Winter NAMM 2019 Show Highlights

Stand out products that you should know about

Published January 31, 2019 by Nathan H.

From January 24th to January 27th, music retailers and manufacturers from around the world gathered in sunny Anaheim, California for one of our industry’s most popular events, the Winter NAMM Show. Winter NAMM 2019 was full of improved and limited edition pieces, exciting new products, pre-show launches, and some large surprises. There’s a lot of information out there to digest, so we’ve put together a little highlight reel of some of our favorites from this eventful show.

Black and White Keys

We love black and white keys and this year brought out some great additions to keyboards and digital pianos. One favorite of the Kraft crew is the Casio PX-S1000 Digital Piano, a welcome addition to the famed Privia line. It is extremely slim, stylish, and is smartly designed. With touch controls that only show themselves when the piano is powered on, a small footprint, expertly sampled sounds, and a strong speaker system, the PX-S1000 is perfect for just about any player, especially for just $599.99. Check out our full article with insight from two Kraft Music Sales Advisors here.

Yamaha aims to shake up the stage piano marketplace with the new CP73 and CP88 Stage Pianos. Just one look at these instruments will give you a sense of what they’re going for, but the straight forward one-to-one interface really brings it home for us. No more endless menu diving here. Plus, the new toggle switches and vintage looking buttons not only add style and flair, but a true practicality element for gigging musicians. Want to hear what they sound like? Check out this video. CP73 starts at $1999.99 and CP88 at $2499.99.

There can never be enough quality options for digital pianos in the $500 price range. Roland’s brand new FP-10 is a strong competitor with other brands that have dominated this price point for years. It’s compact, feels great, has Roland’s amazing sounds, and has Bluetooth connectivity. For just $499.99, the FP-10 is ready to make its mark.

Synth Uprising

Something that we’ve been talking a lot about is the increase in entry-level and step-up synth products. There are a lot of budget-friendly options out there that sound absolutely stellar. This year’s show brought out more exciting products you’ll want to check out. By calling their new synth an “experimental hybrid”, Arturia sets the tone for their unusual and appealing MicroFreak. This synthesizer features a digital oscillators, analog filters, flat and expressive keys, a sequencer, and a mod matrix. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All of this is packed into the impossibly low $299 price tag.

The pre-orders keep rolling for the the newest additions to the Volca line of synthesizers by Korg. Their new Volca Modular makes modular synthesis accessible with its use of 50 patch points, allowing for easy learning and nearly endless sonic possibilities. Taking beat making in a new direction, the Volca Drum creates sounds by DSP-powered analog modeling. These aren’t your typical sounds and the new and improved sequencer bring a lot to the table. The applications for these new Volcas are vast, especially with the price points. The Volca Modular starts at $199.00 and the Volca Drum at $149.99. Get in line, folks! But while you’re waiting, be sure to check out our videos that give you a closer look.

A Game Changer and a Throwback

The words “game changer” are tossed around like candy these days. But every now and again, a product gets released that truly deserves the title. Fender and Fishman teamed up to create the surprising and unexpected Acoustasonic Telecaster. This is not your standard thinline acoustic guitar. This is not an acoustic version of a Telecaster. This is an instrument that was crafted to bring extreme versatility and excellent acoustic tones to your fingertips. With a flip of the voice selector position and turn of the mod knob, you can create impeccable sounds from a variety of acoustic guitar body styles. But they didn’t stop there. It also has clean and dirty electric sounds as well. This instrument is definitely more than meets the eye and we can’t wait to see more. Stay tuned for more details.

As much as the world continues to get smaller, sometimes there just no substitute for a good, solid, large instrument. The Hammond Porta-B is answering the call, bringing their “king-sized portable” organ to the floor. You get all the features you love, plus a few more like an on board speaker system. This really has an old school vibe, but brings in the modern advances that you’ve come to expect from Hammond. The Porta-B starts at $5995, will be available in two finish options, and has an option stand that will bring it right to B3 height.

Other notables are a host of new Fender signature and alternate reality electric guitars, Behringer’s affordable MS-101, special edition colors for the Korg Kross, a refresh for the Korg Krome, and expanded features and additions to the Minilogue with the new Minilogue XD.

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