Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Hordes of great guitars, basses, amps, stompboxes, and accessories came through our doors this year, but these specimens caught our eyes, ears, and wallets with their exceptional performance, tone, and value.


ToneVille Beale St. (February)
With a look that mates Danish furniture craft and retro-future whimsy, ToneVille’s 15-watt, 6V6-powered Beale St. 1x12 isn’t hung up on paying homage to the classics. Though the circuit and sound are in some measure indebted to Fender classics, the Beale St. excels, in its own special way, at being a great blank slate. Reviewer Joe Gore remarked, “no matter where I set the knobs, something inspiring leapt from the speaker.”

$2,495 street,

A year’s worth of gear at Premier Guitar adds up to a whole lot of wood, wire, silicon, germanium, aluminum, and steel. It also makes up a whole universe of musical possibilities, which is what strikes us as we look back on the Premier Gear Award winners for 2014. From luxurious acoustics to ridiculously buttery-sounding amps and furiously frantic vintage-style fuzzes, there are almost infinite sounds to be extracted from this roster of favorites.

As always, you’ll see the full spectrum of manufacturers represented, too—from garage circuit tweakers to industry giants. And apart from the beautiful sounds that you’re likely to extract from these instruments of expression, that diversity among builders might be the thing that makes this industry so fun and special. We all share the joy, ecstasy, emotion, and rush of creation that music brings. And from these 43 award-winning guitars, pedals, amps, audio interfaces, and accessories, we expect y’all will brew up more than a little magic in the years to come. Happy music making, and enjoy the ride.