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We just returned home from the Summer NAMM show. NAMM is the ultimate music industry get together where instrument makers peddle their newest works of art to the retail music shop owners who might sell them.

The best part of the show is that both established names like Gibson & Remo and tiny start-ups like Earthquaker Devices & Silverfox Percussion are in the same building. Music store owners get a chance to compare the new and the established right next to each other. We got to check out this year’s coolest equipment and instruments. From guitars, to violins, mics to recording equipment, we saw the best that the industry has to offer.

We saw so many cool musical instruments and accessories that we had to put together our own Top 10 list.

So who stood out at this NAMM show? Well here’s our top ten:

10. AJP Drums Snarebourine

Alex Acuña rejoicing AJP snarebourine!

A photo posted by AJP Drums (@ajpdrums) on

We can’t say enough about how amazing AJP’s custom drums are.  They truly stood out at the show.  Add a custom rim with tambourine cymbals built-in and you’ve got the Snarebourine!

9. On-Stage MS9701TB+ Mic Stand

NAMM top 10

So there’s lots of stage equipment at NAMM but this mic stand gets top awards for good reason.  The mechanics could be managed by a four-year old, there are absolutely zero plastic parts, and the three cord clips make cord management super easy.


8. CAD Sessions MH510 Headphones

CAD Sessions MH510 Headphones

CAD has a wonderful array of audio equipment from the inexpensive ZOE podcasting microphone to the highest level professional sound.  These headphones made our list for their combination of price (around $100) and studio quality sound

7. Henry Heller Guitar StrapsHenry Heller Guitar StrapsWe love a great selection of guitar straps.  There were plenty of options at NAMM but Henry Heller had the nicest folks, the best quality straps, and a killer selection that doesn’t stray into the absurd.


GaffTech Gaff Gun
The Gaff Gun may not be an actual musical instrument, but it had the biggest buzz at NAMM and it’s worth including here.  No more hand taping cords across the stage.

5. Cole Clark Acoustic Guitars

Cole Clark Guitars
If you’re into hand crafted beauty, Cole Clark guitars are where it’s at.  Each acoustic guitar is an individual piece of fine art.  The wood grains and inlay vary from guitar to guitar but the consistency of weight and sound is pristine.

UBass at NAMMIf you like playing ukulele and bass then the UBass is for you.  These folks have created an amazing line of something we’ve never seen before.


Supro 1622RT Tremo-Verb Amp
This Supro amp was the talk of the show.  Amplifier makers are always trying to get a true vintage sound and the consensus was that Supro pulls it off with the 1622 RT.  This is truly an amp company to watch.


Maybe it’s just because our booth was right across from Guild and we stared at these gorgeous guitars and basses all day long, but we can’t say enough about the Westerly Collection. We specifically loved Guild’s new line of Semi-Hollow body Starfire basses. There wasn’t a more beautiful looking or better sounding instrument in the house.
If you want more info on choosing the right guitar-bass, check out this crazy solid article on using science to pick the perfect guitar for you
Ibanez Bob Weir BWMI Cowboy Fancy
Ok, so we’re kind of cheating here.  This guitar just happened to be on display at the Ibanez booth.  It’s basically the only vintage item at NAMM. But Bob Weir and his friends at Ibanez made a beauty from build to inlay to technology.  So, even though we’ll probably never own one, it’s our #1 best thing at NAMM.

Music store owners get a chance to compare the new and the established right next to each other. We got to check out this year’s coolest equipment and instruments.

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