuff, I'll post again.

If you went to the show - what/who did you see/meet?
 

TroubledTreble

Senior member
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830
Cools stuff. Thanks for sharing!

I think I know one of the guys jammin at the National Steel booth. (2nd from left) If he's not my uncle in law he is definitely his twin or dopleganger.

Interesting that not many were paying attention to Earl Slick. Cool guitar he is holding. Did you get by Saul Koll's booth?(guitars) If not, he has some great stuff to see.  I sure you enoyed seeing Wyliee. Always a smiling face in the crowd. It's always interesting to see people you've only heard of. The reality rarely matches the image in your head.

*For some reason typing is going very slow with many errors. Must stop....
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
Earl Slick was kind of on the side of the Framus booth behind the back of another huge booth with high walls, and it was late in the day on Sunday, so a lot of people just weren't really walking past in general.  Plus I bet most people didn't realize who it was since there are literally hundreds if not thousands of guys walking around the show and trying out guitars in basically the same outfit. :laughing7:  I just lucked out that I was on my way to Electro-Harmonix and happened upon that spot in an effort to walk a little faster away from the main foot traffic. 
 

MikeW

Senior member
Messages
952
hannaugh said:
- Magnatone amps are back - holy living crap, they were awesome.  After a while you get desensitized to all the amps blaring all around and it all just turns into background noise even if the sound is great.  I was just walking past the booth and I stopped in my tracks when I heard these things being demoed.  Seriously worth checking out - and I think they are featured as top picks from the show from several publications now. 

OOOO. I've heard about these from friends and will look forward to checking one out.

hannaugh said:
A really pretty Carvin
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Ha. I've seen this one up close and personal. It's been hanging in the showroom down here in S.D. for about 6 months and if I had ANY inclination to play something with a Bigsby, I would have pulled it off the rack and played it. There are a Carvin version VIP and LP with the same figuring and coloring around too. Were they there as well? (My friend is Jonesing for the LP...)
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
Yeah, I believe I saw that whole line there.  Picked up a catalog just for fun too. 

Here's a Magnatone preview from NAMM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjUbyt8T36k
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
Here's an article to go with that video.  Apparently the good Reverend Billy Gibbons is all over this comeback. 

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/namm-2013-legendary-amp-brand-magnatone-returns-569924
 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
I have one of those Fuzz Probe pedals.  The Velcro fuzz sound they get (on the demo vid) is way fun to play with.  That pedal is an excellent example of chaos done correctly.  I also have an old Magnatone 440 Custom (A 213 with a Reverb Tank in it)  They are marvelous amps, very touch sensitive with the gain.  I know that the Evil Robot from Kasha amps is based on the 214.  They called it the Evil Robot (Phil X/the Drills song title) because of troubles with naming and trademarks.  Fun amps to play.  Great stuff, and nice picts.
Patrick

 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
Oh yeah!  I forgot, I saw Phil X.  He was playing some demo stuff across from Earthquaker at one point. 

I was playing with my new pedals tonight- mostly experimenting with stuff.  The only thing that makes me sad is that my amp needs some work and I'm kind of afraid to do it myself. 
 

bagman67

Senior member
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8,359
hannaugh said:
The only thing that makes me sad is that my amp needs some work and I'm kind of afraid to do it myself.


Forgive the plug, but I have an amp for sale... buffered FX loop, too, for your pedal-pushing convenience!


Heh.


I'm jealous of your NAMM visit, but I probably needed less aspirin than you the evening after, too.
 

hannaugh

Senior member
Messages
4,230
I was too busy running around to take a whole lot of pics.  I took a lot last time, but this time I kind of figured if I'm not taking pics of people, I'm taking pics of either old products that lots of folks have seen already or new products which you can look at in depth here: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2013/Feb/GALLERY_NAMM_2013_Day_1.aspx?Page=1&#gallery

Bagman67 said:
hannaugh said:
The only thing that makes me sad is that my amp needs some work and I'm kind of afraid to do it myself.


Forgive the plug, but I have an amp for sale... buffered FX loop, too, for your pedal-pushing convenience!


Heh.


I'm jealous of your NAMM visit, but I probably needed less aspirin than you the evening after, too.

I actually love my amp, it's just old and the pots are starting to get crunchy.  I wouldn't mind some nice new audio taper pots a new speaker for it. 

Aspirin, no joke... my feet were killing me by day 4.  Thank god for Dr. Scholl's Blister Pads.  It was hilarious though, I was so tired when I got home on day 3, it was almost like I was wasted drunk.  I got home, changed my clothes into what I thought were good night clothes at the time.  I turned on the tv, got in bed and fell asleep at 8:30 like an octogenarian.  My husband got home at 10, tried to wake me up to talk to me and couldn't get me to talk to him cause I was so out of it.  I woke up at like 8 the next morning to find my blanket was half on me and half off the bed entirely, I had half a quilt sort of on my legs, we had my big studio headphones in the bed with us for some reason, and the best part - the shirt I had put on was my husband's work tee shirt - and it was on backwards.  And I had no memory of anything after 8.  I've had more coherent evenings after crazy parties.  Cable (my husband) laughed at me a lot.  He said I had all the lights and the tv on, plus like 4 extra pillows in the bed for no apparent reason. 
 

hannaugh

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4,230
Haha, he doesn't even know that character.  When I worked at the comic book store everyone thought his name was awesome, but he never even heard of that guy before. 
 

hannaugh

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4,230
Jumble Jumble said:
Did you get a look at the Marshall SL-5? I am definitely getting one anyway so I don't know why I'm asking.

I'm sure it was there, but they weren't demoing anything at the Marshall booth from what I could tell.  There was just a huge wall of amps and then rooms for them to discuss huge deals with dudes in suits. 

It's funny how some booths are all business, mostly private rooms for big corporate deals, then other booths have entertainment set up for the commoners.  Dunlop was no doubt doing some very serious business there just like Marshall, but their booth had a bunch of listening stations set up with guitars, basses, and their pedals.  Guess which booth was more fun.  I did get a Marshall bag though. 
 

Jumble Jumble

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1,932
hannaugh said:
Jumble Jumble said:
Did you get a look at the Marshall SL-5? I am definitely getting one anyway so I don't know why I'm asking.

I'm sure it was there, but they weren't demoing anything at the Marshall booth from what I could tell.  There was just a huge wall of amps and then rooms for them to discuss huge deals with dudes in suits. 

It's funny how some booths are all business, mostly private rooms for big corporate deals, then other booths have entertainment set up for the commoners.  Dunlop was no doubt doing some very serious business there just like Marshall, but their booth had a bunch of listening stations set up with guitars, basses, and their pedals.  Guess which booth was more fun.  I did get a Marshall bag though.
Interesting. Thanks for the reply!
 
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