Premier Guitar

NAMM 2012 Editors' Picks: Day 1

January 19, 2012

Anaheim, CA (January 19, 2012) -- We're only one day into NAMM and we've already seen enough new gear to make our heads spin. Of course, you can see it all in our photo gallery from the floor and watch all the video demos we've completed so far. But as always, there was gear that rose to the top of our radar, either because it was innovative, sounded incredible, or just plain had the right vibe. Here's the gear our editors dug the very most out of an impressive first day lineup.

Cort Sunset I
Cort debuted the new Sunset I this NAMM. It features semi-hollow construction, TV Jones pickups, and offset dual-block inlays.


Rick Toone Blur 8-String
Luthier Rick Toone showed this head-turning new Blur 8-string that he built for Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders. It features a swamp ash body, Capoble integrated capo, aluminum neck, Delrin fretboard, Bare Knuckle and Lace pickups, and Boone & Townsend Intonation Cantilever Bridge and tuners.


Budda Baby Budda
Budda unveiled the new Baby Budda lunchbox head version of the original Twinmaster combo at Winter NAMM 2012. It's an 18-watt, EL84-powered, point-to-point-wired design with a 5U4 rectifier.



Benavente Semi-Hollowbodies These two brand-new Benavente Guitars feature semi-hollow construction, rosewood fretboards, and Duncan pickups. The model on the left has a spruce top, mahogany back, and P-90s, while the blue version is all mahogany and has '59 humbuckers.


Ampeg Heritage R-12R Reverberocket
Ampeg showed off the new Heritage R-12R Reverberocket at the 2012 NAMM show. This all-tube combo is handwired in the US and is based on the original 1961 model of the same name. This 2012 build is limited to 100 total units.


Parker Maxx Fly Custom Basses
US Music debuted the new Parker Maxx Fly basses at the 2012 NAMM show. This candy-lemon-yellow fretless model weighs in at only 6 1/4 pounds, and is loaded up with an EMG P in the neck, an EMG MMCS in the bridge, and an EMG piezo buffer.


Markbass Big Bang
Markbass released the Big Bang bass amp at the 2012 NAMM show. This 500-watt, solid-state head features an aux in, headphone out with level control, mute, and VLE and VPF filters with footswitch control—all in a package weighing less than 5 pounds.

Blueridge BG-2500
Blueridge's BG-2500 Super Jumbo has a gorgeous flame maple back and sides, spruce top, sweet, hefty neck, art deco bridge and barks like a 200 pound hound.


Earthquaker Devices Organizer, Tone Job, and Rainbow Machine
Earthquaker Devices is up to their usual sickness. The Organizer lends your guitar organ tones and odd oscillations. The Tone Job is a simple but effective cut/boost EQ and boost. The Rainbow Machine is a pitch shifting, tone twisting, dimension altering piece of hardware that sounds freaking incredible.


Santa Cruz Guitars Baritone
Santa Cruz Guitars brought some show stoppers this year as part of their Support Your Local Guitar Shop program, including this Sycamore and Italian Spruce dread-bodied baritone.


Fender Pawn Shop Amps
Fender's new Pawn Shop amps on display at their NAMM preview party: 15-watt Excelsior (left) and 1-watt Greta (right). The Excelsior features three inputs, guitar, mic, and accordion, for different tones and will retail around $400. The Greta is a desktop amp that has an iPod in and can be used as a tube preamp to drive a clean larger amp. Greta will retail around $250.

Marshall 50th Anniversary
Marshall unveiled a slew of 50th anniversary products, including 1-watt amps representing each decade. They're also releasing a limited edition historically-accurate handwired Bluesbreaker and an anniversary Les Paul.

DigiTech iStomp
DigiTech's iStomp and StompShop app for iOS allows you to download pedals into the iStomp hardware, then use like a normal stompbox.


Lakland 60-11 Prototype
Lakland brought a new bass prototype called the 60-11 to the 2012 NAMM Show. This six-string beast is a technically a bass, but plays and sounds more like a traditional baritone guitar. The bass is loaded with three Hanson P-90s and sounds just as good through a bass or guitar amp.


JAM Pedals Delay Llama+
Jam Pedals, based in Greece, brought a prototype of a Delay Llama + to demo at NAMM 2012. This pedal takes their Red Llama analog lo-fi delay and adds a tap tempo button along with a hold button that turns it into a sound generator. The pedal should be available in mid to late 2012.

Egnater Overdose Pedal
Egnater announced two new pedals at the NAMM show, Holy Driver and Overdose. Shown here, the Overdose is a pure analog overdrive and boost pedal. The right side handles the boost and can be routed either before it after the overdrive section in the signal chain. There are also patch in/out jacks so you can insert other pedals between the overdrive and boost sections.


Gretsch Custom Shop Resonators
Gretsch Custom Shop introduced square and round neck resonator models at the NAMM '12 Show.

Schecter Ultra III Pawnshop Edition
Schecter introduced a spin on an old favorite at the NAMM '12 Show with the Ultra III Pawnshop Edition model loaded with Duncan Designed pickups. MSRP is $999.