Gretsch announced a few new products that feature a center block, such as this 16” version of the White Falcon. These thinline guitars have a block of pine that extends from the neck block to the tail pin, as pioneered by another guitar company that shall remain nameless (but also starts with a “G”). But…on these guitars the center block is chambered, as is evidenced by the X-ray Gretsch had on display. Gretsch also displayed this resonator ukulele as part of their affordable Roots Collection. Marshall was able to somehow stop people in their tracks and turn some heads with this Custom Series’ pair of pinup cabinets. Other exciting news in amplifiers is a new Magnatone Amp company with not a single model, but an entire line based on the namesake’s revered original designs as used by Lonnie Mack and Buddy Holly. Cool Daddy-O. Over at Gibson, this J-100 was pleasing visitors. While it shares the body shape of it’s more famous sister the J-200, this guitar features a warm sounding back and sides of mahogany and the sculptured bridge from the guitar’s earlier 1940’s incarnation. This modern take on the acoustic guitar comes from Avian Guitars. The Sky Lark model’s graceful body design is enhanced with a unique scooped cutaway and a bridge that mimics the slash soundhole. L.R. Baggs’ Lyric system uses a mic that is similar to the one from their Anthem series of mic/pickup comblo systems…however, the Lyric mic and preamp is tune to capture the entire range of the guitar to operate without the pickup. Korg showed off the SV-1. This weighed keyboard is available in both 76 and 88 key versions, and its specialty is vintage keys sounds. There’s a built-in amp modeler that uses an actual real-life glowing vacuum tube, and you save your settings with 70’s era car radio style buttons. This mandolin from Eastman (model DGM2) has a slight different body style than the usual “A” style (perhaps this is the A+), but still maintains a vintage vibe. Fargen scored a major coup with their John Lennon signature series amplifiers. The amp features a switch for the legendary rhythm guitarist’s 60’s and 70 tones. Both rhythm and lead guitarists appear to be digging the vibe of this amp…and it not just because of the cool Lennon graphics that adorn the grill cloth. American Songwriter recently reviewed the Collings SoCo 16 LC in its usual configuration with humbuckers and a stop tailpiece. This version has dog-ear Lollar P-90 pickups, a Bigsby vibrato and cool orange finish.
It was another cloudy day with showers in So. Cal this morning as NAMM kicked into second gear. The general mood was spirited despite the weather, which also had bouts of sunny optimism…and, it was easy to find some gear that could put a smile on your face.
Tomorrow we’ll spotlight some of the wacky, and some of the practical…and some gear that is both wacky and practical.