So DMF, a college buddy of mine and I went to the Messe or Saturday.
After miles of driving to Goregaon, we discovered that there was an entry fee...100 bucks. We got a cool bag and three zillion coasters in exchange though.
We entered the (thankfully air conditioned) hall and walked for some time through some assorted pro audio,lighting, cinema hall seating stuff and then saw the SUN Media (Line 6 distributor) stall. They had a Vetta combo on display, unfortunately not hooked up.I enquired about Variax prices and was told some obscene figure like 35,000 (I got mine for 18k from London )
Further on, one espied a roly poly Sivamani banging on djembes at a stall. I also saw the very cool RKS guitar line at the same stall, and chatted with the ABCD who was selling them. The guitars seemed nice with cool action and stuff, but I couldn't hear anything because they had no amp. Nice build quality though..Sperzel tuners and stuff. Apparently Prasanna has started playing the things..the cheaper ones were 35k and the flametop etc etc high end ones were 1.2 lakhs.
Moving on...we saw the MASSIVE, and I mean MASSIVE, Furtado's stall. Outside, they had all manner of pianos and stuff.. Clavinolas, uprights and grand pianos by Yamaha, Steiner and some Chinese company ranging from 80 k to 8 lakhs..really beautiful stuff. They also had Yamaha's new L Ėseries acoustics on display...from what little I could hear in the din they were quite nice.
Also displayed outside were straps from Levi's, assorted Planet Waves stuff, Seymour Duncan pickups, Crybabys and also a cute Chinese girl who tried to sell me a huge bunch of multi-coloured pedals, which were obviously Boss knock-offs.
Inside....there were 2000 (OK I'm exaggerating a little) people in a room meant for maybe 20, each playing their instruments as loudly as possible. They had also gathered to catch a glimpse of George Lynch playing with Sivamani, which I caught for around 10 minutes. It was ok types..it was a jazz duo type thing...he was playing some syncopated lines on accoustic while Sivamani was doing his usual thing.
Now for the guitars...PAUL REED SMITH, baby!!!! Although only the SE series
I played a Soapbar SE, Santana SE and the new Custom SE which has a maple top and flame veneer.. so itís only different from a real PRS in that the top is not carved and of course, built in Korea. Really fantastic action and feel..the P 90 had great tone too. Played it through the new Digitech GNX3000 into a Laney combo...it was really pick sensitive on the blues patches and you could grind just by picking harder...nice. Couldn't really play around with patches because it was too noisy and I couldn't hear anything.
They also had tons of Laney amps.. including the GH100L which Opeth uses.
Also saw a Les Paul by a company called Guy Bennett which seemed to be very good...horribly heavy though.
Stepping out, saw a bunch of violins and a huge double bass by a Chinese company.. the bass seemed ok.
We went to the Roland stall next, where my friend had fun with the new Juno keyboard. I plugged into the Peavey JSX head (75 k head, 35 k 4*12) and played Manhattan through it...the 2nd crunch channel was very nice, the clean was ok. They also had 5150s (75 k for 212 combo) & JC120s apparently. Didn't try the insane channel too long, but experimented with the Fat Boost on clean..good fun. The salesman was very unfriendly though BTW, I took the PRS catalog with me for later drooling purposes.
We took a well-deserved lunch break and came back to the On Stage stall, where they had lots of Strats as well as Dunlop/MXR products. Saw the EVH phaser and a Heil talkbox. Moved on to the Bhargava stall, which was looking quite forlorn and empty. They had a JEM 777 and some RGs, and of course I pounced on the chance to play the first lefty guitar I could find through their Marshall.
Our last port of call was the Audioplus/Korg stall, where my friend freaked out over a Korg Karma.
DMF and I played through Vox' new tube amp with modelling, and hit on the best tones we had heard through the day. Very very musical cleans and distortion..lovely breakup. A must buy. 18k for a 15W, 22 for a 30 W.
They also had a Behringer KX1200 keyboard amp for 18k, which I'm going to buy for my POD XT Live once it arrives.
So that was our day..awesome fun! Let's hope this sort of thing happens more often. Also felt great to see all the stuff that's now available in our country...at prices that are not inflated to insane levels.