Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2013 Edition

Packrat Barry

Other Goodies

Bi Polar Bear

In grand Dwarfcraft tradition, the Pitch Grinder creates a beautiful noise via 8-bit A/D whose output is then pitch shifted through eight discrete pitch steps. Also provided is a glide control so you can either snap to new pitches or slide between them.

Neo-Hippy-Vegan Quandary

On one hand these straps have a cool, 60s batik, Nehru-jacket vibe yet they're leather straps. The perfect conundrum for the 60s throwback guitarist in your life.

Mechanical AutoTune

In traversing the route that all technology follows, Goltar has refined their guitar case tuner and packaged it into a handheld device.

  • Goltar Inc.
  • 824 Mohawk Parkway
  • Cape Coral, FL 33914
  • (905) 682-4731
  • www.goltar.com

Warhol Does Stomp Boxes

Each pedal made by The Big Joe Stomp Box Company sports a colorized image of bluesman Big Joe Williams. These may not be the best choice for guitarists who are color blind.

A Different Kind of Metal Guitar

It's hard to tell from the photo but these metal guitar sculptures were about twice the size of normal guitars. If there were still big studios around, one of these would look great in the lobby.

The Pitch is Out There

…way out there.

  • Swiff Technology Co., Ltd.
  • No. 1003, Guangfu Building
  • BaoYuan Road, Baoan, ShenZhen China
  • +86 755 33530171
  • www.swifftech.com

If Apple Made Guitar Stands

These pricey, yet stylish, guitar stands are available with the curved glass floor stand or can be wall mounted. Since the guitar is attached only by the strap buttons it produces a nice "floating guitar" look.

Give Your Guitar a Hug

Alpha single guitar stand, and the Omega double guitar stand

The company is called "II:XX", which is 2:20. I can't help thinking that they might get more attention from guitar players if they'd gone with IV:XX.

  • II:XX Guitar Stands
  • 2024 Mountain Ave.
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • (323) 570-4499
  • www.iixxstands.com

Brotherly Love

As any older sibling knows, a headlock is just your way of showing your love. The weight of the guitar on this wall mounting system causes the clear gates to close ensuring that your guitar isn't going anywhere until you lift it up.

In addition to the Headlock, RKS was also showing their Gigstand that folds up into probably the most compact guitar stand I've ever seen.

Focal Point

Here's a new twist on the cabinet isolator idea. The mic is facing away from the speaker and a parabolic reflector focuses the sound back on the mic. That effectively makes the distance to the mic further than it would normally be in a small box.

Look Ma, No Wires

The FXconnectx system gets your pedals off the floor and replaces them with a wireless floor controller. It's got true bypass when a pedal is switched out and it also has a tap tempo switch that can mult into any pedal that has a tap input. I liked their idea of mounting the pedals vertically which allows you to make knob adjustments without crouching.

  • FXconnectx, LLC
  • 9663 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite #1017
  • Beverly Hills, CA 90210
  • (888) 329-3776
  • www.fxconnectx.com

Phoning It In

Here is a different approach to eliminating stage clutter. Instead of using standard 1/4" cables, the pedalboard and stomp boxes from Yerasov use telephone-style RJ-11 connectors that route through the underside of the board.

Rockin' the Block

Not satisfied with making the outsides of guitars out of stone, Stone Tone now has a tremolo block made of the stuff.

Ronny North was kind enough to meet me before he went on stage at the Hilton to let me get a picture of it.

Beat It

This is the perfect accessory for guitarists who always wanted to play hammered dulcimer, or hammered dulcimer players who want to get out in front of the band.

Pedal Condo

Build the home of your dreams for your pedal collection with Aclam's modular pedalboard system. The panels are available in varied widths and depths and you can also add risers and angled corner pieces to create as large a monster as you like.

The Nitrider

Latch Lake had some slides made of nitrogen-diffused steel, which according to their waveform chart causes these slides to produce more sustain than slides merely made of steel or glass.

  • Latch Lake Music Products
  • 3115 Mike Collins Drive
  • Eagan, Minnesota 55121
  • 651-688-7502
  • www.latchlakemusic.com

The Latest in Strap Security

The Loxx system is actually not a new invention. This one-handed locking system was invented in 1924 for securing convertible car tops.

For obvious reasons, they need to make one of these in the shape of a bagel.

Sometimes More is More

Not satisfied with static lights, Larger Than Life now has stands with animated lights in them.

Remedial Roadie Training

This would make it impossible for even the greenest roadie to put the wrong guitar in the case… almost.

  • TKL Products Corp.
  • P.O. Box 215
  • Oilville, VA 23129
  • (804) 749-8300
  • www.tkl.com

Standard Equipment

I saw these ear protection devices for kids after a day and a half of NAMM and I was seriously considering a pair for myself.

The Honor System

Since this metronome/practice time tracker relies on the student to log the hours it's not exactly the cross between a Tamagotchi and Big Brother that I first imagined.

Criminal Accessory

This year's pick technology coverage starts with yet another attempt to ensure that guitarists are never without a pick by creating oh-so-stylish necklaces out of them.

Dust For Prints

These pick necklaces are ideal for beginners, since they show you the correct place to put your fingers.

Big Wood

Finally there is a pick for all those giant guitars at NAMM. Timber Tones' began with wooden picks, then they added bone shell picks last year and now have expanded into stone picks. In retrospect, maybe they should have chosen "Timbre Tones" as their name.

Rare Earth Plectrum

Back when studios used magnetic tape these picks with embedded magnets could have been a real problem.

I'd Tap That

Now you can get the coil tap stutter effect on any guitar. This may also be useful for switching guitars noiselessly.

Big Punch, Small Package

These lightweight stereo power amps put out 180 watts on each channel and weigh in at just three and a half pounds. As you may have surmised from the photos, they can be ordered with custom graphics. One of these would be a great companion amp for guitarists who have gone the laptop route.

  • Vivid Amplifiers
  • 321 E. Palouse River Dr.
  • Moscow, ID 83843
  • (855) 4Ø8-4843
  • www.vividamps.com

Give Your Knobs Wings

Round knobs are so 2012. These guys even have a version that glows in the dark.

Slippery Fingers

I caught Frank Frombach doing a demo with his custom-made fingertip slides. They certainly open up some interesting playing techniques.

Next Up: Percussion

©2013 Barry Wood