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NAMM 2012 Editors' Picks: Day 3

What PG''s editors found particularly intriguing on the third day of NAMM.

Anaheim, CA (January 21, 2012) -- We're 3/4 of the way through NAMM (woah!), but there's still new gear around every corner. Of course, you can see everything we shot today 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 third day of the show.

M-tone Guitars
Portland, Oregon's M-tone Guitars has some very thoughtful designs on display. The newest, the Slipstream is built around super comfortable contours, a great-feeling Pao Ferro neck that recalls '60s Fender shapes and Lollar P-90s.

Jackson Ampworks NewCastle
Jackson Ampworks' NewCastle is a bare bones and beautiful 18 watt, 2 X EL84 hot rod, and the newest in a line of very impressive compact heads. Pretty slick looking cab' too, no?

Vox Delay Lab
Vox's new Delay Lab is new for 2012. There's 30 delay voices, from vintage emulations to more modern types, a 20 second stereo looper, and an optional expression pedal that enables you to tweak parameters in the fly.

Freedom Custom Guitar Research
Tokyo's Freedom Custom Guitar Research turned heads with their very cool single cutaway and bass inspired by the Rickenbacker Light Show. The pickups are amazingly quiet considering all of the fireworks. They're also exceptionally built and very playable instruments.

Jack Deville Deuce Coupe
The Deuce Coupe is Jack Deville's new dual-mode overdrive pedal. You can double tap the click-less true bypass switch to activate between 4 and 16dB of boost. Street price is $195 and is shipping now.

Morley Buffer Boost
Morley announced their new Buffer Boost pedal at NAMM. It gives you 20dB of clean boost and maintains signal strength. Expected to start shipping in February.

Ibanez George Benson
George Benson announced his new signature Ibanez model, the LGB300VYS. It has a 3-piece maple neck, spruce top, and Super 58 pickups. List price is $5,999.

Framus Vintage 5/150 Star Bass
Framus introduced the Vintage 5/150 Star Bass Bill Wyman model. With a laminated maple top and sides, the back of the 5/150 is constructed of laminated, AAA flamed maple. This 30"-scale bass features Framus Vintage pickups, Framus Vintage machine heads, and a chrome-plated, metal pickguard.

Red Witch Synthotron
Red Witch introduced the shape-shifting Synthotron pedal at the 2012 NAMM show. Offering up a wild and ginormous variety of psychedelic tones, guitarists can get their Dr. Who on with the
Synthotron's analog synth sounds.

TC Electronic PolyTune Mini
In addition to being adorably tiny, the new TC Electronic PolyTune Mini has Drop D and Capo modes.

Carvin Steve Vai Legacy III
Carvin's new Steve Vai Legacy III head is a 100-watt, EL34 powered amp that can be switched down to 50 or 15 watts. It has three channels that incorporate Legacy I circuitry, a footswitchable master boost, and channel-assignable reverb.

Hagstrom Viking Baritone
The new 28"-scale Viking Baritone features a maple semi-hollow body with flamed top veneer, a vintage-voice humbucker and P-90, dual volume and tone controls, and 22 frets. Besides being beautiful and sounding great, It's remarkable in two big ways--it's possibly the only semi-hollow production baritone on the market, and it streets for around $700.

Jet City JCA22W
Based on Mike Soldano's Atomic 16 amp, the EL84-powered, 20-watt JCA22W is a dream for guitarists who love hearing pure tube tone onstage but their regular gig is somewhere with pro sound people who want to control the guitar in the mix. To that end, the JCA22W's monitor-like wedge shape enables you to blast your own unadulterated tones into your face while sending a 4x12-simulated direct output to the PA via the side-mounted MicSim output.  

Red Jones Head and 1x12
This cathode-biased, EL84-powered Red Jones head was inspired by Trainwreck design but puts its own delightfully spanky and punchy tones. The standard model features beautiful mahogany construction, but this custom version features padauk, mahogany, rosewood, and other exotic woods, while the 1x12 cab features a grille that's held on by strong magnets.

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.

Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

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The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

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Mdou Moctar has led his Tuareg crew around the world, but their hometown performances in Agadez, Niger, last year were their most treasured.

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

On the Tuareg band’s Funeral for Justice, they light a fiery, mournful pyre of razor-sharp desert-blues riffs and political calls to arms.

Mdou Moctar, the performing moniker of Tuareg guitar icon Mahamadou “Mdou” Souleymane, has played some pretty big gigs. Alongside guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and bassist Mikey Coltun, Moctar has led his band’s kinetic blend of rock, psych, and Tuareg cultural traditions like assouf and takamba to Newport Folk Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, and, just this past April, to the luxe fields of Indio, California, for Coachella. Off-kilter indie-rock darlings Parquet Courts brought them across the United States in 2022, after which they hit Europe for a run of headline dates.

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How do you capture what is so special about Bill Frisell’s guitar playing in one episode? Is it his melodies, his unique chord voicings, his rhythmic concept, his revolutionary approach to pedals and sounds…? It’s all of that and much more.

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