Justin Aufdemkampe Charvel SD24 signature Pro-Mod
Justin Aufdemkampe and his new Charvel signature. Image: Andrew Bastion Photography

Hundreds of guitars, amplifiers, pedals and what-have-you were flaunted at the recently concluded Summer NAMM 2018. We navigated the labyrinth of gear and picked out 15 highlights from the event that you need to check out—and boy was that tough. But here goes:

1Fender Flea Jazz Bass Active

The legendary loose-limbed bassist’s new signature Jazz Bass has active electronics to complement his work in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A single hot Fender humbucker at the bridge, wired to an Aguilar OBP-1 18-volt preamp, is responsible for this J Bass’ growl and snarl.

2Gretsch G6131T-MY Malcolm Young Signature Jet

In honor of the late AC/DC great, Gretsch has unleashed a more affordable version of his Custom Shop signature guitar.

3Vox AC30S1

The 30-watt, 1×12-inch combo is Vox’s idea of a stripped-down AC30. This amp is specifically modeled after the revered original’s Top Boost circuit, known for its bright and chiming tones.

4Dwarfcraft Devices Reese Lightning

Here’s a fuzz pedal capable of issuing octave-up tones, Velcro-esque scratches and saggy sputters.

5Fender gain pedals

The Full Moon Distortion

The Full Moon Distortion, Pelt Fuzz and Engager Boost are, respectively, a high-gain metal machine, a versatile fuzz, and a boost with onboard EQ controls.

6Epiphone Les Paul Tribute “Prizm” Plus Outfit

You gotta love the rainbow finish—it’s one of seven colors available—of this guitar. Gibson USA ’57 humbuckers, a carved AAA flame maple top and other high-end appointments make this one of Epiphone’s most spec’ed-out Les Pauls.

7Squier Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ST

Just in case the regular Jazzmasters aren’t hot enough for you, Squier has added this active version of the classic guitar to its Contemporary Series.

8EVH Super ’78 Model

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Van Halen’s self-titled debut record, EVH has pulled out all the stops on this replica of Eddie Van Halen’s iconic black-and-white Frankenstrat.

9Fender Custom Shop ’68 Paisley Strat Relic

Beneath the psychedelic paint job on this relic-ed Strat, you’ll find the premium components and construction expected from the Fender Custom Shop.

10MXR EVH 5150 Chorus

Another one for Eddie: This stompbox is based on the chorus unit that he used on his recordings from the early ’80s.

11Charvel Signature Pro-Mod SD24 Justin Aufdemkampe

Everything about this Super Strat, from the unique pickup combination to the construction to the kill switch, does justice to the aggressive style of the Miss May I guitarist.

12Taylor Builder’s Edition 614ce

This Grand Auditorium acoustic is a sight—and sound—to behold. It has elegant body contours, premium tonewoods and sports Taylor’s acclaimed V-class bracing system.

13Vox Mini Superbeetle 25

This mini amp stack pays homage to the sound and style of the British Invasion. So naturally, it attempts to mimic AC30 tones via Vox’s NuTube technology.

14D’Angelico Premier Utica

Available in mahogany-, spruce- and laminated koa-topped versions, this 3/4-sized dreadnought is primed to be your next favorite travel buddy.

15Yamaha A4K Limited and AC4K Limited

The A4K Limited (top) and AC4K Limited (bottom)

These rare beauties have bodies crafted entirely from solid Hawaiian koa, and boast Yamaha’s new scalloped bracing construction. A4K is a dreadnought while AC4K is a concert-sized acoustic.

For our full NAMM coverage, check this page out.