Hold tight: we're going in
NAMM 2017: Here we are again, then - the annual NAMM Show is upon us. The traditional showcase for many of the new guitar, tech, drum and DJ products that you’ll be lusting after over the coming months, it’s attended by everyone who’s anyone in the music-making gear industry.
Our team is on the ground in Anaheim, California, and will endeavour to make you feel like you’re there, too. Of course, we’ll have all the news as it comes in - check out our NAMM 2017 hub and you’ll find every single story we post - but we’ll also be getting hands-on with all the big releases and telling you exactly what we think of them. Expect words, pictures and, we hope, the answers to many of your questions.
We’ll be updating this gallery throughout the show with the latest updates from the show floor. Expect both wizardry and weirdness, as we sample all that NAMM 2017 has to offer.
With passes at the ready and in the expectation of a bag search at the door, let’s head on in…
Fender Custom Shop’s latest creation, the Art Deco-style, Yuriy Shiskov-built Studioliner, is based on a 1936 Kodak camera and features 1,000 diamonds. The price? A mere $450,000.
The Sensel Morph's swappable silicon covers enable you to create a different kind of MIDI controller in an instant. Bundles start at $249 for the base unit and two overlays. Each overlay will retail for $25 each.
Heavy metal harp
A Hohner Ozzy Osborne signature harmonica. Sure.
Lego gets loud
The epic Dynaudio speaker array. There was a probably a bit left over when they’d finished building it, but there always is...
Martin staff are showing off the company’s priceless 2 Millionth guitar - it made us a little nervous.
Orange goes acoustic...
Orange is launching a high-end acoustic valve preamp - its first ever acoustic product - the Acoustic Valve Pre Twin Channel. It operates in stereo and offers phantom power, 3-band EQ and stereo reverb.
A juicy compressor
Also on display from Orange is this rather beautiful compressor pedal, the Kongpressor. We've already gone ape for it…
Modular for rockers
We’re impressed by US company Somnium’s ingenious modular guitar concept, which allows players to swap pickups, body shapes and fretboards at will, secured by a small thumbwheel on the back of the instrument.
Badge of honour
The show has barely begun, but we'd already have to say that the prize for best freebie goes to Boss for its rather cute DS-1 pin badge.
Jimmy Jam lives up to his surname on the Roland stand...
...As his production partner Terry Lewis tries the TR-09.
This year's Roland lifetime achievement awards went to Andy Summers and Jean-Michel Jarre, with the super-suave synthesist sticking around for a quick Q&A.
Fender Custom Shop stand - in pictures
The Fender Custom Shop's showcase is always one of the highlights of the Winter NAMM event. We got in early to bring you a first look at some of the extraordinary guitars from Fender, Jackson, Charvel and Gretsch's master builders.
No new products on the Moog Music Inc. this year, but show-goers could be in with a chance to win tickets to Moogfest, or even a synth.
Jackson meets Slipknot
The first sighting of Slipknot man Mick Thomson's signature Jackson in the wild, complete with Seymour Duncan Blackouts and a Floyd Rose.
Don't get stung
EVH's latest is the bee's knees: a Wolfgang Special Striped with maple fingerboard and black and yellow stripes. MSRP $2,167.
Gojira guitarist Joe Duplantier's stripped-back signature Charvel San Dimas is now available in a more affordable incarnation with Duncan Designed humbuckers. MSRP $827.
Hands off the Digitakt
Elektron's new Digitakt drum machine represents a different approach for the Swedes, being digital rather than analogue. There’s only one model on the booth and unfortunately it’s encased in a Perspex box, so we won't be able to get any hands on it this time.
DSI meets Pioneer DJ... again
Dave Smith lends his tech to another Pioneer DJ Toraiz instrument, the AS-1.
Mayer the force be with you
PRS’s J-MOD 100 John Mayer signature amp in the flesh. Sadly, dishy John himself wasn’t there… at least not today.
It’s only bloody John Petrucci at the Ernie Ball stand, sharing tips on maximising beard volume.
St Vincent speaks
Annie Clark (St Vincent) was on hand to take an enraptured audience through the latest finishes for her signature model. Apparently, she plays differently depending on which colour she’s playing. A fascinating tidbit for you there.
A one-off Petrucci signature model was also on stage at the Ernie Ball booth, looking almost as magnificent as the man himself.
Get your freq on
Aaahhh… FreqOut! Natural feedback ahoy from DigiTech’s glistening new stomper. We’ll be getting hands-on with this later on.
A Supro head? You’d better believe it: the Statesman is here and it’s new. A new Statesman, if you will.
Out of this world?
Seymour Duncan is showing off its brand spanking new Andromeda delay pedal, which boasts both digital and analogue voicings. We managed to spend 10 minutes in its company and were thoroughly impressed by the experience. Hands-on report coming soon.
Cort/Manson’s M-Jet, looking thoroughly sultry in matt black.
And here’s the other Cort/Manson model for this year: the Classic TC. We really like the look of this one.
A boost for Tony Iommi...
Laney’s Tony Iommi TI-Boost pedal in person!
... And an amp as well
And here’s the Black Sabbath man’s LA100BL.
It's Jimi time
Five new Jimi Hendrix effects from Dunlop: the Gypsy Fuzz, Univibe, Fuzz Face, Octavio and signature mini wah.
D’aww, it’s a Mini Dyna Comp from MXR! What a cutie.
Stu Hamm and Michael Jackson guitarist Jennifer Batten hanging out at the BluGuitar booth.
Wall of Orange sound
Orange isn’t messing around. Enough cabs for ya?
Roland will take your cab-wall Orange and raise you... a wall of cables.
All revved up
Not content with releasing the second collaboration with Pioneer DJ on the AS-1, Dave Smith has brought the new REV 2 to the NAMM party.
Full-size hands playing the full-size keys of the Korg ARP Odyssey FS.
Sonic Charge's MicroTonic can share sounds with Teenage Engineering's PO-32. Those guys look so good together.
Gemini's MAS-1 is designed to be the Ableton Live controller for DJs. Check out the tilt on that stand.
The iconic Binson Echorec is back at the hands of T-Rex Effects, and promises to stay true to the original concept within a foot-pedal format.
T-Rex was also showing off its SoulMate Acoustic multi-effects, which not only packs a compressor, mod, delay, reverb, boost and EQ, but also features a tuner and looper.
Hayden had a whole host of new amps on show, including the Vanquish, which boasts a switchable tone stack from British to American voicing.
Ashdown at 20
Ashdown is celebrating its 20th anniversary with these rather lovely-looking tweed-covered heads and cabs.
We can’t wait to get our hands on the Empress Echosystem: 25 modes, two stereo delay engines, MIDI connectivity and SD card updates? Sounds like a worthy successor to the still-highly regarded Superdelay to us.
NAMM is famed for its slap-bassery. But it doesn’t get funkier than this unusual handling of a two-string bass. Slap and pop, baby. It’s all you need.
The Guild S-200 T-Bird ST looks proper nice up close. Provided you don’t mind the melted candle vibe of the body shape.
We were also loving the looks of the M-240E Troubadour. Simple, effective, affordable at $469.
Reverend is showcasing a load of 20th anniversary Double Agent models - note the 21st fret inlay. Nice finishes, too.
Hotone hits the floor
Well, hello, what do we have here? A dual-channel floor amp from Hotone? With reverb and footswitchable boost? Don’t mind if we do.
Fit to Blurst
It was the best of times, it was the Blurst of times: it’s EHX’s latest crazy mod filter.
Overlord help us
This one’s very clever: a dual-input/output overdrive with dry control and several JFET gain stages, plus a boost you can route to before or after the drive. Nice one, EHX.
Kind of a MIG deal
Those new pedals were being run through this new incarnation of the Electro-Harmonix MIG-50 with nifty matching cabs. They may well be up for sale once again.
A major Plus point
Perhaps the hottest surprise of the show so far is the PLUS Pedal, which offers piano-like sustain for guitar, with completely natural-sounding results. It’s a brand-new company, so don’t expect the finished article until June, but we really like the sound of this one.
Peavey Invective 120
In many ways the spiritual successor to the 6505, Peavey’s Invective 120 was designed with input from Misha Mansoor and promises “the most revered metalsounds”. Intriguingly, it features two remote switchable effects loops and two 9V outputs for effects. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
Put a ring on it
It’s Sonic! On an ESP guitar! We’re thrilled to see that these might make it out of Japan.
Everyone’s second-favourite Metallica guitarist has received yet another LTD signature model: the KH-Demonology, which clocks in at $1,641.
Yes, it’s true: Korn’s Head has defected from Ibanez after over two decades. His first signature model with LTD is a seven-string with Evertune bridge and Fishman Fluence humbuckers. Oh, and a See Thru Purple finish. It’ll be $1,856 when it lands later this year.
We spy a Sparrowhawk
Bill Kelliher’s LTD Sparrowhawk is here, and ruddy nice it looks, too, especially in that Military Green Sunburst Satin finish. It has a $1,703 price tag.
Scaling new heights?
Did somebody say M-1007 Special Edition Multi-Scale? No? Well, here’s a prototype for that guitar, anyway. Interesting to see ESP following Ibanez’s recent forays into fanned frettage.
A Classic from Ampeg
Ampeg had a pair of compact pedals on display in its appallingly lit booth: the Classic…
…and the Scrambler Bass Overdrive. Low-enders will be all over these.
Where the Wylde things are
The Wylde Audio Grail over at the Schecter stand. Bullseye.
This Schecter Stargazer Bass is a working prototype designed with Lemmy before he passed away. Accordingly, it’s not for sale, but a fascinating insight into what could have been.
Another fallen hero was honoured in the form of Schecter’s Cloud guitars - the company is the exclusive manufacturer of the models, available only through Paisley Park.
A little Taylor-made bass
Taylor is receiving top feedback for its GS-Mini Bass - who’d have thunk it?
Don't return to sender
D’Angelico is getting all shook up with its Excel 175 Elvis Presley electric. Strange: we never saw ol’ Elv’ as a matt finish kinda guy.
Also on show is this Premier Grateful Dead DC. We like the blend of finish types and that whopping great lightning bolt.
I hope security are going to check under this guy’s hat when he leaves the building - you could get at least seven stompboxes under there.
The future is bright
This is the future right here. Why set up a booth with all your brand new gear on display when you can film a 360 degree epic film featuring all of your endorsees and get show-punters to check it out in the safety of VR?
Custom end-cheeks on this System-8 look bang-tidy with the System-1 M and System 500 Eurorack modules.
Paul Soulsby has pulled out all the stops with the unveiling of the latest member of the Atmegatron family. The four-voice polysynth, Atmultitron, was unfortunately not behaving itself, so we couldn’t hear it in action.
Bastls in the sand
Bastl Instruments’ Klik was announced on the first day and unveiled as part of a new collaboration with Bitwig and Irrupt.
Klik is a classic case of a simple yet effective tool that will make your life so much easier. It amplifies the Clock and Reset signals outputted through your audio interface to a Eurorack-friendly level.