As Winter approaches here in Australia, I’m reminded of that awesome Summer I had visiting Los Angeles for their Winter. Clearly those seasonal changes played tiny tricks on my feeble mind, because in the months since I was in Los Angeles I have not written about everything I should have from that wonderful experience I’ve decided to call The NAMM Show 2015. It makes sense to call it that actually, because that was it’s name.
One of my favourite experiences at The NAMM Show 2015 was visiting the booth for ToneWood-Amp. I’ve written about ToneWood-Amp before, but let me tell you, seeing and hearing is believing. This thing is way better than I’d imagined.I initially caught up with Helene from ToneWood Amp and it was an interesting experience to be honest. This was the first time I’d really walked up to someone and said (out loud) “Hi. I’m … Scarebear”. It’s not something I generally say on account of my real name that I generally use when introducing myself. But at NAMM, I was there representing my web persona I guess.
Luckily it worked and Helene didn’t seem obviously put off by my lack of actual celebrity.
After a quick chat, I was introduced to Ofer Webman (creator of ToneWood-Amp) who then took me into one of the soundproof booths at the end of the hall that ToneWood-Amp had their booth in. That was when the magic truly happened.
Ofer played some very nice acoustic pieces on the ToneWood-Amp demo guitar and it sounded great. I should also point out that the soundproof booths were quite refreshing at times. NAMM can get pretty damn loud! Anyhow, once I’d heard the acoustic guitar in its natural state, it was time to turn on the ToneWood-Amp to experience the difference. Online, my honest initial reaction could only be expressed like this …
I was quite honestly floored. I was speechless. The beautiful tones of the acoustic guitar sounded like they’d just been run through a mixer’s board and professionally produced for an epic acoustic CD recording. Months later as I type this, I can still remember how amazing that guitar sounded with the ToneWood-Amp switched on. I listened for a while as Ofer ran through some of the different settings. Each one sounded amazing. It was truly hard to believe that all of the sound and effects were coming through the acoustic guitar without any assistance from an amplifier and/or pedalboard.
I had to have a go.
I’ll say upfront that I’m a soft acoustic guitar player. Part of that is confidence and another part is I tend to play with the sides of my fingers (on my strumming/picking hand) and not with my finger nails or a plectrum. I prefer the muted sounds and tones the finger skin provides. I think I scared Ofer a little bit initially because the volume dropped between his playing and mine. Once I explained my playing style, all was good. In fact, I think it worked out perfectly because I discovered that even at lower volumes, the ToneWood-Amp produced sounds that were still quite amazing.
I remain amazed by this invention. I hope it does well. Regardless, it provided me with one of my favourite experiences from The NAMM Show 2015. For that I’ll remain forever grateful. I just wish I’d written about it earlier.
I also wish my camera had worked better on the day. In person Helene and Ofer are much less blurry than my photo below!
3 thoughts on “Things I should have already written since the NAMM Show 2015—Tonewood-Amp”
I’ve watched all the demo videos of the Tonewood amp, and of course they are done by some great guitarists, and also the sounds are lovely as far as I can tell. One thing that is not mentioned anywhere I’ve seen though is, Does the thing actually amplify the guitar significantly? I’m also a soft player and interested in the Tonewood not only for the sound effects, but as an actual amplifier. After all, it is called the Tonewood “Amp”. Having experienced it firsthand yourself, I’d appreciate your impression of this aspect. Does it boost the volume and if so, in a way to say, give one presence for small venues?
Any comments are appreciated!
I am also a quiet acoustic guitar player. Mine comes from confidence issues.
When I played the Tonewood Amp, I didn’t notice any volume increase which actually concerned the creator of the device because he thought it had stopped working. I played harder and he was calmer. Having said that, I do believe it was possible to amplify the device so that the effects were more prominent. I didn’t feel that was warranted. I could hear the difference and was impressed. I wasn’t looking for something to make the guitar seem louder without amplification. I was after something that improved the atmosphere of the acoustic guitar. Tonewood Amp did that perfectly.