Gear talk for the GAS-afflicted.

NAMM 2013: Rockshop + Six-String Samurai Joint Coverage!! **Part Deux: DAY 1**

NAMM 2013: Rockshop + Six-String Samurai Joint Coverage!! **Part Deux: DAY 1**

Jan 25, 2013

Okay… so I realize “Part Two, Day 1″ is a little confusing. But unfortunately I’ve already committed to it with our Part 1: The Pre-Show coverage yesterday – which gave us the tasty tidbit that the budget-friendly Sterling by Music Man line is about to receive a huge kick in the pants, with custom Dimarzios all around for the AX40 models, and John Petrucci’s signature Liquifire and Crunchlab set for the JP line. That’s really awesome!

While we’re on EBMM – check out the ARMADA.


Whoa. That looks a little bit crazy – V-shaped figured maple section, otherwise constructed from mahogany, and it’s neck through! I’m no EBMM historian but I think that’s a first for the company. The body shape is a little bit Les Paul and a little bit EBMM Albert Lee (with a little Iceman thrown in, says Matt). I like the shape but am undecided about the V-top.



It’s looking like this could be the beefiest, most Les Paul reminiscent guitar design we’ve seen from the folks at Ernie Ball Music Man.

One of the publicity pics also seems to indicate that the top is subtly carved and contoured as well… definitely an eye opener from EBMM here!


Length: 38.5″ Neck: Mahogany, Rosewood Fretboard
Width: 13.25″ Neck Binding: 1-Ply Cream
Thickness: 2.125” Neck Color:   Color matches body with bound, figured maple capped, matching painted headstock
Scale: 24.75” Frets: 22 High Profile, wide, Stainless Steel
Nut: Music Man patented Compensated, 1.688” wide Construction:  Neck through Body Design
Body: Mahogany with V-shaped mahogany and figured maple top Pick-Ups: Two Custom Music Man Humbucking
Body Binding: 4-Ply Cream/Black/Cream/Black Bridge: Standard – Tuneomatic bridge with thumb wheel height adjustment & individual saddles with Graph Tech tail Piece


Bringing the bling with PRS!

If there’s one thing you can ALWAYS rely on with PRS, it’s making a guitar that is a freaking visual extravaganza. This year is no different, with an array of beautiful guitars on display – starting off with the NEW Neal Schon signature model that we talked about recently! Semi-hollow with a Floyd, now that’s something you don’t see every day.


And another signature model from Mr Tremonti – say what you will about his playing, or his lovely band Creed, but the man has good taste in guitars. This finish looks a little bit Washburn Dimeslime, which I like.


“What colour of the rainbow do you want? We have ‘em all. In f$%^ing flame maple.”


Also, here’s the new “Paul’s Guitar” model, which we heard about a few weeks back.

PS – if you’re wondering what those smaller not-quite humbucker sized pickups are, those are the new-ish PRS Narrowfield ‘buckers. If you want to hear what they sound like, we did a review of the PRS Studio awhile back which featured these.

Dean Guitars in the house

Finally taking a step back from making 4,345,298 Dimebag “tribute models” (at last count), Dean Guitars are looking to their remaining stars for inspiration.

In some cases, they’re looking a bit further back into the artist’s past… and Dave Mustaine digs up his Jackson heritage with a double-neck V.


The distinctive inlays on this tell me one thing – RUSTY COOLEY. The man is an intense shred machine at the top of his game, though personally his playing has never really swayed me. This one has a bit of an 80s BC Rich Gunslinger look going on.


And another one for Mr Cooley – a monster 8 string, complete with fanned frets!! I spy a model name at the top of the headstock – guessing that says Dean RC8.


Tech 21 NYC – Superblonde!

I’m a big fan of the Tech 21 stuff – last year I even did an overview of the 4 most popular of the Character Series analog modelling pedals for the Rockshop guys. In the past Tech 21 have delved into multi-setting versions of their popular VT Bass pedal, in the form of the VT Bass Deluxe. Looks like this year the Blonde is following suit. To be honest, I’m unsure how useful this would be – most gigging players seem to use the Blonde as a clean platform to drive with pedals and the like. Personally I’d rather have a Deluxe version of the Liverpool (the AC-styled one).


Here are a few more from these guys.



Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister family

Not much I can say about these except that they’re rapidly gaining a great reputation – the first shipment of these that came into NZ quickly sold out, and so I’m waiting for the next batch to come in so I can try one! They glow neon blue, and there’s one for every size and occasion! It’s like one of those chocolate boxes with different flavours for everyone.

Sorry, pic’s a little fuzzy – Matt must have been too excited, heh.

ESP – the truth is out there (here)

Just recently there was uproar in the guitar community when we heard rumours that ESP were discontinuing the ENTIRE Standard Series, to concentrate on Custom Shop creations. Fortunately, this turned out to be not entirely true – however, ESP is severely paring down the range of models and options available on the Standard Series, and is trying to move some of the LTD branding into its place.

That stuff aside, one thing you can always depend on is the ESP Japan Custom Shop making some kooky shit with gigantic angel wings… I mean, I can’t actually see the headstock logo, but I can only assume that this is the kind of thing that they seem to love making.



Here’s a quick glimpse of some new LTDs.


Some snazzy looking custom EX series guitars – also, nice suit Matt, looking flash!


Mayones Regius

This is a brand I’ve been hearing a lot about in recent years, but have yet to have the privilege to play one. Mayones guitars are made in Poland, and are gaining a reputation for being an affordable custom maker, with a bit of a bent towards the metal players. In their standard range you have the Regius, which is the superstrat. They both look cool, but I’d love to play one to find out what differentiates them from the other million superstrats on the market.


Don’t be a Prat!

Um… who was the person who thought it would be a good idea to call their instrument range Prat? Prat Basses, apparently. I guess Prat isn’t a rude word in Spanish. Here are some crazy looking bass monsters.


What. The. Frak. That’s all I can really say O_o


Day 2 coverage is now live – CLICK HERE!



  1. […] you’ve missed it, you can see Pre-Show, Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 coverage here. Today it looks like we’ll be dealing with the big boys […]

  2. […] we saw this in our Day 1 NAMM spread! Here’s the official press release (though I reused our own pic, cos I think it’s […]

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