NAMM 2015: Editors' Picks – Day 2
From zombie-inspired paint jobs to mind-altering fuzz pedals, the second day of NAMM was full of surprises.
PG Editors pick their top gear from the second day of NAMM. See everything from day 2 in our photo gallery.
EarthQuaker Devices Fuzz Master General
Winter NAMM 2015 found the ever-prolific EarthQuaker Devices showcasing the Fuzz Master General, which while evoking the mighty Univox SuperFuzz, delivers a tighter-than-SuperFuzz basic fuzz tone and a super clear and acidic octave fuzz sound. The extra versatility means a ticket to Live at Leeds...and beyond.
Source Audio Vertigo
Source Audio's new One Series digital pedals are simpler, more streamlined by the standards if the company's Soundblox pedals, but they are no less potent. The Vertigo tremolo features emulations of vintage optical, harmonic, and bias trems, but parameters can also be customized via the iOS interface. Prices should be right around $149 when they hit the street this spring.
Danelectro Baby Sitar
Couldn't be more psyched about the return of the Danelectro Baby Sitar. A simpler, more streamlined cousin to the old Coral Vinnie Bell Electric sitar, the original baby sitar and this new version did away with drone strings to create an easier-to-wrangle six string version. The reissue will street at $499.
Godin Summit Classic
Godin Guitars brought some real nice-sounding, real classy-looking, real light new single-cuts to NAMM. The Summit Classic series comes in three Seymour Duncan-outfitted configurations with chambered Spanish cedar bodies and maple caps—a P-90 version (shown), a humbucker model, and a P-Rails model. Each also features Godin's unique High-Definition Revoicer circuit (activated by the black button in the recessed route), which has a pronounced and very musical effect on the EQ voicing.
Every NAMM we go out of our way to highlight the out-there designs that ESP brings to show off the capabilities of the luthiers at their Japanese custom shop. Inevitably people get snarky about the practicality of an angel guitar with a three-foot wingspan, or a guitar with medieval armor. So this time we thought we'd show this lovely Mystique model with sweeping lines, faux-tortoiseshell binding, and a crushed-seashell top. Kudos, guys!
D'Angelico brought an astounding array of guitars to NAMM this year. While the model shown here—the 17", P-90-equipped EX-59 hollowbody—isn't exactly brand new, we just had to put it out there as an example of the swanky new finish work the company is doing these days.
Taylor 600 Series
Huge props to Taylor Guitars for being one of the big guys stepping up to do something about more responsible wood sourcing. The 600 series guitars they brought to NAMM feature new all-maple construction that's part of a greater consciousness of forest depletion. Master builder Andy Powers fine-tuned each body style in the series to optimize bracing and other construction elements so that they complement the tonal characteristics of the new maple parts, rather than just swapping solid mahogany or rosewood backs and sides for maple and calling it good.
Ashdown Engineering debuted the multi-functional B-Social at NAMM 2015. What started out as plan to create a nice looking and sounding bass amp for the home in a compact enclosure turned into much more. The B-Social features Bluetooth connectivity with an included wireless transmitter for cable-free jamming (and wireless audio streaming), a built-in USB interface, and an App-Tek socket to access the ever-growing range of amp sim and effects available. There's plenty more onboard and more importantly, it sounds really good.
Phil Jones Bass Quantum Series
Phil Jones Bass unveiled the Quantum Series line of combos with the Quantum800 and Quantum400. Boasting 350 and 75 watts, respectively, these wee but powerful combos are packed with PJB Custom 2.5" drivers.
Blueridge Guitars showed off their new limited edition BR-65KCE single cutaway: the first offering from their Blueridge Custom Collection. Features include a solid Sitka top, solid koa back and sides, and a B-Band T-35 pickup system. The price? $995 suggested retail.
Schecter Dawn of the Dead
Schecter Guitar Research brought a bunch of cool new axes to NAMM. The rad dude on the left pays tribute to George A. Romero's classic zombie flick.
Diamond Pedals Counter Point
Diamond Guitar Pedals introduced the new Counter Point multi-tap delay at NAMM 2015. The Counter Point offers four different delay modes using carefully constructed sets of multiple delay signal taps and variable sample-rate modulation for tones flexible enough for a wide range of genres.
Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MkIII
NAMM 2015 saw the unveiling of Hughes & Kettner's TriAmp Mark 3, truly an amp to be reckoned with. Each of the Mark 3's six independent channels represents an entire era of tone, and each of the six eras can be routed to three independent tube power amps. Though the TriAmp Mark 3 leaves the factory with two pairs of 6L6s and one pair of EL34s, the amp works with other tube types as well, leaving players with options galore.