NAMM 2018: news, rumours, teasers and predictions

NAMM 2018: Contrary to the world at large, the guitar and music tech gear world was filled with good news in 2017, so hopes are high that the upcoming Winter NAMM show is going to knock our socks clean off.

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.

We'll have to wait until 25 January to find out exactly what these companies 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 2018, keep it right here…

Guitars

- Want Rat distortion tones without a pedal? The Rat Tail features the classic circuit crammed into a guitar cable

- Chase Bliss Audio has introduced the Condor Analog EQ / Pre / Filter pedal

- The first of Fender's announcements is in, and it's a replacement for the venerable American Vintage line: get a load of the 11-strong American Original Series

- Walrus Audio has dropped another typically desirable pedal, the Fathom Multi-Function Reverb

- Soundscapers rejoice, for Rainger FX has announced the overdrive-equipped Reverb-X mini pedal

- Vintage string enthusiasts will be pleased to see the reintroduction of La Bella's renowed '60s and '70s Bender sets

- Fano has dropped a new offset bass design, the JM4-FB

- There's a quartet of new Align Series acoustic preamp pedals incoming from LR Baggs

- Mad Professor has revealed its “most amp-like pedal ever”, the Little Tweedy Drive

- Martin's only gone and reimagined its entire, 21-strong Standard Series line for 2018, and launched a $15k signature acoustic for guitar lothario John Mayer

- More ingenuity from Alexander Pedals, which has announced the feature-rich Quadrant Audio Mirror delay

- Lollar has lifted the lid on its “harder, heavier, more aggressive” dB Humbucker guitar pickup

- Cort has expanded its Artisan Series with a new open-pore six-string bass, the B6 Plus AS, and we hear there's much more to come

- Dave Friedman calls it "the best amp I've ever made"; we call it the highly flexible, super-desirable Friedman Amps BE-50 Deluxe 50-watt All-Tube Head

- EarthQuaker Devices has introduced the Westwood Translucent Drive Manipulator, plus five V2 pedals

- There are four new digital pedals incoming from TC Electronic, dubbed the Sonic Specialists, plus the intriguing Teleport Guitar Transmission System

- As per its parent brand, Epiphone won't be attending NAMM, but it's unveiled Anaconda Burst-finished Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro guitars nonetheless

- Boss has launched the world’s first fully wireless guitar amp system, the Katana-Air - and before you complain about it "not being the first", note that it has a built-in wireless receiver AND it can run on batteries. No wires at all!

- Guild's offerings include a reissue of '60s oddball the Jetstar, plus the Starfire Bass, F-55 and D-240E Flame Mahogany and more

- D'Addario has announced the really-quite-useful Clip-free Micro Tuner, as well as a boatload of other fresh accessories, including a DIY Pedalboard Power Kit

- Something big this way comes from EHX. We'll say no more

- Schecter's new line-up is out of the bag, and it's full of big-name specs, with a few retro rockers to boot

- There's more Tony Iommi goodness from Laney, as the Black Sabbath legend receives a lower-wattage, more widely available version of his debut-aping signature head, the LA30BL - and there's more to come, apparently

- Ibanez has teamed up with Korg to produce the Nutube-equipped NTS Tube Screamer, and casually dropped 50+ new electric guitars, 25 new basses, plus a Tom Quayle signature model

- ThorpyFX will be attending NAMM and bringing something new along for the ride

- Mooer is dropping three new Micro Preamp mini pedals, its mini treadle-ready pitch-shifter, the Pitch Step, as well as the Audiofile headphone pedalboard amp

- Italian company Sim1 will be showcasing its XT-1 pedal, which promises to emulate the sound of any electric or acoustic guitar - it's a bit like a Kemper for guitars

- Framus will be unveiling two new Devin Townsend-designed guitars, with the possibility of “more reasonable prices” according to Devin

- Ryan Adams' signature Strat is very nearly ready… will the man himself be at NAMM?

- There’s something EL34-flavoured coming from Marshall

- The news that Tosin Abasi is producing his own guitars came as a surprise after a long relationship with Ibanez, and his newly formed company will be attending NAMM

- Vox is planning to move more production to the UK - does that mean more hand-wired models, as per this year’s 60th Anniversary AC15 and AC30 reissues?

- In a surprise move, Gibson has confirmed it won't be attending NAMM; nonetheless, it's unveiled updated electrics, fresh Montana acoustics and Memphis semis - and even revived the RD, announced a Semi-Hollow version of its controversial Modern Double Cut guitar and teased the radical Modern Flying V

- ESP has already dropped what must surely be its entire LTD line-up for 2018, including multi-scale models, jaw-dropping new finishes and a fresh Black Metal range

- Warwick’s RockBoard line is setting out for pedalboard dominance with a totally redesigned range

- PRS has released new SE models and updated the entire line, as well as six new SE Acoustics, and dropped the Custom 24-08 - we’re still awaiting news of a Mark Tremonti signature amp and that Strat-style John Mayer model, though…

- Paul Gilbert has developed a set of PG-13 mini-humbuckers with DiMarzio

- There are exciting Orange plans afoot, big and small, but we can’t say any more than that…

- Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X is pulling no punches with his LAA-Custom F**k Jazz Overdrive pedal

- Radical tweaks are expected from Taylor

- T-Rex won't be showcasing a working version of its take on the Binson Echorec, by the sounds of it

- Zivix will be premiering two new Jamstik+ smart guitars, to focus on two different player groups: learners and creators

- Will we see the release of TC Electronic's Roland Juno-inspired chorus, the June-60?

Tech

-  Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-1000 has a familiar look to it, and features the same jog wheels as you’ll find on Pioneer’s CDJ-2000NXS2. There’s also an On Jog display that displays track information, saving you from having to look at your laptop.

- Not content with releasing just the one MiniBrute 2, Arturia have dropped another. The S2 ditches the 25-note keyboard in favour of a set of performance pads, and includes a triple-layer sequencer with space to save up to 64 sequences.

- Arturia has seriously beefed-up the MiniBrute in version two. It’s now a full-on semi modular monosynth with a KeyStep-inspired sequencer. 

- Radikal Technologies will be taking to the show floor with a new Eurorack gateway drug, called the Delta Cep A semi-modular synth.

- Not content with just showing us the new Quantum, Waldorf will also be dropping a whole ton of vocoding string synth in the form of the snappily-named STVC.

- Despite no actual physical presence at the show, although we’re hoping Moog will be in the neighbourhood to show off its ever expanding family, which now includes the DFAM.

- Focusrite has uncorked another classic vintage, with an update to the Clarett range.

- Want 384kHz operation in a desktop audio interface? Then you need look no further than the JoeCo Cello.

- With up to 20 hours on a single charge, Samson’s new Expedition XP108w PA is a busker’s dream.

- Novation are going big at this year’s show with a user-experience to rival most booth offerings.

- High performance at low, low prices might be the mantra of a used car salesman, it’s also the USP for JBL’s series 4 mkII monitors.

- Dropping some news at CES is Roland with two mobile-centric offerings. First up is the 4XCamera app makes it easy to create split-screen music videos.

- It’s not all about video though, as the Japanese giant has unleashed the R-07; a handheld recorder that you can control from your phone.

- Another mobile offering, the R4 from CEntrance is a proper serious looking interface, with plenty of pro features.

- Apogee has completely overhauled its USB mic with a new ‘Plus’ edition.

- No random button-bashing here. Moldover had created a new unnamed instrument in the form of a modded Akai LPK 25, which is now in the hands of the highly digitally dextrous Glasys. 

- Behringer is up to its usual tricks with yet another unknown prototype, much to the annoyance of those who are still waiting for their Model D clone to arrive (see below)

- IK Multimedia tells us that it'll "be bringing hardware/software integration to a new level for both studio and stage – with something for guitars, vocals AND keyboards”. Intriguing...

- It's already shown some new wares at CES, but Roland is assuring us that there's more to come at NAMM. Synths, perhaps?

- We’re hoping that Waldorf’s long-awaited Quantum polysynth will get an airing; pre-orders are now being taken and it’s scheduled to ship in January

- Given that it’s been available to pre-order for six months, Behringer will be under pressure to show a finished version of its Minimoog-cloning Behringer D synth. Inevitably, it’ll also be quizzed about its on/off plans to emulate a whole load of other synths, too

- Another well-known music technology manufacturer is set to unveil additions to its audio interface range, promising great performance at a relatively low price

- Following Gibson’s decision to end development of its products, is it too much to hope that we might hear some good news about Cakewalk?

- As a general theme, we’re going to stick our neck out and say that this could be the year of the analogue polysynth. The market is flooded with monophonic instruments, so it feels like the next logical step

- We know that both Ableton Live 10 and FL Studio 20 are scheduled for release in 2018, but we doubt that either will be on display at NAMM

- Word has it that CEntrance could be launching a new mobile recording interface

- There's often a new Dave Smith synth at NAMM but, to the best of our knowledge, his company won't be exhibiting at the show this year, so a product announcement seems unlikely