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August 4, 2020
The NAMM Show: A Show That Delivers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 January 2008 05:27
kenv.jpgBy Ken Volpe - GJD
Here it is...four days later and another NAMM has flown by. I averaged about four hours of sleep per night; that coupled with the whole jet-lag thing really wore me out. However, it's all worth it because once again NAMM delivers.

As a musician, I left Anaheim more inspired than ever. In addition, NAMM really helps GuitarJam Daily move forward. I met a lot of great artists for future interviews as well as other individuals who will be joining the GJD team. Stay tuned!
During the event, I spent quality time with old friends and made a bunch of new ones. I was also able to hear music from dozens of amazing musicians. Seeing so many great musicians in one place helps me to realize how much talent there is in the world. Which is a sobering and an inspiring thought at the same time.

Before I get into describing the latest gear on display, I must confess something. I still have trouble navigating my way around NAMM and my sense of direction is scattered at best. I, for one, think that the NAMM merchandise store should offer a NAMM GPS system or at least a handy NAMM compass for guys like me who don't ask for directions or like to read maps.

On Day 1, Thursday, I ran into the boys from Two Rock Amps. They agreed to send GJD one of their new models for a review. (Be on the lookout for this review.) Soon after that I was off to the John Suhr booth to hear the new Badger 30 watt amp. The power-scaling feature allows one to get a cranked amp sound at a moderate level. Suhr also had a slew of his stunning guitars for people to play. Towards the end of the day I spent time at the MOTU booth. There I was able to check out the latest technology in the world of digital audio.

Most of Day 2, Friday, was filled with business meetings, events, and seminars. So I really didn't get a chance to check out much gear, but the day was still rewarding. See, that's the thing about NAMM, there is an infinite amount of things to do and ideas to explore. It's pretty much endless and you would never be able to experience half of it, even if it were 2 weeks long.

On Day 3, Saturday, I spent time at the Taylor booth and played most of the instruments in their new line of electric guitars. I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of workmanship, the playability and the beautiful sounds. I can't wait to get one for myself. After that I headed to the Gibson booth to check out the new Robot Guitar, which I must admit is pretty darn cool. This guitar can automatically shift into an alternate tuning by itself with the click of a button. The Robot Guitar is different than Fender's self tuning guitar. Fender's guitar uses virtual software technology. The Gibson's tuners actually turn by themselves. For more info, check it out on the Gibson website. Later in the day, I stopped by the Brazen Guitar booth and played the Caleb Quaye model. I must admit it is one of the best playing guitars that I have come across in a long time. I was also able to spend some time speaking with Mr.Quaye. He is quite an amazing man with an incredible life story. Towards the end of the day I stopped by the Matchless booth to see my friend Phil Jamison. At his booth, I was able to hear a few of their new lower wattage models. Phil never ceases to amaze me with his constant development of new products that are truly unique.

On Sunday, Day 4, I only had a few hours before heading to the airport. I stopped by the Fender and Ibanez Guitar booths. Both had an amazing array of great instruments. What else would you expect from those top dogs ? My last 2 stops were the V Picks booth and the Creation Audio Labs booth. Both of these guys have some revolutionary products. You will hear more about these in a series of columns in the very near future. That was a great way to end my 2008 NAMM experience, but little did I know that the best was yet to come.

Before I knew it, I was boarding a packed plane full of NAMM attendees, heading back to New York City. It turns out that the Giants/Packer NFC Championship game was the feature "film" on the plane, courtesy of Direct TV. Much to my delight at least 100 of the passengers were huge Giants fans. As many of you know, it was one of the most exciting playoff games in NFL history. It was crazy; we were all yelling, screaming and hugging throughout the game. As a long-time Giant season ticket holder, I must say, that the energy on the plane rivaled that of a packed stadium. I am not a huge fan of flying but that is a flight that I will never forget. With the Giants winning 23-20, it made my 4 days at NAMM that much sweeter.

Summer NAMM in Nashville is only 5 short months away, we'll see you all there!

 
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