With summer in full swing, Sweetwater headed down to Nashville to check out the latest music and audio gear at Summer NAMM ’13. And while Summer NAMM is sometimes known as “Guitar NAMM” in the industry, we’re happy to report that there was a wide array of technology-related products this year too! Of course there were countless new guitars being demonstrated, but we also found many tech products that are sure to make music more enjoyable for anyone, guitarist or not. Here’s a roundup of what was new and notable at Summer NAMM ‘13. If you want to know more about any of these products, just give your Sweetwater Sales Engineer a call!
Pigtronix Echolution 2 Deluxe and Echolution 2
The original Echolution was a huge hit with its rich analog sound and its unique Golden Ratio delay mode. David Koltai from Pigtronix gave us a detailed demo of the new Echolution 2 Deluxe, which brings you even more cool delay effects and more power to program your own unique effects. Also at the show was the Echolution 2, which gives you the same great sound as the Deluxe model, minus the deeper programmability. Both models have a USB connection so you can save, manage, and upload presets via your computer.
The Pigtronix Gatekeeper is a high-performance noise gate pedal any guitarist can use for great results. This highly responsive and incredibly fast processor clamps down hard on unwanted noise, yet it keeps your transients intact, so your tone doesn’t suffer. You can vary the release time too, allowing you to dial in everything from a gentle fade to a hard mute for machine-gun stutter effects.
JamHub Tracker MT16
The Tracker MT16 is the perfect recording companion for any JamHub mixer. It easily connects to your JamHub (or other mixer) and records seven stereo stems while giving your bandmates independent monitor mixes. It saves to an SD card, wirelessly connects to the Internet, and can even automatically upload your files to BandLab, so everyone in your band can access them for mixing. Very cool, and very convenient!
Blackstar LT Series Pedals
Blackstar introduced the LT Series of pedals, and we were impressed. Utilizing a patent-applied-for clipping circuit, LT pedals deliver the tube-like response and the overdrive/distortion sounds that Blackstar is known for. Three of the pedals include the Blackstar-patented ISF control for blending between American or British EQ styles. The rugged and compact Blackstar LT pedals also feature a buffered bypass and silent switches.
Blackstar HT Metal Series Amplifiers
Aggressive metal tone is what you’ll find in Blackstar’s HT Metal Series of amplifiers, based on their award-winning HT-1, HT-5, and Venue amplifiers. The HT Metal Series is made up of 1W and 5W amp heads; a 60W, 2 x 12″ combo; and a high-octane 100W head. If you expect tenacity from your amplifier, you definitely want to check out Blackstar’s HT Metal Series.
Vox Tone Garage Pedals
Vox Amplification introduced new pedals called the Tone Garage Series. Each of the five tube-based pedals (covering delay, octave/fuzz, overdrive, distortion, and gain boost) features all-analog circuitry, a rugged aluminum body, and an EQ toggle switch for expanded sonic options. These pedals are the first to pack Vox’s new “Hi-Volt” technology, which ups the internal voltage from 9V to 200V for greater headroom, dynamics, and definition.
Vox Mini3 G2 Combo Amp
Vox’s mini amplifiers have always been a ton of fun, so it was great to see the new Vox Mini3 G2 mini amp at Summer NAMM ‘13. Boasting up to 12 hours of great-sounding operation from AA batteries, plus inputs for a microphone and a music player, this little amp is ready to rock out just about anywhere. It’s even got strap pins on it, so you can carry it over your shoulder!
Vox Limited Edition Colors
Vox rolled out limited editions of their popular AC15, AC30, and AC4 guitar amps in two fetching new colors: Vintage Cream and Elegant Purple. The Vintage Cream models sport newly designed Creamback G12M-65 Celestion speakers that deliver powerful sound with a woody, vintage tone. These amps will be available in extremely limited numbers; don’t miss out!
Joemeek meC 500 Series Compressor
We were extremely excited to see that Joemeek has entered the 500 Series category! The meC takes Joemeek’s tried-and-true optical compressor and ushers it into the ultra-convenient 500 Series format. You get a powerful set of controls, while 8-segment metering lets you check your levels at a glance. For maximum flexibility, master/slave linking lets you combine a pair of meC modules together for true stereo compression!
Joemeek preQ 500 Series Mic Preamp
Packing a full 60dB of clear and robust preamplification, the Joemeek preQ 500 Series preamp module starts off strong. But that’s just the beginning. Joemeek also loaded this preamp with their amazing optical de-esser, making it ideal for vocals. And there’s a front-panel DI jack for easy, great-sounding direct instrument recordings.
Hammond introduced the smallest and lightest Hammond organ ever! Packing the same Virtual Tonewheel engine as the acclaimed B3-mkII organ, the XK-1C brings you the legendary sound of a B3 in a compact 16-pound design. You also get the latest digital Leslie effects, plus combo organ and pipe organ sounds.
Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
At Sweetwater, we’re big fans of Zoom’s H series of portable recorders, and we were blown away by their new H6 Handy Recorder. You can connect up to four microphone or line-level sources for simultaneous recording, and it’s got both X/Y and mid-side microphone modules too. Even cooler, the H6 accommodates additional aftermarket input modules, enhancing the versatility further.
Tascam DA-3000 Master Recorder
With the same digital converters found on TASCAM’s highly popular DV-RA1000HD, the DA-3000 is all about high-quality audio. With this rackmount recorder, you get your choice of recording in up to 24-bit/192kHz PCM linear or in DSD (direct stream digital) format up to 5.6MHz. What’s more, you can record straight to inexpensive SD/SDHC or CompactFlash media for added convenience and portability.
Korg Pa900 Arranger Workstation
Korg’s latest Pa series arranger is the most powerful, best-sounding Korg arranger yet! The Pa900’s sound engine features double the PCM memory of the best-selling Pa600, and it extends the amount of user PCM memory to 192MB. With 1,200 user Style locations and an improved built-in speaker system, plus the TC-Helicon Vocal Harmonizer, an MP3 player and recorder, and video output, this is one incredibly powerful arranger workstation.
Pedaltrain Volto Pedalboard Power Supply
Winning Summer NAMM ‘13’s Best in Show award, Pedaltrain’s Volto pedalboard power supply is a smart solution for any compact pedalboard. Volto is a lithium-ion battery power supply, with two 9V outputs and up to 2000mA power capacity. Charge it up via wall power, and you’ve got a compact pedalboard power solution the size of your phone!