Read the January issue for FREE!
more... GearGear Award 2009

2009 Premier Gear Awards

Redux Deluxe
Is there anything better than your favorite gear getting better? The Redux Deluxe award goes to this year’s gear that answered a most difficult question—is it worth buying again?—with a resounding, “YES.”

PRS Modern Eagle IIPRS Modern Eagle II

One of the highest-end guitars we reviewed this year (January 2009), PRS’ followup to their Modern Eagle knocked it out of the park. From build quality (“the highest I’ve ever encountered in a guitar,” said reviewer Steve Ouimette) to the 1957/2008 pickups’ tone (“these pickups sounded better than the real ’58 PAF that was in my Les Paul,” Steve admitted), the Modern Eagle II goes a long way to wipe away any memory of the original. Though the price tag is steep, Steve justified it, saying, “I think this may be the first time I’ve felt that a guitar was worthy of a price tag in that range.”
MSRP $7080

Read the review...

Fuchs Plush Good VerbrationsFuchs Plush Good Verbrations

Fuch’s Plush line of pedals has been garnering acclaim for a few years, and one of the popular pedals in the line is the Verbrator, an effects loop with built-in reverb. This year, the company released just the Reverb section of the Verbrator in a tiny, simple box they call Good Verbrations (November 2009). You can adjust the level and decay of the reverb, allowing for a greater range of expression, from long and lush to short and tight. Says reviewer Gary Guzman, “Good Verbrations has a nice sounding reverb with simple, yet very useful controls.” While it doesn’t upgrade anything from the original, the Good Verbrations presents a slice of the best material, with a sizeable price break—something we’re happy to award.
MSRP $249

Read the review...

Furman P-1800
Furman P-1800 PF R Power Conditioner/Surge Suppressor

Although we had to provide the requisite warning about the danger of becoming “that guy,” there are some very good reasons to go with a real power conditioner over the ubiquitous office-supply-store power strip. Furman’s P-1800 PF R (April 2009), and update to their Power Factor Pro R brought all of their well known surge suppression and voltage spike protection and added in their new Clear Tone and Power Factor technologies in a unit designed specifically for high-current gear like guitar amps and powered monitors. They also threw in a whole batch of other useful features, like a digital voltmeter/ammeter, spaced outlets with securing straps, BNC connector and front panel USB outlet—enough to qualify it for a Kitchen Sink award as well.
MSRP $599

Read the full review...

Bogner 20th Anniversary EcstasyBogner Custom Amplification 20th Anniversary Ecstasy

The Bogner Ecstasy had a lot to live up to—Bogner’s flagship had built a reputation as one of the most versatile modern amps ever built—but Reinhold Bogner’s dedication to improvement was evident in the 20th Anniversary Ecstasy (October 2009). Living up to its predecessor in versatility (three separate channels, loads of features), the Anniversary Ecstasy incorporates a redesigned preamp circuit. This expands the tonal options even further, excelling in British-flavored high and low-gain rock. Says reviewer Jordan Wagner, “For those players who desire more options at their fingertips, the Ecstasy, with its three separate channels and myriad of usable customization choices, is an incredible choice with very few alternatives in its league.”
MSRP $4425 (head)

Read the review...

Maxon AD999Maxon AD999 Pro Analog Delay

For the past few years, Maxon (the company behind Ibanez’s ‘70s classics) has been releasing updated versions of their classic effects in the Vintage Series. The new AD999 (November 2009) channels the renowned AD-9 and AD999 pedals, with some modern improvements. The new AD999 adds true bypass, noise reduction and an entire Multi-Head mode to simulate tape delays. The ability to simulate tape delays such as the Roland RE-201 Space Echo, along with authentic vintage delay (utilizing some NOS components), makes the Maxon AD999 a lot of fun. “For devotees of vintage analog sounds, the AD999 Pro is a perfect choice,” reviewer Jordan Wagner declared.
Street $399

Read the full review...

Taylor T3/BTaylor T3/B

Taylor’s T3/B (April 2009) doesn’t have a direct predecessor to measure against, but it is descended from two highly-acclaimed parents: Taylor’s T5 hollowbody and their SolidBody. The semi-hollow T3 expands the tonal options of its precursors while maintaining the slick visual standard they’ve set. The guitar could’ve easily earned the “Tons O’Tones” award as well, achieving all styles and then some through the guitar’s Style 2 HD pickups, which can be accessed in all configurations and split. Reviewer Steve Ouimette sums it up, “Taylor seems to have pulled out all the stops on the T3/B, since it effortlessly excels in musical styles ranging from rock to blues to jazz … I can’t think of a single thing I would change.”
MSRP $3198

Read the full review...
Comments powered by Disqus