NAMM 2015: Editors' Picks – Day 3
While scouring the NAMM floor we came across a wealth of interesting gear. Here's what caught our ear.
PG Editors pick their top gear from the third day of NAMM. See everything from day 3 in our photo gallery.
Moog MF Chorus and Flanger
Moog's bucket brigade MF Chorus and Flange are every bit as deep, vocal, and rich as you'd imagine. Like the rest of the Minifooger line, they're built like little bricks, and line do many things Moog they have the look and sound of modern classics. They'll be $189 when they hit the shops.
Magnatone's new Lyric is a 10-watt, 6L6-powered box of joy. It's stupidly simple with just a volume and tone control and there are high and low sensitivity inputs as well. The solid pine can and Jensen P10R give the amp a surprising and serious amount of low-end thump. Its big brother features a 12" speaker. They're $1,499 and $1,699 on the street, respectively.
Bad Cat Bobcat
Bad Cat also unveiled their new Bobcat line. The 6L6-powered, 20-watt version is pictured here but there are 5-watt and 100-watt versions as well. All versions also come with spring reverb. Street price is $999 for the 5-watt, $1,499 for the 20-watt, and $1,799 for the 100-watt version.
Amptweaker Fat Metal
Amptweaker came to town with the new Fat Metal pedal in tow. Designed with brighter amps or players looking for less emphasis on palm-muting stops in mind, the Fat Metal delivers thicker bottom and smoother edge tones than its cousin TightMetal Pro.
Reverend Descent Baritone
Oh my baritone. Reverend Guitars had their new Descent models in tow at NAMM 2015. The Descent is a 26 3/4”-scale baritone guitar based on Reverend’s double-cutaway bolt-on platform that comes in two pickup configurations. The Wilkinson trem-equipped Descent H90 varietal comes with humbucker-sized Gnarly 90 bridge and Tel 90 neck Railhammer pickups, while the Descent RA comes with chrome-covered Railhammer Chisels.
Mayones Jabba 5
Mayones Guitars served up the new Jabba 5 Semi-Hollow bass at NAMM 2015. This alder-bodied machine has a hard-rock maple neck and fretboard, and is packed with an Aguilar 5J-70 alnico 5 calibrated set run by a Mayones M-MPB2 preamp with an active/passive mini switch and dials for volume (2), treble/bass, and passive tone.
Guild T-50 Slim
Guild Guitars brought back a classic with the Newark St. Series T-50 Slim at NAMM 2015. The thin hollow-body axe has a has an arched-spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a single SB-1F pickup. The T-50 Slim will street for $979 with a hardshell case included.
Aria also had a gorgeous new acoustic making its debut at NAMM 2015. This sunburst MSG-05 has an Engelmann spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, a rosewood bridge, and will street for $999.
Alvarez Grateful Dead Tribute
Alvarez pays tribute to the Grateful Dead's long strange trip with an affordable line of flattops. The lovely sounding cedar and mahogany OM pictured here has a street price of just $399.
Weber Diamondback Octar
Weber’s Diamondback Octar archtop—an 8-string tuned an octave below a mandolin—isn't just one of the most unique instruments we've seen at NAMM, it's also perhaps the most astoundingly well crafted, too. A true heirloom piece.
People tend to think of Steven Fryette of Fryette Amplification as a high-gain guy, but his beautiful new Aether amp proves quite the opposite. Not only is it one of the most unique amps we've seen at NAMM, but it's also one of the most gorgeous-sounding vintage-style amps we've heard, with a fantastically dynamic tremolo circuit and super lush reverb. It also has a brand-new vintage-voiced speaker developed with Fane.
So what's up with the '50s lunchbox-looking thing? The power tube section is housed in there to prevent interference with the preamp (which is in the main cabinet) as well as to protect internal tube elements from being excessively vibrated by bass frequencies. It might seem like tone-nerd hoodoo, but hearing Fryette describe the process and then hearing the amp made us wonder if he isn't one of today's foremost tube-amp gurus.
Toneville Rio Grande
How's this for presentation? Toneville Amps' new Rio Grande tube-driven reverb and tremolo unit ($1,200 street) is housed in a cool, vintage-y toolbox with storage space for cables, etc. Did we mention it sounds amazing? It's also available with just reverb for $1,000.
Carp Amps brought the incredibly fat and delicious-sounding Moonfish to NAMM. Although it's based on a class AB Super Reverb, it actually uses EL34s—and when you crank it, it serves up some pretty wicked tones through the oversized, Celestion Creamback-loaded 1x12 cab.