Acoustic Nation Report: NAMM Show Day 2
More highlights from my second day at the NAMM Show!
Gorgeously made guitars, accessories and more were plentiful. We stopped in at Martin, Santa Cruz Guitars, Breedlove, Weber and a whole lot more.
Here are some that impressed and we'll share more soon!
Justin Horenstein is a guitar instructor and musician in the Washington, DC metro area who graduated (cum laude) from the Berklee College of Music in 2006. He plays in Black Clouds, a 3-piece atmospheric/experimental band. Their debut album was recorded by J Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines). Justin’s 18 years of musical experience also includes touring the U.S., a record deal under Sony, starting his own teaching business, recording several albums, and playing club shows with national acts including Circa Survive, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Biffy Clyro, United Nations, Caspian, and more.
DR: New for 2014 are DR's Neon series. These coated strings tend to last a lot longer than normal strings. Gauges come in Light, Medium-Light, and Medium for acoustic guitars. Colors include red, white, blue, or multi-color packs. They glow in black light or stage light - great for performers. The multi-color set can aid in learning string names and notes for the beginner or intermediate player.
Bourgeois Guitars: Maine-based custom acoustic maker, Bourgeois Guitars, now offers its' Aged Tone series as an option for custom guitars. The design of the series is to sound, look, and feel like a vintage instrument. They start with a unique curing process, then use a newly-developed lacquer that is very thin. The finish ends up resembling a vintage instrument, yet retains modern durability.
Cordoba has a generous amount of new products for 2014. This year we'll see a full launch of their Master Series guitars. There are four different models for this top tier of instruments, with an additional two limited edition guitars featuring exotic woods. Cordoba has also completed their new lineup of steel string guitars with six different models at varying prices. Finally, their newest tenor Ukulele is the 30T-CE which has a cutaway and an LR Baggs pickup system.
Santa Cruz Guitars: Santa Cruz Guitars offers both standard and custom designed instruments, though 70% of their builds are usually custom. I played the new Otis Taylor Chicago model, new for 2014. It's a 13-fret blues guitar with a loose and smooth feel. The custom burst finish is awesome and the OT Chicago mother of pearl logo past the 13th fret completes the unique instrument.
D'Addario: Last year saw the release of the micro tuner and because of its' popularity, it now comes in packs of two, as they are easy to stick anywhere. This year, D'Addario has developed a new acoustic capo with a micro tuner attachment, making it even more convenient. The company has also launched new acoustic string packaging. This streamlines options and revitalizes the look, while retaining the same product that acoustic players enjoy.
This year, Weber is introducing two new acoustic models. First, the Mustang mandolin, which features a single cutaway, with or without an F-hole. They only had a prototype at NAMM, and it was gorgeous! They are also releasing a new guitar called the Patriot. This closely resembles a standard steel string acoustic guitar in contrast to their archtop and resonator offerings. It deviates from the norm with its' carved top and round back.
Martin Guitars has several new products available this year. There are two gorgeous additions to their Performing Artist Series that boast the "shaded top" - a dark sunburst finish. Their Road Series will see two revamped models - one with a gloss finish and a USB port. The other features a matte finish and stratabond neck usually found on their X Series. Other 2014 additions include the Eric Clapton Signature 'Navy Blues' guitar and Retro Strings.
Breedlove Guitars: Breedlove has relaunched its' branding and streamlined its' product line. I had the pleasure of playing the Oregon Dreadnought. Now I see what the hype is about. The guitar has a snappy response and smooth feel. This year, Breedlove is upping their game with full gloss finishes and packing their instruments with more great features. I tried one of the new for 2014 Persuit models which had a striped ebony back and integrated USB port.