Day Three, Saturday, was my final day at NAMM this year. It's also the day I saw what proved to be my favorite gear of the entire show - the Yamaha THR stereo practice amps. Rated at 10watts, the THRs utilize amp-modeling and built-in effects to generate a wide variety of tones that all sound awesome. The two models, the THR5 and THR10, are essentially the same, though the THR10 offers a few more amp models and the ability the save up to 5 user presets. I played through one of the THR10s with a Yamaha SBG, and was blown away by the thick, tube-like tone, and the validity of the built-in effects. Other features include a USB post, and bundled Cubase software for home recording. Plus, they just look cool. Pricing appears to be in the $300-$500 range. I think I need to have one.
Saturday was also loaded with numerous celebrities and monster players. Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse and many other big-name musicians made appearances, causing foot-traffic jams at nearly every turn. I had a great time watching Dean Brown play at the MI booth, Matt Garrison jamming with Hadrian Feraud, Carl Verheyen and Steve Trovato tearing it up at LSL, and several other on-floor performances. I also met one of my fusion heros, violin legend Jerry Goodman (he looks ornery in the picture I took, but he couldn't have been a nicer guy).
Saturday night I was lucky enough to attend the epic Ernie Ball 50th Anniversary party - an amazing way to cap off a great trip (more on this all-star event later). All-in-all, it was another fantastic NAMM show packed with cool gear and incredible players. Look for my full photo gallery soon.
More pics from NAMM 2012: