Winter NAMM 2017

  • ​Around this time last year, we featured a jaw-dropping Prestige Collection Telecaster based on an 18th century pocket watch. Fender's Yuriy Shishkov has been raiding the company's jewelry box again, this time to produce the Strat-shaped Studioliner that riffs off of a 1930s Kodak camera.
  • ​Some guitarists prefer to pluck strings with fingers, some use picks and others do both. The Pick Slinger is worn like a ring and brings a pick into play with a flip, moves it out of the way with a flick of the wrist, and quickly brings it back again when needed.
  • Florida startup Somnium Guitars has developed a reconfigurable guitar where modules that change the look or tone of the instrument can be swapped out in less than a minute without needing to break out the toolbox, soldering iron or even change the strings.
  • ​Repeating golden placement of studio microphones between recording sessions can be a bit of an imprecise pain. The UK's Aston Microphones believes it can help with the Starlight, a pencil microphone with an integrated laser pointer.
  • More and more, electronic instruments like synthesizers and drum machines have been nudging their way into a DJ's sonic arsenal. Pioneer DJ has collaborated with Dave Smith Instruments to create another tool for music producers, a monophonic synthesizer named the Toraiz AS-1.
  • Line 6 has installed a full-range speaker system into its new Spider V 240HC amp head, allowing players to use it as a stand-alone combo amp or connect it to a speaker cabinet to create a stereo half stack.
  • Blackbird Guitars is expanding its Ekoa line of instruments. Ekoa is a high performance composite made mostly of linen, and debuted in the company's Clara ukulele, followed two years later by the El Capitan jumbo acoustic. Now a small body acoustic by the name of Savoy joins the family.
  • ​Zivix, the company behind a stubby 5-fret learning tool called the jamstik+, have snagged direct support for the mini six string in the latest version of Wizdom Music's the award winning music creation app, GeoShred.
  • ​Fender's Custom Shop can pretty much always be relied upon to come up with something a little special for the NAMM show. This time is no exception, with the company tapping into some naval history for a couple of amps encased in oak left over from building the USS Constitution.
  • IK Multimedia's new iRig Acoustic Stage package marries a pick-shaped MEMS microphone with a battery-powered box rocking a preamp and digital signal processing to make any acoustic guitar sound just like it would if it was captured in a traditional recording studio.
  • About 10 years ago, Percussa launched AudioCubes, an e-music system made up of smart cubes that could communicate wirelessly with each other and a computer. A software synth and a Remote controller followed, and now a hardware synth called the Engine has been added to form the Synthor System 8.
  • Dubreq has revealed a new version of the classic Stylophone ahead of NAMM 2017. Like the original, the Gen X-1 has a metal keyboard played using a stylus, runs on batteries and outputs sounds through its own speaker. The new model offers more tone control and a touch sensitive sound strip.