A few highlights from the final day of Summer NAMM 2015
Henretta Engineering Big Zapper
Henretta Engineering's Big Zapper is a versatile filter that can go from classic '70s space funk to wacky oscillation relatively easy. The circuit is an expanded version of the company's Green Zapper, but with the controls on the outside. The Clock Trigger is especially inspiring because it allows you to create automatic filter sweeps at a variety of speeds. It's available now for $249.
Zemaitis ZAJ-100 F Jumbo & ZAJ-100H
Zemaitis Guitars teased two new affordable acoustics that will be out later in the year. The spruce and rosewood ZAJ-100 F Jumbo will be just 700 bucks on the street. The ZAJ-100H grand concert will be just a little less. Really cool way to grab some Zemaitis magic on the cheap.
Rolling Bender Strapsteel
Behold The Rolling Bender Strapsteel! This very cool six string pedal steel (which evokes the very clever old Melobar) is designed to be played with a strap. But it's a cool little ergonomic marvel that uses Rolling Bender's own bridge bender levers and palm heel buttons to create a very dynamic, singing steel. About $1,995 as of show time.
Chase Bliss Gravitas
Chase Bliss Audio made their Summer NAMM debut and did so by showing off their new Gravitas trem. This tremolo pedal features an all-analog signal path that can do any variety or shape of standard volume modulation, harmonic tremolo (inspired by vintage Brownface) or both simultaneously for a unique sound that sits just right in a mix. They're available now with a street price of $299.
Caroline Guitar Company Wave Cannon MKII
Holy Superdistorter. Caroline Guitar Company introduced some nasty at NAMM with the debut of the Wave Cannon MKII. The pedal can do some very cool mild-to-medium crunch tones, but is also capable of really overwhelming your amp. Caroline put plenty of gain and volume on tap—inspired by infuriation in the past with great sounding classic distortion pedals that didn’t go far enough with clean amps, or were quieter than unity gain or the bypass signal. The rumble switch allows more low end when wanted, or tightens things up if you don’t need it. $199 street.
Venice, California, luthier Bill Asher of Asher Guitars and Lap Steels brought his latest fetching solidbody to NAMM. Like old Teisco guitars, the GT-3 has a mahogany body and neck, and is outfitted with Lollar Gold-Foils, a shortened T-style ashtray bridge, and a gold-anodized aluminum pickguard.
Peavey Robert Randolph Signature Amp
The slide master's solid-state namesake head ($599 street) features 500 watts of RMS stereo power, extensive EQ, gain, and effects-loop capabilities, MIDI functionality, and a push-button control module (bottom right) that clips to your steel-guitar stand to allow on-the-fly activation of onboard effects—including spring- and plate-style reverb, chorus, and delay.
V16 Guitars ES-O Berkeley
Check out the curves on this beauty! V16 Guitars luthier Corey Wadley brought the eye-popping ES-O Berkeley all the way from his Denver, Colorado, shop to Nashville NAMM. It flaunts 7-ply curly maple-and-beech top and back, scatter-wound pickups, and a Bigsby B-12 vibrato.