15 best guitars, pedals and amps of Summer NAMM 2018

The three glorious, guitar-filled days of the show are over—here are the 15 best new products that caught our eye.

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:

Fender Flea Jazz Bass Active

Fender Flea Active Jazz Bass - Satin Shell Pink

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.

Gretsch G6131T-MY Malcolm Young Signature Jet

Gretsch Malcolm Young Signature Jet G6131T-My

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

Vox AC30S1

Vox 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.

Dwarfcraft Devices Reese Lightning

Dwarfcraft Devices Reese Lightning

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

Fender gain pedals

Fender Full Moon Distortion
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.

Epiphone Les Paul Tribute “Prizm” Plus Outfit

Epiphone Les Paul Tribute "Prism" 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.

Squier Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ST

Squier 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.

EVH Super ’78 Model

EVH Eddie Van Halen Super 78 Model Eruption

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.

Fender Custom Shop ’68 Paisley Strat Relic

Fender Custom Shop '68 Paisley Strat Relic Pink

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

MXR 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.

Charvel Signature Pro-Mod SD24 Justin Aufdemkampe

Charvel Signature Pro-Mod SD24 Justin Aufdemkempe

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.

Taylor 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.

Vox Mini Superbeetle 25

Vox 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.

D’Angelico Premier Utica

D'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.

Yamaha A4K Limited and AC4K Limited

Yamaha A4K 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.


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