Summer NAMM 2021 was filled with the biggest products, services and technologies but only a handful will be the best-sellers this year. In a panel moderated by Frank Alyker, publisher of Music Inc. and UpBeat Daily magazines, a panel of top music retail judges revealed their winning picks for “Best in Show” at Summer NAMM 2021.
There were 17 products across four categories that were picked to be “best in show” at Summer NAMM 2021. The panel judges included Geoff Metts of Five Star Guitars, Robert Christie of A & G Central Music, Leslie Stirm of Instrumental Music Center and Tim Spicer of Spicer’s Music.
Round 1: Best Add-ons and Accessories
It’s a new guitar health monitoring system that puts the vital signs of your Taylor guitar into the palm of your hand. TaylorSense alerts you when your guitar needs care by communicating via low-energy Bluetooth between the TaylorSense smart battery box and the free TaylorSense App on your iOS or Android mobile device. Shaped by Taylor’s extensive guitar care expertise, TaylorSense is calibrated to send you timely alerts and includes easy-to-follow videos that show you how to solve problems when they arise. The real game changer with this product is the phone app. It is so innovative which makes this product a standout.
Featuring planar drivers for extreme detail, and supreme comfort for long sessions, Avantone’s Planars are a perfect solution for mix engineers, musicians, podcasters, live-streamers, and hi-fi enthusiasts. The plastic technology that generates the sound is a game changer here, and it allows sound through the entire spectrum from dogs to elephants. It is light-weight, durable, and portable.
The D’Addario Auto Lock Guitar Strap is a simple integrative strap locking system built for performance. The latch is spring-loaded, so it automatically clamps down on the strap button and will not release unless desired. It works with most strap buttons on the market. Designed for players of all genres, D’Addario woven straps offer designs that will please even the most discerning player. From iconic themes to unique patterns and artwork, these durable straps are sure to accent any guitar and are adjustable from 30” – 55” long. Materials include: Nylon, PolyPro, Skater and Padded. Designed in collaboration with Ned Steinberger.
They are on obvious and simple add-on item when purchasing a new guitar or new strap for that matter. Basic reason to buy is that they ensure that the guitar stays securely connected to the strap.
Manufactured by Persona Medical and developed by their lead engineer – a musician for over 20 years – Earasers filter out loud noise while still allowing you to hear at a safe, comfortable level. Earasers are not just great for the music industry, they provide hearing protection for many situations from lawn care and industrial work to motorsports and sleeping.
Earasers don’t plug up your ears and muffle sound like more conventional earplugs. These ear buds sit at great price point and also has a keychain case for an additional add-on perk!
Round 2: Gotta Stock It
The Patent-Pending Guitar Pillow is an extremely lightweight foam device which easily attaches to your electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar and allows you to safely and confidently lean your guitar against a wall, a desk, a table, an amp, etc….and YES, you can still tune the guitar with it attached. Basically, this space saving device that allows you to safely store guitar like against the wall without falling over.
The Triplegraph is a digital octave pedal designed by CopperSound Pedals and Jack White, featuring three proprietary telegraph keys and an integrated auxiliary loop. Utilizing a high-power DSP Blackfin Processor, Triplegraph triggers an octave down with the left key, octave up with the right key, while the middle key activates a killswitch or auxiliary loop. In KILL mode, the middle key acts as a momentary killswitch, allowing the player to remove their dry signal and attain a fully wet octave up and/or down when used in conjunction with the octave keys. In AUXILIARY mode, the player can connect one or more of their favorite effects in parallel with the octaves via the send/return jacks, and trigger them in momentary bursts. The high and low octaves can be triggered in parallel with the dry signal when the octave keys are pressed independently. The octaves themselves track seamlessly with zero latency, and can be triggered in latching or momentary modes, using our “Loctave” toggle switches. The telegraph keys themselves are composed of custom stainless steel and aluminum components, making them indestructible and exceedingly durable for both hand and foot operation. Over four years in the making, the collaborative result is an innovative, state of the art clean-tracking octave pedal, capable of standing its own against industry standards.
The Ortega QuantumLoop is great for scaled back performances, since live performance is just returning. It is the flagship of their Stomp Box collection, the QUANTUMloop digital multi percussion stomp box and looper packs 16 digital percussion samples and a looper with up to 5 minutes of recording time into a convenient, intuitive unit. Add the ability to import your own custom samples, and the performance possibilities are practically endless. It has 4 empty slots so that you can create your own custom sample loops. Talk about a one man band.
Key Features: ampled percussion sounds in two banks: Dry Kick Drum, Fat Kick Drum, Sweet Kick Drum, ’80s Electro, Deep Cajon, Slap Cajon, Doumbek Slap, Cowbell, Ballad Snare, Soul Snare, The Rim, Foot Hi Hat, The Clap, Finger Snip, Short Shake, Tambourine; space for two user-generated samples in each bank; volume control; dynamic control; looper level; 1/4″ input and output; 1/4″ input for optional expression trigger pedal; USB port; DC 9V power (adapter included)
XS Strings are a true technological breakthrough in coated strings. This groundbreaking innovation offers players maximum life, an unprecedented level of strength and stability—all without sacrificing our iconic D’Addario tone.
Setting XS apart from other strings is the new, impossibly thin film coating (1/10 the thickness of a human hair) that completely protects the wound strings from corrosion, without dampening the tone. This new film covering is combined with D’Addario’s proprietary dispersion coating, used in their XT line, to protect the plain steel strings as well.
These are huge sellers already; packaging stand-out; coated on all 6 strings – more realistic feel; hold their tune and don’t break as easily are some of the biggest take aways.