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Summer NAMM Wrap Up: Guitars, Guitars and More Guitars PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 08:14
moog.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
Well, summer NAMM is over and everyone we talked to felt it was a successful show. Coming off of Austin, which saw a sharp decline in attendance and enthusiasm, many folks were talking about whether there would be a future at all for the summer NAMM show. However, we got a completely different vibe here in Nashville. Attendance was up and the energy level seemed to be significantly higher. All of the vendors reported to us that they were pleased with the show, so it could be that Summer NAMM is here to stay and we'd all love to see it get back to its former self.
Some significant vendors were absent, probably due to the Austin experience, including PRS and Line 6, but on the upside, the new location brought in some boutique guitar and amp vendors that had some interesting offerings. Over the next few days, we will tell you about the new products that we saw which we thought were interesting and worth mentioning.

Saint Blues Announces USA Model

Saint Blues announced that they will soon be offering a high-end version of their popular Bluesmaster guitars. The new models will be completely manufactured in the US with premium materials and components, including Lindy Fralin pickups. St. Blues had a couple of prototypes at their booth and we got to take them for a test drive. These guitars are wonderful instruments. The play as well as any custom shop guitar we've played and they sound incredible.


We attended the Saint Blues party and had the chance to see these beauties in action with John D'Amato and Eric Gales both pushing these guitars to the limit with amazing blues playing. Look forward to a full review of the new St. Blues model as soon as they hit the market.

Peavey Launches New PXD Series Metal Guitars

Peavey unveiled its new PXD Series guitars aimed directly at the heavy metal market. Four distinct models were released, each sporting a black and metal exterior and some very cool lines. The series features a all mahogany bodies and necks for maximum sustain and high-output Peavey VFL active pickups or EMG pickups with the EMG-AB Afterburner tone circuit, which boosts input gain up to 20 dB.


The PXD Series guitars will be available from authorized Peavey retailers next month. MSRP for the PXD Series ranges from $399.99 to $899.99.

Moog Unveils the Long Awaited Moog Guitar

We've been hearing about the new Moog Guitar for some time, so we were definitely looking forward to getting to see, hear, and play it first hand. It is impossible to describe this guitar in text, so we suggest taking a look at the Moog website and some of the demonstration videos. It's not a synthesizer, it's not an effects processor, but it sounds like a combination of the three. The platform consists of a guitar and an expression pedal, which controls various aspects of the sound shape, depending upon which mode the guitar is in.

The Moog Guitar offers three unique modes...Sustain, Mute and Controlled Sustain. In the Sustain mode, it provides infinite, powerful sustain on every string and at every fret position; Mute removes energy from the strings, resulting in a variety of staccato effects; Controlled Sustain allows the musician to play sustained, single-note or even polyphonic lines with strong sustain and effortless clarity. In this mode, the Moog Guitar sustains the notes being played while actively muting the notes not being played.

In your hands, the Moog Guitar feels very much like a high quality guitar, with a few extra controls. It sports a swamp ash body, maple top, and ebony fingerboard. It looks beautiful, feels smooth, and plays great. The neck feels most similar to a high-end Ibanez - sleek, flat, and fast. After playing the instrument for only a few minutes, it is easy to see how much fun this instrument can be. Players who think outside the box-WAY outside the box-can definitely be inspired by this instrument, which will take them in new directions.


We're not quite convinced that this instrument will change the face of guitar playing. With the current price point of $6000+ for the initial, Paul Vo Collector Edition, its hard to imagine anyone but those leaning toward synth-type guitars purchasing them. However, if Moog was somehow able to get this instrument into the $2000 range, it is definitely something that a lot of people would put in their arsenal, if only for a few songs.

Normandy Guitars Launches First Production Aluminum Archtop

Normandy Guitars, a new market player from Salem Oregon, introduced their new lightweight aluminum archtop guitar. It is made out of specially selected aircraft-grade aluminum and the company claims that the material selection results in sustain qualities that are superior to traditional wood guitars.

The entire body of the guitar is made from aircraft grade aluminum that is assembled using rivets. The company uses Warmoth Maple and Rosewood necks, Graphtech nuts, Gotoh tuners, Bigsby tremolos, and their own high-output humbucker pickups. The instruments certainly have a distinctive look and GJD is hoping to have a full review for you in the near future.

Normandy Guitars are priced between $2,000 and $3,000 and the company stated that they were receiving "great interest from dealers" at the show.


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