BY JOE COFFEY, REBECCA DIRKS, CHRIS KIES, ADAM MOORE, MICHAEL ROSS, ADAM HUNT, STEVE COOK, & CHRIS BURGESS
NAMM has the tendency to chew you up,
spit you out, and leave you clutching your
side from a near-terminal bout of G.A.S.
However, with the economy crawling along,
we were a little skeptical about just how
big of an appetite the show would have this
year. And it was a little different.
The absence of major guitar announcements and innovations was perceptible,
with a slew of signature models and reissues comprising most companies’ offerings.
That’s not to say there were no guitars
worth mentioning, just that they were a bit
harder to find. Companies like Taylor and
PRS continued to push the boundaries of
what we’ve come to expect from them,
Taylor with an all-electric semi-hollowbody
and PRS with the official introduction of
their amps and acoustics.
But amp manufacturers really stepped up
to the plate, with most of the buzz of the
show landing squarely in their laps. Both
Orange and Egnater capitalized upon existing demand for their Tiny Terror Combo
and Rebel 20, respectively, with announcements of the next generation of each amp,
the Dual Terror and Rebel 30. And Mesa
Boogie unveiled the long-awaited Mark V
to eager crowds.
As we had selfishly hoped, prices were
starting to fall, with much boutique and
American-made gear dropping to marks
lower than we had even anticipated. Dean
USA models bottomed out under $1K, ZVex
announced two new pedals under $200,
and 65Amps’ newest stays under $2K for
the first time in the company’s history.
After four days of the carnival of gear,
rock stars, sunshine and sinus infections,
we were sufficiently chewed up. But we
emerged on the other side optimistic about
the new toys, and the new tones, we’ll have
to play with this year. Read on for what
caught our eye at NAMM 2009.
PREMIER GUITAR MARCH 2009 105
PREMIER GUITAR DECEMBER 2008 83