Went into the day with a vague plan that was quickly broken apart by distractions. I call these "squirrel" moments. I would head one direction, see something else, then have to go look at that. So I sort of pulled the same routine I did yesterday.
I initially started out by wanting to hit the things I found most interesting. Yamaha's "new" Hex Rack II, Ludwigs Atlas series hardware, Zildjians Gen 16 cymbals (introduced last year), and Drumrcraft and Crush Drums and Percussion. I did get to those places, but along the way I stopped to revisit things I'd already seen and took some more pictures.
I also got to meet Todd Sucherman face to face and had a brief chat with Nate Morton at the Pearl booth. We'll be doing an interview with Nate soon.
One thing I have been asked a few times is if I'm actually doing interviews at the show this year. I hadn't scheduled any and I usually pick up one during the show and a handful to do, or try to do, during the course of the year. I hadn't really given any thought to interviews this year, short possibly hooking up with a couple people I met at Woodstick 2011. In the end Nate was really the only person I've asked since arriving and that was a chance meeting. I've seen plenty of names this year, Zoro, Jason Bittner to name two.
Then I decided that the show really isn't about that for us - it's about the gear. The drums and the equipment that allows us as drummers to do what we do best.
That aside my first stop this morning was the Yamaha booth again, in order to get some better pictures of the hex rack and to give it another look. It is an amazing rack system, kin to the Gibraltar rack hardware in its flexibility, but the tubes are hexagonal in shape versus the round tubing on the Gibraltar hardware. The hexagon tubing on the Hex 2 differs from the original in that there are now grooves along the flat surfaces of the hexagon. Even with that it still retains compatability with the original Hex rack so if you own one your original investment can be dusted off.
There are so many add on parts for this rack system that the possibilities are absolutely endless with what you can do with it. The first thing we saw walking into Yamaha's display was this beast:
And that photo only does it limited justice. It's just an amazing rack system and I have to give props to Yamaha for the re-design and implementation.
After that I decided to get back into the main show floor to take a look at the new Ludwig hardware. They've branded three lines under the Atlas name this year, Pro, Classic, and Standard. I really need to dive into the literature on these but I think Ludwig finally has a winning hardware series all told.
The Atlas Pro gear is pretty heavy duty, designed for heavy use on the road.
The Atlas Classic line is a series of flat based, lighter weight stands designed for "optimum set-ups" in tight spaces. They are indeed very light weight stands but felt pretty solid and should do well. I love the flexibiltiy of the feet on the stands so you can adjust them over or under adjacent stands, which has always been a weakness in any flat based stand design:
I didn't really take any photos of the Standard line, while it is decent enough hardware it's really tiered at the bottom of the ladder. It felt sturdy enough though, just not as quality as the Pro line or versitile as the Classic.
Next I swung into the Roland booth as I had neglected them yesterday. The big new here is the replacement for the venerable TD20 - the, drumroll please, TD30:
While the pads are pretty much the same from the TD20, the module is redesigned. I could have spent hours with this thing and still not touched on half of what it can do but it is quite the piece of gear. I'm sure it also carries quite the price tag.
On the opposite end - and actually something I'm very interested in, is the replacement for the HD1 - the HD3. I played on this a little and had a blast...
The pads have better feel and everything just works with this. I would love to have one of these in my office or in the house so when I can't play my regular kit I could at least get some time in on something other than a practice pad.
Since this is really supposed to be just a daily write up and not a full on review I'm just going ot touch briefly on some of the other things I ran into today that caught my eye...
Cymbal wise, everything's pretty much on par with where it was last time I came ot the show, although I have noticed a few more "Turkish" made brands popping up. Zildjians Gen 16's, given my interest in combining electonics and acoustics, are still the most interesting thing I touched at the show this year. Not much from Sabian, Paiste, or Zildjians traditional cymbal lines caught my interest much - however I spent minimal time in any cymbal booth short taking photos. So we'll see what I can unearth tomorrow. Here's some random shots:
There almost as many cymbal manufacturers right now as there are drum makers - if not it's pretty damn close. Diril, Istanbul, Turkish, Soultone, Sabian, Zildjian, Paiste, Dream, AA Meinl, and a handful of others. It's a crowded market - but it's GREAT to have so many choices.
The last thing I want to touch on today is a drum company I literally stumbled on (as in I damn near knocked over one of their display snares on the corner of the booth. I'm glad no one saw me!). Evidenlty they were introduced last year and no one told me. Natal Drums. Natal is a subsidiary company of Marshall Amps. That's where I found them - as I was wandering about aimlessly in the dreaded "NAMM Day 2 Daze of Sensory Overload" state. So I will be digging into this company a little further and see if I can get some my hands on something in the near future:
So that's about all I'm going to say about today. Click this link: http://www.drumrock.com/gallery-day-2.aspx to hit up our photo gallery with ALL the photos taken today.
Tomorrows write up will be short and sweet with a full on editorial (not so much a show review, but an editorial, as I have a lot of opinions I want to air this year).
Winter NAMM 2012
January 20, 2012