Our editors pick their favorites from the second day of Winter NAMM.

Anaheim, CA (January 20, 2012) -- In our second day on the NAMM floor, we had no trouble finding cool gear to check out. 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 here's the gear that particularly caught our editors' eyes on the second day of the show.

Ashdown Engineering Classic Tube Magnifier 300
This new 300-watt, all-tube head is driven by six KT88 power tubes and features extensive tone-shaping via a 3-band EQ, multiple pushbuttons (including Mellow, Deep, Mid-Shift, Bright, and Mute), a front-panel DI, and a tube-bias circuit.


Vox Limited-Edition Blue-Covered AC Series
This trio—an AC30, an AC15, and an AC4—has the same features as current models, but its alluring blue covering cannot be resisted. You are powerless under its charm.


Giffin Vikta
Roger Giffin's new Premier Builders Guild-built Vikta features a mahogany body, Seymour Duncan P-90s, aged hardware, and a beautifully checked, vintage-like finish.

Vigier Excalibur Special 7-String
The Excalibur Special features an alder body with a maple cap, a 1-piece maple neck with the company's patented 10/90 carbon-fiber construction, DiMarzio Blaze pickups, and a proprietary Schaller-built trem that pivots on fine needle bearings.

Paul Lairat Sirya Bass
Paul Lairat's new Sirya bass was introduced at the 2012 NAMM show. This handcrafted, unique instrument has a variety of wood options available and features Gotoh tuners, Delano Xtender pickups and a John East preamp.


NS Design
NS Design unveiled their new bass at the 2012 NAMM show. Available in both a fretted and fretless model, these 5-stringers are loaded up with EMGs along with a piezo in the bridge.



Epifani AL Bass Combo
Epifani introduced the AL series line of bass combos at the 2012 NAMM show. The AL is the first to use a solid-aluminum shell, something Epifani says results in improved frequency response and power output, without unwanted tonal colorations.

The Moog Lap Steel
Yes, the Moog lap steel.


Gibson Jeff Tweedy Signature SG
Wilco's Jeff Tweedy gets a signature Gibson SG at Winter NAMM 2012. The Blue Mist finish is gorgeous and it's hard to lay off the Cippolina vibrato licks with that Lyre vibrato in hand. Sweet!


Lowden F-35 Fan Fret Prototype
Lowden's F-35 fan fret prototype looks bound for production and the combination of reclaimed redwood top and Honduran Mahogany back and sides sounds distinctly Lowden -- warm, detailed, and really responsive.


VHT's Special 12/20RT
VHT's new Special 12/20RT has 6V6 tube-driven reverb with a depth switch and tube-driven tremolo with slow/fast range switch. The amp is available in a head or combo and comes with a two-button foot switch for the tremolo and reverb. The head will retail for $649.

EBMM Steve Lukather Signature
Ernie Ball/Music Man showed off a new Steve Lukather model with a new larger body, custom DiMarzio pickups, 5-way selector, push-push control for 12 db volume boost, and a buffered output to maintain tone at any volume level. Plus, a killer sparkle finish.

Pigtronix Infinity Stereo Multi-Track Looper
The Pigtronix Infinity Stereo Multi-Track Looper features dual stereo loops with sync, 20 loop presets, multiplier for loop 2 (2, 3, 4, or 6 times), and USB access to saved loops.

Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.

Advanced

Beginner

• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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