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NAMM 2019 news: All the biggest stories in one place

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 upon us.

As ever, we’re be there to 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.

Read more: Blade RH-4 Classic 30th Anniversary DMG

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

You can also stay on top of things with the best of the NAMM gear via our live Music Tech showfloor highlights and Guitars highlights galleries.

That's a wrap!

The dust is settling, but our ears are still ringing. You'll find all the news that counted in this massive hub below, and you should keep an eye on MusicRadar as we reflect on the biggest stories, and the best gear of NAMM 2019. Here, enjoy our findings as we regrouped at the end of the show.

NAMM 2019 guitar news

- We grabbed some quality time with disarmingly frank Gibson CEO JC Curleigh. He talked to us about investing in quality control, and what's in store.

- Check out our up-close-and-personal shots of the many, many desirable guitars on a resurgent Gibson's extensive NAMM stand.

- Fender have just unveiled four new heads and combos.

- Rob Chapman's gear empire continues to expand apace with the introduction of a new pedal brand, dubbed Snake Oil Fine Instruments.

- "When I was younger, Lowden was always the Holy Grail of guitars". We caught up with Ed Sheeran and grilled him on his exciting new range of affordable Lowden acoustics.

- Marshall’s Studio series features a downsized Plexi, JCM800 and Silver Jubilee.

- Fender have unveiled a new signature Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass based on his Appetite For Destruction model.

- Fender have also left their Parallel Universe and entered an Alternate Reality with five new weirdos.

- Want more Fender? How about an all-new Rarities Series offering 9 ‘boutique’ builds?

- Northern Irish firm Lowden have arguably dropped the biggest news bomb of NAMM, teaming up with bonafide superstar Ed Sheeran to launch a new range of "affordable" acoustic guitars.

- EVH sinks its teeth into one of Eddie Van Halen’s iconic axes, launching the Striped Shark, an electric guitar with bite.

- Electro-Harmonix unveils Mono Synth, updated Attack Decay and Super Switcher.

- EVH have also embraced the exotic with new Wolfgang WG Standard Xotic models.

- Chuck Berry's son and grandson were on hand to launch Gibson's 350T tribute to the legendary rock 'n' roller.

- 9 heavyweight signature models have been unveiled by Jackson, including new axes from Jeff Loomis, Misha Mansoor, Phil Collen and more

- Jackson have also brought some typically emphatic all-new Pro and X Series axes for us to drool over.

- We finally have the first shots and details of Fender's hotly anticipated quartet of Jimmy Page Artist Signature Telecasters.

- Paul Gilbert has a brand-new 30th Anniversary Ibanez to shout about.

- Prog virtuoso Angel Vivaldi puts his name to a new Charvel Signature guitar.

- Misha Mansoor is in town with his new Peavey Invective.MH mini head. We caught up with him ahead of the show. 

- Taylor has announced a major line of dreadnoughts, and we caught up with Master Builder Andy Powers to get the inside story on the new Grand Pacific range.

- Gretsch has been productive as ever. Amongst other things they're showing off new Gretsch Players Editions including a smaller-bodied G6636T Black Falcon and more new models.

- We’ve seen plenty of guitar amp simulations down the years, but Blue Cat Audio’s Re-Guitar promises something different: the ability to make a single guitar sound like many other types of guitar. In fact, it promises “an infinite number of guitar tones out of a single instrument”.

- HoTone has unveiled its new Ampero amp and effects processor – a digital multi-fx and circuit modeler that should retail at a more wallet-friendly price than the likes of Line 6's Helix HT, while offering similar functionality.

- Victory Amps have beefed up their esteemed Duchess V40 to the tune of 100W of single-channel loveliness. Say hello to the Super Duchess V140.

- Blackstar has announced Super Fly, an upscaled but still truly portable big brother to its Fly. This 12W guitar combo offers rechargeable battery with Bluetooth is perfect for street-performers and living room superstars alike.

- Ahead of Fender's big reveal, Jimmy Page has announced a 'forensic' clone of the amp he used on Led Zeppelin and other seminal recordings.

- The big news from Gibson is that its new, 23-strong line-up actually looks very good, and looks set to give 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.

Meanwhile, Fender kicked off their NAMM announcements with this eye-catching hybrid tele...

- More than just a pint-size practice amp, IK Multimedia’s iRig Micro Amp is a compact combo that also serves as an iOS and Mac/PC audio interface. 

- Lunastone, the Danish company best known for its strictly analog tube-like overdrive and boost circuits, has announced its first foray into the world of digital effects.

- Electro-Harmonix's first announcement is in, and it's… strings! More excitingly, there's also the Bass Mono Synth, which turns your bass guitar into fat vintage synths.

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

- Pigtronix's new Resotron analog filter promises to bring the sound of classic 70s synths to your pedalboard.

- 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.

- 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...

Music tech news

- Eventide’s Instant Phaser broke new ground in 1972 - in fact, Eventide says that it was the first rackmount electronic studio effects unit ever. You’ll know it from countless recordings - think of John Bonham’s drum sound in Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir - and now a Mk II version has been released as a plugin.

- Omnisphere 2.6 sees Spectrasonics building on the hardware synth integration that landed in version 2.5.  There’s also a revamped arpeggiator, along with new sounds.

- The AudioFuse interface was looking a little lonely in Arturia’s product range, so the company has done the decent thing and given it some friends to play with. It’s been joined by the AudioFuse Studio and AudioFuse 8Pre, with all the models in the range getting access to the AudioFuse Creative Suite software bundle.

- The Moog Sirin is a monophonic ‘Analog Messenger of Joy’ that’s based on the Moog Taurus Bass sound engine. However, it’s also capable of summoning up lead sounds, being the first member of the Taurus family to operate above middle C

- You might wonder why you’d need another channel strip plugin, but Waves thinks that it’s come up with something genuinely different with the CLA MixHub. This is because it enables you to mix up to 64 tracks from the same plugin window, so you can make changes in the context of your whole song.

- From releasing software emulations of classic analogue synths, Arturia’s long and winding development road has somehow ended up with the company releasing a digital hardware synth, the MicroFreak. A monophonic and 4-voice paraphonic instrument, this has a slightly quirky look about it, and Arturia says that it also boasts a rather unusual feature set.

- Yamaha has a rich heritage in the keytar market - if that’s not a contradiction in terms - so we’re delighted to see that it’s embracing the strap-on synth once again with the launch of the Sonogenic SHS-500.

- Steinberg is entering the Thunderbolt audio race with the announcement of the AXR4, a rack-mountable interface aimed at professional producers and engineers. This 28-in/24-out box offers latency-free DSP-powered monitoring and effects, stacks of I/O and plenty of routing flexibility.

- With their rugged looks, Tascam’s new Series USB audio/MIDI interfaces certainly make a visual impression, but it’s what’s inside them that’s more interesting

- Built on an entirely new code base and promising an easy-to-use workflow, Traktor DJ 2 represents Native Instruments’ attempt to unify the DJing experience on PC, Mac and iPad.

- Native Instruments wants to make 2019 the year that it gets more people into making electronic music. The company’s new roster of products is laser-targeted at the entry-level, and includes a MIDI keyboard, audio interfaces and software.

- PreSonus has updated its Studio series of audio interfaces with five new USB-C models.

- As well as operating as a standalone digital piano, Roland's FP-10 can also function as a Bluetooth MIDI controller.

- Icon is pitching for your compact DAW controller pound with the release of the Platform Nano.

- u-he is teasing version 2 of its excellent Hive plugin synth. Already one of our favourite plugins, this new version seems likely to take the instrument to even greater heights.

- Antares has released a simplified version of its iconic Auto-Tune plugin in the shape of Auto-Tune Access. This features the same core features as the full version but comes with a streamlined interface.

- Elektron looks to be making a move into the music technology mainstream with the Model:Samples groovebox. A more accessible and affordable proposition than many of the Swedish company’s other products, this is a compact device that’s designed to be picked up and played.

- Akai Professional’s MPK Road 88 is, as its name suggests, a full-size controller keyboard that’s designed for gigging and touring.

- Flushed with the success of its iLoud Micro Monitor, IK Multimedia is preparing a bigger speaker in the form of the iLoud MTM. Larger than its Micro sibling, but still compact, this promises nothing less than to “reinvent nearfield monitoring for professional and home studios”.

- Slowly but surely, a new MIDI spec is being born, and the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) and Association of Music Electronics Industry (AMEI - the Japanese MIDI association) have now confirmed that it has a name.

- Anyone who’s hoping that Elektron’s new teaser video will provide a clear indication of what the Swedish company plans to announce at NAMM is going to be disappointed, as it’s cryptic to say the least.

- Teenage Engineering has gone all ‘flat-pack’ with the new Pocket Operator Modular synthesizers.

- Loopcloud, the cloud-based sample management software from Loopmasters that enables you to work with both samples that you buy and those that you upload, is set to be updated once again. Version 4 will be landing in the first quarter of 2019, with comprehensive loop editing options on the agenda.

- It turns out that those rumours were true: Erica Synths is releasing a Eurorack version of Gamechanger Audio’s Plasma Pedal in the form of the Plasma Drive. It's also confirmed that its long-awaited Sample Drum module is about to shoot out of the pipe.

- Clavia/Nord has been creating high-quality keyboards for years, but their sounds will inevitably be affected by your chosen speakers. Now the company is offering to take care of that link in the sonic chain, too, with the Nord Piano Monitor.

- In what it’s calling a world-first, McDSP has developed the APB-16, a 16-channel programmable analogue effects box that can be controlled in software.

- 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.

Drums news

- WTS is launching an ingenious one-handed tuning system (do your own jokes). We caught up with them for the pitch.

- Zildjian has led the stack pack for a while now, and with the re-launch of their FX line and the introduction of a new range of FX Stacks, their reign is set to continue.

- Drum Workshop has added a rarely used new wood choice to its celebrated Collector’s Series drum line.

- The new Gretsch Brooklyn Micro is the same great kit as its Brooklyn predecessor, but with a much smaller footprint ideal for more compact venues.

- Evans has a quiet practice solution in the shape of their new SoundOff drumheads.

- In a surprise move, Zildjian isn’t just launching new cymbals and sticks this year… New for 2019 is a set of professional standard in-ears monitors from the Big Z.

- Has Meinl made the ultimate busking tools for drummers and percussionists?

- If you’re on the lookout for a metal shelled snare drum on a budget in 2019, Tama’s trio of affordable new Metalworks Black Steel snares could be right up your street.

- Drum Workshop’s 5000 Series pedal is a stone cold classic. And now it's getting an update.

- The British Drum Company is aiming sky high with its all-new Aviator aluminium snare drum.