Guitar Jam Daily
Home Columnists Guitar Tech GT: Winter NAMM Awards - What Were They Thinking?
October 20, 2020
GT: Winter NAMM Awards - What Were They Thinking? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 April 2007 04:20
Image Welcome to the fifth installment in my NAMM awards series. Today’s award category is “What Were They Thinking?” These are products that make you scratch your head and wonder what the heck the product manager was thinking when they made the go-forward decision on the product.

With 1500+ vendors, candidates for this award were not difficult to find. There were definitely a ton of whacky products. So, I tweaked the criteriaGibson_keifer_sutherland_1 to include the fact that it had to be a serious vendor, thinking they really were putting out a real product. That gives all the small vendors a pass, and I give them all credit for trying to come up with innovative ideas to try to break into the music business. The big guys aren’t struggling to try to find an “in”, so they really ought to know better. But, frequently they don’t.

First up is Gibson’s forthcoming Keifer Sutherland ES-336, part of their “Inspired By” series. It’s actually called a KS-336, but I refuse to use that nomenclature. If I had an award for the company displaying the most blatant “forget everything except making money strategy”, this guitar would be a multiple award winner. Let me say that I am a huge Keifer Sutherland fan. I can’t think of a single movie of his that I didn’t enjoy, and I am a huge 24 fan as well. I realize that Keifer is a guitar addict and I know that he loves guitars and guitar music. All of that is great. But his own 336 model? Are you joking? With all of the great talented musicians out there doing really unique and creative things on Gibson guitars, I find it hard to believe that Keifer’s name was next on the list. It might even be a great guitar, but it is clearly an attempt to leverage Keifer’s current success into big Gibson dollars. What’s next, a Harry Potter inspired guitar? What about Kevin Bacon? At least he has a band.

Ibanez_jem_20th_1_1 Next up is the Ibanez Jem 20th Anniversary edition, shown here to the right and below. Are you kidding me? A polymer Jem, with lights in it, to celebrate the anniversary? Normally, for an anniversary edition, a company would craft an impeccable instrument made of high quality tone woods and electronics that epitomize the instrument’s tone and demonstrate the craftsmanship of the luthiers. Ibanez certainly decided to take a different tact on this one, choosing instead to use molded polymer instead of highly crafted wood. Are they trying to tell us that the Jem wasn’t constructed to produce good tone in the first place, and it doesn’t matter what the guitar is made of? The folks at Ibanez really should call Paul Reed Smith or Fender for advice the next time they feel the need to produce an anniversary edition.


Daily Video Lesson

Daily Video Lesson
  • 02:41 - 01.10.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    A five week long, cross-country tour featuring some of the best known and most respected figures in rock and blues has been set to celebrate the legacy and music of Jimi Hendrix. Presented by Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., the Hendrix family-owned company founded by James A. “Al” Hendrix, Jimi’s father, entrusted with preserving and protecting the legacy of Jimi Hendrix together with musical instrument giant Gibson Guitar, this year’s Experience Hendrix Tour represents a dramatic expansion beyond last year’s seven sold out performances.

    Featured artists who will be performing music written by and associated with Jimi Hendrix include blues giant Buddy Guy, contemporary guitar greats Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Eric Johnson, Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos as well as Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.
  • 01:53 - 26.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and Italian distributor M.Casale Bauer proudly announce the grand opening of the Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy. It is the third such international exclusive Fender guitar destination, joining the elite Fender Custom Shop Lounge (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Fender Showcase Tokyo (Japan).

    The Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy is in Bologna, Italy, and is housed in a building by California-born Italian designer Gretchen Alexander. The showroom is located near the offices of M. Casale Bauer, Fender’s Italian distributor since 1962, and was created to provide Fender dealers, their special guests and artists with a comfortable place to find, try and buy some of the most beautiful guitars in today’s market. The showcase features an impressive array of high-end guitars crafted by the master builders of the Fender Custom Shop and provides artists and dealers (and their VIP clients) with access to some of the most unique high-end Fender instruments ever made available in one place. The showroom houses an unparalleled selection of Fender Custom Shop instruments, as well as Bauer’s personal collection, one of the largest and most valuable in the world.
  • 03:41 - 23.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Los Angeles, CA – World-renowned Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will  release Center Stage, a live concert DVD on October 14th via Favored Nations Acoustic.  
    The full-length concert DVD follows the recent release of the Center Stage  double CD, both having been recorded live for the PBS television series “Sierra Center Stage.” Filmed in eye-catching high definition, every element of modern technology was used in production, creating a stunning package, both aurally
    and visually. 
  • 00:09 - 19.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Montreal, Canada- September 16th, 2008: Renowned guitarist Daryl Stuermer will be giving Godin Performance Clinics in and around Quebec and Eastern Ontario from September 29th to October 3rd 2008.

    Having performed in studio and toured the world with both Phil Collins and supergroup Genesis for years, Daryl is a player who is on top of his game and has the chops to prove it. Performing as the Daryl Stuermer Duo, he will be accompanied by keyboardist Konstantin Efimov during the clinics and will also be giving attendees his perspective on playing live, recording, technique, and his gear, by fielding a Q&A session after each performance.
  • 09:29 - 03.06.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (June 2, 2008) -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Groove Tubes LLC. Among other assets, FMIC purchased the Groove Tubes brand. Groove Tubes company founder Aspen Pittman will continue in a consulting role.