By Annette & Nowell Siegel (Living Tree Music)

NAMM 2019As we predominately make, restore and repair acoustic instruments we almost always make Hall E our first stop at NAMM, here you will find the majority of them outside of Martin and Taylor.

The Collings Company had an offshoot brand called the “Waterloo” which was the early name of Austin, TX where they’re based. These American made instruments are always worth a look. They had two flat top/back mandolins that were making a first appearance, with one sporting a black finish and the other a tobacco. They also had their carved top mandolin, it’s a quality build though we noted an x-bracing pattern under the top, which is different to what was used during “Golden Era” of Gibson mandolins.

Pair of Waterloo Mandolins Collings Carved mandolin

The major ingredient in making musical instruments is the wood and there were several vendors that brought some beautiful examples of imported and domestic woods. 

Hearnes Hardwood

Yep, we went home with some too!

And too keep your instruments in a happy humidity the folks at Boveda make an easy, no muss – no fuss way to achieve this. Bargain tip - they make these for all the “brand” names, so if you buy their brand it will save you a little bit of dough.

Boveda Humidifiers

Since we do our fair share of vintage instrument restorations we were drawn to the damaged top of an early 1800s Martin parlor guitar at their booth. They’d restored the #2 parlor guitar by replacing the top and finishing it in period correct materials. You could have this humble instrument for a mere $35,000.00 

1800 Martin Restore Front 1800 Martin Top Fingerboard Martin 1800 Guitar Restore

From the very old instruments to the very new, NAMM had a special area set up for boutique guitar builders the custom instruments here came from all over the world and had several creative examples to showcase the luthier’s craft. 

Boutique Guitars 1 Boutique guitars 2 Boutique Guitars 3

The popularity of the ukulele seemed to be going strong. This maker had many colorful examples.

Mahola Ukes

Overall it was nice to see NAMM making an effort to diversify their offerings and we look we forward to 2020!

Annette is one half of Living Tree Music & The Seagulls with her husband Nowell. She also holds a “Day” job working for the Bob Hope Estate/Family for the last 18 years. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.