NAMM 2006






....was a yawner. It was anticipated, as there wasn't much new, virtually the same lineup as last year with some notable additions. There are 2 new Prestige RG puzzle top models. Literally, a puzzle. The RG20062 is flat red and is pieces or flame maple and quilted maple put together in classic jigsaw puzzle format. The second is the RG20063 which is maple and ovankol so it's blond and brown[ish]. The RG20061 is an RGT220A that's literally been barbequed to a nice chocolaty brown. The new S series Geiger debuted with the design sandblasted into the top and headstock ala the JEM90th. VERY cool, although it is Japanese production the finish work will be Korean. The Mick Thompson model also debuted, Korean with a $1733 list price while the K7 directly above it is pure MIJ at $1999 leaves me wondering the rhyme and reason. The MTM is a neck through with EMG's and does come with a unique red covered UV1000 case if that partly explains the pricing, but there are other MIK's at $1733 also, the SZ4020FM and the SA2120FM. There's a new SAS36FM to match the SZ720, both with abalone purfled flame tops and flame heads but the real kick of the show were the Artcore Customs. I thought they were J Custom shop necks then Chinese finished, but, superb ball end fretwork is the spec for these guitars and superb it is. This proves there is at least one real craftsman working in China, and he's building some guitars for Ibanez. There is a new Noodles model, but, WHO CARES!! [no offense to any Noodles fans, I'm just getting too old to have a clue!!]

Some minor fluctuations in pricing, some rose almost unnoticeably, while some decreased, ie. the BRMR price is up $6.66 [devillish!!] while the RGA321 fell $66. The JS1200 up $10, the 1000 up $4.33 LOL All in all nothing that would raise an eyebrow, but strange considering Ibanez' propensity to eat minor hikes in favor of larger ones later. More on this when I actually do my report! [I'll actually be working on it tonight but since I don't have any pics to load I'll just be tweaking last years report, since mostly, that's what this years show is anyway ;)

The best news is that word of the problems with the J Craft case not contacting the top of the guitar body has finally reached a high enough level that a redesign is in the works. Also good news is that while nut heights on double lockers have been getting better the point that it needs to go much lower for serviceable adjustment through a guitars life was finally conveyed to someone that will hopefully be able to convince Fugijen. I had wanted to touch base with somebody high enough to find out if HUSA or Ibanez had any strategy to address the rash of fakes now being very publicly offered for sale around the world but it just didn't get done with all that was going on. Hopefully Ibanez will see the need for among other things, a strong eBay VERO program to get all these fake auctions nipped in the bud. If these fakes can't find a marketplace on eBay for the most part a lot of these sales will drop off as the sellers won't have a quick easy audience to sell to. I think we're all tired of seeing these, I know I am.

An interesting note is I was checking some serial numbers at the show and ran across an F06077**, 7700 guitars into the 06 year, on January 19th. This has firmly led me to believe that Ibanez starts using new year stickers at some point toward the end of the previous year.



This years NAMM report was a few days late. It's was the trip from Hell and instead of compounding the aggravation, I just relaxed and did it when I got home. The whole problem was I forgot my smart card reader. There's a little more to the story than that. I got a call at 6:45 Wednesday morning to tell me my 11:30 flight was cancelled. We had a bad storm on but IMO nothing that should cancel a flight! I'm such a frequent flyer that I've never had one cancelled and wasn't sure of the situation or options. My recorded message told me I was rescheduled for Thursday at 6:25AM getting in at 12:30. After a lot of calls I got rescheduled at 12:30 Wednesday getting in at 7:30PM at LAX instead of SNA, new car reservations, etc., but in making those arrangements I lost what time I'd normally be making sure everything I packed the night before, was everything I needed. Again, I forgot my smart card reader. The flights sucked, delayed out of Philly till 2:00, 3 hour layover in Detroit, I didn't get to my hotel till 10 last night.

My room, gads it smelled like somebody has spilled a whole bottle of orange oil in the carpet. The hotel was fully booked and I couldn't do anything about it until this morning when I changed rooms. It kept me up most of the night because it was so intense I just couldn't fall asleep. I can still taste oranges!! ;///

The show was the show, not much different except that every year I see more people I know so every year I stay later, out at 3:00 this year. Run to Best Buy to buy a new smart card reader [made that trip last night but they had already closed, flight delays!!] they only have these 12 in 1 readers instead of one like mine which is just a SM reader. Bottom line, I have to load drivers to be able to use it. I'm on a Vaio that has external drives, which are in my closet at home of course. Do a search and find the drivers I need and it turns out minimum OE is 98SE, of course I'm running 98 on this old laptop. I grabbed the Yellow Pages and breezed through but, by the time I find one, go get lost, get it, make my way back, eat [I'm starving!!!] it'll be 7:00 before I even get started. Screw it. You guys will just have to wait till I get home! ;o}


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