To start of this post, I thought I would post some pictures and info about the products and brands I'm actually over here at NAMM to perform for.
First of is Leqtique, hand made boutique pedals in milled aluminum casings from Japan by Shun Nokina.
Pictured is his classic MAR - Maestro Antique Revised*
It is the Leqtique version of the earlier Shun Nokina Design "Maestro", and it's a decendent of the classic overdrives of old. It has a ultra-smooth gain tone and feeling, and uses very rare NOS Japanese diodes.
It has a refined voicing however, and is able to fit well in to modern musical settings as well. Also works really well as a boost in front of an overdriven tube amp.
Controls: Volume, Tone, Gain.
*note: MAR will be discountinued in 2012 because of component avaliability issues.
Next up is MAT - Maestoso.
MAT is an evolution of MAR. It doesn't have the same "ultra-vintage-smoothness", but instead has more low-end (selectable low-end freq inside the pedal) and clarity, as well as a higher volume and gain range. This is Shun's answer to to all the classic overdriven needs, and it does the job beautifully!
This pedal was a clear winner at the NAMM show.
If you need and extremely versatile overdrive, this is the one for you!
Controls: Volume, Tone, Gain.
Then we have the very special CLD - Caeruleum Lightdrive.
CLD is a unique overdrive, designed to produce a very musical clean boost, up to low gain heaven. It's a great one for say light fusion, bossa nova, latin, country, ballads and so forth. Extremely dynamic.
It also works very well as a "always on" buffer pedal, or even as a preamp stage.
Control: Volume, Lower, Gain.
With this one we leave overdrive territory behind and head into high-gain. 9/9 is a versatile high-gain unit with a clever mid control that does not only change the middle freq response, but also changes overall balance.
Great for modern rock and metal, and looks really nice too =)
Then we have a prototype that really lifted some eye brows at the show! To be launched into production in 2012, ZEQ is a first in the world of stomp boxes. A 17 band EQ in a small sized stomp box. This one sports Ultra HI-FI components, even superior to most studio rack systems, thanks to Shun's premium selection from Linear Technology and Audience components.
100% Hand crafted Analog circuitry, 31hz-18Khz frequency range with 15dB cut/boost (6dB/15dB/30dB selection switch as well). Also works with 5-36V extensive operation.
This one got several interests and offer of OEM deals from established builder.
Next up is MOEN FX, which makes (amongst other great FX pedals) the effect routing system GEC9,
which is easily the most intuitive unit I have ever used. Had this plugged in throughout the show, and both dealers, passers by and very high-ranking players fell for this one! I will build a new pedal board around this one to use both for my own gigs, as well as my upcoming performances at Frankfurt Messe, NAMM Moscow, Music CHina 2012 ( in Shanghai) and so forth. I'll post a separate video demoing this one on my YouTube channel, since describing it all in detail here would take a bit too much space.
As I said, MOEN makes many sweet pedals, this compressor being one of them. I've tried many high-end compressor pedals in my days, to try to find one that adds that little extra to my lead tone without squaching it or degrading it in any way.
This one fits the bill like nothing else I've tried, it is just SO musical, and extremely quiet too!
Check out their full line HERE
One Control of Japan is another company that focuses on switching systems, including larger ones with built in buffers by Mad Professors Björn Juhl, and MIDI compatability.
They also makes these VERY tiny power supplies, milled out of one piece aluminum, making them super light weight, yet extremely rugged. 9 supplies with one of them being a sag 12-18V, it's a no brainer!
Their website is still all in Japanese, but is currently being translated, you can check out the pictures at least, HERE.
I also brought a Deeflexx with me from Hoovi.at.
This in order to a.) Get a completely even sound distribution around the booth, so that no passers by heard any beam, and just heard fat goodness of tone =)
and b.) To avoid dB spikes when the SOund Police walked by with their dBmeters (and fine tickets). Actually asked one of them to walk by and measure the dB level ast the booth while I was playing. 85.6dB all the way, no spikes, no problem! Works like a charm!!
The day started out with a very nice morning, providing a perfect photo opp at the main entrance.
Well inside we were met by an defening morning show! All out Scottish folk music, complete with bag-pipe amplified to levels befitting the show!
And no, I don't know if they were actually wearing anything under those kilts =)
We stopped by the shared booth of Rick Toone guitars and Ola Strandberg Guitarworks, both focusing on making the most ergonomically sound instruments possible. Rick's guitars has to be seen to be believed, pretty outrageous design!
His website can be found HERE
Check out the slate aluminum neck on this one, sick!
Then we turned out gaze right to find Ola Strandberg himself
The fanned frets one these might looks akward at first, but every inch of these instruments has been made with ergonomics in mind, and plays and feels like butter! Just ask Toshin Abasi of ANimal as Leaders, endorsing Ola's axes.
Check out his previous and upcoming builds HERE
Some nice Tom Anderson guitars right here!
Now this was unique to say the least! Words unnecessary, check the video at the bottom (once I get back to Sweden to be able to post it that is)
Didn't catch the name of this fine player, but check him out in todays vid!
Right next to the stand providing our much needed morning coffee we found this pair. Harp and Harpsicord duet? Heck yeah! (see vid).
This guy sold a scratch remover that was sick! Plaster scratches, sand paper, you name it.
Got myself a kit, since my fave PRS has gotten quite scratched by all people trying out our pedals.
Amptweaker is run by a man named James Brown, who designed the Peavey 5150. This pedals seriously doesn't sound like distortion boxes as much as a really got hi-gain metal preamp. And combined with noise gate, built in loop as more, the design is quite brilliant!
My fave was the Tight Rock.
Passing by the Schecter booth. They make good guitars (owned a few over the years).
The price for highest hair at NAMM goes to this gentleman at the Carvin booth!
Steve Vai at the Carvin booth, talking about his new Legacy amp, seemed cool, but I wasn't too sold on the design of it.
This bass player is featured in my video of the day =)
Never got the "colored fret board" thing myself
I also stopped by the Ibanez booth to check out the new Meshuggah model.
yeah, you saw correctly, 8000USD!!
For a guitar with a natural dyed finish, and a rosewood board died to ebony stain?
Here's the Evertune booth, amazing innovation, which enables your guitar to stay in tune regardless of what you put it through. No if they'd only make a top mounted model that didn't require routing of the guitar!
J Hayes of PRS guitars demoing the new P22!
G.A.S!! (see vid!)
This one's to give you an idea of just how busy the show really is!
Great L.A based session guitarist Mason Stoops stopped by the booth to check out the MOEN loop system (and of course we jammed some, see upcoming vid!)
Dwarf Craft pedals always has something new (and different) in stock!
If the guy a few pics above took the price for highest hair, this guy surely takes the longest hair award! Having to carry your dreads around in a sack? Reeespect!
Visiting the PRS demo room upstairs, some amazing amps here!
Dave Grissom and Davy Knowles getting their groove on, MAN can Dave play! (see vid)
Toshin Abasi stopped by the booth, really nice guy!
Toshin is also a sick player, with the slap chops of Victor Wooten combined with extreme metal schops.
At the Sheraton hotel show room, Sabian 30th ANniversary drum night with Ola, Ama and Shun
Tony Royster Jr. and friends was one of the grooviest things I have ever seen! And Adrian (the bass player) was indescribable!
Allan Holdsworth, Virgil Donati, JImmy Haslip, Dennis Hamm. Perfect ending to another perfect day at the 2012 NAMM show!