Music & Sound Retailer April 2020, Vol 37 No 4

Page 46

U N DER T H E HOOD

Yamaha NX Series

By Brian Berk As has become an annual tradition, this year’s NAMM Show saw Yamaha turn an Anaheim Marriott ballroom into a massive showroom for its latest product releases. When entering the space, it is easy to think of it as a party for all of the company’s new products, plus much more. Hence, it was a monumental task to pick just one of these new products to feature in this story. But, since this is the guitar issue, we are focusing on one of Yamaha’s most significant guitar launches: the NX Series of nylon-string acoustic-electric guitars. The NX Series features six guitars with contemporary body styles, along with proprietary preamp and pickup systems. “The new NX Series of acoustic-electric nylon-string guitars is the answer for nylonstring players who want live performance capabilities with excellent plugged-in sound, and electric and acoustic players who are looking to branch into nylon for creative and experimental purposes. At Yamaha, we wanted to fulfill that need with a guitar that would surpass expectations in sound quality and overall design,” Shannon McKee, product marketing manager, Yamaha Guitar Group, told the Music & Sound Retailer. The series comprises the NTX models (NTX1, NTX3 and NTX5), designed to make it easy for electric and steel-string acoustic guitar players to add the warmth and beauty of nylon-string sounds to their tonal palettes. NTX guitars have slimmer bodies, shallower neck profiles and narrower fingerboards than classical guitars, providing a more familiar playing experience. The 22-fret (NTX1 and NTX3) and 24-fret (NTX5) necks extend their range beyond that of standard nylon-string instruments. Also introduced were the NCX models (NCX1, NCX3 and NCX5), which have classical-style neck profiles and fingerboards and were designed primarily for experienced nylon-string players in search of superior amplified sound. All include strap pins. Yamaha certainly took into the account the importance for guitarists to play live, which for many artists now comprises a majority of their income. “The original NX series, launched in 2009, was built based on the needs of professional guitarists and live performers. For example, unlike most nylon-string guitars, all NX models have always had a cutaway and come equipped with strap pins and a pickup. With the new NX series, we are supporting the growth of the live performer with some additional defining features, namely, adjustments to bracing for improvements to body resonance, and the addition of our proprietary Atmosfeel pickup and preamp system,” noted McKee. The NTX3, NTX5, NCX3 and NCX5 guitars incorporate the Atmosfeel 46

APRIL 2020