NAMM 2016 Rumor Roundup: Leaks, Teasers and Predictions

The 2016 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim kicks off on Thursday, and the excitement, hype and baseless conjecture about new products is already well underway. Gear forums and blogs are abuzz with predictions, and many brands have already released early teasers and product announcements.

For new gearheads who may not be familiar with NAMM, the annual convention is the very epicenter of the industry. Fans and pros from every section of the gear world gather to talk shop, show off new designs and sample the very latest music technologies. Large manufacturers and boutique builders alike save their product launches for January, which makes news from NAMM the most important source of new gear releases each year.

Here's a look at some of the rumors we've seen so far along with a recap of some of the announcements and leaks that have already surfaced. Keep an eye on Reverb the rest of the week for full coverage of all the goings on at NAMM, and be sure to follow our Twitter feed for all the latest NAMM 2016 news.

Got predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments.

PRS John Mayer Signature Model

Status: Very Likely

A little over a year ago, John Mayer announced his split with Fender and the discontinuation of his Signature Stratocaster. Since then, the Berklee-bred bro blues champion has posted multiple images of himself with a flame topped PRS in hand. Most recently this Instagram post strongly indicates the imminent release of a bonafide signature model:

JHS 500 Series Effects

Status: Confirmed

With the growing popularity of modular formats like 500 series and Eurorack, it was only a matter of time before we starting seeing boutique effect makers getting in on the modular action. Enter JHS Pedals who have already confirmed the launch of a 500 series version of some of the most popular effects including the Panther Cub delay and Colour Box preamp. JHS is still calling these modules guitar effects, and it'll be interesting to see if these units are adopted mostly by pre-existing 500 series users or if a new class of guitarist starts to replace their pedalboards with lunch boxes.

Small Format Dave Smith Instruments Synth

Status: Pure Speculation

Last year, Dave Smith Instruments dropped most of the smaller format synths from their catalog including the popular Mopho. Since then, there's been discussion as to what would come along to replace it with plenty of rumors about more Eurorack modules (which Dave denied in an exclusive interview featured in our NAMM Zine), a new monosynth along the lines of a stripped down Pro 2 (Pro 1 '16?) or perhaps a new four-voice polyphonic synth with digital effects more akin to the Prophet 6 that launched at NAMM last year.

No news has come out of DSI thus far except this Tweet which shows that whatever they have in store, it'll have a portamento button.

Strymon Eurorack Effects

Status: Very Likely

This particular rumor comes from a post on Sonicstate which points to some teaser images from Strymon that show their pedals quite literally under wraps. The author of this post notes the presence of a Eurorack behind two of the pedals and uses that to predict Strymon's possible entry into the Eurorack space.

Update: An Instagram post from Strymon has confirmed they are working on something that's not a pedal and looks an awful lot like a rack-mount module:

Rumor has it we'll have a new product at NAMM, but it's not a pedal. #generalissimo #control #voltage #strymonlab

A photo posted by Strymon (@strymonengineering) on

Yamaha Montage Workstation

Status: Confirmed

Whisperings surrounding Yamaha's new workstation have been floating around for months, but very few details have been confirmed apart from the name, "Montage." Yamaha recently released this teaser video which doesn't tell us much about the hotly anticipated keyboard apart from the fact that it does indeed exist. The emphasis on LED ringed and embedded encoders would suggest computer integration, and the Montage name suggest an evolution of the once ubiquitous Motif workstation line. Our bet is on a full-featured workstation that opts for greater DAW integration over the more extensive sequencing and arrangement power of yesterday's keyboard workstations, hopefully in trade for even more sound design horsepower.

New Catalinbread Delay Pedals

Status: Confirmed

Though no exact specs have been posted yet, this Instagram photo from Catalinbread clearly shows two new delay pedals, one called the Bicycle Delay and the other dubbed the CSIDMAN. With the Echorec and Belle Epoch already topping the list of most popular boutique delays on the market, expect these new pedals to similarly tackle some classic delay style of the past.

???😜6 days till #namm #thenammshow #namm2016 #knowyourtone #geartalk

A photo posted by catalinbread (@catalinbread) on

Moog Eurorack Modules

Status: Pure Speculation

Moog announced the end of the Minimoog Voyager last year and the speculation on what's coming next hasn't stopped since. That same week, the firm launched the Mother-32, yet despite this Eurorackable entry, there are still no individual Moog Eurorack modules being built. Will 2016 be the year Moog fully enters the Eurorack fray? We'll find out soon enough.

Keeley Workstation Pedals

Status: Confirmed

Keeley has really ramped up the breadth of their pedal selection lately, and it appears for 2016 the Oklahoma shop is venturing further into larger format, multi-effect "workstation" pedals. The new line includes "Mod," "Tone" and "Delay" Workstations, with details now live on the Keeley website.

New Earthquaker Devices Pedals

Status: Confirmed

It appears our pals at Earthquaker Devices are strong adherents to the old proverb "go big or go home" and have already announced eight releases for NAMM. New designs include the Night Wire Tremolo, Spires Fuzz Doubler, Spatial Delivery Envelop Filter, Gray Channel Dynamic Dirt Doubler, Bows Germanium Preamp Booster, Bellows Fuzzdriver, Acapulco Gold Poweramp Distortion, and Avalanche Run Stereo Delay and Reverb. The much-hyped Avalanche Run is definitely the most exciting for us as this pedal will launch as an exclusive release here on Reverb.

Korg Minilogue

Status: Already on Sale

What's sure to be the most hyped synth at the NAMM 2016 show was announced a week ahead of time and is already up for sale. Unlike the ARP Odyssey and MS-20 Mini of recent years, the Korg Minilogue is not a reissue or reimagining of a classic synth, but an entirely new design with four voices, eight distinct modes and a 16 step sequencer. Coming in at a comfortable $500, we expect to see a lot of Minilogues sell this year as well as many MicroKorgs making their way to the used synth section of Reverb.

Roland AIRA Sampler

Status: Speculation

Roland's AIRA line made a huge splash at last year's NAMM. Rumors have been swirling that they'll be expanding the lineup with the smart money leaning towards a flexible sampler that can emulate some of the most beloved samplers of yesteryear such as the MPC, SP-1200, or Ensoniq ASR-10. The forum user who detailed the leak of Akai's MPC Touch has given some credibility to these rumors, stating this will indeed be one of Roland's new products at this year's show.

Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2

Status: Confirmed

Pioneer's current flagship CDJ and mixer, the CDJ-2000NXS and DJM-900NXS, were introduced in 2012 and 2011 respectively. Needless to say, in the fast-paced world of DJ and electronic music production tools, both were getting a bit long in the tooth. With computer based solutions further saturating the market annually, an update was certainly in order, and Pioneer has delivered, announcing the CDJ-2000NX2 and DJM-900NXS2 in advance of this year's show. Featuring a plethora of improvements including 24bit/96kHz soundcards, color touchscreens, USB ports and expanded hot cue tools, Pioneer looks poised to continue their dominant run as the industry standard for professionals who opt for CD decks.

The Revival of Denon

Status: Confirmed

Before the rise of Traktor and Serato, one of Pioneer's main competitors, particularly in CD deck market, was Denon. While the company has by no means been dormant, they've been far from the center of the DJ universe for quite sometime, allowing Native Instruments, Pioneer and Rane to occupy the top seats for professional-grade gear. From the look of their teaser trailer though, they aim to change that in 2016. The video is short on details, but if they're to live up to the hype, they'll need a robust line of touchscreen CDJs, an impressive flagship mixer and likely a few varieties of all-in-one software controllers. It remains to be seen if these products will support Serato, rekordbox or will use a new proprietary software altogether.

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