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NAMM 2016

The hottest new musical instruments and accessories, and more

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Bobby Watson at the Vandoren booth, NAMM 2016
Derek Brown at the JodyJazz/BG/Légère Jazz Jam, NAMM 2016
Dr. John performs at NAMM 2016
Dr. John performs at NAMM 2016
A display for Fender’s new American Elite Series, NAMM 2016
A tradeshow attendee plays Ibanez’s GWB205ENTF Gary Willis signature bass at NAMM 2016
The Gretsch Renown Series drum kit at NAMM 2016
Jody Espina, Jeff Kashiwa and Austin Gatus (from left) at the JodyJazz/BG/Légère Jazz Jam, NAMM 2016
John Pisano (right) and Barry Zweig jam at the Eastman Guitars booth, NAMM 2016
A young tradeshow attendee plays the affordable new Korg Minilogue Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer, NAMM 2016
Mike Williams (lead trumpeter, Count Basie Orchestra), Marcus Strickland and Pedrosaxo (from left) at the P.Mauriat booth, NAMM 2016
Marcus Strickland and Pedrosaxo (from left) at the P.Mauriat booth, NAMM 2016
The Private Stock Hollowbody Bass by PRS Guitars, NAMM 2016
Roland Boutique Series mini-synths, on display at NAMM 2016
A display for Roland’s new accessory line at NAMM 2016
Roland JC-01 Bluetooth Audio Speaker, on display at NAMM 2016
Sal Crocker, Darren Rahn and Marqueal Jordan (from left) at the JodyJazz/BG/Légère Jazz Jam, NAMM 2016
Images of Billy Cobham and Peter Erskine advertise Tama’s Star drum series at NAMM 2016
A prototype for a Thundercat signature bass by Ibanez, on display at NAMM 2016
The Steve Gadd-redesigned Recording Custom series of Yamaha drums, on display at NAMM 2016
Yamaha THR100H and THR100HD amps and cabinets, on display at NAMM 2016
Yamaha Montage synthesizer, on display at NAMM 2016
Yamaha YAS-875EX alto saxophone
YSL-8820-20th Anniversary Xeno trombone (at right)
YTR-8335RS 25th Anniversary Xeno trumpet (at left)
Saxophonists Ernie Watts (left) and Spenser Liszt jam at the Buffet Crampon booth, NAMM 2016
Fender's GB (George Benson) Twin Reverb amp
Mindi Abair Custom Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece by Theo Wanne

The 2016 NAMM tradeshow took place at the Anaheim Convention Center Jan. 21-24, showcasing the best new instruments and accessories and featuring its usual packed schedule of performances, demonstrations, artist signings and more. Enjoy this photo gallery, and see our picks for some of the best gear of the show below. More of the finest gear exhibited at NAMM will appear in the Gearhead section, in print and online, throughout 2016.

Yamaha’s Redesigned Recording Custom Series

Yamaha’s Recording Custom drums have earned a reputation similar to that of the Gibson Les Paul or Selmer horn-enduring pro-level industry staples with a score of classic recording credits behind them. Now, with extensive design input from session legend Steve Gadd, Yamaha has redesigned the series to feature new-school technology and manufacturing while retaining the core of its classic sound and feel. Among the updates are weighted lugs that aim to enhance sensitivity, and a line of metal snare drums. Kit MSRP: $4,500; snare: $679.

Fender GB Twin Reverb

First things first: GB stands for “George Benson.” Following up his tastefully tweaked signature Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Benson has collaborated with Fender on a lightly customized Twin amp. This is mostly the dependable, great-sounding amp you already know, with some useful mods including a solid-pine cabinet for decreased weight and increased resonance, a re-voiced low-gain Normal channel for added headroom, distinctively understated gray vinyl covering and a “GB” badge on the grille cloth. $1,699.99 online.

Korg Minilogue Analog Synthesizer

Boutique-ish analog synthesizers have long since made their comeback and are now essentials in the contemporary keyboardist’s arsenal. But they can get unreasonably expensive. Korg offers a $499 solution with its 37-slim-key Minilogue, an authentic analog synth featuring an attractive aluminum-and-wood build, an OLED oscilloscope display, eight voice modes, up to 200 programs, 41 dedicated panel controls plus a slider, onboard tape-style delay and a 16-step polyphonic sequencer.

Roland JC-01 Jazz Chorus Bluetooth Speaker

For fans of Roland’s super-loud, squeaky-clean line of Jazz Chorus amps, this new wireless Bluetooth speaker will be a must-have before it’s even turned on. (Let’s put it another way: Even as a paperweight, it’s pretty neat.) But the crossover extends to sound as well: This rechargeable-battery-operated gem includes real three-band EQ, a high-def sound field and a built-in mic that facilitates hands-free talking. $199 online.

Mindi Abair Custom Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece by Theo Wanne

Many, many sax mouthpieces claim to capture the laidback tones of heyday acoustic jazz, but what do you do on a high-volume rock or R&B gig? A Blue Note setup might not cut it. New from Theo Wanne and Mindi Abair, a contemporary-jazz star whose credits include Aerosmith, this nickel-plated alto piece is a rager that utilizes Wanne’s proprietary Advanced Resonance Technology for sounds ranging from whisper to wail. $325 online.

Originally Published