We roundup our favourite 2018 NAMM highlights and show you the coolest products our team found in Winter NAMM 2018 including the Fender Meteora, Moog DFAM, BOSS GT-1000 and more
Winter NAMM 2018 has come to a close and left the gear geeks like us here at PMT ecstatic with the amount of cool new gear announced. But with so much gear including guitars, synths, drums and tech being released, we thought we’d put together our top 10 NAMM highlights and show off the coolest musical instruments and tech we really can’t wait to get our hands on this year.
1. Fender 2018 Limited Edition Meteora
Since the leak of the Fender Meteora guitar earlier this year, guitarists all over the world have clamoured to get a closer look at this unique instrument from the Fender Parallel Universe series. Thankfully it wasn’t long before the official announcement came at Winter Namm and the guitar was revealed in all its glory quickly becoming one of the hottest 2018 NAMM highlights.
The Fender Meteora contains a few elements we once saw when the brand teased us with the Fender Voyager prototype a few years back, but it is an entirely new guitar for 2018 featuring a sleek, unique and entirely eye-catching body shape. The offset body shape is loaded with a Fender Custom Shop Tele Bridge Pickup and Fender Custom Shop Twisted Tele Neck Pickup for an array of unique tonal qualities that can easily go from crystal cleans to gritty distortion, whilst the American Professional Tele Bridge and "Limited Edition" Micro-Tilt Neck Plate offer superior tuning stability and resonance.
Finished off with an American Professional Jazzmaster Maple Neck complete with block inlays – you have a truly stunning guitar both visually and sonically.
2. Moog DFAM Analogue Percussion Synthesizer
Although the Moog DFAM (Drummer From Another Mother) was announced just before Winter Namm, we still think its by far one of the best 2018 NAMM highlights thanks to the fact we love all things Moog (who doesn’t?!). As with every Moog product, the DFAM has been designed to make the music creation process fun, offering up a new and intuitive option for rhythm pattern creation that can either fit easily into your Moog Mother Modular rack system, or be used as a standalone drum synth for music production in your existing studio setup.
The cool thing about the Moog DFAM is the fact you can produce both lead tones and percussive drum tones at the flick of a switch, allowing you to not only build beats, but create an entire track on its own. This is more than just a drum machine! It’s semi-modular so anyone can start creating music straight away without patches, 100% analogue for lush tones and is Eurorack compatible. Definitely a NAMM highlight!
3. Korg Prologue
The Korg Prologue is more than just a NAMM highlight, but long-awaited follow-up to the coveted and highly successful Korg Minilogue and Monologue synths. Available as either an 8-voice or 16-voice polyphonic, multi-timbral synth engine, you have a world of sounds at your disposal which will appeal to the professional musicians out there and provide the casual or bedroom producer with a vast array of tools to create music with.
The Made-In-Japan Korg Prologue 16 synth in particular features an arpeggiator equipped with a variety of types and range settings, 4 voice modes such as Polyphonic, Mono, Unison, Chord, Bi-timbre support, Noise Generator, VPM Oscillator and 16 User Wavetable Slots – and that’s just scratching the surface!
A powerful synth that needs to be played to be believed! Stay tuned for our demo coming soon.
4. BOSS GT-1000
The BOSS GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor is BOSS’ answer to the Line 6 Helix and Headrush multi-effects unit, offering up the entire BOSS range of effects within this compact, sturdy and extremely versatile piece of kit. Yep, you read that correctly; the ENTIRE range of BOSS effects in this handy unit.
However, its more than just the effects that makes the GT-1000 stand out as one of our top NAMM highlights as this multi-effects unit actually sets the new standard for sound production.
The BOSS GT-1000 includes the A.I.R.D (Augmented Impulse Response Dynamics) which provides players with an exceptional amount of musical response and flexibility, allowing your signal to “live and breathe” the same way it would as if you were playing through a tube amp. This means all the subtle nuances and dynamics of your playing are beautifully captured and realised through any amp you’re playing – something which has been unattainable within a digital unit until now.
All of the acclaimed sounds from BOSS’ stompbox effects history, tones from the "500" series of Delay, Modulation and Reverb pedals and the ability add expression and more dynamics via the built-in expression pedal – what more could you ever ask for?!
5. Fender 2018 Limited Edition Troublemaker Tele
Again, the Fender Parallel Universe series makes an appearance in our NAMM highlights list - and with good reason! Aptly titled the Fender Troublemaker Tele, this is firmly poking fun at another brand of guitars named after a certain person, taking on a very familiar design aesthetic yet providing players with an unmistakable Tele feel and sound.
You have Shawbucker humbucking pickups to add everything from glass-like cleans to heavy Zeppelin style distorted tones, providing a world of tonality options. The 3-way toggle switch allows you to isolate the pickups or use both at the time whilst you have further tone shaping options thanks to the four volume and tone Jazzmaster knobs.
A mahogany body is deep and resonant whilst a maple top adds that snap and articulation you need for big lead lines and riffs to stand out. The deep “C” shaped American professional Tele neck with larger Stratocaster headstock is also a great addition, providing comfort and a beautiful playability.
Available as :
- Fender 2018 Limited Edition Troublemaker Tele Ice Tea Burst
- Fender 2018 Limited Edition Troublemaker Tele Ice Blue Metallic
6. Jackson USA Signature Mick Thomson Soloist Black
Slipknot guitarist Mick Thomson sure knows how to design a nice looking (and sounding) guitar! The Jackson USA Signature Mick Thomson Soloist, pictured here in a sleek and menacing Black finish, is packed with premium features including a pair of Mick Thomson signature Seymour Duncan Blackout AHB-3S pickups for ultimate power, a 3-piece neck with Graphite reinforcement and true neck-through -body construction. This is a metal players dream!
The pickups in particular have been designed to handle a wide variety of tonal extremes and feature Mick Thomsons custom voicing which offer a more aggressive and richer playing experience.
In Thomson’s own words; “They’re extremely clean and they have a lot more tone than the typical active pickup. They Sound more real. The harmonics are richer. It’s a bigger sound across a wider range of frequencies.”
A mahogany body has been used for superb resonance and depth of tone and has been designed with a double-cutaway feature which allows for easy access to the upper frets – exactly what you need when you’re shredding hard.
An Ebony fretboard has also been included on the neck a 12” to 16” compound radius, which features a more dramatic curve at the nut to make chords easier to play, and a flattened-out neck towards the body which is superb for low-action bends that won’t fret-out.
7. Yamaha FG-TA TransAcoustic Guitar
With every passing year at NAMM, new and innovative acoustic guitars are revealed and we’re continuously impressed by what brands can come up with to make our playing experience more enjoyable. This year, the Yamaha FG-TA TransAcoustic Guitar has blown us away with its intriguing set of features.
The built-in effects within the guitar add an all new playing dynamic to an already impressive sounding acoustic. That’s right; built in effects! The Yamaha FG-TA TransAcoustic Guitar features built-in chorus and reverb effects that you can hear without using any external effects or amplification – simply strum the guitar to hear these lush effects ring out. You have the ability to dial back each effect or switch them off completely and enjoy the same sonic versatility and unique sound when you’re plugged into an amplifier or desk.
However, it’s not all about the effects, as the guitar itself is beautifully constructed with a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, rosewood fingerboard and bridge with this particular model featuring a beautiful Vintage Tint finish. In addition, each aspect of the tone wood is perfectly backed up via the System70/SRT Piezo Pickup electronics which provides an accurate representation of your playing and the rich qualities of the wood used.
This guitar allows you to have a beautiful, lush sound wherever you may be and offers up an enjoyable playing experience at all times. One of our favourite NAMM highlights by far.
8. Ibanez SRMS805-DTW SR Multiscale 5 String bass
One of the major NAMM highlights announced this year comes in the form of the Ibanez SRMS805-DTW SR Multiscale 5 String bass. This is an all new level of playability and versatility offering the modern bass player a super smooth multi scale 5-piece neck and mahogany body loaded with highly-versatile Bartolini pickups, an active 3-band EQ with bypass switch, and even a 3-way Mid Frequency selector switch – we challenge you to run out of tonal options here!
This fanned fret 5 string bass provides the most accurate, clear tones across the entire fretboard – ideal for those who value each and every note they play and the Mono-rail V bridge which has been described as "ultimate bridge for bass string isolation" has also been included, ensuring tuning stability, superior resonance and maximum vibration transfer.
In typical Ibanez fashion, the Deep Twilight finish is also one of the more beautiful finishes we’ve ever seen on a guitar – simply stunning.
9. Ashdown Geezer Butler Head Of Doom Signature Bass Amp
When the Ashdown Geezer Butler Head Of Doom Signature Bass Amp was revealed accidentally by the man himself earlier on in the year, we simply could not wait to get our hands on it.
Thanks to it’s official announcement at Winter NAMM 2018, it became one of the major NAMM highlights for a lot of people, both Black Sabbath fans and bass players in general thanks to its unique look and powerful sound that perfectly encapsulated that classic Geezer sound.
Straight out of the box you have 666 watts of pure power at your disposal and a 9 band EQ to sculpt your tone with. In addition, the Ashdown Geezer Butler Head Of Doom Signature Bass Amp features specific controls based on Geezers personal specifications. First up, you have a control labelled “Doom” which allows you to increase/decrease the current to the amp's 12AX& pre-amp valve stage, which offers up a rich and harmonic distortion which can be activated via an optional footswitch. Next there’s the addition of a Sub-Harmonic generator which squeezes an extra octave below your own signal, which can also be operated via footswitch – ideal for that classic Sabbath bass tone.
The dual VU visual monitoring is also a fantastic addition to an already impressive amp and unique to this particular model.
10. Martin DX-420 Electro-Acoustic Guitar
Last, but by no means least, we have the Martin DX-420 Electro-Acoustic Guitar which is not only one of our NAMM highlights, but one of the coolest guitars we’ve seen in many years from the coveted guitar brand. Featuring a custom illustration by renowned artist Robert Goetzl, the Martin DX-420 Electro-Acoustic Guitar certainly stands out amongst the plethora of Martin guitars available.
Following on from the original D-420 model, the X-Series DX-420 brings the guitar to a wider audience, making it far more affordable for everyone, yet still retains the epic playability and beautiful sonic quality of the original model.
Underneath the superb artwork is a high-pressure laminate top which utilises scalloped X bracing to offer an enhanced resonance and projection, meaning you’ll hear this loud and clear whatever environment you’re in. In addition, the back and sides are also constructed from high pressure laminate, and left in a natural finish to offer a striking contrast to the artwork.
The combination of a soundhole mounted preamp and Fishman Sonitone Electronics provide a lush tonality when you’re plugged into an amplifier or desk, and the discreet rotary controls found within the soundhole allow you to adjust the volume and tone to your liking. A fantastic guitar that will become a collector’s item very quickly.
Ludwig NeuSonic Drum Kits
Of course we couldn't just fit 10 highlights in here! So where's Nathan Checking out the new Ludwig NeuSonic kits available to pre order now!
And new Zildjian Cymbals for 2018!