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GearHead: New Toys at Winter NAMM 2013

Impressive new gear on display at annual trade show

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Production-line Gary Grainger signature 4- and 5-string basses by PRS Guitars, Winter NAMM 2013
Ibanez's revamped Pat Metheny signature guitars: the PM200-NT (top) and the more affordable PM2-AA, Winter NAMM 2013
Roland's versatile, lightweight V-Combo VR-09 Mobile Keyboard, new for Winter NAMM 2013
Gretsch's Retro-Luxe snare outfitted with the Jojo Mayer-designed Hoop Crasher by Sabian, Winter NAMM 2013
Part of the newly relaunched Guild line of electric guitars, Winter NAMM 2013
Keilwerth David Liebman soprano saxophone

Winter NAMM, the musical-instrument industry’s most important U.S. tradeshow, provides consistent, reliable pandemonium over four days each January at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California. “Pandemonium,” of course, is only partly accurate: The level of planning and finance in evidence at this thing is astounding. But given the nature of the wares, this highly choreographed exercise in commerce assumes the guise of a free-for-all: tattooed guitar gods, impossibly chaotic drum booths, Bootsy Collins.

Sure, the years are marked by noticeable tweaks with regards to logistics and security measures, but the best way to stave off monotony at NAMM is to home in on the gear, which is what I’ll do now. Expect full-length reviews of many of these goodies in JazzTimes throughout 2013.

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