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So; was this NAMM a bust?

Tom Von Kramm

Platinum Supporting Member
I can't speak for everyone but we had the busiest namm we've ever had. I thought the "boutique guitar showcase" was brilliant and there was tons and tons of great stuff to be found everywhere.
Same for us. It was easily the busiest NAMM I've seen in the past decade, and I thought everybody had really solid stuff.


Silver Supporting Member
@dougk your guitars look freakin' awesome [both Titan and Kauer]. I need to play them =).
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Same for us. It was easily the busiest NAMM I've seen in the past decade, and I thought everybody had really solid stuff.
Folks here are bummed because there wasn't much new from the major manufactures.
I mean Marshall had sunglasses to offer...



Silver Supporting Member
Only pedal that i'm genuinely interested at this point is Brothers from Chase Bliss. Some others are ok. hope i get to find more interesting stuff.


WARNING: Long post. <tl;dr> is at the bottom.
Now that I've been home for a week and the dust is settling, I can see why some would find this year's NAMM a disappointment. If you ask me, the big players didn't have much to talk about. Lots of booths seemingly haven't changed a bit, it's almost as if they left them set up after NAMM 2016.

Here is my version of what I saw at NAMM (please take all this with a grain of salt!).

-Fender had Strats and Teles with lots of different paint jobs on them. Some of them looked old but weren't.
-Marshall has some bluetooth radio things, and their usual monolithic "stack of stacks" display.
-Ernie Ball is going to make strings you supposedly can't break. (Will they be really expensive since it's the last set of strings you'll ever buy?)
-PRS has an affordable new amp and a non-affordable new amp.
-Ibanez had new/old color JEMs (again) and lots of guitars with extra strings.
-Peavey has a Michael Anthony bass amp now.
-Tech21 introduced a Geddy Lee preamp, the GED-2112. I want one for some irrational reason.
-Kiesel had a ton of beautiful and solidly-built guitars. Not sure why they aren't conquering the world by now.
-Tyler - awesome.
-Tom Anderson - awesome.
-D'Angelico seems to be coming on strong since the re-launch of the brand. Big booth (room). Lots of guitars. Guitars of all kinds.
-Dunlop had their same old booth with nothing you could touch in it.
-Hall A was like a loud disco yet again.
-Line6's booth was over in one of the hotels, so I never got around to checking them out.
-Hal Leonard's booth was ginormous. Who knew books were so profitable?

But seriously (pedal content follows)....

-It seems to be the year of the fancy delay pedal. So many pedal makers appear to be obligated to come up with something new in that area.
-It was nice to see Suhr there. Some new signature guitars, and a two-sided drive pedal (the Eclipse, which I've already ordered...waiting impatiently).
-Boss had a cool display of every compact pedal they've released, and they painted the DS-1 black and raised the price.
-Keeley has some cool drive pedals coming up (Filaments, D&M Drive, Holy Fuzz), plus a $129 compressor. I'm getting the D&M for sure- it felt and sounded good to my fingers & ears.
-Mad Professor has a new Simble which integrates their add-on boost pedal thing into a double size case with the Simble. I tried it. I liked it.
-T-Rex has a cool "real" Echorec. I didn't ask about the price!
-Fire Custom Shop was there this year, so I could try out a Carpe Diem for reals. I liked it for sure. They offered to sell me one for $200 cash. I should have taken them up on it!
-The Friedman Dirty Shirley OD is a reality, or at least it hopefully will be soon? Tried it. Liked it.
-Walrus has a new line of utility pedals that look really useful.
-Foxpedal introduced the Novaplex delay and Quiver harmonic trem. Really nice looking, but I didn't get a chance to try them.
-Catalinbread. Yes, the new Belle Epoch and EP preamp look RAD. I can't wait.
-Earthquaker's booth is always so crowded. They are doing marketing right. I managed to get a moment to try the Space Spiral delay. It kind of made me seasick, but I didn't give it any time to tweak it. I really dug the Fuzz Master General.
-Took a look at the Source Audio Ventris. It was only a prototype, but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.
-The Empress EchoSystem. Look out Strymon! This thing looks pretty amazing. Plus whisky.
-Tried the DOD Rubberneck. Was non-plussed. I didn't like the demo setup they had. I don't think it was working right.
-Chase Bliss. Oh Brother where art thou? GET ON MY BOARD!
-Xotic is working on an Oz Noy signature pedal. That one will be compulsory for me.
-Mooer. I meant to check out the Ocean Machine but by the time I got around to it on Sunday, they were striking their booth. It seems they didn't like how the roof was leaking on their gear.
-Wampler showed the Ethereal verb/delay and the new Tape Echo. They look great - I should have played them.
-ZVex is making the Vibrophase in a pedal. Looking forward to hearing that.
-JHS introduced a few new artist-inspired pedals, but I think I'm older than the demographic they're targeting. I wouldn't know Ryan Adams if he sat down in front of me. I forget who the Milkman was for. I definitely know who has a dog named Calhoun, though. I'll give them that.
-Strymon. I tried the Riverside and liked it way more than I ever expected. I think I could gig with that as my only drive pedal.

<tl;dr> ;)
I mostly wanted to see new pedals, so that was my focus at NAMM this time. There were lots of new delay pedals. There were a handful of new pedals that I want to own. In no particular order:
Suhr Eclipse
Keeley D&M Drive
Chase Bliss Brothers
Mad Professor (new double-sized) Simble
Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe
Xotic Oz Noy pedal (TBA)
Friedman Dirty Shirley drive


Gold Supporting Member
There were a couple of ways to look at it, I guess. I thought there were some brilliant ideas out there. But some of the old innovators did seem to be mailing it in: Fender, Gibson, PRS all had disappointing booths, IMHO. And EQD, for example, put out a LOT of stuff last year, just one truly new pedal this year, and the news that the amp will go into production at BAD.

That said, I spent 1 whole day downstairs with all the little guys. So much innovation, so many new brands, new ideas or approaches. Sure, most of them are another take on a delay or a reverb or an overdrive, but that's not this year's problem that's a forever problem. There was certainly more work on integrating modular synths and pedals, even though the Pittsburg Modular Frame went away: WMD is integrating all their "deluxe" pedals and there were lots of others with inputs/outputs. I wasn't disappointed at all. And I've mentioned before, I left the DOD booth with an even bigger smile than last year-the Trio/Trio+ were game changing, but the Rubberneck and Freqout are just plain fun!


Gold Supporting Member
There are a lot of big pedal manufacturers mentioned in this thread that people are disappointed didn't come out with something new and exciting, but there were so many cool new pedals at NAMM 2017 by companies I've never even heard, that will never get mentioned in a GearPage thread, that those folks clearly overlooked. Even semi-known pedal manufacturers like Crazy Tube Circuits, Rockett Pedals, etc... that came out with a bunch of cool new pedals at NAMM 2017, get little to no mention here. So, for those of you who read statements like, "nothing (or little) new to get excited about at NAMM 2017", take it with a grain of salt. They probably focused on the big manufacturers and didn't take the time to thoroughly checkout the new pedals from all the small unknown, or only semi-known, pedal manufacturers that did have cool new stuff to peak the interest of a guitarist.


No. Even though there were a few things I'd like to have seen announced, there are several things that have my interest.



The new Kiesel guitar options looked very interesting; Source Audio Ventris, Neunaber Iconoclast, Trace Elliot Transit-B (I dig my old TE gear, I still have my MP-11 preamp), Mooer PE100, ...

The Tech 21 Q\Strip is at the top of my list...waiting for more info/demos.
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Silver Supporting Member
Different strokes and all that.

Komet Ambikab is revolutionary new cab design. I think it's huge. Hope my ears agree.

TRex announcing a Binson Echorec clone? Gave me a syncopated woodie.

Both very cool to me. And yet this might be the first time you are reading about it.


Even semi-known pedal manufacturers like Crazy Tube Circuits, Rockett Pedals, etc... that came out with a bunch of cool new pedals at NAMM 2017, get little to no mention here.
Good point! I forgot to mention in my tome that I heard that Mark Lettieri was appearing at the J Rockett booth to debut his new drive pedal. But I missed it. When I did get to the booth, they told me that Mark took the pedal with him. It must be good. He's gigging with it already! But I did notice they are introducing drives (like the Steve Stevens one) that include a graphic EQ. A cool idea for sure.


I think there was a lot of cool stuff at this NAMM. I'm surprised at how little coverage there's been on guitars though. I've hardly seen any info/news/pics on guitars coming out.

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