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The NAMM Awards: What Were They Thinking? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 January 2008 13:08
namm-anaheim-convention-center.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
Welcome to the fourth installment in our 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. As always, with 1500+ vendors, candidates for this award were not difficult to find. There were plenty of products about which you had to wonder if there was really a market for them.

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The NAMM Awards: Best Innovation PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 14:04
namm-anaheim-convention-center.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
Today's award category is "Innovation", slightly altered from last year's category. This category is meant to honor companies who made significant, and positive, design innovations. It might be a completely new product, or it might be a giant step forward on an existing product, but it has to be for the better, and it has to be significant.

First up is the new carbon fiber guitar from XOX Audio Tools, called "The Handle". Over the years, there have been a variety of electric guitars made from alternate materials - nearly all have been discontinued, and none have made a real impact on the industry. Several things about this instrument strike me as greatly different from those other attempts.
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The NAMM Awards: Best Supporting Products PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 January 2008 16:34
namm-anaheim-convention-center.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
In the last issue, I discussed some of my favorite guitars at Winter NAMM. Today's award is for Supporting Products. In the past, I've reserved this for a variety of products from humidifiers to tone circuit upgrades. However, at this year's NAMM, I didn't find any of the secondary items that could measure up to some of the new amplifiers that are now hitting the market. So, this year's Supporting Product awards are going to amp companies for three outstanding new products.

First up is Elmwood Amps with their new M90 Modena. Ken Volpe introduced this amp a short time ago with his Elmwood M90 Modena Review . As someone who constantly struggles with amp selection, Ken's review intrigued me greatly. My problem is that I am on the "friends circuit" meaning that I get together with various groups of friends who play everything from clean folk, to country, to blues, to classic rock, to metal. As such, I've always maintained a large array of pedals from which I select those that I need for the particular style. Overdrive and distortion has always been an issue since I've never found a tube amp that could provide feel and responsiveness, but was still able to offer up a wide range of gain settings.
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The NAMM Awards: Best Guitars PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 January 2008 11:01
namm-anaheim-convention-center.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
Another Winter NAMM show has come and gone. This year's show was bigger than ever, but the overall "wow" factor of the new products wasn't quite as great as the 2007 show. Once again, Nick gave you all a great feel for what it was like to attend the show, and I'm going to try to give you a feel for some of the more impressive products. There were lots of great candidates, but the award winners are those products that I really feel separated themselves from the competition.

In case you haven't read this series in the past, here are the award categories:

1. Best Guitars - Clearly the show covers a lot more than guitars, but we're focusing on what I thought were some of the best instruments of the show.

2. Best Products in a Supporting Role - These are some of the cool non-guitar products that I particularly liked.

3. Technology Awards - These are technological advances that I feel are innovative and have the potential to take the guitar industry in a new direction.

4. Best Innovations on an Existing Product or Design - These are new advancements or improvements to anything guitar related.

5. What Were They Thinking? - These are products that you have to wonder what the product manager or creator was thinking when they made the go-forward decision.
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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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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. 
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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