Column: My NAMM Guitar Shopping List Is Going To Hurt My Wallet

Richard Beech lists everything from NAMM he now wants to add to his rig   28-Feb-14

Column: My NAMM Guitar Shopping List Is Going To Hurt My Wallet

Richard BeechAmped columnist Richard Beech has made a list of all the products he would like to add to his rig after attending this year's NAMM show (if he had a never-ending supply of money), and it's a pretty big list...


So NAMM 2014 feels like a distant memory, even though I still have a headache from the cacophony of swirling noise.

After every NAMM show we announce the winners of the Sonic State Best of NAMM Awards for the best synth, tech, studio and guitar products.

But in a way this is my own personal Best of NAMM awards article, it's my shopping list from NAMM. The products I'd like to buy for my guitar rig, and why I'd like to buy them.

It's going to be a long list, because I saw loads of incredible products from the guitar world, particularly when it comes to amplifiers - it very much felt like the year of the valve amp for me.

There a lots of things I saw that I'd love to add to my rig if I won the lottery, and that list is probably going to grow with MusikMesse just around the corner. Sigh.

So without further ado, here I go (again on my own) with my wish list of NAMM gear.


Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer:

It's a 12-watt amp with three knobs, two inputs, a footswitch and one hell of a cool aesthetic. The amp was inspired by the era of 50s B-Movies and very much has a "surf" feel to it.

I feel like the amp would pair beautifully with my Gretsch G5120, sustained chords with Bigsby tremolo and the Vaporizer's reverb would just be a perfect clean sound.

But it goes dirty too, turn the volume all the way up and you get the pure sound of a power amp working in full overdrive sounding like it's on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I like it.

Plus there's THIS little fact:

Retail - $399.

65Amps Whiskey

This was easily the product I was most excited about ahead of NAMM 2014, Dave Freidman and Dan Boul working together on a high gain amplifier sounded like it would result in something brilliant.

Plus, it's called the Whiskey, you can't go wrong with that.

When I caught up with Dan at the 65Amps booth, I was blown away by the depth to the distortion channel on the Whiskey, it was kicking some serious bottom end out of a 1x12 speaker. It still had the beautiful signature 65Amps clean tone too, with a bell-like EQ curve emanating in sparkling high mid-range.

I was just about to pick up a guitar and test it out for myself when Earl Slick (David Bowie's guitarist) walked in and started playing through the amp. You can watch the video footage of that here if you want to see one of the coolest moments from NAMM 2014.

This one is on my shopping list, but it'll dent my wallet!

Retail - $2,699.

(Click here to see/hear the Whiskey in action).

Vox Night Train G2 NT15C1 (15 watt combo)

This might seem like a weird choice, and it probably is, but in terms of buying a product that would actually add something to my rig, this would be a good choice.

It's a small lightweight combo that's loud enough for pub and small club gigs. The clean channel is beautiful, you wouldn't expect anything else from Vox, and the overdrive channel can kick out an surprisingly high level of gain.

It's a good workhorse to have in your rig, and I think it represents good value for money too.

Retail - $700 (best price I've seen it for online).

(Click here to see/hear the Night Train G2 range in action).

Are there any other amps I'd like to buy? Well yes, but if I'm going to keep this shopping list even remotely close to being realistic, I need to only list things I'm seriously thinking about getting. I might end up with none of the amps listed above, but I'm hoping to add them to my collection.

Other great amps at the show included the Supro Thunderbolt reissue, and the Fender '57 Deluxe Head. I also think the Orange Dual Dark is a great amplifier for somebody who wants a high gain tone with a bit of gritty character.

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