The 2010 Nashville Amp Expo was an incredible experience this year. So many wonderful products and awesome builders. Unfortunately, two days doesn't give one nearly enough time to experience everything, so I had to carefully choose which rooms I dove into. Also, this year I felt it would be better if I were to elaborate a little more on each of the vendors and individuals I spent quality time with. The above sub-menu links to full blog posts based on my experiences with each of these fine builders and players.
When I looked at the calendar earlier this month and saw that the 2010 Nashville Amp Expo was just around the corner, I could not believe it. It seems like my wife and I were just there for the 2009 show a few months ago, not a year! These shows are so much fun and so inspiring that the experience stays with you long after the show ends.
For the uninitiated, the Nashville Amp Expo is held at the Hyatt Place in Brentwood, TN (just outside the state capitol of Nashville). The main sponsor, Creation Audio Labs, buys out the entire hotel and each vendor sets up his/her wares in the individual rooms on each floor. This is a brilliant idea (especially for a guitar amplifier show) as it cuts down tremendously on ambient noise when testing the gear. Other vendors are invited, as well... guitar builders, pedal and effects makers, cable makers and so on. It is basically a cornucopia of all things guitar related, i.e. "my idea of heaven". :)
This year Creation Audio Labs did a smart thing by grouping all the guitar builders, pedal and effects guys and other "non-amp" products on the same floor. The amp and cabinet vendors, conversely, were located on the other floors (there are five total floors in the hotel, and all of them were full!). This made demo'ing guitars and pedals much more enjoyable than last year. It's a bit difficult to hear the nuance of a beautifully hand-crafted acoustic guitar with a full-stack Marshall clone blasting on "11" across the hallway. It was a great idea to separate the two and it shows how the Expo is maturing and improving each year.
Among the great vendors at the show were Mesa Boogie, Shaw Amps, Delgado Guitars, George L's cables, Ark Amps, VVT, Hipkitty, Satellite Amps, Peavey, Egnater Amps and Larrivee guitars. I just love getting to meet a lot of the people behind the brands and products that I use and read about online and in magazines. It truly is a treat.
As usual everyone was gracious and inviting. Even my wife, who is not a player, always leaves these shows filled with excitement, inspiration and a passion to create something. Being surrounded by all that talent and creativity does something positive to you. It's really hard to describe, but I can say if you've never been to one of these you must make it a priority to come out and enjoy next year's Expo. You wont' regret it!