For over a century, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) has looked to its annual trade show to shine a light on the most impressive instruments and other music products. The NAMM show certainly didn’t disappoint in 2019; this year’s lineup included a myriad of amazing new guitars, basses, amps, and more. Keep an eye out for these 15 products, which quickly caught our attention:
1. Fender Acoustasonic Series Telecaster
Guitar enthusiasts typically own separate acoustic and electric guitars, but that trend may soon come to an end if Fender has any say in the matter. The new Acoustasonic Series Telecaster combines the lightweight feel and craftsmanship of a classic acoustic instrument with the voice selectors and customizable tones you’ve come to expect from Fender’s iconic electric guitars.
2. Fender ‘62 Princeton Chris Stapleton Edition Amp
Also, from Fender: an enticing amp that refreshes the much-loved ’62 Princeton. Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton worked closely with Fender engineers to design an amp that produces the signature sound expected from a ’62 Princeton, while also providing the raw power needed to perform in front of a packed house.
3. ESP Frank Bello LTD Signature Series
Japanese guitar maker ESP has partnered with legendary Anthrax bassist Frank Bello to create another entry in the renowned Signature Series line of basses. Frank’s first model with ESP proved to be such a hit, it was just a matter of time before the FBJ-400 made its way to market. Geared towards musicians looking to shred on-stage without shredding all their cash, the FBJ-400 somehow maintains its craftsmanship, sound quality, and an affordable price point.
4. Sheeran by Lowden S04
What happens when Ed Sheeran joins forces with a talented luthier from Downpatrick in North Ireland? In short: musical magic. Their joint efforts produced the Sheeran by Lowden S04 , an excellent option in a line of guitars meant to bridge the gap between quality and affordability. Although primarily targeted at younger players (and parents expressing understandable budgetary concerns) this celebrity guitar offers the consistency of strut voicing performed by hand.
5. Elektron Model:Samples
Elektron’s new six-track groovebox makes it easy for creators to import their samples across six different audio tracks. It also allows user to create and manage 96 different projects at once. Boasting hundreds of preset sounds from Splice, the Model:Samples provides plug-and-play functionality on the go.
6. BeeTronics Swarm
Capable of producing more fuzz than a bushel of Georgia peaches, the BeeTronics Swarm pedal already has the music world buzzing. Its signature Queen, Drone, Flight, Sting, and Species dials provide a multitude of different harmony options on all ends.
7. Strymon Volante
If you’ve delayed that new pedal purchase for far too long, Strymon’s new Volante should quickly put an end to your wait. Featuring Drum, Tape, and Studio delay features that can be used at normal, half, or double speed, the magnetic echo machine allows you to experiment and tweak your tones until they’re perfect.
8. Anasounds Element Spring Reverb
French pedal manufacturer Anasounds went old school with the new Spring Reverb pedal, which attempts to capture the classic sound of the Fender Twin reverb. Perfect for guitarists looking for that special Dick Dale-inspired surf-rock sound, the Element’s analog construction and superior craftsmanship demands instant attention.
9. Alexander Pedals Radical Delay DX
Retro revivals can be hit or miss, but the Radical Delay DX from Alexander Pedals knocks it out of the park. With six different delays modes, you’re only limited by your technical prowess and sense of imagination.
10. Keeley Electronics Fuzz Bender
Versatility is king with the Keeley Electronics Fuzz Bender , a three-transistor pedal built from Japanese germanium to provide a stunning range of tones. Take advantage of the Fuzz Bender’s Bias Control to produce better attack and delay.
11. Chase Bliss Audio Preamp MK II
The first in a new line of pedals boasting robotic controls, the Chase Bliss Audio Preamp MK II is the mastermind of Joel Korte and Chris Benson. These music authorities teamed up to create a more user-friendly preamp that can easily be adjusted as needed. The presets on the MK II are uniquely accessible, even in the midst of on-stage excitement. They are reliable enough to provide a much-needed sense of trust among the most skeptical musicians.
12. Korg minilogue xd
Japanese staple Korg upped the ante at NAMM 2019 with the minilogue xd, which includes a new digital multi-engine, four voice modes, micro-tuning functionality, and hundreds of programmable preset locations. The polyphonic synthesizer is designed to bring a new generation of musicians into the exciting world of analog synthesis.
13. Akai Pro Force
As the ultimate all-in-one production device, the Akai Pro Force offers sampling, sequencing, and processing without the need for a computer. The standalone production system’s touch-sensitive color screen places every option imaginable within easy reach. With this system in your music arsenal, you can import stems, sync to a master BPM, or take advantage of unique effects to add flair to your signature sound.
14. Spaceman Effects Mission Control Expressive Audio System
Everything about this audio system is cool, including its name. It can serve as mission control for your entire pedal setup, allowing you to easily operate loops on demand. Every detail on this artisan-crafted device has been included to spark creativity and provide impressive sound quality.
15. Arturia MicroFreak
Arturia made its mark at NAMM 2019 with the MicroFreak , a highly regarded digital hardware synth that can best be described as quirky. But while it’s primarily known for the multimode digital oscillator, the MicroFreak is also decidedly versatile. It includes an analog filter inspired by the Oberheim SEM, and its PCB keyboard takes synth to the next level.
There’s plenty to love about the lineup at NAMM 2019. Whether you’re in the market for a snazzy new guitar or a reliable preamp, the best products from this year’s trade show are definitely worth exploring.