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NAMM 2024 – The Round-Up

30/01/2024

The buzz at the Anaheim Convention Centre, California may be starting to die down, but the hype of many brands’ new releases is going strong. From cool gadgets to colourful additions to existing ranges, NAMM 2024 was the place to be for music and gear lovers – as the show always has been.

We’ve covered many of the launches in detail (see our New Releases page), but in this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best, weirdest, and most notable products either exhibited at the NAMM show or released ahead of it.

NAMM 2024: Guitars

Taylor 50th Anniversary Electro Acoustics

It was anniversary galore at this year’s NAMM, and Taylor celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a selection of three new limited-edition guitars: AD14ce, 314ce, and the Builder’s Edition 814ce.

The AD14ce features a Sitka spruce and walnut construction – a blend that delivers a warm, articulate voice – along with V-class bracing for extra projection. It has all the premium appointments you’d expect from Taylor, including gold tuning machines, chamfered body edges, and a Venetian cutaway.

The 314ce showcases a Torrefied Sitka spruce top and solid sapele back and sides for a well-balanced tone that has a punchy midrange and crystal-clear highs. The guitar has also undergone a special roasting process for adding extra depth to the sound, enhancing the already-rich voicing of the grand auditorium shape.

Finally, the Builder’s Edition 814ce, the most premium of the three, has a rosewood and sinker redwood construction – a very unique blend that you’d only expect in the upper range of Taylor’s guitars. There’s also a bevelled armrest, cutaway, and chamfered edges along with an ES2 electronics system.


Yamaha Pacifica Electrics

In a bid to make their previously budget-friendly range appealing to advanced and professional musicians, Yamaha have released an array of upper-end Pacifica guitars.

The Standard Plus and Premium electrics feature newly innovated Reflectone pickups in the familiar HSS configuration as well as Gotoh locking tuners and a two-point tremolo. There are also some dazzling new finishes that capture the Southern California vibe of the Pacifica range.

Read our full review here.

NAMM 2024 Yamaha Pacifica guitars


Gretsch Electromatic Pristine LTD

Gretsch have added to their Pristine LTD series with two new models: the Jet Single-Cut and the Centre Block Double-Cut. Both have a mahogany body and thin U-shaped mahogany neck, while the Jet Single-Cut boasts FT-5E Filter’Tron pickups and the Centre Block model has P-90Es.

The new guitars are also loaded with Bigsby vibrato tailpieces: a B50 on the Jet and a B70 on the CB.

NAMM 2024: Drums

Tama Mastercraft Cast Bell Brass Snare Drum

To celebrate 50 years of making world-renowned drumming gear, Tama have reissued an old, highly sought-after classic. The Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum has an explosive tone that was used by the likes of Nirvana and Phil Collins, with its aggressive yet clear voice and exceptional versatility making it a desired model for a range of genres throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s.

There’s a 3mm bell brass shape crafted from copper and tin, the original Superstar lug, and a die-cast hoop. It’s an iconic design capable of some very impressive dynamics.

Read our full review here.

NAMM 2024 Tama Mastercraft Bell Brass snare drum


Tama Superstar 50th Anniversary Shell Pack

Tama were big contenders for the most high-profile drum launches at NAMM 2024. As well as the Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum, the brand marked their anniversary with a specially-designed kit: the Superstar 22” 4pc Shell Pack, available in four different finishes.

The all-birch shells promise dynamic, powerful sound, whilst the six-ply construction ensures there’s a rich low end and some punchy attack. It’s a mirror image of the original kit, paying homage to the brand’s long-standing reputation and expertise in the industry.


Ludwig Vistalite

Ludwig started 2024 by naming Purple its Colour of the Year, and they haven’t been shy about introducing this regal finish into its drum catalogue.

The bold new finish has been added to the Vistalite series, and it certainly looks striking. All other features, such as 6mm acrylic shells and a 45-degree bearing edge, stay the same.

Ludwig Vistalite 22'' FAB 3pc Shell Pack, Purple

NAMM 2024: Keys

Korg Poetry Digital Piano

If you’re a keys or synth lover, Korg probably stole the show for you this year. Their new Poetry Digital Piano was an unexpected entry that shows off an understated, classic aesthetic as opposed to the sleek, cutting-edge synths and pianos we’re used to.

The instrument pays homage to Frédéric Chopin and includes his favourite piano, the 1843 Pleyel, adopting the 430Hz pitch and 80 keys. There’s also a contemporary Italian concert grand, which you might recognise from the International Chopin Competition.

Along with Real Weighted Hammer Action for realistic playability, there are also 50 Chopin pieces to listen to and 23 scores to play.

Read our full review here.


Casio AP Range

Casio extended their AP range for this year’s NAMM, adding the S450, 550, and 750 to the collection. The new models feature a Smart Hybrid Hammer Action keyboard (quite a premium hammer action for models under £2000), resin keys, and Casio’s new Visual Information Bar for exceptionally easy navigation.

If you’re interested in these new models but tight on space, opt for the S450; it’s the slimline version. The 550 and 750 are slightly larger and feature an acoustic lid that you can open for enhanced resonance; the 750 takes this one step further with its Grandphonic speaker system.

Read our full review here.

NAMM 2024 Casio AP Pianos


Nord Grand 2

Nord have taken their renowned Grand and given it some updates for 2024, presenting us with the Grand 2. Firstly, there’s an improved Kawai hammer-action keyboard – a triple-sensor keybed with an advanced hammer mechanism for very precise movement and response.

On top of this, the piano features advanced layering options. Its dual piano and synth engines can be combined or split across the keyboard, each layer with its own effects section – offering an easy and intuitive way to get creative with your sound whilst still experiencing the feel of an acoustic piano.

Plus, the Sample Synth memory has been significantly expanded, and there’s a selection of samples from the Symphobia and Swing libraries by ProjectSAM.

NAMM 2024: Orchestral

BAM Graffiti Hightech Cases

BAM cases are a go-to for many musicians, after all, the brand do focus on providing high-quality instrument protection. New for NAMM 2024, the Graffiti Hightech Contoured Case – available for violin, viola, and cello – is both lightweight and almost indestructible.

It features a triple-ply construction that comprises ABS, solid polyurethane foam, and PETG. Inside, there’s a suspension system that surrounds your instrument with foam, whilst a removable accessory pouch allows you to easily carry all the extra bits you need.

However, what makes the cases stand out the most is the array of colours on offer. The shiny green, white, blue, and red finishes are sleek and unlike most other cases out there!

BAM Graffiti Hightech Contoured Violin Case, Green & Orange


Yamaha 62 Saxophones

Adding to their vast catalogue of woodwind saxophones, Yamaha have brought out four new 62 Series saxophones. They sit at the top end of saxophones, featuring finishes that were previously seen on custom models. The new finishes – Amber Lacquer and Unlacquered – provide a warm, vintage aesthetic, further embellished by the elegant hand engravings on the instrument.

There’s the same 62-style neck with a slightly narrower bore, an ergonomic key layout, and an octave key with a joint design that ensures smooth transitions between octaves.


Leblanc Avant and Premiere Saxophones

Leblanc kicked off the year by releasing two new ranges of saxophones: the Avant and Premiere, each of which has soprano, alto, and tenor models, with the Premiere also offering a baritone.

They feature a yellow brass, one-piece construction that allows for smooth reverberation, whilst blue steel springs and Pisoni pads with metal resonators offer a responsive feel and great security around the keys.

Premiere are the more premium of the two series, however, both are designed to offer a luxurious feel and high-quality sound.

Read our full review here.

Leblanc LTS511 Avant Tenor Saxophone, Gold Lacquer

NAMM 2024: Live Sound and DJ

AlphaTheta

One of the most momentous things to come out of NAMM 2024 is the launch of AlphaTheta, a brand in its own right rather than purely the parent company of Pioneer DJ, rekordbox, and Serato. Along with the announcement of the brand came the release of two new products: the WAVE-EIGHT Wireless Active Loud Speaker and the OMNIS-DUP Wireless All-In-One DJ System.

The loudspeaker is equipped with groundbreaking SonicLink technology, allowing for a wireless setup with audio transmission that’s much faster than Bluetooth. This means there are hardly any sound delays, making a wireless DJ setup entirely possible. There’s also a Class D amplifier, an eight-inch driver, and a Vortex Bass Accelerator.

The all-in-one DJ system is a portable unit with a two-deck and mixer layout. You can connect this system to the WAVE-EIGHT speaker for a compact, cable-free setup, whilst still enjoying an intuitive, responsive set of decks that are ideal for parties or having a mix with friends.

Read our full review here.


Mackie Showbox Performance Speaker

Making waves at the NAMM show were Mackie. Along with their new interface and mixers, the brand released the Showbox Performance Speaker, a portable powerhouse offering up to 12 hours of playback with a 400W amp and custom drivers.

With six input channels for mics and instruments, it’s ideal for various musicians, and the streamlined rig simplifies live setups, providing recording via SD card, USB-C streaming, and Bluetooth connectivity. There are also voicing modes, which replace the need for a separate amp and PA system.

Onboard effects include fuzz, overdrive, modulation, and reverb, and there’s a built-in tuner, looper, and snapshots for recalling your favourite settings. It’s a do-it-all system!

Mackie Showbox Performance Speaker


RCF ART 7 MK5

RCF were also celebrating an anniversary at NAMM 2024 – their 75­th! As part of the ART 7 series, we now have MK5 models, coming with a choice of 8”, 10”, 12”, and 15” woofers. These feature advanced FiRPHASE and BMC algorithms that optimise dynamics, amplitude, and phase patterns and extend the lowest audible frequency whilst still ensuring a balanced and controlled sound.

There’s also an innovative XBOOST function. This creates the perception of deeper, richer bass without over-exerting the woofer. And thanks to DSP features, the speaker delivers a perfect performance every time, with crossover, equalisation, phase control, soft limiting, and speaker protection taken care of.

NAMM 2024: Studio and Production

Yamaha SEQTRAK

Yamaha were on a roll at this year’s NAMM show. The SEQTRAK is a nifty new tool that works as a compact and portable music production studio, combining a step sequencer, drum machine, synthesizer, sampler, and mixer.

With a sleek design, it’s great for musicians and producers on the go. And yet it’s still very powerful! As well as dynamic controls and six pattern slots per track, there’s a drum section that offers seven tracks with customisable sounds, while the synth and sampler section allows for easy creation of harmonies and melodies.

You can then refine parameters via the sound design section and choose from over 80 effect types in the effects section. To top it off, there’s also a built-in speaker and microphone.

Yamaha SEQTRAK, Orange


Korg Synth Modules

The people spoke… and Korg listened. To make their renowned synths accessible to those wanting a more adaptable setup, the brand have released desktop and rackmount versions of the Wavestate, Opsix, and Modwave.

The Korg Wavestate Module reimagines the ‘90s Wavestation and builds on the Wavestate MKII. It features Korg’s Wave Sequencing 2.0 engine and 120 voices of polyphony – perfect for creating plenty of rich, layered sounds.

The Korg Opsix MKII Module uses full-range analog-style filters and offers an 80-voice polyphony. It’s a great companion to the Keystage and is suitable for those wanting all the classical analog tones in a more versatile format.

Finally, the Modwave MKII Module offers 200 wavetables and 64 DWGS waveforms. There’s also Korg’s Kaoss Physics and 60 voices of polyphony to play with.

Read our full review here.


sE Electronics Cardioid Condenser Microphones

Two new sE Electronics microphones were announced at NAMM this year, the sE4100 LCD Cardioid Condenser and the sE-T1 Cardioid Titanium Condenser, which are, essentially, cardioid-only versions of the sE4400 and T2 respectively.

These new mics feature a twin one-inch brass capsule – the sE100 is gold-sputtered, whilst the sE-T1 is titanium-sputtered (this allows for a faster transient response). There are also attenuation pads and low-cut filters, ensuring optimal performance and greater clarity in your recordings.

sE Electronics’ new mics are ideal for those wanting the sound and response of the brand’s flagship mics but have no need for multiple polar patterns. They’re great for home and professional studios on a variety of sources.

sE Electronics sE-T1 Cardioid Titanium Condenser Microphone

Frequently asked questions

Can anybody go to NAMM?

Any music/music gear enthusiast can go to NAMM as long as you’re a NAMM member. You can purchase your membership on the NAMM website – it is an online-only registration, however, so you must do this before attending the show.


What does NAMM stand for?

NAMM stands for the National Association of Music Merchants. The association’s mission is to continually promote innovative and ever-improving music industry products, encouraging more people to make music and find the benefits in doing so.


Is it worth going to NAMM?

If you’re into your music tech and gear, it is definitely worth going to the NAMM show. You’ll not only be one of the first people to see new and exciting products as they drop but you’ll also make connections and have an opportunity to network with like-minded people.

That’s a wrap!

This is just a taste of what NAMM 2024 had to offer. From countless brands, covering a range of instruments, tech, and live gear, we’ve had hundreds of cool launches that are sure to entice any style of musician, producer, or performer out there.

Want to see them all? Go to our NAMM page (linked below) to find the full of array of new releases announced at the show this year.

 

Content Writer - Guitars

Maisie is a pianist who's interested in pop, rock, and the role of women in music. She spent her degree focusing on music journalism, specifically the way in which female artists are portrayed in the media. Sometimes, she plays guitar, but this is very rare.

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