• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

NAMM report


I got home from 2 days at NAMM last night...

I have to admit that each year I find myself less interested in walking around and checking things out. It is just sooo loud. So, I went to each of the higher end acoustic booths, plus Martin & Taylor, a few microphone companies to look, the Yamaha display and Kyser to say hello to some friends... and that was about it. I was interested in the breedlove & weber mandolins, the all koa Martin 00 authentic (1934?) was gorgeous but completely impossible to hear, Collings seemed to be showing more electrics than acoustics and certainly all you could hear from their booth were the electrics. The folk who used to own Composite Acoustics started a new carbon fiber company and Blackbird is building guitars out of some new composite made of wood fiber or something of the like. It looked interesting, but I couldn't really hear it. And that is the story of NAMM... for the most part, you just can't hear it.

I did check out the Pono parlor guitars... very cooling looking and played nicely but... I really couldn't hear it well. It sounded and felt like it might be similar to the Larrivee parlor. Lowden was showing the Wee Lowden - a new parlor, that got a lot of buzz at their booth, a copy of Pierre Bensusan's Old Lady, and a 40th anniversary package that can be added to any guitar in the line which includes some personal work by George himself. I played a redwood/koa F50 that was my favorite at their booth and an F25 fan fret of Honduras rosewood and Adirondack spruce that was very nice. At least you could hear their guitars a bit in the sound room. The Santa Cruz 00 made entirely from wood from The Tree was stunning to look at... I didn't even try to play it.

The bass builders seem to be the ones pushing the envelope the most. I saw one kid playing an 18 string and another with about 12 strings... Godin is releasing a product similar to the strumstick but with a larger body that looked to be fun. I didn't even look at any of the electric or amp builders... The new Fishman electric guitar pups seemed to be getting some buzz too but the closest I got was walking past the booth.

So, the high point for me was getting to hang out with some folk... I spent some time with Alex DeGrassi, Thomas Leeb, Shawn Jones, Stephen Inglis, and a sizable contingent from the Lowden family at the Lowden booth and after hours, Randall Williams at Kyser and Bob Terry at Yamaha, made some new connections with other folk, and ran into a few other friends and that was all good.

Irving Pye

Senior Member
What a difference from "Healdsburg".........NAMM has become a huge spectacle, but what an event. Too many people, too much noise, and too many cars!


Platinum Supporting Member
wow yeah, i guess being an acoustic guy at a NAMM show would be one big frustration, wouldn't it? "gee, this guitar sure looks and plays nice..."

the one thing that would be germane is pickups and amplification; it's a perfect test actually, how "acoustic" can this hot new system sound over the jet-engine background roar :bounce


Seems like you had a good time at NAMM, and got to check-in with some old Friends, and checkout and play some nice gear. You were speaking of Mandolins, I just picked up a '04 F-style Morgan Monroe that a good Friend bought, and never, ever played.

A fellow Musician that's 99% acoustic ( he sez that because he plays his Gretsch 6120 and his old Tele. 1% of the other...LOL) spoke VERY highly of the Morgan Monroe Mando.'s and Banjo's. He has a Gilchrist and uses a Loar F-style style for most of his 'gig' type playing,

He had told that he had a MM before the Loar, and loved it,...But the Loar had a 'feel' that was as close as he could get to his Gilchrist without spending another 20K on another, or spending several thousand on a used Mandolin which would defeat the purpose he wanted it achieve,...if he were to do that, why not just use the Gilchrist was his point.

I'm sure the Breedlove and the Weber was a couple of wonderful Mandolin's., But I think I'm going to be perfectly happy with the MM once I get it back in playing shape,...as I stated my Friend bought it back in '04, opened up the case, and sat the thing on his display shelf, and that's where it sat until I got it,...I just LOVE the sounds of a good Mandolin played by a good Mandolin player. Tom

big joe

did anyone see or play the new Falbo guitars with a bridge system that allows the top to sing? Youtube videos and Falbo's site make them look and sound amazing.


Trending Topics

Top Bottom