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The NAMM Show 2015

Highlights from the annual musical-instrument blowout in Southern California

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John Pisano at the Eastman Guitars booth, Winter NAMM 2015
Yamaha's YL-CSVR Custom clarinets, NAMM Show 2015
A display at XO Brass featuring John Fedchock and the XO 1632 lead trombone he helped design, NAMM Show 2015
Jon Faddis at Schilke, NAMM 2015
D'Angelico's EX-63 archtop guitar (center) an 2015 NAMM Show
Sabian's Big & Ugly cymbal collection, NAMM Show 2015
Brian Charette at Hammond USA, NAMM Show 2015
Gibson Les Paul Supreme 2015, NAMM show 2015
Attendees test out Gibson’s new G Force automatic tuning system, which comes standard on many of the company’s 2015 electric guitars, NAMM Show 2015
Bob Mintzer at the Eastman booth, NAMM Show 2015
Jody Espina holds down the fort at his JodyJazz mouthpieces booth, NAMM Show 2015
A jam session at the National Reso-Phonic Guitars booth, NAMM Show 2015
Sonor “Vintage” series drum kit, NAMM Show 2015
Phaeton B-flat trumpets in new finishes, NAMM Show 2015
Victor Wooten greets fans, NAMM Show 2015
A demo of ROLI’s Seaboard Grand, NAMM Show 2015
Jeff Berlin’s signature Cort “The Rithimic” basses on display

This year’s NAMM tradeshow, held Jan. 22-25 at the Anaheim Convention Center, was like any other, and that isn’t a putdown: plenty of people, lots of performances and, most important, oodles of gear. So let’s get on with it:

Mouthpiece guru Theo Wanne showcased a new proprietary material he calls A.R.T., or Advanced Resonance Technology, which is currently being used on his Durga3 alto and Shiva tenor models. It’s blue, bright-sounding and free-blowing, with a feel similar to hard rubber, though Wanne says it’s more responsive and fuller in resonance. (He won’t say, of course, what it’s actually made of.) JodyJazz also had new mouthpieces to check out, including the JET Tenor, a follow-up to the company’s popular, versatile JET Alto, and two George Garzone signature tenor models in the Giant line. In horns, Yamaha generated buzz with its YL-CSVR Custom Clarinets, which use the brand’s well-oiled manufacturing systems to bring a rare level of consistency to pro-level liquorice sticks. XO Professional Brass teamed with veteran trombonist and bandleader John Fedchock to design the 1632RGL-LT lead trombone, striving to create an ultra-lightweight instrument that doesn’t skimp on tone. XO wasn’t the only primo horn company with a heavyweight endorser onboard: Longtime Schilke player Jon Faddis demonstrated his new B-flat trumpet model, the S43LF-HD, based on the company’s “heavy design” (HD) valve cluster.

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