Check out this year's photo galleries:
This year's Winter NAMM Show was a great (and exhausting) experience! We made a lot of great contacts, did a lot of business and saw a lot of old friends. To those we missed, our apologies! We hope your experience at the show was as good as ours!
Last year's show seemed to feature the re-birth of sparkles and acrylics. This year was no exception with sparkles and acrylics everywhere! New to the mix, however, were things like Tama's sparkle acrylics (I'm not sure what they're called -- the sign said "Prototype" -- but the finish is STUNNING). Very cool. This year's resurrection seems to have been Octobans. Everyone had them.
And then there was the age-old quest to reinvent the bass drum pedal. Last year featured the Trick Pro 1-V and the PDP Boa, this year featured a new "catapult" design from Gibralter and a magnet resistance pedal that I couldn't find. I'm not sure about the "mag-lev" pedal, but the Gibralter was nothing to write home about. Very floppy and loose to me. Also, I can't imagine they'll be able to offer it in a double pedal configuration.
Otherwise we saw the increasing quality of finishes across the board. Even "low-end" kits are getting their fair share of quality stains and wraps. A far cry from the crummy orange wrap on my first Pearl Maxwin drums! Just check out this finish from Pork Pie. Or this onefrom Mapex. Or this one from Sonor. Or this one from Pearl. Or this one from Spaun. They're like liquid wood. To die for.
People often ask us when we're going to start offering custom wraps, and while this will certainly be the year, I have to go on record with this: I am generally against wrapping drums! Given the sheer natural beauty you can get with wood finishes, it seems to be a crime to cover them with garish graphic wraps! That said, offering new wraps for already wrapped drums isn't a problem, so that's how I'm going to justify these new offerings to myself. :)
In summary, the show was big, overwhelming and exhausting. More eye and ear candy than it's possible for one person to process, but it's a heluva lot of fun to try! Until next year -- hopefully then we'll have a booth where you can come visit us!
Jim and the DrumART crew.By: Jim