We’ll take this moment to be completely honest. We love Austin as much as the next guy wearing a tie-dye “Keep Austin Weird” tee, but Summer NAMM in Nashville
We’ll take this moment to be completely honest.
We love Austin as much as the next guy wearing a tie-dye “Keep Austin Weird” tee, but Summer NAMM in Nashville is the shit. Since there’s pretty much an incredible picker around every corner – and on many of the corners themselves – you couldn’t turn around without hearing someone playing twangy, bent double-stops better than you.
Whether it was the demo guy in the booth or the entertainment at industry parties large and small, Nashville felt like a celebration thrown for guitarists by guitarists, and we just happened to get the invite.
Interestingly, some of the major industry players like Seymour Duncan and Paul Reed Smith opted to eschew the booth to instead scope out the show from the floor, and even Gibson – whose coinciding Summer Jam was a massive draw – scaled back the booth in their hometown. But after a show that exceeded every metric, from excitement to traffic, NAMM could be back in Nashville to stay – and SD, PRS and Big G might be bringing a lot more next year.
Of course, there were still tons of new products to check out on the show floor, and they weren’t all the Moog Guitar. Here’s a sampling of some of the gear that got our mouths watering in Nashville. When you’re done with these pages, head online to premierguitar to see exclusive videos from the show, including some great performances by pickers like Brent Mason and Vince Gill, and our exclusive interview with George Gruhn. Here’s to Music City USA.
|The Moog Guitar|
Hands down, the debut of the Moog Guitar was the biggest buzz at the show. Featuring revolutionary technology that works its magic on the strings themselves (instead of working through an effected signal), the Moog Guitar can indefinitely sustain a string or remove energy from the strings in Mute mode, yielding a number of cool, banjo-esque sounds. Also included is a Moog ladder filter and a completely blendable piezo pickup for an extreme range of sounds. Combine all of that with a 5A maple top, a swamp ash body and ebony fingerboard (which look much better in person, we’ll note) and you have, without a doubt, the innovation of the year.
Even though it was the company’s first NAMM appearance, they had seven fully featured pedals to show off. Included was the company’s Chorus, based on the Roland CE1 but much more guitar friendly (smaller and 9V compatible), and their Phaser, which is based off an old MXR Script 90 pedal and features Level and Depth controls. Every pedal sounded impressively deep and expansive. Thanks, Canada.
starting at $175
|Peavey 2084V6 Head|
Peavey is poised to get into the custom amplifier business within the next couple of months. One example of these handmade, point-to-point amplifiers is the 2084V6 head, which features both EL84s and 6V6s in a diminutive frame; players will be able to select between the two via the rear panel. Featuring 20 watts, a selectable tube or solid-state rectifier and custom colored tolex, these amps look to be worth the wait.
|Hahn Guitars Model 228|
If you’ve been searching for a time machine back to the Golden Era, luthier Chihoe Hahn has an unbelievable deal for you. Made from a solid piece of swamp ash and packed with Lollar pickups, the Model 228 is truly a handmade instrument; even the hardware is fabricated in Hahn’s Garnerville, New York shop. The 228 also features a wafer-thin nitro finish and a Bakelite pickguard. This has to be heard to be believed.
starting at $2800
|Duesenberg Vintage Analog Effects|
Duesenberg is getting into the analog effects game and their three new pedals have all of the German sensibilities that we’ve come to know and love. The Red Echo provides up to 600ms of delay, the White Drive is a classic booster that works well with your guitar’s volume, and the Green Comp is a vintage-style compressor with a more controllable attack. While the names aren’t the most inventive, they are hand-wired, feature Neutrik jacks and are true bypass.
starting at $369.98
|The String Cleaner|
Voted Best in Show, the String Cleaner promises to dramatically extend the life of your strings. A microfiber pad made up of hundreds of thousands of little loops is pulled across your strings, soaking up all the oil and dirt without chemicals or solutions. The pads are cleanable under water or in the dishwasher, and we’re told that the pad itself can last for several months.
|Babicz Crescent Series 12-String|
From the brilliant minds at Babicz comes an ingenious solidbody acoustic. Packed with Fishman’s Aura technology, four acoustic images (including a Shure SM58 and Neumann condensers), a gorgeous book matched maple top and the company’s signature adjustable neck system – allowing for action adjustments with the turn of one screw – this could very well be the first 12-string that you’ve had to purchase. Did we mention it’s completely made in the U.S.?
|St. Blues White Lightning|
One of our favorite companies from south of the Mason-Dixon line, St. Blues heated up Nashville with some tasty designs, including the debut of new U.S. models from their Memphis Custom Shop. The White Lightning features three custom wound P-90s and a push-pull tone control, which activates a passive overdrive. Their Custom Shop Mississippi Bluesmaster is completely made in the U.S. and features Fralin pickups and a Honduran mahogany body (price TBA). Expect good things from these folks.
This company surprised us with some cool twists on old ideas. The company’s 12-string model features rings around the fretbar to ensure even pressure on all 12 strings without putting undue tension on the neck. Their “extreme bender” model was designed to keep your strings in check and in tune under the craziest of Tele bends. The fact that they are on the guitars of players like Vince Gill and Keith Urban means that they actually work.
starting at $24.95
Billed as “the first real breakthrough in the design of a solidbody electric in at least a generation,” by an enthusiastic rep, Flaxwood guitars will appeal to the conservationists out there. Five years in development, Flaxwoods are made out of a wood-based, injection molded material that promises to create one of the most stable, toneful instruments on the market with a lot fewer trees. Impervious to heat and cold, packed with Seymour Duncans and featuring a truss rod that only requires adjustment once, you’ll want to check these out if Space Age materials are your thing.
Starting at $2800
|Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition ’51 Nocaster|
Okay, we’ll admit we’re suckers for this stuff, but Fender’s Custom Shop continually releases unbelievable relics like this ’51 Nocaster, featuring a body of lightweight ash, a Twisted Tele pickup in the neck and a Nocaster “U” shaped neck. With only 50 to be available worldwide, you’d better get approved for that line of credit quickly.
|Pedalflex Effects Pedal Remote|
Sure, you may not think you need this, but consider how many times you’ve tried dialing in a knob on your pedal with the tip of your shoe, only to discover that your shoe was not made for precision adjustments. If you’re tired of groping around dark stages for the Drive control, Pedalflex’s new Effects Pedal Remote will allow you to adjust up to two knobs from the comfort of your mic stand. While it’s still a mechanical system and a little limited in scope, it’s better than nothing. We were also informed that a wireless system is in the works, which will open up the possibilities greatly.
starting at $69
|Bourgeois Guitars Ricky Skaggs Limited Edition Dreadnought|
Based out of a small shop in Maine, the folks at Bourgeois Guitars amazingly produce 400 guitars a year. This year ten of those will be their Ricky Skaggs Limited Edition, featuring (stunning) Brazilian rosewood back and sides, an Adirondack spruce top and an ebony fretboard. If those select cuts of wood aren’t enough to get you going, the guitar features tasteful appointments like a mammoth ivory bridge, ivory heel cap, engraved tuners and handmade bridge pins with raised ivory centers.
|TiSonix Titanium Bridge Pins|
The folks at TiSonix are obsessed with improving the tonal transfer of your instrument. From acoustic bridge pins (shown here) to saddles and complete bridge assemblies, TiSonix’ all titanium components promise more sustain and a clearer tone. If it’s good enough for battleships and the International Space Station, it’s gotta be good enough for your guitar.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Handcrafted by a small team, Solstice prides itself on perfect setup and playing action, stability, and longevity.
Solstice Guitars just introduced a reimagined update to its custom-T design, previously called the Transit. Now known as the Tellurion, this guitar includes a thoughtful set of new attributes. Designed to be customized, the new Tellurion features include:
- New 3D Neck Joint
This dimensional neck joint utilizes a shaped pocket that locks in place with a 3-bolt system. More surface area, more coupling, more strength, longevity, and tone.
- 24-Frets Standard
The new neck joint & cutaway redesign make for an easy reach. 24 frets are now standard on all
- Neck Reinforcement
Twin carbon fiber rods and a modern double-action truss rod produce incredibly stable necks. Rod access is now up at the headstock.
- Hardware & Electronics
Professional components and hardware are by Gotoh. Includes hand-wired switching circuits and pickups by Lollar, Duncan, Dark Moon, or TV Jones.
The Tellurion is made with 3 tone chamber options:
- Fully chambered, semi-hollow (with or without f-hole)
- Half chambered, bass side (with or without f-hole)
- Half chambered, treble side (no hole)
A solid body option is also available using the highest graded super-light swamp ash.
Handcrafted by a small team, Solstice prides itself on perfect setup and playing action, stability, and longevity. With a base price of $2400, the new Tellurion offers high-end value with a host of intuitive options for the most demanding players.
For more information, please visit solsticeguitars.com.
Fender honors the indie-legend with signature pickups and accessories.
Fender announces the J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster Pickups, an ode to one of alternative music’s most prolific shredders. Throughout Dinosaur Jr’s twelve album discography and his rich solo career, Mascis has established himself as one of guitar playing’s most tone-savvy and ferocious players.
At the heart of his genre-defining, nearly four decades-long legacy is the Fender Jazzmaster. Not only does the bold and angular design of the Jazzmaster lend itself to a player as subversive as Mascis, but there is no instrument that sounds quite like it. That is, until now.
Compared to the tones on the Fender J Mascis Signature Telecaster and the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, Mascis notes,“The new pickups have a sweeter more vintage sound,” and as his hopes for what people might feel when they test out the new pickups, J Mascis adds, “I hope they feel like playing their guitar, ideally they could make a song that could be my new favorite record!”
Key Features Include:
- Neck Pickup: 7.27K and Bridge Pickup: 7.31K DC Resistance
- Neck Pickup: 3.6 Henries, Bridge Pickup: 3.7 Henries Inductance
- Enamel-coated magnet wire delivers warm vintage-style tones
- Alnico 2 rod magnets for warm, sweet output
- Flush-mount pole pieces produce even string response
- Installation hardware include
Exploring the J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster Pickup Set | Artist Signature Series | Fender
The pickups are being released as part of a larger collection of signature J Mascis Accessories which include J Mascis Magenta Flower Strap, J Mascis Yellow Burst Strap, J Mascis Coiled Instrument Cable and J Mascis Dinosaur Jr. Pick Tin.
For more information, please visit fender.com.
Charvel unveils its new collab with guitarist Marco Sfogli.
Charvel unveils its new collaboration with PFM and Icefish guitarist Marco Sfogli. To pay homage to a guitarist whose sonic capabilities seem to know no bounds, Charvel has sought out to create a signature instrument as limitless as the player who inspired it. A pair of active EMG SA single-coils in the middle and neck positions effortlessly evoke classic Stratocaster bell tones, while an EMG ‘89 bridge humbucker provides a powerful bite. The signature model’s bolt-on maple neck has received a unique “caramelized” heat and drying treatment that imbues the wood with a warmth and comfort that is usually unique to expensive vintage instruments.
- Alder body with quilted maple top
- Scalloped lower back bout and cut heel
- Bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement, 22 jumbo frets, and Luminlay side dot inlays.
- EMG SA single-coil neck and middle pickups, EMG ‘89 humbucking bridge pickup.
- Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo bridge system
- Five-way blade pickup selector, tone control, and volume control with push/pull coil splitting capabilities for the bridge pickup.
Marco Sfogli Presents His Signature Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HSS FR QM
- Signature S1-style guitar designed in collaboration with Marco Sfogli
- Classic alder body with an unmistakable California sound
- Quilt maple top for added tonal depth and a premium look
- For more information, please visit charvel.com.