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:


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


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.


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.


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.


Some pics from the other guitar booths I visited


P1010602 P1010603



Nace is a brand that is the darling of the Blues Guitar Unleashed community.  They have a new lightweight 1×12 combo that’s pretty sweet.

Art Nace with his latest amp model

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



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

P1010596 P1010597

Denver company WMD had three new pedals: the Protostar filter/modulator, the Geiger Counter Pro, and the Goldilocks Planet distortion.

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”.


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

P1010626 P1010628
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.

P1010632 P1010634 P1010635
CIOKS had the tastefully named “Pussy Power” power supply. It’s the pink one with the “wrinkled valentine” graphic.


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.

P1010656 P1010657 P1010658

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.

P1010648 P1010649 P1010650

Other FX booths

Robert Keeley at the Keeley booth
Robert Keeley at the Keeley booth

P1010673 P1010667



P1010591 P1010590 P1010592

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.

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

P1010652 P1010653

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.

P1010614 P1010598