We've been inundated with manufacturer press releases and rumours in the run-up to this year's Winter NAMM Show, which is shaping-up to be a veritable treasure trove of new music-making gear. While we put the finishing touches to MusicRadar's brand new, all-encompassing NAMM blog (coming VERY soon), how about we take a step back into cloud land…
Our friends at Guitarist magazine have put together a 'fantasy' top 10 of NAMM releases: the guitar gear we'd all love to see, but never will…
1. Gibson 'I Robot' Les Paul
Not only will the latest incarnation of Gibson's More Intelligent Than You® technology push the envelope still further, the guitar will obey the three laws of robotics, the final one being that it'll only allow you to play jazz when another human is in danger.
2. Fender 'Leo's Aunty' Tribute Stratocaster
Back in 1955, when the Stratocaster was still wet behind the ears, Leo Fender gave his aunt one of the working prototypes. Recently rediscovered in a dusty old attic, it boasted two single-coils, not the regulation three, and was finished in giga-rare Trans Ocean Beach House Creamburst. It will be reissued by the Custom Shop in very limited numbers, each hand-painted by a Mexican child. The cost? A ruddy fortune, obviously.
3. Mesa/Boogie Behemoth
The Petaluma amp masters proudly announce the heaviest amp in the world. It weighs in at just over 500 lbs and comprises a Road King guitar amp and Big Block bass amp, all in one package. It comes in it's own flight case along with four road crew, as you ain't gonna be able to lift it.
4. Line 6 Funnel Web Spider Valve Jam III
The latest incarnation of Line 6's all-conquering amp line does something slightly different than its previous outings. We believe it has something to do with how it works with a computer, but we don't really know... And anyway, do you really want to sound like John 5?
5. PRS Gryphon '5708'
A limited edition of a triple neck that boasts, five colours, 137 different flecks of highly endangered woods and inlays comprising the fossilised bones from 19 extinct animals. PRS have yet to begin work on actually building any of them, but all have already been pre-sold to lawyers, heads of state and Manchester United footballers. The '5708' suffix relates to the fact that an Ivoroid, rather than graphite nut, has been employed.
6. Analogue Man Mediocre Tone
In a giant step, legendary web-based store Analog Man brings out a pedal that allows guitarists possessing actual talent and tone to revisit their formative years. This stompbox provides a dull and lifeless sound that takes you right back to the days when learning B7 meant you could have the rest of the night off.
7. Tascam SOC-1
Worried that your recordings are becoming too good, too hi-fi? Tascam have thought of this, and have incorporated their revolutionary SOC© technology into a small desktop unit that enables you to make it seem like everything you commit to virtual tape sounds as if it's been recorded through a sock. Genius.
8. Dean Dime US 'Breakfast Time' Razorback
Dean issue yet another tribute to the tragic legend. Has been dubbed 'Breakfast Time' as that's when the idea occurred to Dean's marketing department. It's what he would have wanted etc.
9. Dunlop EVH Signature slides
"I did use a slide a lot back then," says Ed in the official paperwork. "Well, before we formed Van Halen." The ceramic bottle has been painted up with Ed's traditional (and copyright-owned) stripy livery and would go perfectly with the equally redundant EVH wah.
10. L'Oreal Yngwie Malmsteen 'Scent of Sweden' hair products
Because he's hardly worth it. Well, he has endorsements with everyone else...