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May 2014
more... GearGear Award 2008

2008 Premier Gear Awards

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LOUD AS HELL
There’s something to be said about just getting real f’ing loud—and sounding real f’ing good while doing it. These amps and cabs are singlehandedly responsible for hundreds of police calls across the country. They fly in the face of the boutique crowd’s ever-shrinking war of wattages and proclaim, “I’m here, and I rock.” For amplifying our guitars to the moon, we bestow the Premier Gear Loud as Hell Award.
Mills Acoustics Afterburner Cab

A cabinet winning an award? Hell yeah. A beastly cab, the Afterburner 4x12 weighs 116 pounds and is loaded with Celestion V30s. Attention to detail and thoughtful innovations like the ported, virtually voidless plywood baffle were impressive, but it was what came out of the cab that reviewer Brett Petrusek described as, “huge bottom-end, clear and articulate mids and highs and a larger-than-usual soundscape.”


Mills Acoustics Afterburner Cab
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Industrial Amps Rock 120 Industrial Amps Rock 120

Industrial Amps’ products live up to their name, with no-nonsense, heavy-duty casing. The amp really impressed, however, with gain to spare and an expressive, authentic tone. The Rock 120’s 120 watts poured out a sufficiently saturated tone without getting muddy, and really shined through a Strat, drawing comparisons to a Fender Deluxe through its Classic channel and to a Mark II/Soldano hybrid through its Heavy channel.

“While the price may be equivalent to other boutique amp models out there, the Rock 120 defi nitely gives you a lot more, in terms of sound and power.” – February ‘08
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Reason SM50

Don’t let the Reason’s 50 watts fool you into thinking it doesn’t deserve this award. We gave a double take upon first listen, thinking it had to be a 100-watter. Wrong. The SM50 delivered a variety of tones, thanks to its three-way Normal/Stack/Bright switch that takes a Strat from JTM45 territory to near-plexi sounds to a modified JCM800. Simply put, this is a good-old-fashioned rock n’ roll amp that delivers both vintage and volume in equal parts.

“If you like vintage tones, and would like to use them as a jumping off point to make some too-loud rock n’ roll, give the SM50 an audition.” – October ‘08
Reason SM50
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Carvin X-100B Carvin X-100B

The Carvin X-100B is a special recipient of the Loud as Hell award, because it allows you to go from an ear-splitting 100 watts down to 50 or 25 if your ears need to take a sonic break. The overdrive channel was the highlight, giving pure, musical overtones and fat distortion. Of course, the requisite gain was there; said reviewer Kenny Rardin [November ‘08], “[The Gain toggle] switch will produce any amount of over-the-top sustain and gain anyone would ever need.” Top it off with sexy white tolex, and we’re hooked.
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