Okay, we didn't spend much time looking at the new woodwind instruments and music stands - there's always next year - but from a guitar, hi-tech and drums perspective, we'd like to think that we saw as much as anyone out in Anaheim.
There was certainly plenty to see, too, but which new products won the show? We asked our team of experts to ponder that question and come up with some answers: here are the winners of MusicRadar's hotly contested NAMM 2018 awards.
Best electric guitar: Ibanez AZ Series
Ibanez unveiled more than 50 guitars at NAMM 2018 - we don't quite know how they do it - but the much-teased AZ line was the highlight.
These instruments have a neck shape that's palm-filling yet speedy, and were designed from the ground up with input from a number of top players to create a contemporary-looking and feeling guitar.
Best acoustic gear: Taylor Guitars V-Class
Taylor Guitars says that its V-Class bracing system represents a "fundamental innovation" in the design of acoustic guitars, offering greater tuning stability, volume and sustain than its more traditional X-braced models. And, as we found out, the new guitars sound great, too.
Best bass gear: Blackstar Unity Pro Bass System
Blackstar has hit the jackpot with its very first foray into the bass market. The Unity Pro amps - which range from 30 Watts to 500 Watts - feature Blackstar's Response control, enabling players to choose between the sound and feel of three power amp stages, shaping compression, natural drive and dynamics.
Best guitar amp: PRS MT 15
The MT 15 - Alter Bridge and Creed hero Mark Tremonti's first signature amp - is a 'commanding' two-channel lunchbox powered by 6L6 tubes, and designed very much with heavier players in mind. However, PRS is adamant that it has a lot to offer players of all genres. 'Tremondous', one might say.
Best guitar effects: Line 6 HX Effects
The HX is stacked with more than 100 of Line 6's Helix hardware and software-powered effects including, excitingly, 77 legacy effects, ranging all the way back to the company's venerable DL4. A 'Lineage 6' product, then...
Guitar innovation: OneManBand
We’ve seen all sorts of practice aids for guitar, but none promise to do quite so much as OneManBand, which can produce an on-the-fly backing band based on your guitar playing, make your guitar sound like any instrument and convert guitar signals into MIDI. Not wonder it's obliterated its Kickstarter funding target.
Best hardware synth: Elektron Digitone
Elektron’s Digitone promises to be a user-friendly take on FM synthesis, which sounds like an offer that many of us are going to struggle to refuse.
An eight-voice synth, this marries an FM engine to a subtractive synthesis signal flow, the theory being that this will enable anyone to create something a bit special.
“Turn a few knobs, and something interesting and musically relevant is bound to happen,” says Elektron, and we're inclined to agree.
Best music software: Audionamix Xtrax Stems
Audionamix’s Xtrax Stems promises to do something rather impressive: take any stereo or mono song and separate it into its component drum, vocal and remaining musical components. So, the mixed track ends up in three parts.
The extraction process is fully automatic, though there are four cloud-based algorithms that enable you to tailor the separation. DJs, producers and remixers should all be interested.
Best studio gear: Audient iD44
Audient has already impressed in the desktop audio interface market with the iD4, iD14 and iD22, and now it’s setting its sights on the slightly higher end with the iD44. This offers four Audient Class-A mic pres that deliver 60db of gain, and options for digital expansion. It might not be revolutionary, but it's super-classy.
Best DJ gear: Pioneer DDJ-1000
Likely to be everywhere in 2018, Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-1000 is a new 4-channel controller that’s designed to be used with the company’s rekordbox dj performance software.
The device 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.
Best Eurorack gear: Strymon Magneto
Guitar pedal specialist Strymon is getting into the Eurorack game with Magneto, a stereo multi-head tape delay module that can also function as a looper, phrase sampler, vintage spring reverb unit, phase-aligned clock multiplier, chaotic oscillator, zero-latency sub-oscillator and more. It also comes with extensive CV I/O.
Magneto was the talk of the Eurorack community at NAMM, and it's not hard to see why.
Hi-tech innovation: Waldorf Quantum
You've got to admire any company that releases a $4,000 synth these days, particularly when you consider how much value you can get at the lower end of the market. Quantum is a clearly a no-compromise instrument, though, a hybrid digital-analogue synth that might just have enough to justify its huge price tag.
Best drum kit: Tama Sound Lab Project Studio Maple
Everyone loves this. It has a high-quality, complex build, giving a better sound. No trickery, just a quality product that proves that, if you build it, they will come.
Best percussion: LP Bluetooth Mix Cajon
The all-in-one state-of-the-art Cajon for 2018. Why buy a wooden box when you can get one of these versatile, technology-packed beauties?
Drum innovation: Sabian FRX cymbals
Sabian's new cymbals cut specific frequencies to produce a perceived 'quieter' sound when you need a cymbal that won't drown out and dominate (such as when recording). Suddenly, cymbals sit perfectly in the mix. Magical.