Matt Blackett’s Top 5 Picks From NAMM

April 22, 2011
BLACKSTAR AMPS

Now distributed by Korg, these amps sound big, fat, sweet, and full with incredible dynamics. My only gripe is that the 200-watt KT88- powered model was so damn loud I think it fractured my sternum.

PRS PRESS CONFERENCE

Emceed by guitar-mag legend Tom Wheeler, PRS showed a bunch of cool new guitars and amps, as well as an unreal collection of talent that included Tony McManus, Martin Simpson, Howard Leese, Paul Allen, and Orianthi, among many others.

RED WITCH SEVEN SISTERS PEDALS

Ben Fulton has come out with a line of pedals that are no bigger that a Matchbox car and run on lithium-ion batteries, which provide two weeks of gigging time before they need to be recharged with a 9-volt wall wart. Oh yeah, they sound awesome.

CHRIS POLAND AT EMINENCE SPEAKERS

All-around fusion badass Chris Poland performed at the speaker manufacturer’s booth, and absolutely killed it alongside longtime partner in crime, Robby “Pag” Pagliari. This jam definitely clogged the aisle.

KEMPER PROFILING AMP

There was a huge buzz around this modeling marvel that can take the signal of a miked amp, and capture its sonic signature in 30 seconds. The demo I saw was very impressive, and I’m looking forward to putting this thing through its paces.

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