Best Guitar Pedals 2018 (NAMM)

Is there a rigorous way to determine what were the best products among the new pedals presented at NAMM 2018?

We doubt it, firstly because “Best of” lists are and always will be entirely subjective. Secondly, it’s worth noting that NAMM “Best of” lists tend to be skewed toward pedals that sport intriguing new features rather than those that “sound great,” simply because it’s downright impossible to tell what sounds good in an insanely noisy environment like NAMM.

However, it is possible to create a chart that shows which stompboxes got the best response from experts in the field, simply by aggregating the opinions of the pedal pros who tried a lot of them at the Anaheim convention. Although this approach isn’t 100% foolproof (it’s impossible for any human being to go through all the new pedal releases!), we think it’s the most sensible.

To that end, we sifted through the NAMM stompbox picks selected by five gear sites and gave every pedal one point each time it was selected. The sites are:


Eric Merrow
Music Radar
Tone King

Here are the results as of February 2!

And remember, we are committed to updating this post whenever new “Best of NAMM 2018” articles or videos are posted online!

#1: JHS Bonsai (4 points)

JHS Bonsai top Web1

Best New Guitar Pedal at NAMM: JHS Bonsai, BUY IT HERE!

Just a few weeks ago, we pointed out that the Ibanez Tube Screamer is still a huge-selling pedal in all its many incarnations. JHS Pedals came up with the idea of creating a pedal, called the Bonsai, that faithfully replicates the nine classic versions of the most-cloned pedal on the planet. This was the only pedal that was selected by four of the five aforementioned sites.

#2:  Alexander Pedals, Chase Bliss Audio, Empress FX,
Gamechanger Audio, Keeley, Neunaber, Rainger FX (3 points)

The nine pedals in the gallery above were mentioned in three of those five “Best of” lists and tied for second place. Click on the thumbnails to see the videos.

#10: Death By Audio, Electro Harmonix, Epigaze, Mooer, MXR, Seymour Duncan, Walrus Audio, WMD (2 points)

Tied in the 10th position, these eight pedals scored two points in our aggregated chart.

If you want to dig deeper, check out our comprehensive list of pedals announced at NAMM (organized by kind of effect!).