On Saturday, Music China 2019 swung open its doors to the public. And visitors came in droves, accounting for a significant portion of the expected turnout of 170,000 people over four days. (Comparatively, Winter NAMM 2019 attracted 115,000 registered guests.) The result? Booths bursting at the seams with attendees – even children – trying out guitars, amps and pedals.
These are our highlights of Day 3:
Gretsch & EVH
Like at NAMM, Fender’s specialty brands – Gretsch, Jackson, EVH and Charvel – were housed under one roof at Music China. Their local distributor, GuitarCube, also represents Strymon, Suhr, Friedman and Milkman, among other high-end brands from the West.
Gretsch took up centre-stage of GuitarCube’s booth, with a wall of Jets, Broadkasters and Falcons looming over the space. If you’ve ever wondered which single-cut Gretsch archtop best suits your needs, check out our shootout between three models in the brand’s Streamliner, Electromatic and Professional collections.
The Bumblebee replica, announced at Summer NAMM 2019, made an appearance alongside the full cast of Van Halen tribute models.
From one metal-leaning brand to another: ESP, where vivid quilted tops and shred-friendly appointments were the orders of the day.
Eastman & Bourgeois
Given the recent partnership that both brands had inked, Eastman and Bourgeois shared a single booth at Music China.
More gems from Eastman.
Dana Bourgeois, the craftsman behind his namesake brand, has been building jaw-dropping acoustics for more than four decades – as these immaculate, ornate specimens prove.
As one of China’s leading musical instruments companies, Mooer has managed to combine innovation, quality and affordability. Its newest product, the GE300, is an example of that. In our review, we called it “a modern multi-effects with huge versatility and depth that deserves a place on your must-try list”.
The sibling to the Black Truck, the Red Truck is a multi-effects board that packs in reverb, delay, boost, overdrive, distortion and modulation.
Hotone is another Chinese name that’s making waves internationally. Here’s the Ampero, a versatile multi-effects unit and modelling processor.
The (literal) star of Cort’s booth: the Seven Stars Ltd, complete with a constellation fretboard inlay.
Jeffrey Yong Guitars
Malaysian luthier Jeffrey Yong specialises in acoustics made with exotic tonewoods and materials from his region. This JJ Model has a soundboard crafted from a 1,000-year-old Sequoia redwood, back and sides from maple and golden lacewood, as well as a Malaysian blackwood fretboard and bridge.