NAMM 2019: The best guitars, amps and pedals of the show
We came, we saw, we conquered. Well, almost. With thousands of products at NAMM 2019, getting to know all of them was an impossible task. Yet, we managed to get our hands on dozens of guitars, pedals and amplifiers – these are our favourite 10 of the lot.
Blackstar JJN-20RH MkII
The blues-rocker’s new signature Blackstar amp blew us away with its brawn, bite and balls – and we managed to get Jared James Nichols himself to perform one of the most entertaining demos we shot at NAMM 2019.
Seymour Duncan Dark Sun
Another signature device, Seymour Duncan’s Dark Sun is a reverb/delay stompbox designed for Periphery’s Mark Holcomb. Watch the clip above with guitarist taking us through the pedal.
It’s retro, it’s modern, it’s the new Harmony Juno. This new-for-2019 model is based on the iconic Harmony H44 model – check out how it sounds in the video above.
Taylor Grand Pacific
V-Class was a revelation when Taylor announced the bracing system at NAMM 2018. This year, the acoustic guitar giant double-downed on the V-Class, announcing the Grand Pacific series of three models that each sport the new bracing system. Andy Powers demos for us.
Fender Acoustasonic Series Telecaster
Not to be outdone, Fender launched its made-in-America Acoustasonic Series Telecaster. It’s a bit of a hybrid instrument, blending acoustic tones with the spank of a single Tele pickup. As you’ll see in the video above, it’s one helluva versatile guitar.
One of the most anticipated bits of kit at NAMM 2019, the Strymon Volante is the brand’s take on tape echo. The “magnetic echo machine” emulates the wobble, wow and flutter of old-school units, and it captivated us from the first few seconds of hearing it in action.
This 30-watter is a 50s-inspired tube combo that’s designed for the modern player. It features a 1×12 configuration, a tube-driven tremolo and a spring reverb tank – we dial up the gain in our video demo above.
A closet-sized booth overflowing with pedals didn’t stop Beetronics from unleashing mayhem on the NAMM show floor. The eccentric company’s newest product – aptly titled the Swarm – is a monstrous fuzz that has octaves, gates and other speaker-ripping features stuffed within its beautiful chassis.
Keeley Electronics Fuzz Bender
More fuzz magic, this time from Keeley. The Fuzz Bender is one of two new pedals the brand presented at NAMM 2019, and we even managed to get the company founder to show us what it’s capable of. Take it away, Robert…
Sheeran by Lowden S04
The biggest pop star in the world meets a family-owned luthiery based in the sleepy Northern Irish town of Downpatrick – it’s the stuff dreams are made of. And, thankfully, the new affordable Sheeran by Lowden range of acoustics sound just as sweet. Check out our demo of the S04 above.
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