As always, this year’s Winter NAMM show provided tons of chills and thrills in the form of exciting new gear. Here are five items that really jumped out at us:
Mesa/Boogie TransAtlantic — the latest entry in the “lunchbox” guitar amp race, this one was really cool. Two independent tube preamps (one with British chime, the other with American/British crunch and drive), EL84s that can be configured for 25 watts class AB, 15 watts push-pull class A, or 7 watts single-ended class A, 18 pounds, a gig bag…this one sounded sweet! Only $899, but made in the same American shop as the “big” Boogie amps.
Speaking of sounding sweet, the new Ibanez TSA15H uses two 6V6 tubes for 15 watts of power, and has a built-in Tube Screamer for that extra push. Also introduced were an optional matching TSA112c 1×12 cabinet and optional IFS2G footswitch. Just $399 — and it sounded amazing!
Dave Smith Instruments repackaged the awesome Mopho into a keyboard format, with much more front-panel control. The two we saw were prototypes, but we’re really excited about this compact all-analog keyboard.
Also on the synth front, Moog was showing the awesome Taurus bass pedal reissue as well as a new version of the Moog Guitar with support for 13-pin MIDI output. Now you can not only create fascinating new guitar tones using the Moog Guitar itself, but also tap into innovative sounds using a MIDI synth.
Getting a guitar into a computer so you can use an amp/effects simulator either standalone or in your DAW requires a good circuit that loads the pickup correctly. The new MOTU ZBox provides the correct impedance and level-matching to ensure that playing your guitar through your computer not only sounds great, but FEELS great, too. It has two inputs, configured like the ins on a vintage Fender amp. The $39 ZBox can be used with any DAW audio interface.
Check out our full NAMM report for more information or give your Sales Engineer a call!