Toni asked whether I got to see the rest of NAMM or if I spent the entire time at the Lowden Booth... I did get to see the whole deal (I even think I saw Bono at one point). I didn't take any photos of people other than the one of Thomas and maybe two of some very strange looking folk...
This year, NAMM didn't seem have as many innovative products as some other years but there were some interesting products and some changes. It seemed there were more ethnic instruments with lots of ukulele companies that I don't remember seeing before. Also, every year there are some wood dealers but it seemed there were more of those too. There were a few small products that looked cool such as a new Kyser capo.
I played a few guitars and one amp and looked at a few that gave me GAS... The one product that is getting attention from me is an electric guitar that also can produce accurate acoustic sounds. Thus far, every one that I have played seems to compromise one or both of the sounds so we aren't there yet... but when we get there, I'll be ready with my wallet open. I also have some interest in solid body midi/acoustic guitars... Those have arrived and some look amazing (see the Rolf Spuler below). One of these days, I'll either buy one or build one. Here are a couple of guitars that caught my eye.
This guitar by Rolf Spuler was the coolest design. Unfortunately I didn't get to play it... but from looks alone as well as a well thought out design, it gives me serious GAS.
I played this guitar from XOX Audio Tools. It played great and sounded good (as much as one can tell at NAMM). It gave me a little GAS... but not enough to worry my wife.
For any shredders out there, Gary Kramer has some cool looking designs aimed just at you. I'm not into shredding but the design seems to well though out...
For the purest, Nik Huber builds some amazing guitars... the woods and the workmanship in these guitars is awesome
A number of acoustic companies have entered the electric market - Taylor and Collings are both building fairly traditional looking electrics. Breedlove never built traditional looking acoustics and their entries into the electric market looks equally unique. Again, I didn't get to play this guitar but the design really caught my attention.
There were scores of great acoustic guitars around but unless you really are into them, the photos don't tell much... This one however deserves a look. Every NAMM, Martin brings a few incredibly garish guitars with WAY too much inlay to show that they can put more pearl and abalone into a plate of wood than anyone. The workmanship is stunning. The guitar is just ugly and incredibly expensive.