There was something in the air at National Association of Music
Merchants show in Anaheim, CA. Whether it was optimism or excitement
or something else entirely, one thing is certain: it gave us some of the
worst cases of G.A.S. we’ve had in a while. Not a Premier Guitar staff
member left without adding at least one or two items to their “gotta
have it” list. And the sheer quantity of exciting, new, and often remark-
ably affordable gear made it difficult to narrow the list of products to
feature here down to just 25. Fortunately, over the coming months we’ll
be bringing you reviews of many of them—as well as a bunch more we
didn’t have space to mention.
Winter nAMM 2010
What’s new at
In the meantime, we suggest you visit premierguitar.com/namm to see
videos, news, and photos of the stuff we couldn’t fit. And if you’ve never
had the chance to view the spectacle that is NAMM, you’ll also want to
check out the shots of some of our favorite moments at the show running
along the bottom of the feature—it’s the next best thing to being there!
A. Jens Ritter Princess Isabella
Concept Jazz Guitar
Jens Ritter, a German luthier best known for
his über-high-end basses, unveiled his first
electric guitar: the Princess Isabella baritone.
Limited to a run of 50 guitars, these beauties
feature a solid, ultra-thin (approximately 1-inch
thick) swamp ash body with a mahogany neck
and a Bavarian maple fretboard. The custom,
semi-floating Schaller bridge has a 2mm foot
that sits in a shallow, dish-like cavity, and both
the alluring wraparound string attachments
and the backplate are fashioned of brass cov-
ered in 24kt gold. Other appointments include
Now, on to the gear.
a bone nut, Gotoh tuners, and Haeussel
Custom Fat-Jazz pickups.
Street $9930 princess-isabella.com
B. Way Huge Aqua-Puss
MKII Analog Delay
The Aqua-Puss, one of Jeorge Tripps’ famed
original Way Huge designs, made its come-
back this year. Delay times range from 20ms
to 300ms, a feedback control regulates delay
duration and intensity, and the blend knob
balances the dry and delayed signal.
Street $199 wayhuge.com
C. Normandy Guitars Alumicaster
Jim Normandy calls the hollowbody
Alumicaster his “chicken-pickin’ model.” In
addition to solid blocks of aluminum under
the bridge and at the neck joint, it features
a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickup
in the neck position and a Custom Custom
in the bridge. It can also be customized
with any Seymour Duncan or Normandy-designed pickups, maple or rosewood fretboards, and many pickguard choices.
Starts at $1499 with hardshell case
D. Mesa/Boogie TransAtlantic TA- 15
The 12-pound Mesa/Boogie TransAtlantic
features two independent channels, each
with gain, treble, bass, and master controls,
and it is driven by two EL84 tubes that can
be assigned by channel to operate at 5 or
15 watts of Class A power or at 25 watts
of Class A/B power. It comes with a single-
button channel-selector footswitch and a
padded gig bag.
Street $899 mesaboogie.com