At this time of year, we’d usually all be going to California and hitting up Anaheim’s gargantuan Convention Center to get the scoop on all the latest and greatest gear the guitar world has to offer – but as the pandemic rages on, NAMM 2021 will not be taking place in a physical form.
But that doesn’t mean companies are holding back on their launches for January – far from it. We’re barely two weeks into 2021, and we’ve already seen hundreds of new guitars, amps and pedals from the likes of Fender, PRS and Ibanez… And we’re only just getting started.
January 18 through 22 sees the launch of Believe in Music Week (opens in new tab), NAMM’s digital replacement, which promises educational seminars, live music, and opportunities to connect – we’ll be expecting a host of new releases around this event, too.
We’d also be remiss not to mention our sister site MusicRadar’s Gear Expo (opens in new tab), which is held on January 29 and 30 and set to showcase the biggest releases set to land this year.
In the meantime, here’s a reminder of all the guitar, amp and pedal releases we’ve seen so far – and there are a lot of them.
We’ll be updating this page with all the hottest launches as they come in, so keep comin’ back now, ya hear?
- There have been so many Fender models, we'll have to use multiple bullet points, starting with the P-90-only, Mexican-made Noventa Series.
- Perhaps the best reaction to any guitars so far has gone to Squier's eye-popping, high-spec Contemporary Stratocasters, Telecasters and Jaguars for 2021.
- Jason Isbell, Chrissie Hynde Telecasters and Ben Gibbard Mustang headline Fender's 2021 signature model lineup, while Pearl Jam's Mike McCready is getting a Custom Shop replica of his
- Fender's American Ultra range has been bolstered with the addition of new Luxe Strat and Tele models, which add – gasp! – stainless steel frets, as well as painted headstocks and Floyd Rose options.
- And what with it being Fender's 75th Anniversary, a bevy of limited-edition Strat, Tele, P-Bass and Jazz Bass models have been unveiled.
- It's looking like a big year for Gibson, with new Marcus King, Peter Frampton and Jerry Cantrell signature models on the cards.
- Gibson has also refreshed its triple-humbucker signature SG for The Roots’ “Captain” Kirk Douglas, and launched an affordable Epiphone Nancy Wilson signature Fanatic.
- There are also updates to the Modern and Original collections with new ES and Thunderbird Bass models.
- This year marks the SG's 60th anniversary, and Gibson is celebrating with two sumptuous 1961 SG Custom Shop models.
- The first of Gibson's Murphy Lab relic models have surfaced, and they're looking mighty fine indeed.
- The biggest news from the Ibanez camp is the arrival of a signature model for blues phenom Josh Smith alongside an all-new Tele-esque AZS series, as well as a T-type signature for Brazilian-born virtuoso Lari Basilio.
- Ibanez has also revealed new Paul Gilbert, Paul Waggoner and Martin Miller signature guitars, expanded the AZ series with its first 7-string and rosewood fingerboard models, and launched 15 eye-catching new RG models. Oh, and refreshed its Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and JB Brubaker signature guitars for 2021.
- Kramer has come out swinging with Snake Sabo Baretta, Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager and Charlie Parra Vanguard signature models.
- Gretsch has decked its super-affordable Electromatic and Streamliner guitars out with all-new pickups and finishes, while the high-end sees new Players Edition and limited-edition models, plus a Chris Cornell-inspired Vintage Select Edition.
- New Brighton, Bedford SH and Excel 59 models are top of the agenda for D'Angelico, while its existing electric and acoustic ranges have received comprehensive updates.
- PRS has unveiled a boatload of new gear, including the Mark Lettieri Fiore signature model, limited-edition John Mayer Lunar Ice Silver Sky, and a host of updates: an all-new SE Custom 24-08, fresh SE Series colors and new Core Series pickups.
- EVH has honored Eddie Van Halen's legacy with its 2021 guitar lineup, which features new 5150 Series, Wolfgang Special and Wolfgang WG Standard models.
- ESP has officially announced Kirk Hammett's new 30th Anniversary Signature KH-3 Spider, as well as the mouth-watering USA Eclipse FR Jawbreaker.
- Jackson has gone big with new made-in-Japan MJ Series Rhoads, Dinky and Soloist models; Purple Mirror Marty Friedman and surprisingly traditional Misha Mansoor signature guitars; plus a mind-boggling array of new Pro Series, X Series and affordable JS Series guitars for 2021.
- An affordable Mariposa model headlines Sterling by Music Man's 2021 lineup, which also includes new John Petrucci and Jason Richardson models.
- Ernie Ball Music Man, meanwhile, has updated its color offerings for 2021, with new Snowy Night, Raspberry Burst and Smoked Chrome finishes.
- Reverend Guitars has launched the Strat-style Gil Parris GPS, and teamed a pair of P-90s with a humbucker in the new "first of its kind" Six Gun HPP.
- Dean has revived the Dime Razorback Rust as a production model in tribute to Dimebag Darrell, and unveiled an affordable Kerry King Signature V.
- Eastman has announced its latest thinline semi-hollow electric, the Romeo LA, and it's a real looker.
- The Vox Bobcat series has received a makeover for 2021, with all-new finishes and Bigsby vibratos, while the company has offered a sneak peek at a number of intriguing new designs with its Future Product Preview.
- Charvel has unveiled a 15-model strong 2021 electric guitar line, including a six-string Angel Vivaldi signature, plus fresh MJ and Pro-Mod offerings.
- Cort continues its quest to "push the limits of conventional electric guitars" with the Hedras-designed X700 Mutility.
- Collings and Julian Lage have teamed up for a signature electric guitar, the 470 JL, while the boutique company has also launched the meticulously crafted I-35 LC Vintage.
- An Epiphone Slash Collection looks like a dead-cert if the Guns N' Roses' star's Instagram is anything to go by – and the same goes for a Jared James Nichols Goldtop Old Glory
- FU-Tone has launched the FU PRO line of electrics with features “never before available on a production guitar”
- There are a number of signature Gibson acoustics in the works for Orianthi, Tom Petty, Slash and Noel Gallagher, alongside new Modern and Historic models.
- An Epiphone Slash Signature Series J-45 looks likely to make an appearance very soon, according to the top-hatted one.
- D'Angelico has decked out its Premier Series LS acoustics with an Aged Mahogany finish.
- Taylor has updated its Grand Theater offering with new 800 and Koa series acoustics.
- Martin has launched a pair of David Gilmour signature D-35 acoustics, as well as a Grand J-16E 12-string, two ziricote acoustics and DJR-10E StreetMaster, plus its first FSC-certified, plastic-free acoustic, the 00L Earth Guitar.
- Collings has updated its Traditional Series with the CJ-45 T, a vintage-inspired acoustic that pays homage to the classic slope-shoulder dreads of the Wartime era.
- Ibanez has unveiled Jon Gomm's long-awaited JGM10 signature acoustic.
- Faith Guitars has expanded its solar system of acoustics with the Venus Blue Moon.
- Supro has launched an all-new tube amp line, the Delta King collection, inspired by Supro amps of the '50s and '60s, and updated a host of existing amps.
- Fender has sought to reinvigorate classic tube amp tones with new '68 Custom Vibro Champ and Pro Reverb combos, while its pocket-sized Mustang Micro crams an entire Mustang modeling amp into a tiny package with a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth.
- Blackstar has joined forces with Carmen Vandenberg for her versatile CV30 signature amp, launched the ultra-affordable ID:Core V3 series, and given its Studio 10 6L6 a Surf Green makeover.
- New from Vox is the affordable Mini Go line of portable modeling guitar amps, which pack 10 amp models, a built-in rhythm machine and a diverse range of onboard effects.
- There's a trio of new practice amps with Virtual Tube Circuit technology on the way from Behringer.
- Big news from Zoom, which is heralding “the future of guitar pedals” with its touchscreen-equipped G6 amp modeler and multi-FX.
- ProCo has given us the first glimpse of the Lil' Rat, a micro-sized version of the Rat 2.
- Aclam has sought to recreate Pete Townshend’s “clear fuzz dirge” tone with the Windmiller Preamp.
- EarthQuaker Devices has taken shimmer reverb to the next level with the Astral Destiny.
- Walrus Audio’s feature-rammed Mako Series has expanded with the dreamy R1 High-Fidelity Stereo Reverb and ACS1 Amp + Cab Simulator.
- NUX has upped its multi-FX game with the MG-30 Versatile Modeler.
- The original Tech 21 SansAmp has returned as the SansAmp Classic.
- Could there be a Universal Audio guitar pedal in the works? All signs certainly point towards something guitar-y.
- Way Huge has launched the Atreides ‘analog weirding module’, a wild slider-equipped fuzz synth.
- Red Panda is offering some serious bitcrushing power with the Bitmap 2.
- Pigtronix has boldly gone where no mini pedals have gone before as it launches the ultra-versatile Constellator, Space Rip and Moon Pool.
- There's a new all-analog bucket brigade Chorus on the way from Supro.
- Electro-Harmonix has supercharged the Metal Muff with a new noise gate-equipped Nano design.
- Ibanez has extended its mini-pedal lineup with the launch of new Phaser and Booster Minis.
- Jackson Audio will let you mix and match the most iconic fuzz tones in rock with its new Modular Fuzz Pedal with Octave.
- D'Addario has experienced a "technological breakthrough" with its new XS strings, which promise an incredibly thin coating to protect wound and plain steel strings with no tone dampening.
- Neural DSP has unleashed Archetype: Gojira, which it's calling the “heaviest plugin in the universe”.
- Boss has updated its BCB pedalboard series with some innovative new designs.
- Seymour Duncan has announced the Joe Bonamassa “Bonnie” Strat Pickup Set and Loaded Pickguard.
- EMG has introduced all-new Les Claypool 'Pachyderm Gold' bass pickups, alongside new finishes for Robert Trujillo's Rip Tide set.
- Celestion has debuted the smokin’ new G12M-50 Hempback speaker.
- Gus G has branched out with his own pickup company, Blackfire Pickups.
- Vox is promising accurate amp simulations from its new VGH guitar/bass amplifier headphones.
- There's an all-new Limited Edition Slash signature string set from Ernie Ball, as well as the Volt compact pedalboard power supply.
- Rotosound will now sell single string sets for its entire range of guitar and bass strings.
- Holeyboard has introduced the expandable and fully reconfigurable Holeyboard 123 pedalboard.
- Audient has unveiled upgraded iD4 and iD14 MKII audio interfaces, and a new EVO Start Recording Bundle.
- $39 gets you M-Audio's latest audio interface, the M-Track Solo, which includes the Eleven Lite guitar amp modeling plugin.
- Jeff Loomis has partnered with Joey Sturgis Tones and producer Jens Bogren for a signature Toneforge plugin.
- Gibson has unveiled a new Non-Reverse Thunderbird bass model.
- Spector's new NS Dimension and NS Ethos bass lines have surfaced.
- Opeth’s Martín Méndez has signed with Sandberg for a new signature bass.
- Charvel has added 2 bass guitars to its Pro-Mod San Dimas line for 2021.
- It's Fender's 75th Anniversary, and you can get a limited-edition P-Bass or Jazz Bass to celebrate.
- Jackson has added high-spec new bass models to its Pro Series and X Series for 2021.
- Ibanez's all-new SR600 series has been launched with exclusive Nordstrand pickups.
- Gibson has launched the G² Thunderbird Bass as part of its new multi-year partnership with Gene Simmons.