This tiny stompbox recorder enables real-time riff capture and fast file sharing via Bluetooth.

TC Electronic’s Wiretap Riff Recorder might seem like an answer to a problem few have considered. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great idea. It enables the capture of ideas right in the middle of a jam—without ever breaking stride or sacrificing a magical mood or moment. And with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and a clever file management app, it facilitates fast sharing of musical ideas.

If you guessed at the intent of the Wiretap, you might think it works something like a cross between your smartphone’s audio recorder and a looper. You wouldn’t be too far off. Like a looper, you just hit the bypass switch while you’re playing and it begins recording. You can play back the recording through your amp. But the real upside comes via the downloadable app, which enables file naming, organization, and fast sharing.

There’s no limit to file length, save for the eight-hour ceiling on the unit’s memory. You can also play back recorded sections and scan through them using the simple, tape-recorder-like 3-switch array. Wiretap may seem like a solution to a problem you thought you had sorted. But few methods for capturing ideas are as easy or immediate.

Ratings

Pros:
Easy to use. Records ideas while you play. CD-quality audio. Thoughtful app interface.

Cons:
None.

Street:
$99

TC Electronic Wiretap
tcelectronic.com

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

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A supreme shredder’s signature 6-string dazzles with versatility.

This immaculately built guitar sounds great and can do it all.

The more affordable price is still out of reach for many guitarists

$2,799

Charvel MJ San Dimas SD24 CM
charvel.com

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5
4.5
4.5

Charvel’s first Guthrie Govan signature model was released in 2014, after an arduous two-year effort to get the design just right. Since then, the guitar—now in its second edition—has become one of Charvel’s most coveted models. Unfortunately, its $3,699 price keeps the U.S.-made axe out of reach for many.

This year, though, the company released the Made-in-Japan signature MJ San Dimas SD24 CM, which sells for a slightly more manageable $2,799. Needless to say, that’s not cheap. But depending on your priorities, it’s a fair price for a very high quality, pro-level instrument.

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