NAMM 2020: Guitar news, rumours and previews

Here's everything guitar-related you need to know about the upcoming show.

What is The NAMM Show?

NAMM 2020: The NAMM Show, or Winter NAMM, is an annual event held in the United States, described as “the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products, pro audio and event tech industry”. Attracting over 100,000 visitors each year, Winter NAMM is the show where the biggest names in the music-making business showcase their new products for the year.

Just like 2019’s show, we’ll be reporting live from the show floor, keeping you updated on all the latest guitars, amplifiers, effects and accessories. We’ll also have tons of demo videos coming your way, so make sure you follow us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and our website!

When and where is Winter NAMM 2020?

Winter NAMM 2020 takes place from 16 to 19 January 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Orange County, California.

Who can attend the show?

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Winter NAMM 2020 is a restricted trade show that’s only open to:

  • NAMM members and guests
  • K-12 music educators and administrators
  • College music and pro audio students
  • Music nonprofits
  • Buyers and professionals from companies interested in purchasing music, sound and entertainment technology products, solutions and services

If you fall within any of these categories, you may register for a badge here. Note that there are discounts if you apply before 6 January.

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News and rumours

This page will be regularly updated in the lead-up to NAMM 2020, so keep checking back to get the latest scoop.

Electric Guitars

Rob Chapman of Chapman Guitars

Chapman marks its 10th anniversary with a special ML1 Pro X, as well as announcing a new Rob Scallon and Rabea Masaad signature series.

Dean Guitars has unveiled its new Exile Select Series with brand-new burl poplar and quilt maple tops.

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Suhr give its Andy Wood signature model a second pickup option, this time with a dual Thornbucker set-up.

Macmull Guitars takes the classic T-style guitar to the next level with the Heartbreaker Neo, featuring direct-mount custom-wound pickups and a geometrically-shaped pickguard.

Heritage‘s Pete Farmer gives us the rundown on what goes into the Heritage Artisan Aged collection.

PRS debuts a brand-new semi-hollow collection and expands it SE lineup. Meanwhile, the McCarty 594 enters the S2 series for the first time.

D’Angelico makes a milestone with the announcement of the D’Angelico USA Custom Shop, run by master luthier Gene Baker.

Harmony has unveiled its limited run of Standard Series solid-body guitars, complete with nitrocellulose finishes and flame maple tops.

Vintage partners with custom builder Joe Doe for some truly left-of-field designs, such as the cactus-shaped f-holes of the Lucky Buck and the two-faced (literally) Punkcaster.

Cort‘s X700 Duality certainly has something of a split personality going on, with its features that appeal to both jazz and metal aficionados.

Manson‘s latest Matt Bellamy signature guitar is part of the brand new META series, bringing that brand’s renowned quality at a much more affordable price point.

Rivolta by Novo Guitars released the Mondata Baritone VII, its first guitar since the announcement of the brand’s realignment.

Novo goes down the relic route with its single-pickup Solus, which comes with a sound that’s as raw as its looks.

Abernethy‘s offset All Access embodies its namesake by providing player unfettered access across the entire fingerboard.

Fender Custom Shop has outdone themselves with their new Eric Johnson ‘Virginia’ Stratocaster, which uses a special sassafrass wood for the body.

Jackson has ushered in its new 2020 collection, including new Pro Series Dinky DK guitars and a new Rob Caggiano signature model.

Ernie Ball has unveiled an all-new Sabre guitar design, as well as updates to its John Petrucci and Steve Lukather signature models.

Gretsch has revealed its 2020 collection of guitars, including the Junior Jet Club, their answer to the classic single cut two-pickup guitar.

Harmony‘s Comet marks the first semi-hollow guitar released by the brand since its revival.

Epiphone receives a significant overhaul for its 2020 collection, including a much-welcomed ‘Kalamazoo’ headstock shape.

Fender has announced throwback models like the Player Lead II and Player Lead III as part of its massive 2020 release.

Gibson‘s 2020 lineup is nothing short of spectacular, with new Les Pauls and signature Tony Iommi SG having been announced.

Fender has revealed three new Artist Signature Models, in collaboration with Eric Johnson, Slipknot’s Jim Root and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello.

Eastman releases its version of the classic single cut P-90 guitar, along with classy thinline guitar that’s packed with tonal variety.

Fender Custom Shop has re-created George Harrison’s iconic Rocky Stratocaster to near-perfect detail.

Fender‘s American Acoustasonic Stratocaster builds on the success of its wildly popular Telecaster counterpart.

PRS has given John Mayer’s Silver Sky signature guitars some special tweaks and a limited-edition finish.

Ibanez has announced its latest guitar, the strikingly modern Steve Vai PIA signature model.

Fender Custom Shop has debuted its version of George Harrison’s Rocky Stratocaster, the first of three signature model Fender CS is releasing for NAMM.

G&L‘s 40th anniversary is this year and they company has decided to commemorate it by releasing the long-lost Espada guitar, the limited-edition Tahini and a special version of the L-2000 bass.

Charvel drops a huge release of artist signature models, a new DK22 guitar and additions to its DK24 Series.

EVH has unveiled a brand new, budget-friendly ‘Frankie’ guitar from the Striped Series. Also announced were new additions to the Wolfgang Series.

D’Angelico‘s Excel Mini DC and Premier Mini DC are perfect for fans of the brand’s iconic double-cutaway design who would prefer something a little slimmer.

PRS has launched the Private Stock 35th Anniversary Dragon Guitar, featuring an insane amount of detail and being limited to 135 pieces worldwide.

Rivolta unveiled the new Mondata Baritone VII and the Combinata Bass VII as part of an announcement regarding the “realignment” of the brand, putting it under Novo Guitar’s Dennis Fano.

D’Angelico revs up its Wayback Machine with the Excel Series Throwback Collection, offering a handful of 1930s-inspired details on two of its flagship archtop models.

Sully Guitars has collaborated with Grover Jackson Engineering to release the angular Concorde. The guitar will be included in the maker’s Custom series and Conspiracy series.

D’Angelico has announced the super-limited Deluxe Bedford SH. This upgraded offset guitar will be limited to a mere total of 150 instruments worldwide.

Fano has unveiled the Omnis Series, making the brand’s boutique styling and quality available at a more budget-friendly pricepoint.

Kramer is marking a return to form with it Made To Rock collection of guitars, comprising the Original, Modern and made-in-USA Custom Graphic Collection.

Cort has unveiled the wicked-looking KX300 Etched, which features a striking sand-blasted swamp ash cap atop a mahogany body. The guitar comes in two models, both loaded with EMG’s RetroActive Super 77 humbuckers.

Reverend Guitars will be announcing two new models – the Roundhouse and the Contender – as well as revamped Warhawk at this year’s convention. All three guitars sport korina bodies and necks, pau ferro fingerboards along with a variety of different pickup options.

Ibanez has announced a huge collection of new guitars ahead of NAMM this year, including the limited-edition RG6PPBFX Premium and the AZ2202A Prestige – the first AZ series guitar to sport an all-ash body.

There’s also the (unconfirmed) leak of some new Steve Vai signature offerings – stay tuned for further updates.

Schecter‘s Silver Mountain series is making its debut in Winter NAMM 2020, along with the newly designed Sonic Seducer pickups. The company also announced updates to its PT Pro series design.

Córdoba Music Group have made some new additions to its electric guitars for Guild. The hollow-body X-175 Manhattan and X-350 Stratford have been been updated with a new Malibu Blue and Scarlet Red finish respectively, while the Aristocrat comes with a new chambered body design.

ESP Guitars has unveiled Phase II and Phase III of the ‘New For 2020’ guitars, with new models, features and finishes making their way into the LTD Deluxe, LTD 200 and LTD Xtone PS-1000 series of electric guitars. It also plans to unveil a few extra models at the show itself.

Harmony has launched the Juno, a reimagining of the classic Stratotone. The guitar comes with two custom gold-foil P90s, and a convenient hardcase designed specifically for its small form-factor.

Dean has announced the Cadi Select Quilt Top Floyd Ocean Burst, its latest introduction into the Select Range. It sports two Dean-exclusive humbuckers, and of course a Floyd Rose tremolo for all of your dive-bombing needs.

Framus has unveiled the 5/51 Studio Parlor, a hollow-bodied archtop equipped with a mini-humbucker.

Vox has announced the Bobcat V90 and V66, two single-coiled semi-hollows inspired by the original Bobcat and Lynx guitars.

PRS has announced the Private Stock Dragon Guitar, an extremely limited model with an intricate Dragon inlaid in the fretboard.

Charvel has announced some new additions to its Pro-Mod DK24 range, and has introduced the new Pro-Mod DK22.

Gretsch has introduced some new Electromatic guitars, including a baritone Jet model.

Bass Guitars

vox starstream 1h 2s

Vox‘s newest Starstream Bass Series comprises the ultra-modern and lightweight 1H and 2S – so named because of their pickup configuration. The 1H has one humbucker while the 2S has two J-style single coils.

Reverend Guitars has give the Mike Watts Wattplower signature bass a few nifty upgrades, earning it the Mark II designation. The signature bass now comes loaded with a Reverend P-Blade bridge pickup sporting an extra coil and  a Rio Grande pickup in the neck.

Warwick is showing off its new, highly limited Thumb NT LTD 2020 and Thumb LTD 2020 BO bass guitars. Both come in either 4 or 5-string configurations. It has also announced its first foray into the world of fanned frets, with the RockBass Corvette Multi-Scale 5-String.

Sandberg has launched the first of its 2020 range, including a short-scale bass and a bass fitted with Aguilar electronics.

Acoustic Guitars

martin sc-13e

Lowden expands its F35 and Wee Lowden collection with more tonewood options like sinker redwood and Cameroon ebony.

Larrivée announces a professional grade travel-size guitar along with a new artist signature model for Tommy Emmanuel.

Martin debuts the SC-13E, designed specifically for guitarists who love to experiment and push boundaries.

Taylor‘s GS-Mini e Koa Plus may be a short-scale guitar, but it’s big on sound.

Eastman has announced some new upgrades to its AC Series Acoustics, including a chamfered edge and a soundport on select models.

Martin has released two limited-edition Crossroads guitars in collaboration with Eric Clapton and John Mayer, with only 50 of each being produced.

Fender has added the iconic Stratocaster silhouette to the Acoustasonic series, featuring the brand’s innovative Stringed Instrument Resonance System and the Fender- and Fishman-designed Acoustic Engine.

Taylor Guitars has unveiled a huge drop of new models and series expansions ahead of NAMM this year, ranging from the ultra-premium Builder’s Collection to the budget-friendly Baby Taylor.

Furch revealed its brand-new ergonomic Bevel Duo design feature, engineered to prioritise player comfort. This new feature will be standardised across all new Red Deluxe models and will also be available as a custom option for the Rainbow Series line.

Godin‘s A12 Black HG is the newest A Series guitar, meaning that it has a two-chambered body construction that virtually eliminates all possibility of feedback.

Yamaha‘s brand new NX series is designed to appeal to electric and steel-string guitar players interesting in experiencing a nylon-string instrument.

Washburn has released another Michael Sweet signature guitar, this time with the rustic J40SCE. This jumbo body acoustic guitar sports figured bearclaw spruce top clad in a transparent black finish.

Seagull Guitars has announced the latest addition to its S6 series of guitars: the S6 Classic Black A/E. This acoustic-electric guitar comes in a black semi-gloss finish and features an eye-catching Blackwashed wild cherry back and sides.

The big Ibanez reveal comprises 19 guitars – eight of which are acoustic models. The AEG series sees a new flagship model in the AEG200 while the updated Artwood series features the AWFS300CE dreadnought and 3 grand concert models (ACFS580CE, ACFS300CE and ACFS380BT).

Córdoba Music Group have unveiled a series of new acoustic guitars for both Córdoba and Guild. The travel-friendly Guild Jumbo Junior Reserve Maple features a full solid top along with Fishman GT-1 pickups, while the Córdoba Luthier Select Series represent the brand’s latest line of master luthier-handcrafted guitars.

Faith Guitars has entered the market for baritone acoustic guitars with the new HiGloss Neptune Baritone. The fan-favourite Neptune body shape makes a return here, this time with along neck and scale length to accommodate lower-register tunings.

Greenfield Guitars and Andy McKee have announced the launch of two new acoustic guitar models to celebrate 15 years since they first met.

Ovation Guitars has announced the opening of the Ovation Custom Shop, and two limited runs of its Adamas 1687GT and Adamas 2087GT model.

Fender once again blurs the line between acoustic and electric, announcing that the Acoustasonic Stratocaster will join its Telecaster equivalent.

Amplifiers

Fender '64 Custom Princeton (Front)

Blackstar‘s latest artist signature amp is by none other than Jared Jame Nichols, a 20-watt amp head that comes with a matching 2×12″ cabinet.

Suhr shows some love for vintage Fender ‘Brownface’ amps with the Hombre, a 20-watt, 12-inch combo that knows how to bring the heat.

A hand-wired ’64 Princeton Reverb leads Fender‘s 2020 amp lineup.

BOSS‘s Acoustic Singer Live LT comes with a custom woofer and dome tweeter driven by independent power amps.

Orange claims its Terror Stamp is the most portable class A/B 20-watt amp ever.

Ashdown drops a slew of amps and rack heads, from mini pedalboard-sized gizmos to 200-watt all-tube monsters.

Teisco adds the Overdrive, Distortion and Interface to its growing range of quirky pedals.

Jimmy Page’s Sundragon amp receives a (much-awaited) regular production run with the Sundragon Standard, based on Page’s own modified Supro Coronado.

Morley has unveiled three new ways for its pedalboard-friendly 20/20 series – the Distortion Wah, Lead Wah and Power Fuzz Wah.

EVH‘s 5150III is now a little bit more portable given its new 50-watt configuration. The 5150III 50S also comes with a matching 2×12″ cabinet.

Blackstar has announced that it’s latest Sonnet acoustic guitar amplifier is perfect for guitarists looking for a “natural” sound.

Victory‘s V4 The Duchess looks like a pedal, but sounds more like a full-fledged amp. That’s because it packs an all-valve preamp and 180 watts of class D power.

Revv Amplification‘s new G20 amp takes the brand’s signature high-gain all-tube purple channel and shrinks it down to a lunchbox format, complete with Two notes Torpedo cab simulation.

Vox has shrunken its Mini Superbeetle amp down into a lightweight Bluetooth option. This wireless music speaker can also support a guitar input and an optional amPlug module.

Aguilar Amplification is releasing its SL series of bass amp cabinets in a limited-edition Royal Purple finish. The Royal Purple SL Series bass cabinets will only see a very limited production number of 24, making them a rare catch.

Hartke‘s newest line of LX5500 and LX8500 bass amps pack 500W and 800W of Class D power, courtesy of Class A 12AX7 tube circuitry. Best part? Neither of the two amps exceed 4kg in weight.

Fryette has announced the Deliverance Series II, an updated version of its flagship tube head that packs extra features including more versatile footswitch control and a new ‘Solo Volume’ mode.

Orange has revealed two amplifier options for bassists – the floor-based Bass Butler, and the Little Bass Thing head, both offering the brand’s trademark no-frills approach and the option to go straight into an interface or a desk.

LR Baggs has announced the Soundscape, an amplifier for acoustic guitars that utilises a ‘Voice Capture’ to accurately recreate the sound of your acoustic guitar through a front-of-house.

Warwick announces the Gnome, a small, single-channel amplifier with a variety of direct recording options.

Effects

boss sy-1000

Boss gives us a taste of the SY-1000, a monster of a synth processor pedal with surprisingly practical applications.

Keeley ElectronicsEccos marries a vintage-style delay with a full-fledge looping station.

Walrus Audio has unveiled the Sharc-powered D1 delay, the first of the Mako series of studio-grade stomp boxes.

BeetronicsFatBee is the first model of the brand’s Babee series, and uses JFETs for tube-like dynamics and response while also featuring a vintage-style forward-facing control panel.

Ernie Ball has updated its VPJR volume pedal by its touchscreen a locking mode and enhance settings, as well as Kevlar cord for increased durability and constant tension.

ThorpyFX has released the Field Marshall fuzz and Bunker overdrive as part of a collaboration with Lovetone’s Dan Coggins.

Gamechanger Audio lives up to its name with the release of its Light Pedal, the world’s first optical spring reverb system.

RedBeard Effects has unveiled the Honey Badger octave fuzz, featuring a Divide knob that allows blending between -2 and -1 octaves.

MXR updates its Dookie Drive a second time, giving it a new, punky unicorn-inspired paint job.

Fender has added to its lineup of tube-powered effects with the MTG Tube Tremolo, designed in collaboration with Bruce Egnater and powered by a NOS 6205.

Ashdown has announced several new pedals (for guitar and bass), along with a small collection of basses designed in collaboration with Dan Lakin.

EarthQuaker Devices x Sun O))) reissue of the Life Pedal makes waves at NAMM.

Line 6 has revealed its lightweight and affordable POD Go, touting it as a simple plug-and-play solution for budget-conscious guitarists.

EarthQuaker Devices updates its Aftermath reverb pedal to its third iteration, now with six new modes.

Dunlop has released three new pedals – the bass-focused MXR Thump Bass Preamp, Cry Baby Q Zone Fixed Wah and the versatile Way Huge Smalls Swollen Pickle Jumbo Fuzz MkIII.

Pigtronix has kicked its original Infinity looper up a few notches with the new Infinity 2, now featuring a simpler interface and more features gear towards live and studio use.

Chase Bliss Audio has truly outdone itself with the Preamp MKII, which features motorised sliders and 30 fully integrated presets.

MXR Custom Shop‘s Timmy overdrive is the result of a collaboration between the pedal manufacturer and boutique pedal maker Paul Cochrane – creator of the original ‘Timmy’ pedal.

JHS Effects and guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert have teamed up to release the PG-14, a FET-powered overdrive pedal with an active mid frequency preamp integrated into the circuitry.

Vox‘s latest signature V847-C wah comes with some handy improvements over the stock V847 circuit like updated voicing and softer rubber feet.

Korg has announced the mod-friendly Nu:Tekt OD-S Overdrive kit, which also features a solder-less design and a 6P1 Nutube.

Neural DSP is stepping into the hardware scene with the new Quad Cortex, a souped-up multi-effects floor unit powered by machine learning for realistic rig profiling.

Utility Design‘s new Vidami pedal isn’t an effect per se, but it a super-handy tool to have for musicians who are sick of having to let go of their instrument to pause and rewind a video lesson.

AMT Electronics has a new cab simulator in the form the feature packed VirginCab VC16. Despite its diminutive size, the VirginCab can hold as many as 16 IRs and can also be connected to AMT’s standalone Bricks series preamps for added versatility.

Ibanez has brought back its Echo Shifter delay pedal, albeit with some nifty new features. Also making their debut is the new mini-sized Tremolo and Flanger pedals.

FoxGear has unveiled the Anubi series of multi-effects, currently comprising the Ambience and Modulation models. Aside from an all-analogue signal path, the Anubi multi-effects also allow user to combine different effects together for unique sounds.

Crazy Tube Effects has announced the Killer V, an overdrive/vibrato pedal that takes its cues for vintage Magnatone and Fender amps from the 50s and 60s. Users can alter the Killer V’s voicing by toggling the B/N/M switch on the overdrive channel, and can also opt to have the guitar’s dry signal run in parallel with the wet signal when using the vibrato function.

Solid Gold FX has announced the Communication Breakdown Fuzz, built around the ideas of vintage Tone Bender pedals and seemingly inspired by one particular late-sixties guitar tone.

Hamstead Soundworks has announced the Subspace Intergalactic Driver, a stompbox with a variety of clipping modes on tap. It’s aimed at the player who wants a flat, neutral response – especially bassists who don’t want to sacrifice too much low-end on the altar of crunchy overdrive.

HeadRush has launched the HeadRush Expression Pedal, which expands on the functionality of its floorboards such as the Gigboard and Pedalboard.

Nobels has announced the ODR-1BC, an update on the ODR-1 which adds more voltage options and an internal bass-cut switch for more modern functionality.

Earthquaker Devices has reissued the Life Pedal, shrinking its enclosure and adding expression pedal support.

Vox announces a set of Nutube-powered pedals, offering cabinet-simulation and channel-switching linkability.

Aguilar has revealed the DB925, a bass preamp pedal, and announced a special limited run of its entire current pedal lineup to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Accessories

Fender Infinity Locks (Red)
Fender Infinity Locks (Red)

Fender has updated its collection of accessories with a sizeable release of new straps, picks and ear plugs.

IK Multimedia wraps up its 10th anniversary release with the two-channel iRig Pro Duo I/O, designed for simultaneous recording.

IK Multimedia celebrates its 10th anniversary with a first wave of new products, with more to follow.

Dunlop has announced multiple accessories such as signature picks, straps and set-up kits.

Warwick‘s Multiple RockStand are a collapsible multi-guitar stand that can also me customised via modular add-ons and accessories.

Lace is incorporating the mystical new Cyamtics-inspired Led Sensor design into its pickups.

Two Notes has released the Torpedo Captor X, offering guitarists a lightweight reactive load box solution complete with studio-grade cabinet solutions.

Fishman has announced two new PowerTap pickup systems for acoustic guitars, designed to pair with the brand’s Rare Earth and Matrix Infinity pickups for additional texture and dynamics.

RockBoard is premiering a huge release for NAMM this year, including four new pedalboard models, patchbay systems, pedalboard-based power amps and more.

Vox now offers an ANC over-the-ear headphone specifically designed with guitarists in mind. The VH-Q1 uses internal and external microphones to automatically adjust itself to its surrounds for improved noise suppression.

On-Stage has added another wall hanger to their line-up with the GS8730. This economical wall hanger is designed to cater to small studio spaces and uses a weight-sensing lock system that automatically secures the instrument when it is placed in the EVA foam-padded yoke.

Earthboard has announced the Power Station, a nine-volt DC wall adapter that links up with the Earthboard pedalboard system (via the Backup Boot add-on) to provide power to the entire pedalboard. This adapter comes with an output capacity of 3,000 mAh and a fully protected circuit to guard against sudden electrical surges or shorts.

Crossrock has announced the Air Carbon Series acoustic guitar case, which it says stands up to a beating without weighing too much.

Seymour Duncan has announced the Psyclone, a humbucker-sized Filter’Tron. Many more guitarists now have access to that signature Gretsch twang.

Artists

jerry cantrell alice in chains guitar

Jerry Cantrell of grunge legends Alice In Chains has signed as Gibson’s latest brand ambassador. The 53-year-old guitarist was picked for his illustrious career in rock music – as well as being a personal hero to Gibson Chief Merchant Officer Cesar Gueikian.

Hedros Ramos, Frank Gambale, Victor de Andrés and Jeff Berlin will be performing at the Cort booth during NAMM. Performance dates range between 16 and 18 January.

Joni Mitchell is to be awarded the Les Paul Innovation Award at the 35th annual NAMM Technical Excellence and Creativity (TEC) Awards. The musician is being honoured for the innovations she made across here career, both musically and technically.

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