NAMM Round Up

NAMM Round Up

So Sunday marked the end of this year's NAMM show, setting the tone for the rest of the year.

For those of the guitar community out there who don’t know about the NAMM show, the National Association of Music Merchants or NAMM, hold a massive event every January in California showcasing the best new musical instruments and gear that the world has to offer. Pretty much every guitar, amp and production manufacturer sends a stall, so it really is the place to check out the best that the industry has to offer.

Unfortunately, here at Guitar Lessons London we have full-time jobs and study to attend to, so we weren’t able to go in person, which would have been an awesome experience. On the plus side though, Andertons, the UK-based music store, and Guitar World do a really good round-up of the show on YouTube, and I’ve picked out a few of my favorites from this year’s produce.

The Fender Custom Shop range never fails to disappoint. As Lee, the Fender Custom Shop’s UK representative, explains, Fender have harked back to the color combinations that they used in the 1960s: Fender used to paint their guitars sunburst and then re-spray them with a different color them on demand. This meant that as time went on and the guitars would suffer a little wear and tear, the guitars would start to show their sunburst color underneath. Who knew?

For Daft Punk/Chic fans, Fender have also announced that they are launching a Nile Rodger’s Fender Stratocaster. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that this might have something to do with his mega-hit ‘Get Lucky’, which was released earlier this year!

Another piece of kit that also took my fancy was the range of Supro Amps. Musical instruments manufacturer Valco, which made their debut in 1940, made Supro Amps, but unfortunately went bust in 1968. Any blues fans might have already heard of the brand before: Supro Amps were widely used by Chicago blues players, Hendrix famously used one in the 60s and Jack White has also been known to use one live. The original amps are incredibly sought after and almost impossible to acquire, so the fact they have been brought back has to be good news! And just listen to that tone…

Finally, Gibson it has to be said really have pulled it out of the bag this year. I’ve not always been a massive fan, especially of Les Pauls (a bit over-rated for the price IMO) but, undeniably, they create some great sounding and really beautiful guitars. One of the most striking guitars they showcased was the DJ Ashba Les Paul - like Guns N’ Roses or not, that is one pretty smart guitar. 

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