NAMM 2023: It’s back! And for the first time ever, NAMM is taking place in April – Thursday, 13 April to Saturday, 15 April 2023, to be precise. What does this mean for all the guitar news, rumors and predictions from the show? Precisely nada: NAMM 2023 is already heating up with a red-hot gumbo of simmering new gear releases.
Before you ask, no, Fender, Gibson and PRS won’t be there, just like last year. But while NAMM 2022 felt like a very different show, it also worked, as our comprehensive live blog attested. There were some genuine exclusives (Kirk Hammett’s ESP LTD KH-Vs), surprise collaborations (Tosin Abasi and Ernie Ball Music Man’s Kaizen) and some truly bonkers goings-ons (Chibson USA’s Klontar).
Indeed, plenty of heavy-hitters will be making an appearance again this year, and there are some mighty intriguing guitars, amps and pedals heading our way.
We’ll be bringing you all the latest news as it happens, with every release we know about listed below. And you can also look forward to our NAMM 2023 live blog, which will kick off come show time, with all the biggest and weirdest gear our reporter on the ground can snap.
But for now, here’s the full list of what’s coming down the NAMM 2023 gear pipeline…
NAMM 2023 guitar news, rumors and predictions: everything we know so far
NAMM 2023 electric guitar news
- In one of the big innovations of the show, Strandberg has unveiled the Boden Meloria, a titanium travel guitar that’s built to survive just about anything…
- Chapman Guitars has got itself a major signing in the form of Black Stone Cherry's Chris Robertson, who has signed on for his own signature semi-hollow ML3. It's a real looker.
- Kerry King and Dean have unveiled the incredibly-spiky USA Custom Shop Overlord signature model. It’s got a Sustainiac and a preamp pickup booster built-in – meaning it uses more toggle switches than 1960s NASA.
- Reverend has announced an Orchid Pink-finished, single-pickup signature model for Bad Cop/Bad Cop guitarist Stacey Dee, and it is a verifiable stunner. Seriously, take a look.
- ESP goes big each and every NAMM, and this year is no exception: James Hetfield's Olympic White Vulture finally has liftoff, and there are 12 other LTD signature guitars on the way, not to mention 12 updated and all-new E-II models. AND four new LTD Deluxe guitars.
- Remember Guild's uber-cool Surfliner offset model from last year? Well, it's just got even more appealing – meet the Surfliner Deluxe, which is quite easily the nicest Surfliner model yet.
- Ernie Ball Music Man has been busy. Not only has it finally introduced a six-string version of the radical Tosin Abasi-designed Kaizen model, it's also completely revamped Steve Lukather's signature range in the form of the Heat Treated pickup-loaded L4 collection.
- Ibanez always sees NAMM as an opportunity to unveil a suite of signature guitars, and this year is no different: new models for Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Stanley, Lari Basilio, Martin Miller and Ichika Nito have all been unveiled.
- Ciari Guitars' foldable Ascender P90 travel guitar takes the term ‘string-bending’ to new heights
- Rabea Massaad has signed on as an Ernie Ball artist – and will be helping the brand design new electric guitar models in the future. Currently in the pipeline is a Sabre-inspired model engineered with Massaad's playing style in mind.
- At long last, Sterling by Music Man has launched a more affordable version of St. Vincent's Goldie signature guitar – and it's been joined by a range of upgraded Cutlass, Mariposa, Valentine and Albert Lee models.
- The wackiest guitar designs of NAMM 2023? Joe Doe may have achieved just that with its new Gambler, Hot Rod and Gas Jockey electrics.
- Rapier has introduced the 44 – a four-pickup ‘what if?’ experiment in vintage British guitar design.
- FM Guitars just launched the Esphera – an all-new model that features a JEM-flavored body handle and ultra-ergonomic design.
- Donner has bolstered its selection of Seeker Series six-strings by introducing two new models: the vintage-inspired DST-600 and "aggressive" DST-700.
- Vola's gone for both classic vibes and contemporary playability with its seven-string OZ 7T model.
- Strandberg has been thinking greener – launching the affordable, sustainable RESQ:D range.
- Scandinavian builder Hagstrom has launched revamped Swede and Super Swede single-cuts, which have new “special recipe” pickups and go well beyond LP copies.
- Danelectro's classic '59 outline just got an extra pickup, with the new Triple Divine.
- Reverend has treated Rick Vito and Pete Anderton to two new tonally diverse, well-spec'd workhorse signature models – and there are more guitars on the way for the show…
- Vox is taking its Giulietta model to sleek new heights with the stylishly streamlined VGA-5TPS hollowbody.
- Magneto's all-new Starlux is likely to be the coolest-looking semi-hollow design of the show – and perhaps 2023 as a whole.
- The Surfliner HH is Guild's latest offset design, boasting eight pickup combinations.
NAMM 2023 guitar amp news
- Ashdown has made the very smart move of partnering with cab modeling experts Two Notes on the 30W MF 484 2.N amp head, which is positively rammed with neat features – including the ability to charge your phone.
- Fender’s home listening wing has debuted the Fender Audio RIFF – a portable bluetooth speaker and practice amp, with maple wood touch controls.
- Engl is celebrating middle age with a sports car-inspired racing stripe finish for its extremely limited run 40th anniversary Fireball amps.
- Vox and Brian May have teamed up to release two signature guitar amps – the amPlug Brian May and Nutube-loaded MV50 – which promise iconic Queen tones in tiny packages.
- Positive Grid has downsized the Spark into the Spark Go, a 5-watt modeling amp that fits in your pocket.
- Blackstar has unveiled its most powerful entry-level amp yet, the Debut 50R – and there's more to come…
NAMM 2023 guitar pedal news
- Endorphin.es has brought its rack-based expertise into the world of floor-based effects pedals with two powerful new units, the Ghost and Golden Master.
- In an age where the average pedalboard is getting busier and busier, being mindful of space has never been more important. Enter Peterson's StroboStomp Mini – a mini tuner pedal that boasts 0.1 cent accuracy and top-mounted jacks.
- NUX has upped its multi-effects game with the Trident – a formidable all-in-one guitar rig that offers 27 amp models, built-in effects and a 60-second looper.
- And the award for best pedal innovation that you will never get to play goes to... T-Rex’s amazing reproduction of the Binson Echorec, complete with spinning drum, ‘magic eye’ tube indicator and... oh yeah – a price tag that exceeds $2K!
- With its new MOHO Magmatic Fuzz Station, Kernom is looking to do for fuzz pedals what the groundbreaking Ridge Augmented Analog Overdrive did for overdrives. Will they succeed? Our money's on yes.
- Could the Shawn Tubbs Tilt Boost be “your new always on pedal”? Revv is certainly hoping so with its downsized version of the Nashville session king's overdrive pedal.
- Acoustic guitarists rejoice, for Fishman has launched the AFX mini pedal range, designed specifically for acoustic rigs.
- Universal Audio has once again channeled its talents in creating stunning digital emulations of analog gear, with three new for 2023 UAFX pedals, including the Space Echo-like Galazy ’74, Max Compressor and Del-Verb Ambience Companion.
- Hot news from both Electro-Harmonix and JHS Pedals, as EHX makes Josh Scott’s dream a reality with the release of his Lizard Queen Octave Fuzz pedal design. You gotta read the backstory. It's wild.
- Gamma has attempted to cover all bases with its six-strong pedal drop, which comprises gain pedals, a delay pedal, a reverb pedal and more.
- DSM & Humboldt has announced the sequel to its popular Simplifier pedalboard amp, the logically named Simplifier MKII.
- Aviate Audio has sought to connect effects aficionados and digital developers with its open platform ecosystem Multiverse pedal.
- Blackstar's Amped line is fast becoming one of the most intriguing pedal families on the market, and it just got bigger – and heavier – with the high-gain, multi-channel Amped 3.
- Walrus Audio has been busy: its new, slider-equipped Fundamental series is set to receive its debut at the show, but having been leaked early, it’s already in stores. Meanwhile the Fable Granular Soundscape Generator will also be on display.
- With a choice of seven clipping diodes, J. Rockett’s new Archer Select overdrive pedal may very well be the best Klon clone yet.
- Laney has unveiled the Ironheart Loudpedal, a surprisingly affordable, two-channel 60W amp in a stompbox.
- Darkglass is looking to to shake up the noise gate market with its “cutting-edge” new NSG pedal – but we don't know a whole lot about it.
- We should be bracing ourselves for the holy grail of saturated tones, according to Crazy Tube Circuits, whose Motherload combines Big Muff and Rat sounds in one pedal.
- Romance isn't dead: Catalinbread has debuted the STS-88 Flanger/Reverb pedal, which has been labeled a “love letter to the flanger”.
- Godlyke is teasing some brand-new pedals under its TWA banner. But what are they? We'll have to wait 'til showtime.
- Death by Audio is definitely releasing a new pedal. Just don't ask us what it is.
NAMM 2023 acoustic guitar news
- Even more nylon-string action at this year's show has come courtesy of Córdoba, which has treated its Stage model to a classy Natural Amber finish.
- It's been over 40 years since Seagull introduced its classic S6 acoustic, and the Canadian firm is commemorating the milestone with the affordable new S6 Collection 1982.
- Takamine has celebrated 30 years of Santa Fe acoustics in style with the release of the luxurious LTD2023.
- There's been plenty of hot nylon-string action from Godin this year: a reboot of its flagship Multiac, now the Multiac Mundial – plus a sleek Arctik Blue makeover for its G-Tour nylon-string-meets-electric guitar.
- A small but important innovation: L.R. Baggs’ HiFi pickup system is installed using a ’peel and stick’ application, saving your beloved instrument from any invasive procedures. The demo sounds great, too.
- Yamaha's most premium acoustic guitars ever? Quite possibly. Meet the ornate, meticulously crafted FG9 series.
- Taylor has taken its acclaimed 814ce model to luxurious new heights by rebooting and inducting it into the ultra-lavish Builder's Edition collection.
- Martin CEO Thomas Ripsam has dabbled in guitar design for the first time, with his CEO 10 model headlining an ultra-lavish special edition drop of acoustics.
- Martin has announced the StreetLegend series, which recreates historic models from the brand's museum, not to mention a wealth of D-18s and D-28s in new Satin, Amberburst and Authentic finishes.
- Taylor's 400 series just got a new dreadnought model and a raft of cosmetic updates for 2023.
- Last year, Tosin Abasi's Abasi Concepts teased its game-changing nylon-string prototype – could we see a finished version this time around?
NAMM 2023 bass news
- Ashdown has debuted the Studio MiniRig – a diminutive stack with a 2x10” cab, partly inspired by the look of The Beatles’ PA system
- New from Reverend is the Linh Le Signature Lil Linhbacker, a Purple Sparkle semi-hollow that features a versatile pickup combination.
- Dingwall Guitars has launched the John Taylor Rio Dream Bass, saluting Duran Duran’s breakthrough album.
- Rapier has unveiled the Saffire Bass, an old-school-vibed vintage tone machine.
- The venerable Martin has announced its first Junior acoustic basses – four of them, in fact. They don’t cut corners either, being simply pitched as “slightly smaller” versions of the full-size models.
- Ampeg intends to provide bassists with “an entire rig in a single stompbox” as it launches the SGT-DI preamp and DI pedal.
NAMM 2023 guitar accessory news
- Bare Knuckle has developed a set of single coils that achieves Rabea Massaad’s vision of “the perfect Strat tone” – meet his Triptych signature pickup set.
- Ernie Ball has announced Slinky Flatwound electric guitar strings and Flatwound Short-Scale bass strings, which updates the flatwound format with a fresh cobalt formula.
- IK Multimedia reckons its new Axe I/O One is “the ultimate affordable audio interface designed for guitar and bass players” – and they might be right…
- Apogee has overhauled its high-end guitar interface, announcing the Jam X, which features a built-in analog compressor.
- Seymour Duncan might just have changed the pickup switching game with the HyperSwitch – an app-controlled switch that lets users explore numerous pickup wiring configurations with the tap of a screen.
- Polyphia’s Tim Henson and Scott LePage have secured themselves signature Fishman Fluence pickups – complete with an onboard nylon-string substitute setting. Intrigued? You bet you are.
- The most versatile HSS pickup set on the market? Seymour Duncan and Lari Basilio might have achieved just that with the virtuoso's new signature set.
- EMG is seeking to revolutionize offset guitar tones with the launch of its active JMaster pickups for Fender Jazzmasters.
- A set of T-style single-coils with a twist – Josh Smith and Seymour Duncan launch the bluesman's Flat V signature pickups.
- Seymour Duncan has been busy this NAMM season, releasing a signature set of '63 Cradle Rock Strat single-coils for Joe Bonamassa.
- If you're worried about switching to wireless, Shure might have released the most reliable system on the market with the GLX-D+ Dual Band.
- Want the Master of Puppets sound in a plugin? Neural DSP has you covered with its comprehensive Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+ plugin suite.