NAMM 2021: The best guitar, pedal and amp releases this year
New year, new gear.
Image: WO Photography / Shutterstock.com
NAMM 2021: Most guitarists will know that January is a month typically reserved for gear launches. Guitar brands big and small would descend upon Anaheim, California to show off their new guitars, pedals, amps and accessories for the year at the Winter NAMM Show, but things are different this year.
Has NAMM 2021 been cancelled?
Yes. The physical show in Anaheim, California has been canned this year due to safety concerns with the pandemic still raging in the US.
NAMM has organised a virtual event, Believe In Music Week, to replace the traditional trade show. The event, which takes place from 18-22 January 2021, will host an interactive marketplace for brands to launch products. Believe In Music Week will also broadcast hours of professional educational content and artist performances on the companion site, BelieveInMusic.tv.
So will there still be new gear launches this month (January 2021)?
Definitely. Brands big and small are still pumping out brand-new guitars, pedals and amps almost every day this month so far – you can find the best of them below.
This is a rolling list and will be updated regularly as new products get announced.
New electric and acoustic guitars for 2021
Fender and Squier
- Fender has expanded its lineup of artist signatures, introducing new models for Ben Gibbard, Chrissie Hynde, Mike McCready, Joe Strummer, Dhani Harrison and Jason Isbell.
- Part of the Parallel Universe series, the Strat Jazz Deluxe combines the offset body of a Jazzmaster with the electronics of a Stratocaster.
- P-90s on a Strat? The new Noventa range comprises Stratocasters, Telecasters and Jazzmasters with the spanky single coils.
- Fender has revived the Boxer Series Stratocaster, a model that was originally released in the hair metal era of the 80s.
- Squier’s revamped Contemporary series is a line of electric guitars that bring together classic Fender designs and modern, rock-oriented features.
Gibson and Epiphone
- In a surprise reveal, Slash shared on Instagram images of his new-for-2021 Epiphone signature Les Pauls.
- Gibson has announced a partnership with Kiss’ Gene Simmons on a range of new electric guitar and bass collections.
- A Goldtop edition of Jared James Nichols’ signature Epiphone “Old Glory” Les Paul Custom could be landing soon.
- Epiphone’s new Prophecy Collection comprises four modern takes on classic Gibson guitar shapes.
- Popular YouTuber Rick Beato has announced that his Gibson signature model is in the works.
- Nancy Wilson’s signature Epiphone Fanatic is a wallet-friendly take on the Gibson Nighthawk.
- The Gibson Kirk Douglas Signature SG makes a comeback, sporting a trio of Burstbucker humbuckers and coil-splitting talents.
- The Original and Modern collections have also been updated.
- We’ve also got a closer look at what the Murphy Lab is capable of.
- In tribute to the great Eddie Van Halen, the brand revamped its line of 5150 guitars and introduced two new Wolfgang guitars.
- Sterling By Music Man has announced a new edition of the Mariposa, a signature guitar for Omar Rodríguez-López.
- The guitar joins four more new releases, including a Jason Richardson signature and a 2021 edition of the Cutlass.
- Paul Gilbert is getting a new signature electric guitar, the FRM300.
- Blues virtuoso Josh Smith gets his first signature model, the FlatV1.
- The AZS Series include four Japan-made electric guitars that match modern features to classic Tele-style bodies.
- The LB1 is a signature single-cut for guitarist Lari Basilio.
- The JGM10 is a signature acoustic for guitarist Jon Gomm.
- Ibanez has also refreshed three more signature models, those for Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and JB Brubaker.
- Martin has announced two new signature acoustic guitars for David Gilmour.
- The 00L Earth guitar is the first acoustic that’s 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and plastic-free.
- Martin has also expanded its ukulele range for 2021, with three new sustainable models.
- The newly announced MJ Series introduces a range of Japan-made Rhoads, Dinky and Soloist electric guitar models.
- Jackson has introduced six new artist models for 2021, including one with new Jackson artist Brandon Ellis, guitarist for Black Dahlia Murder.
- New entries in the brand’s Vintage Select Edition, Players Edition, Limited Edition, Electromatic and Streamliner ranges.
- The latest Six Gun model offers a brand-new pickup configuration: a humbucker in the bridge and two P-90s in the neck and middle positions.
- Reverend has launched the new signature Gil Parris GPS, an S-type that’s packing some un-vintage electronics under the hood.
- Faith Guitars has unveiled a new entry into its Blue Moon acoustic guitar range, the Venus Blue Moon, featuring mango-wood construction and a striking deep blue finish.
- PRS has unveiled a number of new models for 2021, including a new limited-edition version of the Silver Sky, with a special hue-shifting finish, the return of the Narrowfield pickups to its Core range, a new signature electric for Mark Lettieri, and a refresh of its SE range.
- Taylor has introduced two new models that bear its Grand Theater shape. The GT K21e features all-koa construction, while the GT 811e features solid Indian rosewood back and sides, as well as a solid Sitka spruce top and a Crelicam ebony fretboard.
- Collings has introduced the 470 JL, its first electric collaboration with jazz guitarist Julian Lage. It’s a hollow-bodied, vintage-styled electric with overwound single coils fitted.
- Dean has introduced a new, more affordable version of the Kerry King signature V. While it doesn’t have the same Sustaniac neck pickup, it does come with a pair of high-output active EMGs and the same aggressive stylings.
- Vox announced two new Bobcat semi-hollow models; the new models feature Bigsby tremolo systems and sleek new finishes.
- Its also premiered new Mark III and Giulietta models, among a few more psychedelic throwback designs.
- D’Angelico’s 2021 reveal showed off three new electrics, one solid, one semi-hollow and one fully hollow, all with a variety of pickup options.
- Kramer has revamped its Modern and Original collections, so whether you want to shred like it’s 1985 or 2185, you should be covered.
- Its artist collection has also been reworked, with three new signature electrics.
- Eastman’s Romeo LA is a new, beautiful take on a ’50s-inspired thinline, loaded with gold foil P90s and a Goldo vibrato.
New guitar amplifiers for 2021
- Fender has three new amplifiers for 2021: the ’68 Custom Pro Reverb, the ’68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb and the Mustang Micro.
- The new ID:Core V3 range of guitar amplifiers comprises compact practice amplifiers that offer extensive connectivity, Super Wide Stereo, digital audio recording and more.
- Vox has launched a trio of new portable modelling amps as the Mini Go series. These feature the brand’s VET tech to run 10 amplifier models. They can also be powered via an external USB battery.
New guitar pedals for 2021
- Ibanez has expanded its lineup of mini pedals with two new products: the PHMINI and BTMINI, a phaser and booster respectively.
- The Nano Metal Muff is a scaled-down edition of one of the brand’s most popular high-gain distortion pedals.
- Jackson Audio’s FUZZ is a pedal that lets you swap out its circuitry with various daughterboards, as well as offering a three-band parametric EQ and an analogue octave circuit.
- Pigtronix introduced a trio of all-analogue micro pedals: the Space Rip, Constellator and Moon Pool. These are a synth pedal, bucket-brigade delay and modulation effect, respectively.
- The Atreides combines the functions of a fuzz, synth, octaver and phaser into a compact stomper with a host of slider controls for experimentation.
- Zoom’s G6 is its latest flagship multi-effects processor, loaded with a lot of features and a new, larger touchscreen interface.
- EQD has launched the Astral Destiny, an octave-shifted and modulated reverb pedal.
- Tech 21’s SansAmp Classic is back due to popular demand. It was discontinued in 2016.
New guitar accessories and recording equipment for 2021
- Audient has launched two new iD audio interfaces and an EVO recording bundle.
- The brand has a signature set of strings for Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash.
- The brand has teamed up with Joe Bonamassa for a limited-edition “Bonnie” Stratocaster pickup set based on his vintage ’55 Strat.
- Rotosound’s full string lineup is now available to buy as single strings – great news for anyone with alternative tuning requirements.
- Vox has revived its headphone-based practice amplifier series in the form of the VGH range, offering a recreation of an AC30, a high-gain stack or a bass amplifier right on your head.
- The BCB range gets a revamp for 2021, with three new sturdy pedalboards for rigs of all sizes.
- D’Addario has revealed its new XS range of strings, which come with an “impossibly thin” coating for extra protection on the wound strings.