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AMAC day 3, socials and wrap up

Alfred Publishing
New Les Pauls on AMI stand
Blackstar amps UK visitors
Deering banjoes on the Zenith Stand
GJ2 guitars on National Music stand
Luna on National too
Braegen Russell demos for Boss
G Series Takamines for Pro Music
Percussion exotica from Threeworlds
Woodwind and Brass and Superslick
New L16 guitars from Yamaha












Sakai drums on Hot Apple















Ambre Hammond


When we last reported, AMAC delegates were about to head to the marquee for the ‘Soiree’. As attendees entered the tent, the irrepressible Jon Hammond played his hip Hammond organs grooves. The Brassholes, a bunch of talented kids from Logan Secondary College funked it up and showed what a few good rehearsals mentored by the right people can do. They came out of a fantastic joint program called Courtesy ‘A-Venue”, an initiative between Arts Queensland and City of Gold Coast. Roland’s Brendan Callinan then introduced the amazing Ambre Hammond to the stage. Ambre performed a dramatic version of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 and told of her incredible project Girl Piano Truck, which involves her placing a piano in a truck and taking it around the world to underprivileged communities. Lloyd Spiegel returned to AMAC for his second year in a row and showed why he’s one of Australia’s most respected blues guitar players. Lloyd was joined by Vince Contarino for a rousing blues closer. Those who still had a little steam to let off, hung at the Gallery lounge for a jam with some familiar industry faces on stage including John Keane, Shannon Sullivan, Rob Walker, Tony Burn and Leah Andrews.

Day 3 was all about the gear. Over the next week or so Australian Musician will bring you a more detailed report and some video demos on the gear presented at AMAC but for now, just a short heads up on what we haven’t covered to date. Beginning with the back corner of the trade floor, Yamaha were proudly displaying a range of beautiful new L16 series acoustic guitars, the MG series mixers, a cool looking¬† white version of the Motif XF8 workstation synth and a new Stage Custom Birch drum kit. More on all of that soon. Richard Douglas from Pro Music keenly showed me the new Takamine G Series with solid tops, new electronics and lighter bracing. National Music were happy to present their Elixir coated string range, JTS microphones, T-Rex pedals, as well as guitars from Breedlove, Tanglewood, and Luna. Also on the guitar front, they have acquired the range of custom shop GJ2 guitars from Grover Jackson and John Gold, including their impressive road-worn models.

On the National Audio Systems stand, the Blackstar guys proudly presented the new ID: Core guitar amps, an innovative new product with a mind-boggling array of features for entry level players. The super wide stereo effects blew us away. It won best new product at Winter NAMM this year. Again, a more detailed report about Blackstar at AMAC soon. Over on the Roland exhibit, things were abuzz with the first look at a brand new product which we can’t say too much about yet. Keyboard wise, new F130R and RP401R entry level pianos in modern and traditional cabinet styles looked attractive propositions for dealers. Braegen Russell demoed the new Waza Craft Boss pedal range for us and we’ll have video of that coming up. I sat down on the Fender stand to plug into a new Gretsch G5034TFT Rancher acoustic/electric with Bigsby and what a deep, rich amazing sound that had. Zenith Music presented a wide array of brands including Corboda guitars and ukes, Esteve Spanish guitars, Deering banjoes, Saga and Blueridge guitars, Regal Dobros and a heap more. Threeworlds attracted a lot of interest with their handmade percussion products and spontaneous drum circles. Brass and wind wise there was much to see too from Woodwind and Brass Musical Instruments, Select Music supplies, KJ Music, and Grevillea. Epoch’s Australian made carbon fibre stringed instruments always impress and company owner Mark Mitchell is as enthusiastic as ever. Bosch exhibited their Electro-Voice, Dynacord and Telex gear.A highlight of their stand were the Electro-Voice ZLX passive and powered loudspeakers. Hot Apple Distribution was a new company to AMAC showing is their case, bag and accessories ranges. Musico were prominent with Jon Hammond demoing their Hammond XK-1C, plus their range of Schimmel, Bernstein and Wilhelm pianos. Optimum Percussion had some really interesting kids percussion gear and mallets. The Resource Corporation who supplied the wonderful Sony Music Video camera we used throughout the weekend, also showed their consistent Konig & Meyer range of stands and accessories. Also on stand was the brilliant Blue DI from ARX, a bluetooth mixing device. Apart from all of the gear at AMAC, there were also a heap of companies providing the industry with quality services. Studio 19 offer fantastic, flexible terms on renting the latest musical instruments. When John Keane wasn’t jamming in the gallery lounge, he was spruiking his National Insurance Replacement Scheme. Also offering great advice were AON Insurance and Commonwealth Bank. The print music people including Alfred Publishing, Music Sales and Hal Leonard were in force with plenty to offer.¬† The other companies we covered in our day 2 report but there will be much more to come.

As 4pm Monday came around, the atmosphere was very positive with many commending the AMAC organisers on a job well done. Delegates had enjoyed three days of networking, gained valuable sessions with speakers who really knew their stuff, were entertained and from what I could gather from the floor talk, were satisfied commercially. Stay close to Australian Musician as we bring you video and more information from AMAC 2014.

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