Well everyone, it’s that time of year again! The time of year where countless musicians, audiophiles, sound engineers, and more all come together to experience the latest and greatest product offerings from over 7,000 manufacturers at the Winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show. Each and every year, these brands never fail to wow us with their new, innovative gear and product lines, and the 2018 NAMM show is certainly no exception. Our team of experts have selected some of their favorite gear from this year’s show. Let’s take a look!
Guitars & Basses
Martin DX1AE Macassar Burst | $649.00
This DX1AE Macassar Burst serves up amazing power and sound in an affordable package. What I really like about the DX1AE is that it gives off a vintage vibe with its finish and its traditional dreadnought shape. With discreet onboard Fishman Sonitone electronics, this DX1AE Macassar Burst will make a fine addition to any stage or studio rig.
Ibanez SRMS800 Multi-Scale Bass Guitar | $949.99
Exuding all the vibe you’d expect from a boutique bass, the Ibanez SRMS800 Bass Workshop is made using the finest tonewoods, materials, and components. The Bartolini BH2 pickups paired with versatile Ibanez Custom Electronics make this a fantastic choice for any bassist while its multi-scale design provides a more open sound and unsurpassed playability.
Amplifiers & Effects
This is quite a beast of a tube amp—but what else would you really expect from Mastodon’s Brent Hinds’ signature amp? Why do I love it? It’s because it can go from really cranking out some filthy, brutal tones thanks to its totally unique gain structure to producing nice, sparkling cleans. Its “Bedroom to Headroom” switchable wattage makes it perfect for studio and stage work alike.
Boss GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor | $999.99
As a guitar player who likes having a massive amount of tones at my disposal, the BOSS GT-1000 really nails it, and it does so in a way that delivers the highest-quality sound. The fact that it has tons of revolutionary features, Bluetooth capabilities, and can act as a USB audio/MIDI interface, the GT-1000 is really the ultimate guitar processor for any studio or stage rig.
Pro Audio & Technology
Samson XP108W Rechargeable Portable PA | $399.99
The XP108W is a completely wireless solution for presentations, performances, and parties. It includes a wireless handheld microphone, and has Bluetooth so you can wirelessly stream music from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. With a 20 hour rechargeable battery and 200 watts of power, the XP108W gives you loud high-definition sound whenever you need it.
QSC KS212C-K Cardioid Subwoofer | $1,499.00
This beautifully portable subwoofer offers a mind-blowing 3,600 watts of power along with a special cardioid design that helps focus your low frequencies directly at the audience. The dual 12” drivers work with QSC’s highly advanced digital signal processing algorithms for improved reliability and optimized sonic performance. For mobile DJs and small- to medium-sized performance venues, the KS212-C delivers efficient and detailed bass.
The Arrow is an affordable way to experience incredible production features like Universal Audio’s Unison Mic Preamps and UAD real-time processing technology. The Unison mic preamp is more dynamic than traditional modeling, applying actual changes to parameters like impedance and gain structure depending on which of the included plug-ins you’re using. Thunderbolt 3 technology lets you record through UAD plug-ins with less than 2 millisecond latency.
Bose S1 Pro Portable PA System | $599.00
The S1 Pro is an ultra-compact and lightweight all-purpose live sound solution. The built in 3-channel mixer offers Bluetooth for wireless music playback along with Bose Tone Match EQ presets and a selectable reverb level on each channel. The speaker can be pole mounted, used as a stage monitor, or kicked back. No matter what you choose, Bose’s auto EQ will automatically optimize the sound for the position.
Drums & Percussion
Roland TM-6 Pro Drum Trigger Module | $799.99
In addition to the 6 trigger inputs triggering 500 built-in samples and V-Drum Sounds, the TM-6 cuts time in half by allowing me to import my WAV samples/backing tracks. Then I am able set which output is used for them, isolating the click track to its own output(s).
Roland RT-MicS Drum Mic and Trigger | $259.99
The Roland RT-MicS makes hybrid drumming easy. It gives me everything I need to trigger snare drum samples—the trigger and the drum module—on one reasonably sized device. It also allows you to blend the signal from the built-in microphone and the sample with the blend knob for the perfect mix.
Finally, reasonably priced, quiet, and full mesh electronic drum sets. The new Surge and Command Electronic Drum Sets from Alesis not only offer realistic feel and response at an affordable price, but you get all the additional features like cymbal choking cymbals, dual-zone drum pads, play along tracks, and more. The Alesis Command Kit allows me to import my own WAV samples and backing tracks, which gives me all the creative freedom I desire.