NAMM 2024: It’s that time of year again. And by that, we mean the new year. And with the new year comes new gear, courtesy of our favorite guitar show: NAMM.
Held at Anaheim Convention Center in (hopefully) sunny California, NAMM is the hottest ticket to see the latest and greatest guitars, amps and pedals we’ll be plugging in over the next 12 months.
It’s fair to say that NAMM has had a rocky ride post-Covid. While NAMM 2020 was a blowout banner year for the show, its 2022 return was markedly more low-key.
Industry heavyweights Fender, Gibson and PRS didn’t return after the pandemic, and whole sections of the labyrinthine Convention Center were closed off. But as we noted in our post-show roundup, it didn’t dampen NAMM’s welcoming atmosphere, and made for a more personal event. Big launches from the likes of Ibanez, ESP and Ernie Ball Music Man certainly helped.
2022’s event was held in June, while last year’s festivities took place in April. For 2024, NAMM has settled back into its traditional January timeframe, and with it, we’re seeing the return of exhibitors who might have skipped the first post-pandemic shindigs.
With that in mind, NAMM 2024 is something of a make or break moment for the event – particularly in a climate where expos such as the videogame industry’s E3 have indicated they are done for good.
But we’re already confident this will be a NAMM to remember. The second we logged back onto our emails after a particularly indulgent festive holiday, we were already being tipped off about a number of hot new releases. It feels like there’s genuine excitement around NAMM again, and that is most definitely a reason to celebrate.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up everything fit to print: the biggest news so far, the rumors gathering steam and our own theories, piped direct from the GW team’s brains and/or Magic 8 Ball.
Come at us, NAMM 2024 – we’re ready for you…
NAMM 2024 electric guitar news
- Wolfgang Van Halen's long-awaited EVH SA-126 signature guitar is finally here – and the clue was in the name, as it’s arrived on Eddie Van Halen’s birthday (January 26).
- In one of the show's biggest launches thus far, Rush legend Alex Lifeson has partnered with Godin to create the LERXST Limelight – a new take on his legendary Hentor Sportcaster.
- Ernie Ball Music Man has finally dropped Rabea Massaad’s long-awaited Artist Series models, refining the classic Sabre design into a surprising new form.
- Ibanez is playing its signature guitar cards close to its chest so far, but it has added 3 eye-catching new finishes to its AZ Premium family, and revamped its RG and S collections. But wasn’t Tim Henson playing an eight-string TOD recently?
- Dutch luthier Aristides has brought EverTune stability to multiscale guitars for the first time with a new signature bridge system – and prog-metallers are falling over themselves over its long-awaited arrival.
- 2024 marks the return of Dean Guitars after a tricky couple of years of Gibson lawsuits and financial wrangles. But judging from what we’ve seen so far – the classy, Fishman-loaded neck-thru Exile Select, and returning Vengeance and Zero models – the company’s guitars are more competitively spec’d and priced than ever, not to mention being much more in line with 2024 aesthetically, too. We’ll be intrigued to see what else the resurgent company brings to the table.
- Schecter has debuted an utterly wild new Machine Gun Kelly signature guitar, the Razorblade. In fact, it's so wild, some guitarists thought it was a Chibson USA meme…
- Schecter was clearly feeling generous when it partnered with Glassjaw's Justin Beck to create a signature instrument, because it ended up giving him two: a bass guitar and an electric guitar.
- There's still no sign of ESP Guitars' incoming Mick Thomson signature model – or his signature Fishman Fluence humbuckers – but Bill Kelliher's long-awaited Royal Shiva is here, and it's an absolute peach. As the Mastodon man puts it: “It's heavy, thick, and unique. It feels great.”
- Speaking of ESP, the brand recently took LP Junior-style guitars in a heavier direction with its new LTD Eclipse range, which was joined by upgraded EverTune- and Fishman-loaded 1000 Series guitars.
- Adrian Vandenberg’s cult classic Peavey signature model has officially returned – and it’s received something of a glow-up in the form of a number of intriguing modern embellishments.
- D’Angelico’s iconic flagship archtop guitars, the EXL-1 and Style B, are back – and “better than ever”, apparently.
- Magneto Guitars has sought to elevate the single-cut format with the Les Paul-flavored Velvet Deluxe – an update on the brand's flagship Velvet Custom design.
- Kauer has pulled back the curtains on its new Gripen model, which – in doing away with all curvature – is an early contender for ‘boldest guitar of 2024’.
- Chapman Guitars will likely be showcasing finished versions of its signature models for Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson and “Danish” Pete Honoré.
- Guild Guitars – now under the Yamaha umbrella – unveiled a massive overhaul of its Polara range, complete with three new tiers of standard line Polara builds, including the Deluxe, Night Edition and standard lines.
- Speaking of Yamaha, it’s been a while since we’ve seen an electric guitar launch from the Japanese company. There’s been a lot of discussion about the Revstar range of late, particularly thanks to a certain Matteo Mancuso. It would be a missed opportunity not to capitalize on his success, says us.
- Musical polymath Jacob Collier made alarmingly good use of a custom five-string Strandberg creation last year, using an altered D A E A D tuning. Could we see a production model? Stranger things have happened.
- Speaking of Strandberg, the Swedish firm did reveal its new Boden Essential model, which makes a few tweaks to the Strandberg equation – while retaining the ergonomic shape and EndurNeck the brand is known for – that result in the company's most affordable model yet.
- Reverend and Billy Corgan have teamed up to create another signature guitar – and it’s precision-engineered for aggressive drop-tuned riffage.
- Reverend has also added Hot Mulligan’s Chris Freeman to its roster with a new kill switch and kill button-equipped signature guitar that, the company says, will take you into “emo overlord territory.”
- OD Guitars has turned an AI creation into an actual guitar for its NAMM 2024 showcase. And it looks incredible.
- Vox has sought to deliver an all-in-one musical experience with its APC-1, which is so much more than just a guitar.
- A staple of the NAMM scene, Ciari just made its pro-level foldable guitar range better than ever with the P-90 Ascender model.
- Vintage is taking a leaf out of Squier’s Paranormal playbook with its new Revo Series, a line populated by quirky, affordable takes on a range of classic silhouettes.
NAMM 2024 guitar amp and modeler news
- Laney has taken big strides at NAMM this year, with two world-firsts. First, its new BCC Ironheart tube amps have been released alongside a matching plugin at launch. And second, it has unveiled the world’s most powerful FRFR cabinet, a 2,600W 4x12 that’s almost as loud as a jetplane taking off.
- Positive Grid isn't messing around this NAMM season. On the amp front, it has debuted the Spark LIVE, a four channel, multi-instrument amp that aims to replace your band's backline – and, possibly, your sound engineer.
- Vox has harked back to its heritage with the all-new Hand-Wired Series – a collection of AC amps that aim to be the ultimate recreation of the iconic amps used by Brian May, the Beatles and more.
- Revv has celebrated 10 years of amp building by revamping its flagship Generator 120.
- Victory’s newly-unveiled MK Series is said to be the culmination of influential amp designer Martin Kidd’s illustrious 30 year career – and were built to be the best amps he’s “ever made.”
- Peavey has pursued practicality by introducing a 20-watt version of its Classic tube amp combo, which doesn't compromise on tone.
- Eminent Technology's latest innovation, the Model Twenty-Two, is an absurdly slim amp cabinet that's so light it can be worn with a guitar strap.
- Those cheeky geniuses at Kemper HQ dropped their smallest Profiler yet, the Profiler Player, in the final week before Christmas. Controlled via your smartphone, and with no screen in sight, it’s a bold move from the German company, but crams an entire guitar rig into one compact pedal.
- Neural DSP finally launched its dedicated desktop controller, Cortex Control, but we would be extremely surprised if a new plugin or even – whisper it – amp modeler didn’t pop up at the show. Even if it’s just an update for an existing plugin, a la Plini X.
- IK Multimedia is planning something. We know this much. Could a bigger TONEX modeling pedal be on the cards? Maybe one that combines the company’s underrated X-Gear pedals for a Quad Cortex-rivaling multi-FX? That’s what we’d do if we were in the IK driving seat, anyway.
- As it did with the Archetype: Plini X plugin a few months back, Neural DSP has announced an over-hauled and soon-to-be Quad Cortex compatible Archetype: Gojira X – adding Joe Duplantier to its updated line-up of, er, ‘X Men’...
- Five years in the making, Two Notes' monstrous Genome software is finally here. Featuring AI software and compatibility with other amp modeling captures, Genome promises to be the ultimate virtual backline
NAMM 2024 guitar pedal news
- The big news from BOSS is that it’s back at NAMM, to be honest. And still in the throes of its 50th anniversary, we’re bound to see some new limited-editions alongside some fresh stompbox designs. Full-scale SP-1 Spectrum reissue? (No.)
- Jack White’s Third Man Hardware has made a splash by hopping on the DIY pedal train with the Fuzz-a-Tron – and it’s even cheaper than the JHS Notaklön.
- White's Third Man Hardware has also unveiled its hotly anticipated collaboration with budget brand Donner – a $99 3-in-1 multi-effects pedal featuring Echo, Phaser and Distortion effects.
- Accompanying its new Spark LIVE multi-instrument amp, Positive Grid has also issued the Control X footswitch. It's functional, colorful, and gives us serious Helix vibes. Could this be paving the way for a Spark floor unit?
- MXR kicked off the new year in style, dropping the not-so-subtly named Joshua Ambient Echo, which crams the Edge’s classic delay tones in one compact pedal.
- Dunlop has reissued Zakk Wylde’s go-to Rotovibe pedal to celebrate 20 years of partnership between the vaunted brand and metal guitar hero – and it’s got a sleek new look.
- EarthQuaker Devices has brought its popular Plumes overdrive to bass players with a dedicated low-end offering. The Blumes delivers double the gain, and a deeper response, for the same $99 price tag.
- Two years after the boutique pedal makers closed its California workshop, Fulltone is returning to the market thanks to a fresh collaboration with Jackson Audio. And yes, the OCD is coming back.
- Vox has clearly been leafing through the history books recently: as well as announcing the AC Hand-Wired Series (see above), the brand has also issued recreations of the first-ever production wah pedals. For more contemporary rigs, Vox has also expanded its Valvenergy pedal range.
- Electro-Harmonix has decided to host a joint celebration of 55 years of the iconic Big Muff Pi and 50 years of the Ramshead circuit, with the announcement of an extremely limited edition Double Anniversary Big Muff Pi.
- Keeley Electronics has released a new signature overdrive for Andy Timmons – and it’s left the virtuoso in “tone heaven.”
- Ibanez has introduced two handy new pedalboard problem-solvers as part of its Pentatone pedal series, plus a limited-edition 45th anniversary celebratory Tube Screamer.
- Mooer is promising to take octaver capabilities to the next level with its new X2 pitch-shifter and harmony pedals, which boast some neat stereo functionality, along with presets, in a compact enclosure.
- Mooer has also made another play to disrupt the multi-FX market with the AI-driven EQ section-equipped GE1000 Li. It also introduces, for the first time in Mooer's GE multi-effects catalog, a touchscreen.
- NUT will be showcasing the B-8, its problem-solving Professional Wireless System, which features an onboard tuner, built-in boost and ultra-fast wireless pairing.
- Ground Control might just have won NAMM: it's new UwU is a signal-boosting buffer unit that brings gaming to guitar pedals.
- Beetronics is doing fuzz a bit differently this year: it's unveiled the Abelha Tropical Fuzz, which aims to capture the sounds of a Brazilian artistic movement from the 1970s.
- Strymon has been releasing a mean line of downsized pedals, starting with the Cloudburst and moving onto the Brig dBucket Delay and UltraViolet Vintage Vibe. What’s next on their agenda?
- Friedman’s recent IR-X put the company’s revered tube preamps on your pedalboard, complete with impulse responses. It was a genuinely exciting launch, and with Friedman coming under the Boutique Amps Distribution banner, we’d be surprised not to see further offerings in this style, perhaps from Morgan or Tone King.
- UAFX, Universal Audio’s guitar pedal offshoot, has been going from strength to strength – especially after moderately famous guitarist the Edge started using its amp-modeling stompboxes at U2’s Sphere residency. Following the release of the Plexi-inspired Lion ’68 back in October, we’d take a punt on something higher-gain… Let’s say Boogie, 5150 or JCM-based.
- Gamechanger Audio’s impressive new, player-responsive MOD Series pedals – a delay, reverb, and chorus – can literally be wired like a modular synth.
- In 2023, Revv dropped the Shawn Tubbs Tilt Boost. We’d bet the office capo on something new from the Canadian co.
- Zoom really piqued our interest with the revival of its cult compact MultiStomp multi-FX back in October – we’d love to see this expand into twin-footswitch formats. Just saying…
- Line 6 will be present at the Yamaha booth, as per. The HX One landed back in October – can we expect any more spinoffs from the Helix line? Or something new altogether?
NAMM 2024 acoustic guitar news
- Remember that priceless Martin that Kurt Russell smashed on the Hateful Eight set? Well, it’s just been put on public display for the first time ever. Suffice to say, Martin hasn't exactly forgiven director Quentin Tarantino – the company has since changed its loan policy regarding museum instruments.
- Martin is also promising a new era of sustainable acoustic guitar innovation with the GPCE Inception and its skeletonized bracing design.
- In addition, Martin has reportedly redefined “the expectations of what an affordable acoustic should be” with its remastered X Series lineup. Notable updates have also been issued to Martin's revolutionary SC Series.
- For those who fancy doing a spot of window shopping, Martin's yearly limited-edition collection has finally arrived – complete with a Bitcoin-inspired dreadnought, a $50k anniversary model, and more.
- Taylor has caught us all by surprise, launching its Circa ’74 acoustic amp brand – complete with mahogany cabinets and looks to kill.
- Taylor also, of course, has some more Taylor-esque NAMM news as well, launching a trio of elegant 50th anniversary acoustic guitars.
- Ibanez has joined the secondary soundhole movement with the AE Performer series – which debuts its innovative new A.I.R. Port system – while the Tim Henson-inspired FRH10N has received two new gorgeous finishes.
- Takamine's master luthiers have celebrated one more trip around the sun with a spectacular new solar system-themed acoustic guitar build.
NAMM 2024 bass guitar news
- Orange has lifted the curtain on its first signature instrument, the Glenn Hughes O Bass – and, yes, it is purple.
- Ernie Ball Music Man lifted the curtain on the final Joe Dart Artist bass guitar, but it didn't stick around for long – it sold out in seconds.
NAMM 2024 guitar accessories news
- DiMarzio is targeting Gretsch players with its latest release, supercharging the Filter’Tron format with 3 new humbuckers – including a high-output Super Distor’Tron.
- L.R. Baggs has built on the foundations of its HiFi system by unveiling its latest acoustic guitar pickup system, the HiFi Duet, which is said to usher in “a new era in acoustic guitar amplification.”
- Positive Grid has aimed to rescue guitars players from “cable clutter” with the Spark LINK – a teeny, tiny wireless system.
- Black Dahlia Murder shred god Brandon Ellis has teamed up with Seymour Duncan for the Dyad, a “high-detailed” bridge humbucker that’s flipped upside-down.
- Vintage reissue straps seem to now be a thing: check out this Dunlop x Authentic Hendrix reproduction of Jimi’s Monterey Pop Festival strap.
- Through nifty neoprene and air cell core tech construction, Ernie Ball’s new Comfort Cloud strap line looks to provide “optimal cushioning” for prolonged playing.
- Snark continues to innovate on the clip-on tuner front. Its latest is the ST-8 Titanium, which offers weeks of tuning on a single battery charge, plus a vulcanized rubber shield and titanium construction to ensure it focuses only on the frequencies it needs to hear – vastly reducing background interference.
- On-Stage has released a workstation for keeping guitars, amps, pedals and more in one place, and it looks pretty nifty. Gear furniture is now officially A Thing.