Each year the guitar industry is summed up by a big development or a big trend. Last year very much felt like a return to analog sensibility in the pedal world.
The year before that though was all about iOS integration, hardware and software designed to connect your guitar to your phone.
And the year before that, there were huge developments in digital modelling, with major breakthroughs in combining digital with analog and also in developing high-end digital gear that sounded like the real deal.
So what'll it be next year? The early signs are that the major companies are very much looking to muscle in on the boutique market and the market position held by 'smaller' companies.
It might be a surprise, but the major players in the guitar world aren't always the ones with their ears to the ground. It's the next tier down, and those companies at the very foot of the industry, who often know best about what it is that guitarists want.
This is because the decision making is done by people who play guitar every day, and not businessmen/women who are paid ludicrous wages to decide what it is that guitarists want.
Many of these companies were already successful, but they changed with the times and appealed to modern players.
The big companies struggled to keep up, but it came as a surprise when, out of nowhere, Yamaha released the THR and scored some major points with tone-freaks such as you and I.
Products such as Roland/Fender's joint guitar venture didn't quite hit the right note, and Peavey's AT-200 guitar was a bit of a let down, but they are all knocking on the door.
It's all about knowing your audience, that audience is essentially you guys, the people reading this right now. From what we've seen and heard at Sonic HQ, a few of the major companies are going to get it right when 2014 comes around, with some really exciting products on the way.
Expect a wave of products designed for guitarists who are all about tone. The major selling point in recent years has been seen as flexibility, but this is all wrong. Companies were missing out on the basics.
Expect products that get the basics done properly, products that sound great and feel great to use/play.
Instead of using technology as the main selling point for a product, technology will be used to enhance an already fantastic product.
The big companies are finally getting it, we're going to see great amps and pedals, as well as some exciting developments on the guitar front too.
Obviously there will always be dud products when NAMM comes around in January and the guitar world congregates in California to announce their new stock, but it won't be quite as hit and miss as previous years.
Our lips are currently sealed on the details, but there's certain things we've already got on our shopping list.
Come on guys. Don't dangle the carrot then do a runner!
We need hints.
We need hints.
10-Sep-13 07:50 PM
I want to see Epiphone come out with an ES-359 with some great finishes like quilted tobacco sunburst.
12-Sep-13 02:29 PM
Im looking forward to namm show 2014. With all the new equiment thats gonna come put
23-Oct-13 02:50 AM
What I know so far: Washburn: New Ola Englund signature "Solar" 6 and 7 strings. Music Man: New re-designed John Petrucci "Majesty" model. Ibanez: Kiko L. signatures. Budda/Peavey: Signature Alex skolnick head. ESP: USA factory, Alex Skolnock Sig models. Charvel: Guthrie Govan Signature.
03-Dec-13 09:53 AM
All I know is I am foaming at the mouth to find out what Waves are up to!
27-Dec-13 07:36 AM