NAMM 2019: news, rumours and teasers

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NAMM 2019: We don’t know whether it’s because the years are getting shorter [they’re not - ed] or we’re getting older [you are - ed] but the Winter NAMM Show seems to roll around quicker than ever. It seems almost inconceivable, but NAMM 2019 really is almost upon us - between January 24 and 27, the centre of the music-making universe will be the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

As ever, we’ll be there to walk off the holiday weight and bring you news, videos and first-hand reports on the best products from the biggest manufacturers and software developers. Whether you’re into guitars, amps, synths, drums, recording, DJing or production, there’ll be new gear at the show that you’ll want to know about.

So, what can you expect to see at NAMM 2019? As ever, the rumour mill is starting to grind, with whispers of new guitar, tech, DJing and drum products already being heard. Rest assured that we’ve got our ears to the ground and our eyes on the news feeds, so when a new NAMM 2019 rumour or announcement comes in, you’ll be the first to know about it.

We’ll keep this page updated with all the news as we get it, so make sure you bookmark it and check back regularly.

NAMM 2019 guitar news and rumours

- The big news from Gibson is that it will actually be at NAMM this year, following 2018’s no-show, and it looks set to be a good one as the resurgent company gives players what they want with traditional-spec electrics and more affordable acoustics. Other announcements include the company’s back-to-basics 2019 electric guitar range, plus the Chris Cornell Tribute ES-335 signature guitar.

- It looks like MXR is about to release a signature Green Day pedal, according to frontman Billie Joe Armstrong...

- Neunaber has announced its ultra-versatile, “hyper-realistic” Neuron guitar preamp.

- Eventide’s innovative Rose grafts digital delay onto an analogue platform.

- Blackstar has lifted the lid on three new Studio 10 tube amps, plus the EL84-fuelled HT-20R head and combo, and the HT-1R and HT-5R - and there may well be more to come...

- Canadian guitar co Godin has announced the Multiac Steel, a signature guitar for Phil Collins guitarist Daryl Stuermer, as well as plans to release its first-ever acoustic guitar line.

- IK Multimedia has announced the AXE I/O - is it the high-end audio interface guitar players have been waiting for?

- Martin's announcements are well underway, including (deep breath) 9 Special and Limited Edition acoustic guitars, all-new Modern Deluxe Series, two far-out Woodstock 50th Anniversary acoustic guitars, as well as updates to the Dreadnought Junior and Road Series, and all-new Slope Shoulder guitars.

- It's all go at camp Vox, with the launch of ultra-affordable VX15 and Nutube-equipped VX50 amps, the addition of Warehouse speakers to a run of limited-edition AC15s, and (yes) a Union Jack Mini Superbeetle.

- Mooer looks set to disrupt the multi-effects market with the astonishingly feature-rich GE300.

- PRS has announced its first wave of releases, including the CE 24 Semi-Hollow, Ziricote SE Custom 24, Paul’s Guitar and new SE acoustics, plus the McCarty 594 Hollowbody II and the SE Santana Singlecut Trem, SE Schizoid and SE Paul’s Guitar.

- G7th is promising “unrivalled tuning stability” from its new Performance 3 capo.

- In one of the more “WTF?” announcements of the show, Finnish luthier Ruokangas has unveiled the Valvebucker, which it claims is the first and only tube-driven electric guitar pickup in the world.

- There's a unique new hardware product for guitarists on the way from IK Multimedia, maybe even two...

- Supro has upped the gain and dropped the price tag for its latest purdy Class A combo, the Blues King 12, launched another limited-edition David Bowie model, the 1961 Dual Tone, and also unveiled a tasty-looking analogue delay pedal.

- One of the show's greatest innovations so far is Noatronic’s Onboard Expression, which enables guitarists to control any MIDI device from their instrument.

- Greece's Tsakalis Audio Works may have just devised the quintessential boutique overdrive pedal, the Six B.O.D., which claims to house Timmy, Bluesbreaker and KOT sounds in one stompbox.

- In what looks set to be one of the highlights of the show for recording guitarists, Audient and Two Notes have joined forces to produce the Sono, an audio interface that packs an onboard valve plus Torpedo power-amp modelling and cab sims.

- After weeks of teasing, Strymon has revealed the Volante delay pedal, which covers magnetic drum echo, tape echo and reel-to-reel studio echo sounds in typically definitive fashion.

- ThorpyFX has collaborated with Lovetone’s Dan Coggins on the Deep Oggin chorus/vibrato.

- Joyo's relentless run of releases shows no sign of stopping as it unveils the Maximum overdrive.

- Electro-Harmonix's first announcement is in, and it's… strings! Let's hope some pedals are set to follow.

- Orange is stepping outside its comfort zone this year with the Pedal Baby 100 power amp and TremLord 30 combo.

- One of this year's most desirable fuzz pedals has made itself known in the form of Red Witch's Fuzz God III, which crams 64 fuzz combinations into one mini pedal.

- The Faceless's Wes Hauch has lent his talents to Seymour Duncan in developing the Jupiter seven-string humbucker.

- Cort has developed its own alternative to rosewood, EvoRose, which appears on its new MR720F acoustic - the first of many announcements to come from the Korean firm.

- Five new pickup sets have been announced by active specialists EMG, including models for Lars Frederiksen, David Ellefson, Frank Bello, Tom Araya and Prashant Aswani.

- Shin-ei, maker of the original Uni-Vibe, is readying the downsized Vibe-2.

- Catalinbread will have... something.

- In an intriguing - though not entirely unexpected - development, Fender has acquired Bigsby. Vibrato-equipped Telecaster players will doubtlessly be shaking with excitement...

- New from EarthQuaker Devices is the Swiss Things Pedalboard Reconciler, a utility pedal that aims to solve a lot of problems, plus the Dispatch Master V3.

- Morley has unveiled new ABY and ABC Pro pedalboard switchers.

- Exciting news in bass cab land, as Aguilar expands its SL line to include the SL 115.

- Anyone looking for an affordable way to amplify their amp modeller will be keen to check out HeadRush's new FRFR-108 powered cabinet.

- Mad Professor strikes again with the super-versatile, all-analogue Double Moon chorus/flanger/vibrato.

- What's on the way from Taylor? It's pretty big, according to the acoustic giants...

- Epiphone has revived its Del Rey Double Cut as the DC Pro - and it looks mighty fine indeed...

- Poland's Taurus Amplification has debuted its smallest pedal tube amp yet, the Stomp-Head 1.VT and the Vandall-500 bass amp with solid-state and tube preamps.

- LR Baggs has expanded its Align Series with new Chorus and Delay pedals.

- Ibanez has revealed over 40 new electrics for 2019, headed up by the "beyond the best" RG5000, plus new AZ-derived Polyphia, Chon and Andy Timmons signature models, 19 new basses and even an RG-headstocked acoustic, the Altstar.

- There's a newly launched 10-strong limited-edition X Pedals line from Keeley Electronics, but head honcho Robert Keeley insists that's not it's NAMM launch, so there's surely more to come.

- Fender has already jumped the gun with its big launch - the nine-strong American Performer Series - but we know of plenty more to come - not least the Jimmy Page Telecaster, which is already odds-on to be the guitar of the show. The Big F is also preparing a high-end, American-built acoustic guitar range, and there’s still the matter of that Ryan Adams Strat

- ESP has unveiled a wealth of new guitars and basses for the show, including new signatures, plus fresh finishes and pro-spec hardware.

- Schecter has already unveiled some burly new offerings, including striking Reaper models, among its 16 new electrics for the show.

- We’re sure there’s plenty more on the way, but Jim Dunlop has already announced three killer products for the show: the MXR Vintage Bass Octave, Way Huge Purple Platypus and MXR Mini Iso-Brick.

- We know for a fact there will be new heads and combos from all the major British amp manufacturers, all of which are certain to impress - we wish we could say more...

NAMM 2019 music tech news and rumours

- Bringing together a collection of acclaimed developers, Plugin Alliance has established itself by offering a range of high-quality effects. Now it’s announced that it’s taking the logical next step into the world of software instruments, starting with a release from Brainworx.

- Korg’s Gadget is now well-established on iOS, and version 2 sees improvements being made not only to this mobile version, but to the Mac one, too. And, for the first time, Windows users will be able to get a taste of the Gadget goodness.

- Reftone has announced its LD-2H universal in-ear reference headphones, which are based on the company’s 2LD Studio Reference Monitors.

- Akai Pro has announced Force, a self-contained ‘production instrument’ that adheres to the clip-based workflow that many of us are so drawn to.

- Plugin developer Kilohearts has a major new plugin on the horizon: Phase Plant. A hybrid modular platform, this combines the company’s Snapin effects with a range of new signal generation and modulation devices.

- Adhering to the same ethos as the MOD Duo pedal, the Mod Devices Mod Duo X is a fully standalone, Linux-based audio processor that can host an “infinite number” of effects, virtual instruments and MIDI devices.

- Korg has injected a little more sass into its Kross workstation with the announcement of a Special Edition. Available in four neon colour options, this also contains additional PCM that facilitates ‘special’ acoustic and electric pianos, as well as fresh synth and drum sounds that are designed for EDM producers.

- When version 1 of Bitwig Studio was released in 2014, its developers were already hinting that a modular sound design element was on the roadmap. Now, with version 3, it’s arrived in full with the addition of The Grid.

- Dubbed the “ultimate Stylophone”, the GEN R-8 seems to be a far more fully formed instrument than the X-1 and a logical progression from the S2.

- Promising “the largest collection of processing options of any module-based plugin available,” McDSP’s 6060 Module Collection features 30-plus devices that cover EQ, compression, saturation, distortion, specialised filtering, dynamic range expansion, gating, and more.

- If you like the scorched look, you’ll dig Korg’s new Kronos SE, a special edition version of the all-conquering workstation that comes with a “red gradation” finish.

- Yamaha is making a serious pitch for your stage piano pound with the new CP73 and CP88 models. Said to represent a “radical reinvention”, these offer the company’s premier sounds and feature a reimagined user interface.

- Korg has revamped its popular Krome workstation keyboard, putting the focus on contemporary sounds that are ready to be used with little or no tweaking. 

- The Korg Volca Drum is a digital percussion synth that comes with a six-part DSP engine, with sounds being created with DSP-powered analogue modelling.

- It might be small, but it looks like there’s a fair bit of synth inside Korg’s new Volca Modular. In fact, it’s a proper semi-modular synth that offers analogue synth modules, digital effects and a seqeuncer.

- Korg’s biggest product launch of this year’s show has to be the Minilogue XD. It’s a new beefed-up version of the Minilogue, with what seems like all the best bits from the existing pile of ‘logues.

- In this teaser video from Denon DJ, it would seem the InMusic brand has machinations of going up against Pioneer DJ this year, if the tagline #ChangeYourRider is anything to go by.

- Latvian modular-masters, Erica Synths, looks to be collaborating with Gamechanger Audio on a Eurorack version of the Plasma distortion pedal.

- This image of an unfinished synth is doing the rounds and there’s good cause to believe that it has been crafted by the very capable hands of Tom Carpenter, aka Analogue Solutions.

- Analogue Solutions has created a new version of its Generator desktop sequencer, this time as a Eurorack module.

- Mackie is aiming to up its powered loudspeaker game with the launch of the DRM Series. The new flagship in the company’s range, this features various models of different size and power, all offering built-in DSP, full-colour display.

- Dreadbox takes a step back in time with the new Hypnosis chorus/flanger/reverb/delay machine and does sound as cool as it looks.

- Pittsburgh Modular has teased a "very angry monster" of a synth on its Instagram page.

- Waldorf announced way back in the summer that it would be showing a new synth at NAMM 2019. The Kyra, as it’s known, is said to be the world’s first fully FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) powered synthesizer, and the result of a collaboration between Waldorf and independent UK developer Manuel Caballero of Exodus Digital.

- Behringer has been promising to emulate pretty much every vintage synth ever made this year, so let’s hope if has plenty of them for us to play with in Anaheim. 

- When Dave Smith announced that he was discontinuing the Sequential Prophet 12 synth, talk almost immediately turned to what might replace it. Smith has been partial to a NAMM launch or two in the past, so here’s hoping he’ll deliver the goods this time.

- Speaking of synths, there will inevitably be new ones at NAMM. In fact, we know there will be, but if we told you what they were now, we’d have to kill you (that is, we would if we could reach you all before the NDA hitman took us out).

- IK Multimedia's SampleTank 4 doesn’t stray too far from its well-worn 'workhorse sound module' path, but it looks like it might do everything a bit better. It’s been redesigned from the ground up and offers a massively expanded sample library.