NAMM 2016: Thursday Report

Thursday was mostly a travel day and I didn't get to the show around 2pm.  Even so, I have a good bit to report:

Guitars

Strandberg 93 94 68 69 70

After I got to the show, I made a beeline for the Strandberg booth.  I'd been intrigued by them given what I consider to be a philosophical similarity to my Parkers (modern design, light weight, ergonomics).  Trying one out in person did not disappoint.  I actually ended up purchasing the Boden OS6 Trem pictured below!

Ola Strandberg

Ola Strandberg

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Strandberg's new OS 6 trem

Strandberg's new OS 6 trem

After a number of NAMM shows, you look forward to seeing certain familiar faces.  I met Scott at his Zexcoil booth last year and was impressed by his understanding of the factors impacting pickup tone.  He's wrapping up development of a new, more affordable line after which he'll focus his attention on developing a humbucker line.

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Gittler is a name you may not have heard in many years, if ever.  The brand has been resurrected with these terminator-like all-titanium guitars.  One thing I found interesting was the clear plastic insert behind the fretboard that allows for different neck profiles.

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These Ogre guitars are totally metal, both literally and figuratively. The body disassembles to fit in the gig bags you can see at the bottom of the picture.

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Some pics from the other guitar booths I visited

Tyler

Tyler

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Chapman

Chapman

Chapman

Chapman

Amps

Nace is a brand that is the darling of the Blues Guitar Unleashed community.  They have a new lightweight 1x12 combo that's pretty sweet.

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Art Nace with his latest amp model

I didn't get to a lot of other amp manufacturers today

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FX

MC Systems has some interesting dual mode pedals with velocity sensitive footswitches.  I found their airport code naming to be pretty clever as well.

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Denver company WMD had three new pedals: the Protostar filter/modulator, the Geiger Counter Pro, and the Goldilocks Planet distortion.
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Matthew at Alexander Pedals / Disaster Area Amps is my hero. Not only do I use his DMC MIDI controller, he has the stones to praise "pure digital tone".

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For those into more analog delay sounds, Matthew also has the oblivion delay.

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Joel at Chase Bliss is another guy doing interesting things with digital technology  He demoed his Tonal Recall delay which was a fun box to play with.

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CIOKS had the tastefully named "Pussy Power" power supply. It's the pink one with the "wrinkled valentine" graphic.

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I'm always looking for solidly built, lightweight pedalboards. G-Lab delivers a nice option with a built-in clock (so you don't check your wrist to see how much time remains in your set) and patch bay option.  The soft case is much nicer than most standard bags, more like a MONO bag than a thin Pedaltrain one.

ideaBench is another pedalboard maker.  Their curved boards have ample storage underneath.  They also have a line of pedal loops with one innovation being the separation of controller from switcher.  It's MIDI compatible and supports up to 128 presets.

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ideaBench has separate controllers and pedal loops

ideaBench has separate controllers and pedal loops

Pedal Republik has very clean, lightweight aluminum boards at very affordable prices ($40-80).  You can punch out the board to allow for clean routing of cables on the underside.  No OEM bags or cases, though.

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Other FX booths

Robert Keeley at the Keeley booth

Robert Keeley at the Keeley booth

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Rainger

Rainger

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Pro Audio / Other

Stomplight has an interesting solution for bands lacking space for lights.  The device has several different modes (constant, microphone, instrument, and color cycle) and can be run off a pedalboard power supply.  I'll upload a brief video demo later.

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Badazz Guitar Stands has some nice guitar stands that might win spousal approval for use in living areas.  I thought the end table convertible stand was kind of cool.

This end table opens up to be a guitar stand

This end table opens up to be a guitar stand

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As I mentioned before, it's nice to reconnect with acquaintances from previous shows.  I enjoy the products and conversation of folks like Curt Mangan and Eppo from Chicken Picks.

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