NAMM 2020: news, rumours, teasers and predictions

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NAMM 2020: news, rumours, teasers and predictions
(Image credit: Future)

NAMM 2020: It's the biggest event of the year for gear and we'll have all the news that matters on MusicRadar. But before Winter NAMM 2020 kicks off later this week there's always a whole heap of conjecture, hope and rumour regarding the key launches could drop at the Anaheim show between 16 and 19 January. Big things are brewing and we're here to sort the facts from the fluff.

But first, what is NAMM, exactly? Held every year in Anaheim, California, this trade-only event sees the world's biggest (and smallest) developers and manufacturers gathering together to show off their latest products for guitarists, hi-tech musicians, drummers, DJs and many others.

The NAMM dates to mark in your diary are  January 16 to 19. That's when we'll find out exactly what the likes of Fender, Yamaha, Roland, Gibson, Korg, Behringer and many, many more have in store for us, but as ever, our appetite will be whetted up until then with teasers, rumours, previews and - whoops - the odd leak or two.

To ensure you don't miss out on anything the pre-show hype machine churns out, we'll be updating this page with all the news (confirmed or otherwise) that comes in, as well as posting our own predictions.

So, if you want to know what will/might/possibly won't happen at NAMM 2020, keep it right here…

NAMM Guitar news

  • Fender: the biggest question marks hang over the big F because we're expecting the highest number of significant launches from its stable. The Ultra Series has already hit the market but we know there will be more signature models for female artists than ever before in its history but who that will be is still unclear. But other signature models have been confirmed…

    A Jim Root Jazzmaster was confirmed by CEO Andy Mooney and it's set to feature his new EMG pickups, and a Custom Shop Joe Bonamassa '51 Nocaster is on its way too – it's based on his favourite guitar.

    And in breaking news – could we be seeing a signature model of Tom Morello's Audioslave-era Soul Power Strat? YouTuber Ryan 'Fluff' Bruce attended Morello's recent Guitar Revolution event in California and reported this…


  • Gibson: If 2019 was the comeback, what will 2020 be? The wraps are starting to come off. First up, we have a recreation of Tony Iommi's legendary "Monkey" SG (below), in a limited run of 50.

    More signature models seem certain – the first being a whole collection for Slash, with Les Pauls and J-45s. A signature for Tool's Adam Jones (Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom) has now been confirmed but won't be at NAMM, and now the possibility Bon Jovi's Phil-X has moved to Gibson from Framus.

    We'd like to see some more affordable models in the 2020 range too though and some championing of newer guitar talent too beyond the Epiphone range. Here's hoping!

    For now we have an online TV channel from Gibson that's full of great shows.

NAMM 2020: news, rumours, teasers and predictions

Gibson Tony Iommi "Monkey" SG Special (Image credit: Gibson)
  • Ibanez: The Japanese company always go big at winter NAMM and it has already unveiled new AZ and RG models. We sense there's going to be some big signature models coming and announced during the show weekend.

    On the effects side, the company has announced three new pedals – Flanger and Tremolo Mini models and the return of the ES3 Echo Shifter Delay. But expect much more on the guitar side, especially with signature models.


  • ESP: The company has enough new guitars at NAMM that it's previewed some in phase 1 and phase 2 LTD model announcements already that sees the Phoenix model rise again as well as affordable Eclipses. Now it's completed the trilogy of new model announcements with phase 3 – featuring signature model revisions and the new '87 anniversary models… plus a Viper with EverTune!
  • Revv Amps: The Canadians have lifted the lid on their lunchbox… amp head that is. The Revv G20 is packing Two Notes' Torpedo cab modelling alongside immense high gain tones.
  • Martin: it's already released an affordable Johnny Cash signature and also the small matter of 29 new models for 2020. But we don't think that will be all.
  • LR Baggs: Might be about to finally deliver the tonal Holy Grail for live acoustic players with its new Soundscape.
  • Godin: As well as November's Radiator reissue model and the versatile Session HT, there could be more to come from the Canadians at the show.
  • JHS Effects: The big news for NAMM is the PG-14 Paul Gilbert signature distortion has landed and sounds very promising indeed. 
  • Yamaha: Nylon string models are the first order of business with six new NX series guitars – four featuring Atmosfeel electronics.
  • Line 6: Surely the company will have at least one new product but will it be a new Helix unit… or something else.
  • Danelectro: Company president Steve Ridinger revealed to JHS Effects' Josh Scott in a recent video that there's three new pedals being released. The 3699 Fuzz (see a demo below), Roebuck distortion (based on the Ibanez MP10 Mosfet circuit)  and Danelectro Back Talk Reverse Delay. 

  • Reverend: The US guitar company has a new signature model for Nine Inch Nails man Robin Finck as well other new designs in the shape of the Roundhouse and Contender, plus a revamped Warhawk.
  • Electro-Harmonix: The company has announced its first tuner pedal; it's mini and affordable. But will that be it? Of course not! Stay tuned…
  • Fryette: The Deliverance II Series amps are likely to be their main NAMM showing. But as you can see from the spec here, it's a significant one.
  • Schecter: Two additions to the guitar line have already been revealed in the shape of the new striking Silver Mountain and updated PT Pro lines. There will be much more coming too.
  • Seagull: The Canadians have flown in an addition to the popular S6 acoustic line with the Classic Black.
  • Cort: After Schecter and PRS started the party, Cort are now getting into the Sand-blasted finish. While the finishes may divide opinion, we like the look of the new GX300.
  • Washburn: The US company has kicked off its new product announcements with a signature acoustic for Stryper's Michael Sweet. Check out the bearclaw on this!
  • Mooer: The firm are going all-in on multi effects modelling units. And the new GE250 is priced competitively with a seriously impressive spec. We'll get a closer look on the show floor, and there's going to be a lot more from them too.
  • SolidGoldFX: Zeppelin and Tonebender fans rejoice – there's a treat coming your way with the new Communication Breakdown fuzz.
  • Faith: The British acoustic designers is stretching out this year with its first nylon and baritone models.
  • Darkglass Electronics: Finnish purveyor of bass amps, pedals, and other low-end gear is launching a new range of lightweight cabinets. But fear not, we're promised that the DN Cabinet range's relative lugability doesn't come at a cost of flimsy tone.
  • Boss: do the effects legends have anything left in the tank to release? After all it's already revealed the SY-100 guitar and bass synth and highly desirable Waza-Air amp and effects headphones. Add to that there's the DD-8 and DD-3T delay pedals. What's next? We can't wait to find out!
  • Vox: We recently paid a visit to the UK Vox HQ and are sworn to secrecy but they have new products that are more than just backline related. Its entry into the small modelling amp market is now officially announced, however, and features its electro-luminescent NuTube tech. Check out the Cambridge 50-watt modelling combo amp here. It's also added a Bluetooth-enabled Mini Superbeetle.
  • PRS: Late last year the Maryland builders revealed six new SE guitars, plus new Mark Holcomb and Dustie Waring signature models. There's also a host of 35th anniversary models too. But we want more – specifically John Mayer waltzing into the show to announce an SE Silver Sky. Will we get it? 
  • Earthquaker Effects: Good news for those that missed out on the Sunn O))) Life Pedal last year when it sold out almost immediately. There's a second version and it's not only more compact, there's added features too.

  • Manson Guitar Works: Struggling to find the MBC-1 is stock anywhere? Good news - there's a new Matt Bellamy signature and it's at a great price point again. It's part of a whole new line of more affordable guitars called the Meta Series. An impressive start to the year for MGS's owner Bellamy. 

NAMM 2020: news, rumours, teasers and predictions

(Image credit: Manson Guitar Works )

Tech news

  • Behringer: Barely a week goes by at the moment without Behringer announcing some new product or another - most recently, an emulation of the Octave CAT synth. So, has the company held anything back for NAMM time? We'll find out soon enough.
  • Korg: Korg is showing its NAMM hand early, giving us the Wavestate synth - an updated version of the Wavestation. Check out our review.

    Following Jean-Michel Jarre's leak, the ARP 2600 FS has been announced, too, and we also have a review of that one.

That's not the end of the Korg story, either: check out the SV-2 stage piano, beginner-friendly i3 music workstation, NC-Q1 smart noise-cancelling DJ headphones and Nu:Tekt OD-S, a DIY kit for building your own overdrive pedal. The Japanese giant is delivering once again.

NAMM 2020: news, rumours, teasers and predictions

(Image credit: Roland)
  • Roland: Roland is exhibiting in Las Vegas at CES 2020 this week, and has announced the A-88MKII MIDI 2.0-ready controller keyboard and Go:Livecast mini livestreaming studio. Is there more to come at NAMM? Let's hope so, although we also have a concept piano to tide us over.
  • PreSonus: Having kicked off the year by announcing the StudioLive ARc series hybrid mixers, PreSonus is has released the Quantum 2626 audio interface, too. There's also another new product that can't be talked about until the first day of the show, and you can expect the company to be talking-up its Studio One 4.6 DAW update as well.
  • Artiphon: The Nashville-based company will be showing off the Orba, a portable all-in-one synth, MIDI controller and looper that's currently doing the business on Kickstarter.
  • Focusrite/Novation: The Focusrite Group says that its NAMM focus this year is on "Removing barriers to creativity". How this noble aim will manifest itself in terms of new product remains to be seen, but we know that a slew of industry professionals will be on the booth to spread the word.
  • RME: High-quality audio interfaces are what RME is all about, and it looks like it's got another one in the shape of the portable Babyface Pro FS.
  • Numark: Looking for a portable DJing controller that you can scratch on? Numark can help you out with the DJ2GO2 Touch.
  • Vochlea Music: If your current MIDI controller isn't doing it for you, have a sniff of the Dubler Studio Kit, which lets you control your gear with your voice. It'll be getting its US debut at NAMM.
  • Yamaha: The YC61 is a compact stage keyboard that could be great for gigging musicians. The highlight is its organ section, which offers real drawbars, but there are plenty of other sounds in here, too.

Drums

  • Roland: We fully expect Roland to continue building out their V-Drums offering, and we'd be extremely surprised if there wasn't more blurring of the lines between acoustic kits, triggering and full electronic kits in the offing.
  • Yamaha: Don't expect Yamaha to be quiet, either.
  • Promuco: Bonzo's "trees" will be sprouting at NAMM, thanks to a faithful reissue of John Bonham's custom '70s sticks.
  • Tama have already taken the wraps off the Club-JAM Flyer mini-kit, their entry into the so-hot-right-now portable kit market, and it looks like it represents excellent value.
  • Gretsch has already made a new addition to its Full Range line with the introduction of the rather retro-looking Catalina CS2 Special Edition Kit. Expect much more to follow.