The good news is that NAMM keeps growing. The better news is that the amount of gear, well, geared to the modern guitarist is growing as well. This year, Anaheim featured a plethora of pedals that made new and glorious noises, a far cry from your standard Tube Screamer and Klon clones (though there were some great versions of the latter from J. Rockett). Also in evidence were unique guitars that managed to look both modern and retro. Hall E, always the land of new ideas good and bad, this time served up some really good ones.
The only bad news was how difficult it was for my one-man show to cover even the equipment of interest to Guitar Moderne readers. Premier Guitar and Guitar Player offer access to much of what I missed, but here is what I found to be the best of the rest.
Nick Reinhart shows what you can do with some Red Panda pedals and a Line 6 DL-4. Check out the color coordinated strap, sneakers and pedal. The man is talented and stylin’.
I am going to be representing Source Audio in Nashville to try and expose all the dealers and great players here to these sweet sounding and versatile effects. I am putting together a pedalboard of exclusively Source Audio products save for some new 1Spot Pro power sources from Truetone (formerly Visual Sound), cables from Planet Waves, and a Pedaltrain pedalboard. Eventually I will be hooking up a Keith McMillen SoftStep or 12 Step to program multiple pedal scenarios through the Soundblox Neuro Hub. Keep reading for some initial impressions.
Often, the cables that connect our instruments to our amplifiers can be an afterthought; we grab whatever ones work from among the those we haven’t lost or left at the last gig, and throw them in the gig bag. Of course we have heard that higher quality cables can make a difference in tone, but few of us have had the opportunity to test a variety side by side. And even if we have, we usually discover that the ones that are audibly different can cost as much as that new pedal we covet. That kind of money seems steep for something we are likely to lose, and what the hell, we can always turn up the treble on the amp.
The fact is, cables do make a difference. So when Planet Waves announced that their American Stage cable utilized “exclusively designed technology to ensure optimized ‘sweet spot’ capacitance and impenetrable shielding to achieve [their] trademark transparency,” I figured I should check them out.