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Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? #3024944 01/21/20 10:37 PM
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GuardiansGuitar Offline OP
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Well, okay, that's a crass headline. Apologies.

Of course, there was new stuff at NAMM, and there were some fabulous and innovative products, as well.

But after decades of walking NAMM aisles, there also was the nagging, kinda depressing, and far-less-than-thrilling echoes of "Same as it ever was."

Many manufacturers continue to play off the past, and, let's face it, the past — as far as music gear goes — was a massively groovy time. But trekking through aisles upon aisles of NAMM 2020 booths, and seeing a whole lot 'o' stuff I could have seen 20 or 30 years ago is, well ... disappointing.

Do we assume that significant communities of young players think exactly like we did decades ago, and are so jazzed to revisit emulations and evolutions of gear that debuted before they were born?

Are some of these young people adopting a kind of "Okay Boomer" stance because we've failed to aggressively rethink tools that are 60-, 50-, 40-, 30-, and 20-years old?

Then, there are—we've all seen them—those makers who are well aware they are offering nothing super innovative, but attempt to obscure that fact with marketing bravado, outright falsehoods, or frenzied cheerleading with no tangible backup. I've dealt with instances of such overwrought promo my entire career. Oh yeah—it's the best fastest toughest greatest awesome-sounding never-before-been-heard-in-this-way-ever-before wonder machine in all the cosmos.

Maybe no one cares about these thoughts at all, because, in most cases, musicians continue to buy stuff in droves. (A fair amount of manufacturers told me that 2020 was super successful—lots of orders and media attention—but, then again, many companies say that every year, so what's a little Italian editor to believe?)


Please comment as you wish..

[1] Was your NAMM 2020 experience a feast for your eyes, or just blah blah boring?

[2] What product or products lifted you out of your shoes with excitement?

[3] If you wish to share, what was the most overt instance of PR-speak that had little truth—or an understanding or its relevance—in its text? Did you laugh out loud?

[4] Is there anything you'd like to see at NAMM 2021 that might better address the performance and sonic needs of teen, 20-something, and 30-year-old guitar players and gear freaks.

Maybe everything is okay. It probably is.

But when I see clones and cosmetic revisions and outright homages in scores of booths in 2020, I can't help but wonder, "Is this where we should be now?"

Please let loose with your ideas, comments, and counsel.

Cheers,
Michael Molenda/NAMM vet

GP Island
Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3024949 01/21/20 10:53 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Personally, I think what is needed is somebody making a clone of a Telecaster. And some fuzz boxes, there aren't enough of those.


Scott Fraser
Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3024970 01/22/20 12:26 AM
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What the music world really needs is a new reverb pedal.


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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3024973 01/22/20 12:46 AM
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Haven't been to NAMM in a long time.
The last time i went, it was all about pink super Strats. They had to be pink, it was hideous.

It seems to me that guitarists are a stodgy lot. They cling fiercely to that which has been and shun anything too innovative.
Lots of "me too" and the interwebz are just an echo chamber.

For all that, the new D'Addario strings in the black package with the big X on them are a welcome improvement and noteworty.
Fishman seems to be coming up with some forward looking goodies.
And the Boss Sy-1 looks really cool, a friend just got one is going to let me try it out soon.

I guess if you like Les Pauls you like Les Pauls. I seem to be stuck in Strat-World although I have to build them myself from modified parts to get what I want since nobody makes them and it's cheaper to build anyway.
Tubes vs Analog SS vs Digital continues and slowly but surely the pressure is on tubes as the tones the other two can create continue to improve and are already very, very good.

Would love a thin, guitar-mountable touch screen wireless switcher for all the shit that ends up in the way on the floor by my mic stand.
Currently it seems stuff keeps getting more complex. Simple is more reliable and much easier to use when you are playing/singing and learning songs on the fly. Also when you are packing up to go home.


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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3025017 01/22/20 06:10 AM
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Mark Schmieder Offline
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Actually, though I didn't go, I'm kind of interested in the new Fender Modern Player Mustang (not so much the DuoTone though).

I've only found demos for older editions with whammies, that might have only been sold outside the USA. These are $600?

I've already deleted my links, but they're easily found at Musician's Friend website as they posted all the new NAMM products.

I prefer single coils and maple, but those are available, and even P90's if you want them, plus some hummers and combos.

Also the Fender Lead was reissued, which was originally a cheaper version of a Strat without the middle pickup; one less knob.


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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3025021 01/22/20 06:29 AM
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Seems to me the action continues to be in effects. But that's changing a bit..like the Teisco audio interface/pedal, which basically lets you run plug-ins within your pedalboard.

Gibson is kind of a barometer. The big change seems to be more involved with Epiphone and Kramer. The high-tech guitars didn't really get traction over the years, and other companies probably learned from that. Now Gibson is back to a simplified lineup, with the same basic designs as before...companies are probably learning from that, too smile Fender has the Acousticasonic guitars (I'm surprised they didn't use "acousticaster"), but their "NAMM Sneak Preview" is permutations and combinations. I certainly didn't see any 7- or 8-string guitars for low tuning with fanned frets. Or any 12-strings, for that matter.

PRS continues to make eminently playable guitars that double as works of art smile

The most variations seem to be happening with ukuleles, amp sims, and other tech accessories like Jam Origin and the new POD Go.

The Roland SY-1 looks cool.

It seems all the companies, not just the guitar companies, are waiting for "what's next." But as mentioned in a thread in my forum on what happened to new musical genres, mostly it seems like everything is in a plateau. Not that there's anything wrong with that...or is there?

Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3025028 01/22/20 07:55 AM
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I’ve never been to BAMM, and haven’t been to a music convention since...2010?

But I still see innovations- some major, some minor; some gaining traction, some seemingly dead ends.


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Dannyalcatraz] #3025039 01/22/20 01:52 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline
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From one friend's report, I got at least one of my wish list items - Epiphone seems to be using real Mahogany in their Guitars again, after passing off other tropical hardwoods as "Mahogany" for years.

I would be very interested to see a head-to-head between Korg's full-size ARP 2600, and Behringer's more compact version, just for curiosity's sake, I'm not looking to buy either one. The only thing from NAMM that had me at all intrigued was the Korg WaveState, until I caught sight of Korg's 6-Operator FM Synth. Of course, it bears notice that all of these are updates or reissues of 70's, 80's & 90's tech, nothing radically new.


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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Winston Psmith] #3025069 01/22/20 05:29 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
The only thing from NAMM that had me at all intrigued was the Korg WaveState,.


Me too. Upgraded capabilities from the original Wavestation, vastly expanded memory, in a much more gig-friendly form factor. I might could buy my first new synth in about 25 years.


Scott Fraser
Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Anderton] #3025070 01/22/20 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Fender has the Acousticasonic guitars (I'm surprised they didn't use "acousticaster"),


Acousticaster was a Tele shaped semi-hollow with an LR Baggs bridge pickup (no magnetic pickups) made by Godin. I don't know if they still use that name on the expanded range of that model, but Fender probably would run into problems if they took that name.


Scott Fraser
Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Scott Fraser] #3025076 01/22/20 05:52 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
The only thing from NAMM that had me at all intrigued was the Korg WaveState,.


Me too. Upgraded capabilities from the original Wavestation, vastly expanded memory, in a much more gig-friendly form factor. I might could buy my first new synth in about 25 years.


At $800, it would be a stretch for me to justify, having a very nice WaveStation SR that only cost me $150, but it's tempting, nonetheless. If I didn't already have experience with the WaveStation, the WaveState might not have caught my eye at all.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Winston Psmith] #3025092 01/22/20 07:12 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
The only thing from NAMM that had me at all intrigued was the Korg WaveState,.


Me too. Upgraded capabilities from the original Wavestation, vastly expanded memory, in a much more gig-friendly form factor. I might could buy my first new synth in about 25 years.


At $800, it would be a stretch for me to justify, having a very nice WaveStation SR that only cost me $150, but it's tempting, nonetheless. If I didn't already have experience with the WaveStation, the WaveState might not have caught my eye at all.


There's a Wavestation SR on LA Craigslist this week, but $219. If it were $150 I would have already jumped on it. My usual MO is to wait until an item is no longer new to the market & then find it used on Craigslist or at Gtr Ctr, so I know the WaveState won't be in my studio for at least another year.


Scott Fraser
Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Winston Psmith] #3025112 01/22/20 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
From one friend's report, I got at least one of my wish list items - Epiphone seems to be using real Mahogany in their Guitars again, after passing off other tropical hardwoods as "Mahogany" for years.


Gibson does seem to be paying more attention to Epiphone, including some models that are now made in the USA. Kramer also got resuscitated at this year's NAMM show.

Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3025143 01/22/20 10:11 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline
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The Epiphone Masterbilt series added a bunch of interesting new models, but I ended up not caring for them in audio demos compared to stuff I already have that is too similar and/or not being a big fan of maple on flat-tops. But good for them, for stretching beyond the usual Gibson imitations and into the pre-Gibson back catalogue. I love my Masterbilt all-acoustic arch-top model. And also my Epiphone ES-295 (in Scotty Moore Gold) with excellent top-of-line Gibson P-90's.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/22/20 10:11 PM.

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Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: Scott Fraser] #3025155 01/22/20 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
The only thing from NAMM that had me at all intrigued was the Korg WaveState,.


Me too. Upgraded capabilities from the original Wavestation, vastly expanded memory, in a much more gig-friendly form factor.

Me as well. I've still got a hardware Wavestation and use the plug-in occasionally...but this one looks like all kinds of fun.

dB

Re: Ho Hum.. Nothing New at NAMM 2020? [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3025403 01/23/20 10:38 PM
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Just had a random thought...it would be interesting to sample the same note at different positions on the guitar fretboard, and assemble them (with only the first one having an attack) into a wave sequence.

I've been doing a lot of sampling guitar to achieve sounds that would be difficult or impossible to obtain with a standard guitar. For one solo, I sampled every note of the solo an octave higher, and dragged them into the timeline. IMHO it sounds really cool - it's more "organic" than a synth, but more "synthetic" than a guitar.


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