The 2017 NAMM Show will be memorable for a number of reasons, though not all of them will be remembered fondly. For starters, it rained throughout most of the show’s run, from 19 to 22 Jan., a condition few could recall happening with the same duration and intensity. The deluge helped partially reverse California’s six-year-long drought, but also had the NAMM armies of an estimated 95,000 attendees and exhibitors running for cover.
But it was also a stark reminder of how the MI and pro audio industries have become much more sensitive to, and about, environmental issues, from energy efficiency to how and where wood used for guitars and other instruments is sourced. Days earlier, on 2 Jan., new regulations stemming from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) went into effect, with a particular emphasis on rosewoods, which are a prime tonewood for guitars. These new rules are expected to be both burdensome and expensive to makers of musical instruments, and they were on both NAMM radars and the minds of MI manufacturers at the show. NAMM’s own statistics show guitars as still the leading