Don't know if any of you were there, I was and just want to share my "insights". Please share yours.

Most importanly, Fender. One of the main reasons I went there was to visit the Jackson/Charvel booth. But there wasn't one. There wasn't even a Fender booth. What? The biggest guitar producer in the world doesn't show up at the biggest music instrument fair in the world? WTF? That's as if Toyota or Volkswagen didn't show up at the International Motor Show. Yamaha even rented their own hall ffs (but had very few guitars tbh). They issued a statement that people look at new gear on the internet and are less likely to care about the fair. Well, Gibson had a huge area that was overcrowded all the time, and most importantly, hundreds of people were eager to try their instruments and equipment. People who might have been interested in Jackson and Charvel were happily visiting Schecter, Ibanez, and ESP. Really, **** off Fender. Idiots.

Epiphone: I got an autograph by Tony Iommi and had to wait in the queue for an hour. Iommi was the one who made me once pick up the guitar, and Epiphone made it possible, because I couldn't afford a Gibson SG back then. Part of this event was meant to be promoting the new Epiphone Iommi signature SG, but they didn't have one on display. Duh.

ESP: displayed some crazy one-offs, but I didn't care much about those. More interesting to me was that they still do 6-string baritones and actually made a new one:


Neck was a bit thick for my liking, but still nice to see and play.

edit: website says neck is "thin U". It's not thin, believe me.

Orange: gave me a nice stylish bag. Thanks!

Ibanez: Never was a great Ibanez fan, but they made an awesome baritone: the PWM100, a Paul Waggoner (no idea who that is) signature. It's a light S or SA (?) grey wood baritone guitar with a trem, and totally awesome. It went a bit out of tune when I used the trem, but the nut may not have been locked tightly enough, or it might have been just one of those badly-produced show models, or at least I hope so. I'm definitely keeping my eye on this one. So why isn't it in the catalogue they offered, and why can't I find it regularly on their site? Google finds it:


Gibson: turns out I really can't play LP anymore. Their 1-metre-thick necks are just too much for me. SG still rocks though. Their oversized "booth" was called "Gibson brands" and included Philips headphones and all sorts of stuff, no idea what that's about.

Schecter: interesting guitars, I heard loads of great things about Schecter, and they seem to be really popular these days, but the units they had there were shoddily put together. The cheapest model they had there (~EUR 400) had its neck pickup offset by roughly 5mm to the left and the magnets weren't anywhere near the strings. I hope that was just improvised show models. I also tried a EUR 1700 one with a sustainiac neck pickup and hated it. Didn't feel good and the sound from the sustainiac was awful. I also hold a grudge against them because they had a guitar giveaway and I didn't win it. Also, I wanted to try one of their insane one-octave-lower "baritone" guitars, but sadly they didn't have one there. Instead, half the guitars on display had too many strings. Anyway, still interested in the brand.

Laney: nothing new sadly, and no catalogues. Iommi signed there two hours later (after Gibson/Epiphone), and again hundreds queued up.

Vox: They have an interesting mini-thing that you put into your guitar jack and has USB and headphones outputs. Also, volume, gain etc. controls. Sadly, none of them worked when I tried them. Again, may be overstretched show models, still seems interesting for practising.

Marshall: had lots of new stuff, including those new coloured retro amps posted elsewhere on the forum, but didn't care much. Earphones, a fridge, t-shirts, beer. I forgot to buy Marshall beer. I hate myself. Not like I had to be convinced, I know Marshall makes the best amps by ten miles, obviously. Nothing interesting there really though.

Boss: they showed their new SY-300 analog guitar synthesizer that doesn't need anything glued on your guitar, just connected by your standard output jack. I was hugely interested in this, had to try it. Sadly, it was underwhelming. The sounds were interesting, but too experimental for my liking, couldn't think of any use for them in very most cases. More importantly, it was unreliable. After playing some chords, it seemed to crash, only transmitting a little bit of silent noise. Happened several times. I don't know if this was just the show model, but it was disappointing.

Line 6: Tried some floor board, forgot its name. Everything I could get out of it was beyond dreadful. They showed something that can digitally change the pitch of your guitar strings independently, but honestly I didn't care. Guess I'm one who just downtunes a guitar or not, and done.

Hughes & Kettner: showed off the Triamp Mark 3, that has two bazillion different sounds, but didn't click with me. Probably because a Marshall is far superior to anything else anyway.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Apr 20, 2015,
Sorry to read this about the SY-300, the demo seemed cool, sure I wouldn't pay 600€ for that anyway

that guitar is like falling in love with a stripper
modded Squier Strats
I was there, did my usual friday routine = check out gear and get drunk on free beer!

As to the OP, yes, Fender were missing. They´re even more about business than about music than even Gibson so their excuse is hardly a surprise. I´ve been off Fender since their first "Made in China" series with an actuall Fender decal on the headstock. Hell, even with Gibson, if it says Gibson on the headstock, regardless how crappy the guitar is, it is "Made in USA"!

Laney did have a niftly little tube driven recording pre-amp thingy that I liked. I don´t know what it´ll cost in the stores but at a reasonable price I might get it.http://www.laney.co.uk/news/introducing-the-irt-pulse

ESP won´t let you touch the good stuff so I avoid them.

Orange, yeah, I always grab a bag there.

Vox, Marshall, Line6 and Boss bore me to death so I avoid them.

If tone is in the knobs then the Hughes & Kettner TriAmp III must be the holy grail of tone! All my old Marshalls together don´t have as many knobs as that thing!

OK, now for my impressions:

Apart from the PA booths where there´s usually lots of free beer I always hit the "Palmer" booth. http://www.palmer-germany.com/mi/en/Guitar-Amplifiers.htm

These guys make excellent amps and lots of little helpers that really make sense. Plus, they have free beer!

Check out this little monster:


Another company that sadly suffers from lack of a decent distributer in Europe is https://www.facebook.com/OGREINSTRUMENTS

Their guitars are made out of some sort of magnesium alloy and they really rock.

One of my all-time favorite brands were also present with a big booth and lots of nice guitars http://www.lagguitars.de/

Since I speak French they invited me to their factory - again - and I really really plan to go!

I played this there:


The guys from D'Angelico guitars were pretty cool too. They let me rip some OZZY tunes on some really expensive instruments.

I topped it off by watching Simon Phillips play an extremely boring and needless to say disappointing prog-rock set. Showing off that you can play doesn´t make a song, dear Simon!
Yes, the Laney IRT-Pulse is interesting, but I knew about it already, so nothing new to me on the Musikmesse itself.

It's € 250 in Germany, so I'd expect ~200 quid in the UK. Don't know about America, what with all the shipping etc.

What I like about the TriAmp is that you can switch between 6L6 and EL34 valves. But for EUR 500 less, I get a Marshall JVM410 and a 120W Laney Ironheart, so I guess that'd make more sense for my needs.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Apr 21, 2015,
Quote by Knarrenheino

Vox: They have an interesting mini-thing that you put into your guitar jack and has USB and headphones outputs. Also, volume, gain etc. controls. Sadly, none of them worked when I tried them. Again, may be overstretched show models, still seems interesting for practising.

Turns out those Amplugs with headphone jacks are in the EUR 30-50 range. What I tried (well, tried to try) was the Amplug I/O for EUR 70 which has USB and comes with its own sound software. Cheaper than I thought, I expected 100+. I think I'll get one of those soon.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Apr 21, 2015,