During the Winter NAMM Show, guitar makers presented a slew of fantastic new instruments. We got quite close to overload keeping track of all the new models, finishes and innovative designs. But among all those great guitars I saw a few that I thought stood out from the rest. Here’s my list of the Coolest New Guitars at NAMM 2020.
Best Of NAMM 2020: The Coolest New Guitars
First, let’s be clear about one thing: these are my favourite guitars from the show, and I’m sure some of you will agree with my choices and some will not. That being said, I’d love to know your favourites from this year’s Winter NAMM. Feel free to comment below or contact me directly and let me know which models got you phoning your bank manager!
This one speaks to me in all sorts of ways! The new Novo Solus is a beautiful-looking instrument and sounds like my perfect guitar. I absolutely adore this guitar shape, its single pickup configuration and the sweet custom finishes.
Just trying to figure out if I want the P90 version or the Telecaster-style single-coil with ashtray bridge…
Gretsch Limited Edition Penguin
The limited edition Two-Tone Smoke Gray/Metallic Violet Gretsch Penguin is not, strictly speaking, a new guitar design. It’s a variation of an existing one. The standout feature here is obviously the finish, which I love. I’m also a big fan of the pickup configuration and the Bigsby.
I think it’s a cracking little guitar and one that will only get better with age. A few dents and scrapes will suit it nicely, along with some yellowing as it gets older.
Fender Troublemaker Tele Deluxe Bigsby
Fender came out with a few new models for this year that I admired, so it was a tough choice picking one. However, I am partial to the black and white Tuxedo look of the new Troublemaker Tele Deluxe Bigsby model. I love Telecasters full-stop, and this one just looks like a lot of fun to play, so it appeals to me on many levels.
Plus, three humbuckers!
The new Eastman SB55 has whetted my appetite for the classic Double Cut design. What a great-looking guitar! Not only does it have looks to die for, but the ’50s spec Lollar P90 pickup gives it bags of mojo, too. I love these pickups and so I’m pretty sure this guitar will sound as sweet as honey.
There is also a Single Cut version available, but I would go for the DC model. I’ve owned a few in the past and come to love the way they feel. In my experience, DCs are great guitars for gigging with, and so this one is certainly on my radar.
D’Angelico Excel Series semi-hollow Mini DC
The new D’Angelico Mini DC guitars look beautiful. I badly want to try one out this Loaded with a pair of USA Seymour Duncan 59s! The Excel Mini DC model seems like a guitar that I would enjoy playing. It’s a great-looking instrument, and with its high quality specs, it ticks all the boxes for me.
A good semi-hollow guitar should be in everyone’s guitar arsenal in my opinion, and this one is definitely worth checking out.
Framus Devin Townsend D-Series Stormbender
I really like the look and hardware of the new Framus Devin Townsend signature D-Series Stormbender model. It looks like it’s a solid, high performance instrument, with a budget-friendly price (made in China). Those Fishman Fluence Devin Townsend Signature pickups will get you some great tones. And for heavy riffing, I like a guitar with a hard-tail, so this model should be well suited to that.
Manson Guitar Works MBM-1 Matthew Bellamy
The new Manson Guitar Works MBM-1 Matthew Bellamy looks like a fun guitar to play and I think it would also make a great platform for further modifications. The body shape and minimal look appeals to me and I could have a lot of fun playing on these at high volume through a large, valve-powered stack.
Definitely a great, well-priced instrument for players at all levels.
ESP LTD Phoenix Black Metal
The new ESP LTD Phoenix Black Metal is powered by a single Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker and is another stripped-back guitar that caught my eye this year. I own one of the older Phoenix 1000 models and it is an amazing guitar, and this new one would complement it nicely.
NAMM 2020: Your Coolest New Guitars?
What were your favourite new guitars announced at NAMM 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.