NAMM 2008: Gear of the Year
The Peavy Booth
The Peavey booth was one of my favorite attractions at the NAMM show. I bumped into former Uranium VJ Mistress Juliya who was making an appearance at their booth and scored a cd of Iron Steel, the new band of former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson who was working at the Peavey Booth.
Peavey’s product development manager Tony Pasko took some time to fill me in on everything metal related that Peavey has to offer for 2008.
“We have our new PXD line of guitars, that stands for Peavey Extreme Design. It’s a whole new look and concept for this line of guitars. At Peavey that we’re lucky enough to have an icon amplifier which is the 6505. These things sell themselves all day long. We can’t build them fast enough.”
“One thing we’ve never done at Peavey was to make a guitar that is worthy of plugging into that amplifier. So we started talking to our artists, and we started talking to our customers and what we ended up finding out was that they want guitars that are black, metal, EMG pickups, D’Addario strings, Kahler tremolos….all of these same names kept coming up and it wasn’t just like two or three guys, we had over eighty 6505 endorsers out on tour playing to thousands of people and all of them kept saying that if we came up with a guitar that looked a certain way, sounded a certain way, played a certain way that they would want to endorse it and plug it into that amplifier.”
“We partnered up with EMG pickups, Kahler tremolos, D’Addario strings and Coffin Case guitar cases which is something we’ve never done before. All of these companies involved played a role in the development of the PXD guitar series. We didn’t just build them and then say “Oh by the way we’re putting your stuff on our guitar.” They knew from conception all the way to market, what the guitars were gonna look like, how they would sound, and they all understood the concept of the 6505 branding. So we really went the extra mile to make that crossover point and so far the PXD line has been very successful at the show.”
More pics from the Peavey booth…
The Dean Guitar Booth
Another standout exhibit at the NAMM show was definitely the Dean guitar booth. This year Dean guitars had a Live From NAMM webcast hosted by Lacey of the VH-1 show Rock Of Love hosting the webcast. She interviewed passers by and Dean endorsees including Dave Mustaine.
With Lacey at the Dean Booth
The # 1 sales rep for Dean guitars was David Vincent of Morbid Angel. It was cool to chat briefly with a true icon of death metal. He liked my Wacken Open Air shirt and told me that they played that year (2004).
David Vincent of Morbid Angel
I spoke with Tony Purcell (Sales & Artist Relations) for Dean guitars about what Dean has in store for 2008.
“We have our 10,000th commemorative Dimebag Razorbacks. We put our first Dimebag Razorbacks out about three years ago and we’ve already sold about 10,000 of them so at this show we are showing a “Skid Plate” it’s called a skid plate, it’s got that diamond plate on the front of the guitar, it’s silver. That’ll be our 10,000th commemorative Razorback. We have a new graphic also on the Razorback we call the Cemetary Gates.”
“We have a new model called the Split Tail, that we introduced last year. It’s a USA model. Maybe next year we’ll import it. “
“I was talking to Karl from Nile yesterday about doing a guitar for him. I already customized all of his guitars and he customizes a lot of them too. They’re so unique and so easy to play, they have a scalloped fret board on them….but yeah maybe this upcoming year we’ll do another guitar for Karl.”
“Dean makes the best metal guitars on the planet.”
The Washburn Booth
Aside from Dean guitars, I also had to check in and see what’s new with the folks over at the Washburn booth, as they always have some nice axes in store for the metal faithful.
Jodi Dankberg from Washburn was cool enough to give me the scoop on the latest from Washburn and Randall Amplification.
“We have a lot of cool metal guys on the Washburn roster at the moment. As you may or may not know we endorse and sponsor Scott Ian from Anthrax, he has his own guitar. Scott’s guitar is called “The Murder Weapon” other cool signature models we have are for Nick Cantanese from Black Label Society, we got one for Dan Donegan from Disturbed called “The Chopper Top” that is actually modeled after one of Dan’s motorcycles, and we have another signature model for Hellyeah.”
“We also own Randall, Randall’s probably the most heavy metal company in the business right now. We’ve got signature products from Kirk Hammett of Metallica, signature products from Mike Amott of Arch Enemy, George Lynch who is an icon, has his own models. Most of the metal artists on our roster use one of three amps, we have the V2, the T2 and the MTS series. The MTS series are miniature pre-amps that go onto the heads and you can switch them up to twenty or thirty pre-amps. Kirk and George Lynch both are using the MTS series as well as the metal record producer Andy Sneap.”
“For 2008 we are focusing on the Kirk Hammett signature series that ranges all the way from a professional level down to low priced affordable quality products for beginners.”
Olympus was launching a brand new portable audio recording device, titled the “LS-10" at the NAMM show. With it’s built in stereo microphones and phantom power capabilities, upon viewing the LS-10 multiple lightbulbs went off in my head for recording concerts, band practices and podcasts.
Nelson Pereira of Mullen PR for Olympus filled me in about the new LS-10 and all of it’s features and capabilities.
“Olympus has long been a player in the voice recorder market and the professional dictation market. So the next step for Olympus was to introduce a linear PCM recorder for musical use. People are really excited about music these days, people are into recording there own music. The LS-10 retails for $399.00, it can record in 44 bit 96 khz, linear PCM, WAV, WMA and MP3 formats.”
“When your recording in real high quality audio you tend to burn through your memory real quickly. The LS-10 has two gigabytes of memory built in, and you can also use memory cards with the LS-10 so you’ll be able to record up to a full day’s worth of audio at a time.”
“It takes AA batteries, which last twelve hours. You can use an optional infrared wireless remote, so if you’re a musician you can set the LS-10 at the side of the stage and when it’s time to play just hit go and your ready to record your music! There also a tripod mount on the back of the LS-10.”
“The LS-10 also comes with Steinberg / Cubase software so right out of the box you can use it and you don’t have to go out and buy other software. If you’re an amateur player or semi pro band, you just buy it, record it and do your editing right there, you don’t have to run out and spend your money on $1000.00 software.”