My top picks for Winter NAMM 2012

Like many other musicians I look forward to seeing what new products are announced when Winter NAMM comes around each year. Last year I spent some time posting quite a few new products that caught my eye. This year I didn’t really have the time to post about them as it was a flat out week on the home front with my wife’s and my son’s birthdays all within the days that NAMM was on. Now that NAMM is over I thought that I might write a post covering the new products that excited me the most this year. So lets get started:

Marshall 50th Anniversary 1Watt Series

The range of Marshall 50th Anniversary 1Watt series heads. Image courtesy of I Heart Guitar.

As you’d probably know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m a big fan of low wattage valve amp designs. I play a Blackstar HT-5 head on stage with my band, and it’s tone is absolutely awesome. So of course when Marshall announced the range of 50th Anniversary ampsI was definitely excited.

Five amplifier models in total, in both head and combo formats, will be released over the course of the year, one model representing each decade Marshall has been in the game. Each model is designed to look just like the amplifiers it represents, with period correct Marshall logos and finishings. This kicks off with the Marshall JTM1, representing the legendary amplifier that brought the Marshall name to the arena in the 1960s. The JMP1 kicks off in March, representing the 1970. In June, my personal favourite of the troupe, the JCM1 will be released, representing the 1980s. I am really hoping that somehow I can afford one of these. I’d better start saving!

Things start getting a little more state of the art and feature packed from here. The 1990s will be represented by the DSL1, based of the still in production JCM200 series DSL amps. And last but not least, the JVM1 will round it off for the 2000s. Both of these models will be loaded with two channels and effects loops, whereas the others will be in line with their ancestors and be single channel, with no effects loops.

Orange Signature #4Jim Root Terror Head

The latest in the Orange stable of Terror amps.

On the topic of hot little low wattage amps, here comes the latest from Orange, the company who kick started the low wattage amp craze. The Signature #4 Jim Root Terror Head is in the same format of the original Tiny Terror, and based off the high gain channel of the amp that Jim Root of Slipknot/Stone Sour uses in the studio and on stage, the Orange Rockerverb 100.

This little terror is a single channel amp, capable of high gain tones suitable for rock and metal, and features a three band eq, volume, and gain controls, and a valve driven effects loop. Like the others in the Terror series, it can be switched between 15 and 7 watts.

This one is bound to be a hot item this year.

Ibanez 25th Anniversary models

Ibanez is celebrating 25 years since the launch of two of it’s iconic guitar models, the RG series, and S series guitars. To commemorate this Ibanez have released a bevvy of awesome neon coloured guitars. Click on the images to learn more.

These aren’t the only 25th anniversary models coming out. Ibanez will be releasing a few more over the course of 2012.

Dimarzio Mark Morton signature Dominion pickups

Mark Morton's new signature DiMarzios, the Dominion.

Lamb of God’s Mark Morton has a new pair of DiMarzio signature pickups, named after his signature Jackson Dominion guitar. I’m not a huge fan of Lamb of God, but these pickups themselves look like a fantastic design.

The Dominion Bridge is a moderately high output pickup that utilises a ceramic magnet, and provides a warm, but not muddy tone, with enhanced mids, and fast response.

The Dominion Neck is a medium output pickup that is designed to be perfectly balanced with the Dominion Bridge, and have good amount of presence for definition and focus. It should be particularly nice for cleans too.

I’m looking forward to checking these pickups out, they look like a fantastic design, and I’m sure they’ll be a very popular addition to the DiMarzio line.

MXR Custom Badass Modified O.D.

The next release from MXR's Custom Badass line, the Modified O.D.

I’ve become a big fan of MXR pedals over the past few years, and have a couple of their pedals on my pedal board. The MXR Custom Badass Modified O.D. is definitely something I’d love to add to it.

It’s based off a classic overdrive circuit, and loaded with some cool modern modifications, making it far more versatile.

The demos that Jim Dunlop released late last year sounded absolutely fantastic, and really showed how versatile and handy it is for so many styles of music. I’m sure this will be as popular as their first off the Custom Badass line, the ’78 Distortion.

There was a heap more awesome stuff that came out of NAMM this year, and I might list a few more of my favourites soon.

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