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2020 NAMM HIGHLIGHTS: GUITARS
For the best in new gear for the new year, look no further than our coverage of winter NAMM 2020, direct from the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. We have our boots on the ground and we’re getting our pick of all of the year’s biggest releases, so shop these new NAMM nabs for the freshest from all your favorite manufacturers.
After launching the Acoustasonic series with their debut model, the Acoustasonic Telecaster, Fender adds another legendary body shape to their Acoustasonic series. The Acoustasonic Stratocaster follows the same innovative, hollowbody design as the first, but in a familiar Stratocaster shape.
The advanced acoustic engine, designed in collaboration with Fishman, is a seamless blend of traditional and progressive technologies and includes three separate pickup systems: the Fishman Matrix Narrow under-saddle transducer pickup, the Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer under-bridge pickup, and the Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless pickup.
The Mod Knob and Five-way tone switching provide a full range of electric and acoustic tones conceived specifically for the Acoustasonic Stratocaster model, including new Fender and electric clean and dirty tones.
But if you want to go completely acoustic, the String Instrument Resonance System with tuned, “waterfall”-style soundport makes it so you don’t have to plug in at all to sound loud and full.
The lithium-ion battery is fully USB-chargeable and the Onboard USB Micro Connector allows you to charge and play at the same time. A full charge takes about four or five hours but will last twenty. Just watch the jack-mounted LED indicator for messages about charging, battery life, and connectivity.
The Fender Acoustasonic Stratocaster comes in a range of five finishes: Sonic Blue, Natural Dakota Red, Black, and 3-Tone Sunburst.
Pre-order the newest in acoustic/electric technology from Fender today.
Fender revamps its Parallel Universe Series with new models, twisting together existing shapes and appointments of models like the Stratocaster and Jazzmaster, into new combinations sure to pique the interest of players looking for a new twist on classic Fender.
Take a sneak peek into the new releases from this series below.
Fender honors artists Jim Root, Eric Johnson, Tony Franklin, Jim Adkins, Tom Morello and Justin Meldal-Johnsen with a fresh crop of signature model guitars and basses spec'd to to the nines but priced for the masses.
Signature models span across the Fender core line and include a Stratocaster, Jazzmaster, Telecaster, Precision and Mustang bass, all spec'd to resemble the instruments the artists themselves play.
Originally manufactured from 1979 to 1982, Fender Lead guitars were rugged, sturdy and affordable. Popular for guitarists in rock, metal, and punk, Leads were able to take a beating and provided a searing Fender tone that resonated with players throughout the 90s.
Reintroduced for 2020, Lead II's and III's provide the same affordability, durability, and alternative aesthetics that appeal to players both looking to reminisce on 90s nostalgia, or pick up their first guitar.
GIBSON USA - Original Collection
The Gibson Original Collection celebrates what made the brand famous by producing the same iconic body shapes, eye-catching finishes, and distinctive electronics that came to define rock and roll. These are the guitars that built an empire.
GIBSON USA - Modern Collection
Building on decades as one of the industry’s premier innovators, the Gibson Modern Collection continues to push guitar technology forward with progressive designs and modern features engineered for the musical vanguard.
GIBSON USA - Slash Core Collection (Plus Acoustics)
Gibson continues its partnership with the man under rock’s biggest hat, introducing the 2020 Slash Core Collection. Four Les Paul Standard ‘50s get the Slash treatment and Gibson Montana pitches in for the first time with two J-45s.
GIBSON USA - 70’s Rockers
Straight out of the golden age of rock, Gibson equips this classic white Flying V and Explorer with uncovered, ‘70s tribute BurstBuckers, Orange Drop capacitors, and everything else you want from a ‘70s rocker. What’s left to say?
GIBSON USA - Les Paul Special Tribute
Gibson honors a classic with a USA-made Les Paul Special under $1,000. Featuring vintage deluxe white button tuners, wraparound bridge, solid mahogany body, and either 490R and 490T open-coil pickups or dual P90s, the Les Paul Special Tribute offers historic Gibson quality and tone for all.
GIBSON USA & CUSTOM SHOP ES - Made In Nashville
With the closure of the Gibson Memphis facility, the brand moved production of all ES models to Nashville, the home of Gibson USA. Now, Gibson hollow and semi-hollow body bodies are made right alongside their solid body and custom shop models, consolidating manufacturing for higher quality control over the Electric Spanish models we know and love.
GIBSON CUSTOM SHOP - Historic Collection
The master builders of the Gibson Custom Shop turn their attention to historic models and, with their impeccable skill, hand-craft picture-perfect reproductions of some of the century’s most important Gibsons from the best materials available.
GIBSON CUSTOM SHOP - Modern Collection
Gibson Custom Shop Modern series ushers timeless Gibson design to the forefront of fashion and technology, where it meets the pinnacle of Gibson craftsmanship: the Custom Shop master builders.
GIBSON ACOUSTIC - Original Collection
Gibson’s flagship line of acoustics, the Original series, is inspired by the legendary models that made Gibson the top choice for artists across history. Traditional and timeless, the Gibson Original series defines what it means to be classic.
GIBSON ACOUSTIC - Modern Collection
The Gibson Modern series is history with a twist, featuring progressive takes on classic body shapes, tonewoods, electronics, hardware, and other appointments that reimagine golden-era Gibson style for today’s player.
GIBSON ACOUSTIC - Custom Shop Historic
Historic is an understatement. The Gibson Custom Shop Historic series presents some of Gibson’s most sought after models, reproduced in every way identical to the originals by the confident and capable master builders of the Gibson Custom Shop.
GIBSON ACOUSTIC - Custom Shop Modern Collection
Gibson turns the masters of the Custom Shop loose on history, and the results are spectacular. From custom engraving to original designs handcrafted from master-level materials, the Gibson Custom Shop Modern series is contemporary lutherie at its highest level.
GIBSON ACOUSTIC - Artist Series
With collaborative and signature models from music’s top artists, the Gibson Custom Shop Artist series produces acoustic guitars designed alongside their namesake, handcrafted to their exacting specifications.
Epiphone borrows classic Gibson body shapes to create a collection that blends iconic styles with the brand’s reputation for quality detailing and appointments. The Inspired by Gibson Collection features both Original series and Modern series lines, designed to cater to traditional and progressive players alike.
Epiphone is offering both traditional and contemporary takes on the revered Les Paul electric guitar for 2020.
The Original Collection, featuring the Les Paul Junior, new Les Paul Classic Worn, and Les Paul Special, as well as two heritage models, the Les Paul Standard ‘50s and Les Paul Standard ‘60s, is all about history. Gibson sticks to the script with CTS pots, vintage wiring, new vintage tuning keys, and era-correct neck profiles.
The Modern Collection takes it in the other direction, with Alnico Classic Open-Coil Les Paul Studios, expanded circuitry on Les Paul Moderns, and the brand new, late ‘50s-style Les Paul Classic.
Like the Les Pauls, Epiphone makes the SG electric guitar available in traditional and contemporary flavors for 2020. The
Original Collection features an LP Custom-inspired SG Custom, SG Special P-90, SG Standard, and ‘61 SG Standard with ‘60s-style Maestro Vibrola tailpiece, all with vintage wiring, CTS pots, new vintage tuning keys, and era-correct neck profiles.
The Modern Collection introduces the SG Classic Worn, a “worn” finish take on the SG with Alnico Classic PRO humbucking pickups.
Under the umbrella of the Original Collection, Epiphone’s Designer Collection recreates three classic models: the Explorer and Flying V, just as they were in 1958, and the Firebird, as it was upon its release in 1963, adding to each a set of Grover tuners, Epiphone ProBuckers, and CTS electronics.
For the first time in decades, Epiphone reintroduces USA-made Texan model. These handcrafted guitars are available as core offerings and part of the Originals series, Epiphone’s flagship.
The Original Masterbuilt series resurrects original Epiphone models from the 1960s, as played by legends like Les Paul and Paul McCartney. These historic reproductions feature traditional construction, as well as top quality materials like genuine bone nuts, solid tonewoods, and Fishman electronics.
At NAMM 2020, the popular California brand unveiled new additions to the Builder’s Edition series, as well as the GS-MINI family. Taylor’s highest form of expression, the Builder’s Edition, is expanding to include four new models: the 816ce, 912ce, 652ce, and 324ce.
Builders Edition 816ce
The 816ce is a beautiful V-Class Grand Symphony with a unique, soundport cutaway, designed to create an immersive sound.
Builders Edition 324ce
The mahogany-topped 324ce Grand Auditorium has a brand new tonewood for its sides and back: Urban Ash. Taylor sources its new Urban Ash from salvaged trees removed from dense urban areas.
Builders Edition 912ce & 652ce
The 912ce and 652ce are the first Grand Concerts of the Builder’s Edition. The 912ce features a compact body and 24-⅞-inch scale length for incredible articulation and response. The 652ce uses the same body design as a foundation, outfitted as a reverse-strung, 12-fret 12-string with double-mounted string anchoring for a meaty sound with even response.
Taylor’s ultra-portable GS-Mini is getting a classy new look. New GS MINI-e Koa Plus and Koa Bass models are available for 2020, adding an exotic touch to the scaled-down Grand Symphony and small-scale acoustic bass.
Modern meets vintage in a stunning new way for the 0 series from Martin. Classic 0, 00, and 000 body shapes are appointed with dovetail neck joints, vintage-inspired top woods and natural protein glues to achieve that fully-aged Martin tone, but feature titanium truss rods, Liquidmetal bridge pins, and a composite carbon fiber bridgeplate to boost volume and ensure stability for generations to come.
Following suite of the classic 0 shape models, Martin's new OM guitars feature the same vintage appointments and modern technology to make them a players dream. Loaded with a Fishman Aura VT or MX, these new 2020 Martins give players more control over their guitars amplified voice than ever before.
Gig anywhere with 2020 GPC models from Martin. Featuring Fishman MX electronics, a Performing Artist neck, fingerboard, and bridge improve on the richness and sound transfer of this model. With a new soft gig bag featuring headstock, bridge, and endpin protectors, a water-repellent exterior and plush interior foam padding, the GPC lineup is truly ready to go wherever your music takes you.
Get that classic Martin Dreadnought sound at a better price point than ever. The new DX series features Fishman MX electronics, fresh new finishes including classic Black and Burst, and ships in a new, soft gig bag with interior foam padding to keep your guitar sounding as great as it looks.
The iconic D series is back and better than ever in 2020. Loaded with a bevy of electronic options ranging from an LR Baggs Anthem pickup, to a Fishman Aura VT or Matrix VT and Martins new Vintage Tone System (VTS), the D series captures more of that classic Martin essence with the playability of a brand new guitar that will stand the test of time.
Gretsch adds new models and finishes to the Professional, Electromatic, Streamliner, and Roots collections. Gretsch is expanding its product lines with plenty of new stuff this year, as well as old favorites and finishes rooted in the distinctive style that sets the brand apart.
The “Rat Rod” comes roaring back. The straight-forward G5410T Electromatic “Rat Rod” Hollowbody Single-Cut with Bigbsy features red-hot dual Blacktop Filter’Tron pickups with inserts and a 2.25” body depth for enhanced comfort and playability.
One of Gretsch’s loudest center block models is also one of its smallest. The G5655T Electromatic Center Block Jr. Single-Cut with Bigsby features a 14” single-cut, arched maple body with a chambered maple center block for excellent resonance and volume without the feedback.
The name’s Jim, Jim Dandy, and the G9500 is just that. Ringing up at well under $200, this X-braced, 12-fret parlor with walnut fingerboard and nickel hardware harkens back to the days of catalog guitars, known for their solid construction and accessible price.
Gretsch presents a take on the rare White Penguin: the G6143T-LTD Limited Edition Penguin with Bigsby, new to the Professional Collection. The Penguin sports a two-tone Smoke Gray/Violet Metallic finish on a chambered mahogany body adorned with dual TV Jones TV Classic pickups for a sound akin to late-’50s FilterTrons, as well as a B3C Bigsby to complete the period-inspired feature set.
Gretsch grows the Professional Collection Players Edition, shifting the color palette with Round-Up Orange, Two-Tone Lotus Ivory/Walnut Stain, and Two-Tone Smoke Green finishes on their flagship center block model the G6659T Players Edition Broadkaster Jr. Center Block Single-Cut with String-Thru Bigsby.
The G6128T and G6129T Players Edition Jets with Bigbsys are back, available this year only in Round-Up Orange and Red Sparkle, respectively.
Gretsch streamlines the Streamliner Collection for 2020, allotting one colorway each for most models, but continuing to explore mold-breaking sound at the price point for which the series is best known.
The G2420 Streamliner Hollow Body with Chromatic II is available in a Phantom Metallic finish with the namesake tailpiece and all-new BT2s pickups.
The G2420T Streamliner with Bigsby has a Gunmetal finish, as well as a Bigsby B60 tailpiece and all-new BT2s pickups.
Gretsch’s G2622T Streamliner Center Block with Bigsby features enlarged f-holes, Bigsby B70 tailpiece, all-new BT2s pickups, and a beautiful Imperial Stain finish. Its V-Stoptail counterpart is available in bright Ocean Turquoise, while, for lefties, the V-Stoptail is available in Gunmetal.
The G2655 Center Block Jr. features a slightly smaller, 14” body size than the classic Center Block. V-Stoptail models feature the Village Amber finish, while Bigsby models have the Phantom Metallic finish and come with a Bigsby B50 tailpiece.
The Gretsch 2210 Streamliner Junior Jet Club is the only model to be offered in multiple colorways, bringing some flavor to the Streamliner Collection’s most straight-ahead model with four finishes: Golddust, Gunmetal, Imperial Stain, and Vintage White.
Ibanez is ready for the new year with a massive rollout of new models across their catalog. There’s something for everyone in this flood of fresh designs, including new Signatures, AZ models, a limited RG j. Custom, and basses. It’s pure, unbridled energy page-to-page, so let’s get wild and dive in.
Ibanez expands its portfolio of Signature models with the vibrant new Steve Vai PIA3761, available in four bonkers finishes like Stallion White, Envy Green, Panther Pink, and Sun Dew Gold, and the stately George Benson GB10EM hollowbody, in both Antique Amber and Jet Blue Burst.
Speaking of bonkers, the limited new RG j. Custom features a Super Wizard five-piece maple/wenge neck, marblewood top with matching headstock, Kalimantan ebony fretboard with Tree Of Life inlay, dual DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups with gold covers, Lo-Pro Edge tremolo bridge, and coil-tapping. Woah.
Ibanez is expanding additional RG models for 2020. The RG421 is available in a range of finishes for both the Standard (MSP) and new High Performance (HPAH) model, as is the new RG420HPFM High Performance and new RG1121PB Premium.
With a single, distinctive finish for each, the new RGR521, RGA42HP, and RG5320L models stand apart.
The AZ series grows considerably with six new models. Ibanez finishes the AZ242 with a bright Sea Foam Green Matte. Its Premium counterpart, the A242PBG, bears a beautiful charcoal burst, and the Prestige AZ2402 is available in Tri-Fade Burst Flat, Pearl White Flat, and Black Flat. The new AZ224 features a classy Deep Expresso Burst finish, while the Prestige AZ2204 offers a choice between Ice Blue Metallic and Hazy Rose Metallic. Similar to the AZ2402, the AZ2202A has a Tri-Fade Burst finish, chrome pickup covers, and pickguard.
The new semi-hollow Artcore model, the AZ73, features a Linden body and sustain block, Quik Change III tailpiece, Classic Elite pickups, and a high-end Rose Gold Metallic finish.
For the four- and five-stringers, Ibanez releases three new Talman basses: the TMB500, TMB505, and TMB35. The lone four-string, the TMB500, features a Metallic Forest finish and a Nordstrand CND split P/J pickup set. The TMB505 also features a Nordstrand split P/J pickup set, as well as a Metallic Gray finish, while the TMB35 features a Dynamix split P/J pickup set and a Mint Green finish.
For bolder looks, bass players may gravitate towards the SR1605B Premium 5-string with Caribean Shoreline Flat or Tropical Seafloor Flat finishes, Poplar Burl top, African Mahogany body, Nordstrand Big Single pickup set and expanded Ibanez Custom Electronics.
If color is not your thing, the EHB1005 Ergonomic Headless 5-string is blacked out to just about the max, except for the birdseye maple fretboard, and wired with dual Bertolini BH2 pickups with a Vari-mid 3-band EQ and EQ bypass.
Finally, Ibanez’s new acoustic, the AEWC32FM, is a symphony of color, true to Ibanez’s visual legacy with four flamboyant finishes: Red Sunset Fade High Gloss, Indigo Sunset Fade, Amber Sunset Fade, and Purple Sunset Fade High Gloss.
Jackson brought strength in numbers to winter NAMM 2020, unveiling the new X Series, Pro Series, and JS Series. The three new fully loaded lines present a fresh outlook for a new decade, updating the brand’s older designs to appeal to a modern audience with a taste for the hairy heyday of the 1980s.
Jackson refines its core designs for the professional player, outfitting each Pro Series model with the highest quality features and finishes to ensure top performance in distinctive Jackson style.
The X Series puts a modern spin on core Jackson classics, innovating tried-and-true designs with new technology and components for a contemporary playing experience with an undeniable “X” factor.
Built for both beginners and the battle-scarred, the Jackson JS Series opens players of all budgets and skill levels Jackson’s high-performance design, classic components, and modern upgrades.