The Winter NAMM show is in full swing as we write. In case you don’t know already, NAMM is the semi-annual trade show of the National Association of Music Merchants; or, as we musicians think of it, the biggest candy store you’ll ever see. On the convention floor in Anaheim, CA, hundreds of manufacturers show off their product lines and new gear, and dealers place orders for the instruments you’ll be drooling over in their store windows. Wildly talented players demonstrate the new wares, famed endorsers perform live, and industry big-wigs rub elbows. For the musical-instrument community, NAMM is ground zero.

And that’s why it’s a shocker that Gibson does not have a visible presence at NAMM for the first time anyone can remember. The only public display from the venerable guitar institution is a shared space in the Monster Cable booth, where Gibson is showing a few signature models and the questionable Dusk Tiger guitar. We reported on The Punch-In last autumn that Gibson might be on the selling block. Now insiders at the show are murmuring that Gibson could shutter its windows by this summer.

If you think Gibson guitars are expensive off the rack, just wait till every one becomes a collector’s item.

We’ll have more news from the floor, and TrueFire will have exclusive footage from the live events our crew is producing at NAMM, including All-Star Guitar Night. Meantime, here’s a small handful of new products that have caught our eye.

  • Godin Guitars, the revered guitar co. from Quebec, is expanding its line and upgrading several existing models.
  • Gator Cases announces the terribly cool “Bone,” an ergonomically shaped, powered pedalboard that will retail for just $69.99.
  • Iconoclast guitarist Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine) is showing off his new Reverend Signature guitar. Reeves will be performing at All-Star Guitar Night.
  • Vox debuts new VR amps in the $500 – 800 range. Long famous for their class-A amplifiers, Vox is also releasing new solid and semi-hollow guitars.
  • PRS Guitars is celebrating its 25th anniversary in high style with a gorgeous new Custom 24, plus other anniversary models, new Tuxedo amps, and more.
  • Budda has a new line of 3-Channel amps.
  • ESI Audiotechnik muscles its way into the handheld-recorder niche with its Rekord M, which is smaller than a cell phone.
  • And for anyone who finds a typical acoustic just doesn’t have enough strings, and standard tuning is way too high, Taylor has released an 8-string Baritone.
  • Thanks to industry vet HP Newquist for an inside word from the show floor.