Best Of NAMM 2023: Highlights & Show Stealers

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  • NAMM returns for 2023
  • Our pick of the best gear and show highlights
  • Bookmark this page to keep updated!

It’s officially that time of year again! Yep, it’s NAMM 2023.

NAMM is the annual event for music lovers and gearheads alike and sees companies from all over the world travel to Anaheim, California to showcase the best new instruments, synths, software, and anything else you can think of.

This year the show is held from the 13th-15th of April and promises to be one of the biggest and most exciting yet. 

So if you’re looking for some epic gear to spend your hard-earned cash on, or maybe you want to keep ahead of the curve (or perhaps you can’t make the show) then stick with us as we’ll be keeping you posted with our pick of the best news and highlights from this year’s event.

Make sure to bookmark this page as we’ll update it regularly as the show goes on!

Don’t forget to check out our rundown of the best of 2022, 2021, and 2020 here. 

The Best of NAMM 2023

  1. IK Multimedia AXE
  2. Polyend Tracker Mini
  3. Modbap Meridian
  4. Beyerdynamic M Series Mics
  5. Pioneer Opus Quad
  6. Expressive E Osmose Synth
  7. Electro-Harmonix Lizard Queen Octave Fuzz
  8. Sony MDR-MV1 Headphones
  9. BASTL Audio BESTIE Stereo Mixer
  10. Earthquaker Devices Aurelius Tri-Voice Chorus Pedal
  11. Donner D1 Drum Machine
  12. Yamaha Stage Custom Drums
  13. Black BT SusEx Sustain/Expression Pedal

IK Multimedia AXE I/O One

We’re already big fans of IK Multimedia so are naturally excited to see their new AXE I/O one interface. 

This unit looks set to bridge the gap between budget and ‘great sounding’, with IK’s Z-Tone impedance control and JFET input for massive tube-style warmth. The interface is also designed for easy re-amping and will come with Amplitube and Tone-X software.

You can pick one up now for $129.99.

Polyend Tracker Mini

Polish manufacturers Polyend has caused a stir already this year with their Tracker Mini, which is a more compact version of their original Tracker that packs some additional features.

The original Tracker allowed you to create music using onboard sampling and a granular synthesis engine.  The unique aspect is the Tracker leaned on old-school computer music creation which gave it somewhat of an unusual, but very cool and fun, workflow.

The new unit comes with a built-in mic, stereo sample playback, and an onboard battery (which departs from the original which used a battery pack).

The Tracker Mini is really aimed towards mobile music makers but also will appeal to experienced music makers or newbies alike. There is something we really love about the look of it too, it almost feels like you’ve got a handheld console in your hands!

The Tracker Mini will set you back $699 currently and is available for pre-order with shipping starting in July. 

Modbap Meridian

The Modbap Meridian is one on everyone’s lips at the moment with a 4HP dual multimode filter array.

With the unit, you have the choice of 4 selectable filter types per side and 4 selectable filter modes per side as well as drive and phase shift effects. The two filters come with adjustable parameters (cut-off, resonance, and contour) with the ability to control both filters in tandem with the PrimeFreq control.

This one leans towards performers and has been built with the Modbap Osiris in mind as the perfect partner!

The Meridian is available for pre-order at $449.

Beyerdynamic M Series Mics

Beyerdynamic has announced re-imagined versions of their M Series mics which are due to go on sale later in 2023.

Their M Series has been a favorite of many for years, including Jimi Hendrix, and the new range marks an upgraded look whilst retaining the original tonal qualities that made them so popular. 

If you’re going to be at NAMM in person this is definitely one to check out as Steve Albini and Eddie Kramer are on hand discussing the new series (and we’re told there will also be some killer performances over the course of the show).

We haven’t got firm details on availability and pre-orders yet but you can register to keep up to date with Beyerdynamic here

Pioneer Opus Quad

Although not a strictly new announcement the Opus Quad is something we’re really excited about at this year’s NAMM.

The Opus Quad is a 4-deck standalone controller that really competes with and often surpasses most other DJ controllers on the market at the moment.

If you’re at the show, we’d definitely recommend checking this out in person as it’s a bit of a beast! The Opus Quad is available now for $3,199.

We actually took this one for a test drive recently so make sure to check out our full review here

Expressive E Osmose Synth

Expressive E has been showcasing its new synth in the form of the Osmose. 

As you will know by their name, the unit has been designed to be, well, extremely expressive! The Osmose at first glance looks like a fairly straightforward standalone synth but once you start playing you’ll notice the keys reacting in a really unique and intuitive way, creating some pretty out-there sounds that include a pitch control function. 

Check out the video below to hear it in action. You can pre-order yours now for $1,799.

Electro-Harmonix Lizard Queen Octave Fuzz

This thing sounds massive and represents a nod to 1970s Electro-Harmonix. The back story is pretty interesting too! 

EHX teamed up with Josh Scott of JHS and graphic designer Daniel Danger who got together in 2022 to make their video ‘Making A Vintage Electro-Harmonix Pedal’ (if you’re a gear nerd check this out for sure, it’s awesome). 

Fast forward a year later and the result is the Lizard Queen, which comes in a compact, pedalboard-friendly design. It’s not super expensive either coming in at $99, available for pre-order now.

Sony MDR-MV1 Heaphones

If 3D audio is up your street then these probably are too! Sony’s MDR-MV1 headphones are designed with spatial audio in mind.

As Sony themselves have stated these headphones “make it easier for professionals to capture localization, spaciousness, and detailed changes in sound processing”. They come with a super wide frequency range of 5Hz to 80kHz, so more than enough to capture a truly accurate sound representation.

The headphones are open back and have been designed to be perfectly compatible with Sony’s 360VME (virtual mixing environment).

A pair will set you back $399 and are available for pre-order now. 

BASTL Audio BESTIE Stereo Mixer

You may be familiar with BASTL’s Dude. If not, this was their compact mixer that sadly retired recently. Luckily we have BESTIE jumping into the mix as its replacement (no pun intended).

BESTIE was designed with portability in mind as evident in the optional battery power (or USB-C).

The unit houses 5 channels with up to a (rather large) 20dB of boost. The third channel can act as a feedback channel which can be used to create some subtle effects through to a pretty wild tremolo-type sound. 

A BESTIE will cost around $198 and can be bought directly from BASTL here.

Earthquaker Devices Aurelius Tri-Voice Chorus Pedal

NAMM ’23 has proved to be a really exciting event for guitarists and Earthquaker Devices have played a part in this with their new chorus pedal, the Aurelius Tri-Voice.

The stompbox is loosely based on the Boss CE-1 but brings a smaller pedalboard footprint and sleek design. 

You can choose from three settings: Vibrato, Chorus, and Rotary allowing you to add a touch of warble all the way through to massive flange-style sounds whilst the pedal offers tonnes of customization with Width, Rate, and Balance controls.

If you want to get your hands on an Aurelius Tri-Voice you can grab one now for $199.

Donner D1 Drum Machine

The D1 is aimed at the beginner end of the market, so if you’re an experienced drum machine-r then this probably isn’t for you but we really admire the simple approach that Donner has gone for here.

Getting into music tech can be a little intimidating for anyone new to it, so whilst this thing might not be for everyone, it’s exciting to see something on the market for those just dipping their toe into music making.

The unit comes with 12 channels and although we don’t have a price yet, expect it to be at the budget end. Keep your eye on Donner’s website for more!

Yamaha Stage Custom Drums

Yamaha’s Stage Custom drums have been given a bit of a facelift for NAMM ’23.

The drums are largely the same but will now be available in Deep Blue Sunburst, Classic White, and Matte Surf Green (although those with a keen eye will recognize the Matte Surf Green from the Stage Custom hip setup)

Classic White replaces ‘Pure White’ and is available for all Stage Custom Birch kits, whilst any standard setup will be available in all three finishes.

Black BT SusEx Sustain/Expression Pedal

Black BT have released what they claim is the world’s first wireless expression and sustain pedal.

The pedal has a bunch of intuitive uses and can be switched between expression and sustain just by where you press it. Uniquely it can send MIDI information wirelessly and it’ll give you the ability to switch between sounds within your DAW, control your mix level, and, well, tonnes of other fun stuff!

Check out the video below for more or head to Black BT’s website to order.