2024 NAMM Show Review by Eric Dahl

Posted: February 1, 2024
Prior to the NAMM show Martin Guitars released their much-anticipated GPCE Inception Maple Acoustic/Electric guitar constructed from sustainable woods and featuring skeletonized scalloped bracing inside of the body to enhance tone. 

Photos provided by Eric Dahl

The official attendance count for the 2024 NAMM show in Anaheim, California from Jan 25th through 28th haven’t been released yet.  But having attended the NAMM show since 2003 I can honestly say that this was the best attended with the largest number of exhibitors since before the Pandemic occurred.  I was lucky enough to attend the Media Day on Wednesday January 24th which opened with the Martin Guitar presentation at 1:30pm and was followed by the NAMM Global Media Day at 3pm.  Both sessions were informative, fast paced, and left journalists and media types wanting more – and they got it the rest of the week. 

Here are some of my favorite discoveries that are worth checking out from the 2024 NAMM show.

Prior to the NAMM show Martin Guitars released their much-anticipated GPCE Inception Maple Acoustic/Electric guitar constructed from sustainable woods and featuring skeletonized scalloped bracing inside of the body to enhance tone.  The three-piece wood back has a wider than usual piece of black walnut that matches the size of the bridge on the front.  Country Music Artist Hunter Hayes performed with the Martin Inception at the Media Day events and later at the booth.  The Martin GPCE Inception Maple Acoustic/Electric guitar is priced at $3,999.  Martin also updated all the X series Acoustics, which are an incredible valuable.  New SC and Custom models were also released a limited edition 50th Anniversary model recognizing Martin’s 50 years of producing guitars in Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico.

L.R. Baggs released their newest product, the HiFi Duet High-fidelity Pickup and Microphone.  Providing the capability to mix between an interior mic and duel under bridge pickups.  Price is $449.

Yamaha has updated their entire Pacifica electric guitar line.  Features include new colors, updated hardware, and pickups in collaboration with Sound Engineer Rupert Neve.  You can also increase your tonal options on the new Yamaha Pacifica’s with coil-splitting capabilities. These have not been released to the public yet.

Third Man Hardware (the company owned by Jack White) and Donner Music have teamed up to deliver one of the coolest and most affordable multi-effects pedals on the market the Triple Threat.  Available in limited edition yellow or standard black finishes.  The pedal is small enough to fit in your backpack or gig bag but includes Echo, Phaser and Distortion.  The sounds are amazing, and the footprint is small so you can add it to an existing pedalboard or use it as a stand-alone.  Triple Threat also includes a power supply in the box and is priced at $99.

If you’re looking to add some wild tones to your guitar playing check out Casio (yes, the keyboard & piano company) new Dimension Tripper.  The device attaches to your guitar strap and pairs with a wireless pedal to achieve Wah Wah and other modulation effects.  Just move your guitar up and down and the spring-loaded Dimension Tripper alters the sound of your guitar as you move it. This effect ranks very high on the cool and embraced meter.  After playing it at the NAMM show I really wanted one and you will to.  No word on the price yet but this should be released later this year.

For a fatter guitar sound take a look at the new Silvertone Baritone Guitar.  Based off the 1960’s Silvertone bass, this guitar plays and sounds great while bringing more bottom end to your sound.  The prototype at the show was in gloss black but the rumor is that when released it will come out in sparkle black finish, so it shines better under the lights.

Paoletti Guitars, made in Italy, had a packed booth at the NAMM show thanks to their new guitars featuring wood taken from wine barrels and knobs made from actual shotgun shells.  The finishes on all the new Paoletti guitars were incredible from their Wine, Loft, Lounge and Signature Series.  They also had fresh expresso in a back room which really helped keep me amped up for all the NAMM show stops.  Visit their website and look for them to have more US dealers this year after the show.

Kala Brand Music Co. released their new Solid Body U-Bass models at the show.  Imagine achieving full bass bottom end from a travel sized bass that looks like it was designed for a child.  These new Solid Body basses come in 4-string, 5-string and fretless.  All of them include a Kala gig bag, classic passive split-coil pickups and six different colors. These are a great addition to Kala’s U-Bass line, and you will want one, like me, after you play one.

There is so much more to cover on the 2024 NAMM show but this is all we have room for in this edition of Guitar Thrills Magazine. Stay tuned for more great and exciting instrument releases!

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