What I’d Buy This Week, if I had unlimited hold luggage on the way back from NAMM
NAMM week is over. Various international guitar figures have just about recovered from their jetlag. The post-NAMM vlogs and articles have been posted. We’ve all had a good long think about the roles of influencers, traditional media and guitar makers and how they’ll shape the future of the guitar industry. But, rather than get all philosophical, let’s not forget what this is all about: cool stuff. In a special edition of What I’d buy This week, I’m giving you my pick of the three most intriguing things launched or showcased in Anaheim over the last week.
READ MORE: What does the future hold for the NAMM Show after 2024?
Gamechanger Audio Mod Series
I never learnt any sweep arpeggios, and I take my deep shame about this out on the audience by leaving gaps of horrible modulated feedback between songs. So, naturally, Gamechanger Audio in general is right up my street – especially its recently-announced Mod Series. The trio are, in most basic terms, a delay, reverb and chorus. But they also have modular-synth-like patch points which let you control the pedal’s controls with your playing dynamics and pitch, leading to some truly whacky sounds as demonstrated.
It was only a matter of time before something like this happened, really. More and more pedalboards are resembling modular synth bays, and interesting ways of modulating stuff is an awesome way to get some more basic effects working in a much more experimental setting. Oh, hey: Modulating. Modular. Mod Series. I get it!
Third Man Fuzz-a-Tron DIY kit
If you’ve never built a DIY pedal before, I highly recommend doing so – they’re an awesome way to learn how pedals work, and you’ll gain some repair and soldering skills that are always useful as a guitarist. The new Third Man Hardware Fuzz-a-Tron looks like an awesome place to start. It’s not a solderless clip-together thing like the Notaklon, but it’s also a fuzz pedal, and therefore a super-simple circuit. Plus, that angled enclosure is awesome and I’d almost get the kit just for that.
KMA Machines Endgame
As I write this, the Boss IR-2 I’m currently reviewing is sitting on my desk plugged into my audio interface, and it’s probably feeling a sense of betrayal that I’m so intrigued by another compact end-of-chain solution. But the KMA MAchines Endgame looks like a truly absurd piece of kit, mainly because I’d never have thought you could have packed so much I/O into a pedal that size. Two headphone jacks and dual XLRs are impressive enough – and as pedal-based ampless rigs are getting more and more common, the Endgame is a smart move. It’s interesting, too, how it’s just a power-amp and speaker sim – you have to bring your own preamp. So, if you happen to own something like the Electronic Audio Experiments Model feT, then this could be the comprehensive but straightforward solution to get that sound into a mixer through some simulated KT88s.
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