Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 NAMM Preview: Brandon "Taz" Niederauer, Laurence Juber, Gibson, iRig...

Although I typically spend at least four full days at the NAMM Show in Anaheim every January, when the marathon show is at an end I always feel I missed something...okay, that I missed a lot! There is truly so much to experience at the event and it is a great opportunity to catchy a myriad of great musicians, new state-of-the-art technology and innovations, and meet up with old (and new) friends! I hope to see many of you there this week! Robert Kinsler

Brandon "Taz" Niederauer performing at NAMM Show in
Anaheim, CA in January 2019. Photo: Bob Steshetz

I received word several weeks ago that one of my favorite young guitarists, Brandon "Taz" Niederauer will be performing a number of times across the weekend. If you haven't yet heard Niederauer yet, be prepared to be floored when you catch him up-close and in-person at NAMM. Get to his showcase sets in advance; he attracts increasingly-larger audiences every year.

Make sure to read my coverage of Niederauer's performance at the show in January 2019 here. Or check out my recap of his performance at NAMM in 2018 here. Oh, did I mention he is only 16?

Fingerstyle guitarist Laurence Juber to perform at NAMM on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020

Laurence Juber is set to perform at the Seymour Duncan at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. The GRAMMY® winning artist is a solo performer, recording artist, composer and arranger. His playing fuses folk, jazz, blues, pop and classical styles, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument.

A music graduate of London's Goldsmith's College, Juber was featured guitar soloist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra before becoming established as a studio musician in the mid-1970's. He rose to international fame as lead guitarist in Paul McCartney's Wings, with whom he won a Grammy. He has since established himself as a world-renowned guitar virtuoso and entertainer.

Seymour Duncan is Booth #4344.

Gibson reveals new product line-up ahead of NAMM 2020


Slash and his Gibson Les Paul
Standard in Appetite Burst.
For the past 126 years, Gibson has been synonymous with creating and shaping sound. The new Gibson era celebrates the iconic models of the Gibson Golden Era while leaning into the future with instruments that nurture new players across generationsgenders, and genres of music. In 2019, Gibson emerged as the legitimate leader again by offering new, relevant and award-winning guitars. Combined with a re-energized brand and renewed commitment from all Gibson artists, 2020 is set to take Gibson to the next level as they showcase the new line-up, launch history-making new collections and artist collaborations during Winter NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, CA (January 15-19). 

The Gibson NAMM 2020 experience will feature daily events in the Gibson experience space located on the 3rd Floor in Ballroom A Anaheim Convention Center (daily 11-5pm). The Gibson experience will host artist performances on the main stage and the new acoustic lounge, as well as, musician Q&A’s on industry hot topics and new product debuts from icons to upstarts. Gibson’s NAMM events will begin with a Media and Custom Shop preview event on Wednesday, January 15, an official opening party and concert “Gibson Live at The Grove” will kick-off on Thursday, January 16 at City National Grove Of Anaheim.

At Winter NAMMGibson will showcase new collections and artist collaborations for 2020.

The Gibson Original Collection brings classic design, innovation and authenticity back into the hands of Gibson fans. These include the legendary Les Paul Standard 50’s and 60’s. “Less than one year ago we launched the new Original Collection as a way of going back to the 50’s and 60’s, to pay tribute to our iconic Golden Era bringing those classic designs back into the hands of Gibson fans” says Cesar Gueikian, Chief Merchant Officer of Gibson.

“The Modern Collection reflects a new era of innovation, something Orville Gibson started in 1894 and Ted McCarty fueled in the 50’s and 60’s. It incorporates many contemporary updates that players have embraced, such as lighter-weight bodies, push-pull systems to switch between the Burst Bucker and P90 sounds, innovative slim-taper necks with asymmetrical profiles, shaved heels for effortless access to the highest frets,” adds Cesar.

Slash Collection Les Paul Standard in Anaconda Burst, November Burst, Appetite Burst and Vermillion Burst.
In a history-making move, Gibson will launch the first-ever Slash Collection. It includes four Les Paul and two J-45 influential Gibson guitars Slash has used during his career, inspiring multiple generations of players around the world. The Slash Collection can be seen live on stage with Slash today.

Each Slash Collection Les Paul Standard features a AAA maple top, a solid Mahogany body and Slash’s personal touches including a C-shape neck profile, signature Gibson “SlashBucker” pickups, color coordinated hardware appointments, hand-wired electronics with orange drop capacitors and a vintage style brown hardshell case. Exclusive to the Slash Collection are Slash’s “Scully” signature drawing on the back of the headstock, Slash’s signature on the truss rod cover, a blank truss rod cover in the case, Slash’s new Ernie Ball strings, and four Slash Jim Dunlop Tortex® picks. The Slash Collection Les Paul Standard is available in November Burst, Appetite Burst, Vermillion Burst and Anaconda Burst. “Working with Slash is an honor and to develop his new Gibson Collection was an incredible journey; Slash is a perfectionist and a guitar nerd like me, and his new Collection is a true reflection of him” says Cesar.

"Developing my new Collection with the new Gibson team has been really exciting,” says Slash. “The quality and attention to detail is next level, and these new guitars truly reflect what I play live and in the studio. I think guitarists will be inspired by what we've put together.”

Gibson is expanding the Original Collection with new 70s-style Flying V and Explorer. The iconic ‘70s Flying V has been redesigned with a bound rosewood fingerboard, slim taper neck, and a pair of uncovered ‘70s tribute burstbuckers all hand-wired with orange drop capacitors and available in classic white finish with matching headstock, silver reflector knobs and chrome hardware. The ‘70s Explorer has traveled stages the world over. Now featuring a pair of ‘70s tribute burstbuckers, hand-wired with orange drop capacitors, this new Gibson Explorer begs to be played loud. With its classic white finish, bound rosewood fingerboard, black speed knobs and chrome hardware, it looks as iconic as the generation of music it helped create.

Gibson Original Collection 70s-style Explorer and Flying V.

Gibson is adding to the Modern Collection with a new Les Paul Special Tribute in two configurations of pickups (Humbucker and P-90) at an entry point of $999 and made in USA by the same hands that make the sister Original Collection Les Paul Special TV Yellow guitars.

Gibson Custom Shop Collection 60th Anniversary
1960 Les Paul Standard.
“The Gibson Custom Shop is the pinnacle of craftsmanship, quality and sound excellence. Each instrument celebrates Gibson’s legacy through accuracy, authenticity and attention to detail,” says Cesar. “We recently created the Murphy Lab at the Gibson Custom Shop with Tom Murphy as Master Artisan. Together, we are re-imagining and implementing new ways of delivering the Gibson Custom Shop historic experience to our extended fan base of guitar enthusiasts.” Tom will bring his expertise, authentic style and his passion for building historically accurate guitars to Custom Shop to shape the future of the Murphy Lab and cement his legacy.

2020 will introduce new 60th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standards in three versions. Those made in the first third of the year (V1) share the same specs as their 1959 peers, while the middle third (V2) have thinner neck profilesdifferent knobs and brighter colors. The final third (V3) feature even thinner neck profiles. Each version inspires generations of players in different ways, making music history all the while.

The Gibson Custom Shop is launching a new Historic Reissue ES Collection -- with True Historic partsauthentic dimensions and contours scanned from priceless vintage originals.

The Custom Shop will also be showcasing a new and limited run of historic reissues in a rainbow of custom colors. These include iconic models such as 1963 and 1964 Firebird V, 1964 SG Standard, 1965 Non-Reverse Firebird V1967 Mahogany Flying V, all with w/Maestro Vibrola1963 SG Special with Lightning Bar and the modern Les Paul Special Double Cut. The custom colors include Pelham Blue, Candy Blue, Frost Blue, Olive Drab, Classic and Polaris WhiteInverness GreenHeather PolySilver and Gold Mist PolyKerry GreenCardinal Red, Ember Red, Sparkling BurgundyPurple MetallicBlackPink and others.

2020 will also bring multiple, limited-edition artist collaborations including a Trini Lopez Standard as a Core Historic Reissue model and the iconic Tony Iommi “Monkey” SG. “Tony Iommi's iconic riffs, heavy tones and massively-influential albums created the blueprint for Heavy Metal and many other genres to follow,” explains Cesar. “Having the opportunity to work with Tony to recreate his original 1964 SG is the ultimate honor for all of us at Gibson.”

“Recently I was invited to Nashville by Cesar and JC who I must tell you are so enthusiastic and passionate,” explains Tony Iommi. “I had the opportunity to go to the factories, meet the people that work there, and I saw how dedicated they all are. Gibson guitars have lifted a million times, with the new team being totally involved and that’s what’s been missing in Gibson for a long time now. There’s no stopping them, which is great for all of us guitar players,” adds Iommi.

Tony Iommi “Monkey” SG.

Tony Iommi’s career, like the man himself, is universally loved and revered. And while his innovative tuning and playing styles were a major part of his monstrous tones, a Gibson SG named "Monkey" was at the center of it all. This heavily-modified 1964 SG Special was used extensively with the original lineup of Black Sabbath and heard on every album and tour of the 1970s. Thanks to the meticulous reverse-engineering and painstaking attention to detail employed by Gibson Custom Shop50 exact replicas have been created, 25 right-handed and 25 left-handed like the original, each signed and numbered by Tony Iommi himself. No detail was overlooked in the construction and aging, telling the complete story of the “Monkey” from the zero fret to the stop tailpiece bushings to the legendary pickups, which were hand-made in the U.K. by the apprentice of the late John Birch. Each guitar will even include an exclusive replica of Tony's silver cross necklace with a coffin case, a replica of Tony's leather touring guitar strap and a 1960s replica case.

The Gibson Custom Shop is also working with legendary and multi-talented Tool guitarist artist, sculptor, special effects designer, videographer and producer Adam Jones on recreating his original 1979 Les Paul Custom Silverburst that can been seen live on stage with Adam today in support of their world tour and blockbuster new album Fear Inoculum. More details to come on this project later in 2020.

“2020 brings a renewed focus on our acoustic guitars, just like we did with our electric guitar portfolio, applying the same principles of craftmanship. We are recalibrating our acoustic portfolio into Original and Modern Collections and launching an Acoustic Custom Shop with Historic and Modern Collections,” explains Cesar. “Our acoustic guitars have defined sound for 126 years and we intend to leverage that heritage and bring new iconic instruments to the hands of new generations of players.”

Gibson is pleased to announce the newly created Gibson Acoustic Custom Shop based in Bozeman, Montana. “With the Acoustic Custom Shop, we are bringing back all the acoustic icons in their true historic form with the Historic Collection and leaning into the future with our ornamented Modern Collection,” says Cesar. The Acoustic Custom Shop Historic Collection includes a 1942 Banner J-451942 Banner Southern Jumbo1934 Jumbo1936 Advanced Jumbo1939 J-55, 1952 J-1851957 SJ 2001960 HummingbirdPre-war SJ 200 Rosewood and more.

The Acoustic Custom Shop Modern Collection will explore the push and pull between classic designs and modern materials with bodies designed for comfort and modern voice, easy-playing slim-taper necks and a flatter fingerboard radius for enhanced feel. It includes a J-45 Deluxe Rosewood, Songwriter Chroma with Quilted Maple, Hummingbird with Custom Koa and many more

The Acoustic Custom Shop recently launched the most highly customized Country Western in Gibson’s history. Created for Sheryl Crow and based off her own Country Western, the features of this signature model are designed to deliver the sweet voice of our classic Country Western with the added punch created from our 1930's Advanced bracing pattern. The Thermally Aged Sitka spruce top and hide glue provide additional projection and increased expression with a wider dynamic range. 

Artists collaborations at Gibson Acoustics will reach new levels with the new Slash Collection. Each Slash Collection Gibson J-45 Standard features a blend of traditional appointments and modern features including a custom Slash rounded C-neck profile, a fatter and more modern 16'' fingerboard radius and a versatile LR BaggsTM VTC pickup for natural acoustic sound. Exclusive to the Slash Collection are Slash’s “Scully” signature drawing on the back of the headstock, Slash’s signature on the truss rod cover with a blank truss rod cover in the case and four Slash Jim Dunlop Tortex® picks. The Slash Collection J-45 Standard is available in November Burst and Vermillion Burst. 

Gibson Acoustics continues the success of the new G line of acoustics--high-quality, USA-made guitars built by the same hands that make the J-200 and J-45’s with a price point for younger, or newer, “generations” of players. The new Gibson Generation line’s offerings, the G-45 Studio and G-45 Standard, priced at $999 and $1299 respectively, feature solid Sitka spruce tops and walnut back and sides and exquisite finishes. “We are energized by the success of the Gibson Generation G-45 guitars, we can’t make enough of them!” says Cesar.

Slash with his J-45 Standard.

Adding to the new artist collaborations, Gibson worked closely with Frank Hannon guitarist, songwriter and co-founder of the multi-platinum band Tesla, to bring fans a new “Love” Dove in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of “Love Song,” and Kazuyoshi Saito on a signature J-45.

“Teaming up with Gibson to create the timeless Love Dove acoustic guitar has been a joy because of the love that the Gibson team has for music, and the artists who make it,” says Frank Hannon of Tesla. “I recorded many of Tesla’s classic acoustic driven songs with an original 1970s Gibson Dove, and now we have together created the Love Dove acoustic guitar in its glory to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tesla’s ‘Love Song’.”

By leveraging its iconic past and leaning into the innovative future, Gibson has set the stage for the next era of shaping sound for present and future generations.

For all things Gibson, visit:

About Gibson:
Gibson Brands, the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TNGibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the number one guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger and the Gibson Pro Audio division KRK SystemsGibson is dedicated to quality, innovation and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands. Learn more at and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

IK Multimedia celebrates 10th Anniversary of groundbreaking iRig® brand with over 5 million units sold

The NAMM Show, January 15, 2020 - IK Multimedia is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its original iRig® guitar interface that helped define the "mobile music-making" category and launched an entire family of products. Coinciding with the surging popularity of iPhones and the introduction of Apple's iPad, the first iRig was launched in 2010 along with the iOS version of IK's acclaimed AmpliTube amp and effects tone studio.

The original AmpliTube iRig was a revolutionary, pocket-sized interface that enabled guitar and bass players to connect to their mobile device to practice or record - anytime, anywhere. A massive success, iRig was quickly followed by other products in the interface, keyboard-and-floor-controller, microphone and guitar amp segments, becoming a world-recognized brand for accessible, easy-to-use, music technology and selling more than 5 million units.

IK Multimedia CEO and founder Enrico Iori reflects, "Our goal with the original iRig and companion AmpliTube app was to offer a solution to guitar and bass players who wanted the freedom to write music, play and record outside of the confines of a traditional recording studio, or on a small budget. The rising popularity of the iPhone and apps offered a possible means, but there was no easy and direct way to connect a guitar to take advantage of recording or modeling software. Our solution helped countless of musicians to 'go mobile,' and gave rise to a diverse series of products that make it easy and fun to create high quality recordings using a smartphone or tablet - whether you are a guitarist, vocalist or other type of musician."

Since 2010, musicians worldwide have honed their craft using iRig products. They've been used backstage by legendary musicians like Slash, in the studio by GRAMMY® nominated producers like Steve Lacy, and live on stage with top-selling bands like the Dave Matthews Band.

Today, IK Multimedia continues to lead the way in high-quality mobile audio, with an entire series of professional tools for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac/PC. The iRig brand now includes over 60 convenient and affordable audio processing, recording and streaming solutions for on-the-go guitarists, vocalists, keyboardists, producers, engineers, content creators and more.

To see the iRig family of products, visit:

See us at the NAMM Show: ACC North Hall, Level 2, Room# 17202

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