Acoustic Nation Report: NAMM Show 2014 Day 1
Ah, the NAMM Show. That yearly extravaganza of gear goodness.
When musicians from all over the world flock to Anaheim, CA, to gawk at the latest gear and get tuned in to what’s coming down the road.
This week I go on site throughout the show to give you the scoop on what’s new and what’s hot.
This is but a small sample of all the incredible acoustic products on display at the Anaheim Convention Center this year. Stay tuned for more highlights! Don't forget to follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay in the loop all weekend!
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.
Cort: Cort's new line of acoustic guitars is the Vintage Collection. There are three models - the 300V, L300VF, and CJ3V. All models feature Grover Vintage Tuners and genuine bone nut and saddles. From there, each guitar has its' own unique set of features that bring more options to the player.
Mono Cases: Mono Cases are quickly catching on because of their superior protection and build quality. Mono aims their products at working musicians who need to carry their instruments frequently, be it on a plane, in a car, or walking to a gig. They make soft cases for all guitar types as well as the tenor ukulele.
Elixir Strings: Elixir strings have been a personal favorite of mine in recent years. It still surprises me how long they last on both acoustic and electric guitars. They also feel and sound great. This year they are offering a new gauge for acoustic guitars called the HD Light. They are similar to Elixir's Light Gauge, except the top three strings are slightly thicker to aid in producing a fuller all around sound.
Rozanna's Violins: Rozanna's Violins are colorful and creative. Their newest model boasts a loud lightning bolt design. The concept behind Rozanna's Violins is that violins can be modern and fun just like guitars. This year, they are also offering a wide array of new decals to stick on your instrument. Aimed at kids or anyone else wanting to customize.
Collings Guitars: Collings Guitars, based in Austin Texas, makes custom and handmade acoustic instruments. I played their Single O model - more specifically the 01. This is a 14 fret guitar that has a small and comfortable feel. It seems to be a great fit for anyone looking for a vintage style, compact acoustic for writing and recording.
Lag Guitars: The French company Lag Guitars now makes both classical nylon string, as well as regular steel string acoustics. And they'll continue to bring us their country nylon models as well. I'm a fan of their simple look including no inlay and clean headstock.
Blackbird Guitars: Blackbird Guitars are known for their all carbon fiber construction. This makes both their guitars and ukuleles impervious to the elements and great for travel and everyday wear and tear. This year they introduced the 'Clara' ukulele, an eco-friendly instrument made from a plant fiber composite called 'Ekoa.' It is designed to look like real wood and is very stable. They also introduced a new full-sized guitar prototype, the El Capitan.
Taylor Guitars: 2014 is looking to be a big year for Taylor Guitars. Perhaps their boldest step is the updated 800 Series. I had the pleasure of playing a newly designed 814 and the smaller 800. Both sound fantastic. Each had that crisp, signature Taylor tone I was expecting. Other models like the T5 were revamped as well, making it an exciting time to be an acoustic player.