Today I'll concentrate on audio gear, Tuesday on music gear, and Wednesday on oddities. Let's get down to it.
Transaudio Group introduced the Sonodyne SM200Ak, a larger version of their already excellent 50 and 100 speakers. I've been using the 50's for about a month and I've got to say that it's one of the finest small desktop speaker that I've heard. Can't wait to hear the 200's for real.
Speaking of speakers, SE Munro showed studio designer Andy Munro's Egg 150 monitors. I've read a lot about the concept behind the speakers and I'm anxious to hear them for real. Unfortunately, NAMM is not the place.
Here's a company that I'm not familiar with at all, but their Airmotiv 6 monitors sounded terrific on the show floor. With so many speaker companies already in the game, it makes you wonder why another company would try to take a piece of a saturated market as well, but it seems like they may really have something here.
Speaking of speakers, you can't really hear them well unless you have some great stands, and the isoacoustics stands claim to be the best there is. I don't know about that yet, but they sure seem like they're the most adjustable.
Line 6 entered into the sound reinforcement business with an entire new line of products, including the Stagescape M20d, a mixer that has a new user interface that's almost entirely graphic. Could this be the future of consoles?
The Stagescape L3T and L3M powered speaker system and sub have a tremendous amount of features that aren't readily apparent, but they sure sounded good with music played through them. It should be interesting to see what happens with these products in the future.
The always hi-quality Dangerous Music showed this cool monitor box. Sorry, but I lost the info on it. Wish I had one right now.
I had expected this to be a huge iPad show, expecting a ton of interfaces, peripherals and apps. There were a few, but not what I expected. The Alto Masterlink Live is a 16 channel mixer with an iPad dock. I understand that Mackie also introduced a similar product, but I never spotted it at the show.
Marshall showed a number of mics they claimed were designed for the iPad, and there were a number of devices that used the iPad as a controller, like this Pimitec personal monitor system.
This was also a headphone show. It seems like the Dr. Beats phones that have become so popular exposed a huge market that hasn't been serviced and every manufacturer now wants a piece, although it's probably now too late. Just like most mics come from one Chinese factory (737, which also had a booth at the show), I wouldn't be surprised if all the headphones came from the same place as well.
There were no shortage of blatant knock-off products at the show by Chinese manufacturers. Here's a box that looks like it comes from Shure, but they're all imitations.
One of the funniest conversations that I listened in on was with a used-car-style salesman from a new mic company relentlessly telling producer-engineer legend Ken Scott about how cheap his mics were and how much money Ken could make because the margin was so high. Ken, being the gentleman that he is, just allowed him to rant.
Tomorrow we'll look at some music instruments from NAMM.
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