Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2019 Edition

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Other Goodies

Thinking Outside the Box

Marshall created eight unique handcrafted amplifiers and auctioned them off to raise $22,000 for two charities: the US-based Women's International Music Network, and Nordoff Robbins from the UK.

Marshall Amplification

High Voltage Distortion

Short of playing with your hair on fire, I can't think of anything more rock 'n roll than using a 5500-volt plasma tube to generate distortion.

Whitey Tighty

I'll be damned if I can think of a better name for a compressor pedal.

JHS Pedals Whitey Tighty

Precious Cargo

If you travel with a pair of guitars, this could be the last case you ever buy. It's light, it's water-resistant, it's got wheels, and it doubles as a guitar stand.

ENKI double guitar case

Pick N Pluck B Dead N Gone

I was just about to reconfigure the flight case I use for my ribbon and condenser mics using a "pick n pluck" foam insert, but now, pluck that. I'm abandoning that idea and will be ordering one of these. They've got a slick web interface to designing your custom case.

My Case Builder

The Edges of the Bell Curve

If the shape of your head deviates substantially from the norm*, you will want to pick up a four-piece of Dekoni Nuggets and finally have headphones that fit properly.

* Although if this is the case, headphones may not be your biggest life problem.

Dekoni Nuggets

How to Freak Out the TSA

Sure, it's a point-to-point wired tube amp, but the real fun is seeing the look on the face of the TSA agent when you drop this amp-in-an-ammo box on the conveyor belt for the x-ray.

BC Audio ammo case amp

Don't Misplace This Strap

The "Show Stopper" guitar strap sells for a cool $1.2M AUD. Designed by Colin Burn, it includes 30 carats of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, and includes 1kg of 18k gold.

The Guitar Strap Co.

All the Bling

If you'd like to spend less money and have more active bling, this sound-activated lighted strap provides a surprior cash-to-bling ratio.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

If you're going to make a pickup with hollow pole pieces, the natural thing to do is to put a light in them.

C. R. Alsip Guitars

For Night Landings

The lights on these guitars offer feedback on pickup settings and just look cool on the fretboards.

Light Up All the Things

In the interest of putting LEDs into every possible object, you can now get a guitar hanger that will backlight your treasured instrument as it hangs on the wall.

At some point we will reach peak LED and every possible product will have been festooned with lights. It's simply a matter of time.

Muzic Light

The Bigger the Cushion…

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SVT amp, Ampeg built am 11-foot tall fully functional version of the amp. I got to see Derek Smalls perform "Big Bottom" on this Beast of Beasts.

Ampeg SVT Beast

Unique Inside and Out

Morley was showing their Artist Series of wah pedals. They sport custom graphics and custom electronics tweaks from players such as Steve Vai, George Lynch, and DJ Ashba.

Morely Artist Series wah pedals

Sound Posts For Guitar

I was disappointed when I found that this had nothing to do with gopher trees or Noah's Ark. I was intrigued by the idea of adding a sound post to an acoustic guitar.

Gopher Wood Guitars sound posts

Invention's Mother

The woman who developed this did so when her arthritis prevented her from continuing to play guitar. The addition of the crosspiece and the pinkie ring easily allow for quite a number of alternate chords.

Rock-It Barre

The Fight Against Entropy

Anyone who's had to deal with cables has intuitive knowledge of Wood's Law of Cables, which stated is "The resting state of a cable is tangled." This system uses an elastic cord with a round plastic ball on the end that slots into the hanger.

Cable Wrangler

Support in Inhospitable Environs

The Pub Prop is a C-clamp that you attach to a table and becomes a guitar stand. You can see their product "literature" on the table. I love the fact that it was a beer coaster.

Stones Music Pub Prop

Offbeat Looks, Great Sound

The Retrofier a 15-lb amplifier with a tremolo, spring reverb, and amp sim line out. Even at NAMM I could hear that it sounded great and was much cleaner than your typical vintage amp.

Retrofier guitar amplifier

Put a Lid on the Lad

While I've never had a problem with oxidation on my jack (possibly a testament to my hygiene) I suppose that some environments warrant higher standards of protection.

JackCaps

Dramatic Tableau

Speaker grill cloth is the next exciting canvas for the stage and rehearsal space.

Arachnid Cabinets

ADA Compliant Controls

Replace those fiddly little knobs and buttons with something much easier to manipulate, or in this case, pedipulate.

Barefoot Buttons

Be a Good Neighbor

From what I could hear at the show, this isolation cabinet didn't exhibit the telltale comb filtering that I've heard with all of the others of this ilk. If I owned one of these I would have to name it Crusty.

Hermit Cab

The Pedal Board that Grows

No more hard decisions about which pedal must go when you get a new one–just add another module and keep going.

Pedal Pods

Walled Garden

The LiberaToe has some interesting routing and control features, but you're limited to using their modules. They are interested in working with third party pedal designers, though.

LiberaToe

Reach Out and Touch

You don't see stomp boxes with touch screens every day...that is, unless you work at Poly Expressive. That does beg the question of what sort of toe dexterity is required in order to use these.

Poly Expressive

Swiss Army Pedal

Incorporating an autofader, signal router, dynamic effects loop, wet/dry blender, Y-splitter, two-channel mixer, customizable tremolo, buffer, interface for CV and expression control, the Mission Control can send you deep down the rabbit hole coming up with new sounds.

Spaceman Effects

A New Coat of Paint

Many of Rainger's pedals got a nice update of their graphics. They were showing the new Drone Rainger for the noise crowd.

Rainger FX

Elegant Amp

I would have been really impressed if they'd used bookmatched wood panels and 500 Series modules.

King Blossom Guitars amplifier

Needs to Get a Head

I was sad to discover that this was simply a collapsing stool and not a collapsing dumbek.

There He Is!

I'm curious about what sort of music would be made by a guitarist with a clown fish guitar case.

TKL Products Corp guiitar case

You'll Look Like Jimi

A simple yet effective way to see what you're doing while you're practicing.

Muso Mirror

Transformers

The Bass Buggie turns your upright bass into a wheeled contraption; the Studio G Stand is alternately a guitar stand or stool, depending on your current needs.

Bass Buggie and Studio G Stand

Everything a Brass Player Needs

Not only does the Mute Caddy get your mutes off the floor and close at hand, it doubles as a handy drink holder. If it booked gigs for you it would be complete.

The Mute Caddy

Function Follows Form

You pretty well know right off the bat that these are amp sim pedals. I also quite liked the Astronaut reverb pedal.

Shift Line pedals

Annual Revolution

Mankind never seems to be satisfied with the plectrums that are available. Somehow, manufacturers feel that the intricate concept of triangular-thingy-meets-string is always ripe for reinterpretation. This year it's laser etched stainless steel.

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Next Up: Percussion

©2019 Barry Wood