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Acoustic

Guitars, basses, pedals, amps, and more … high-quality gear kept arriving in 2023 at a record pace. Here are the past 12 months’ Premier Gear Award winners.

Read on to see which debut tone toys of 2023 reaped Premier Gear Awards from our editors and expert reviewers!

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Calling all pedal lovers! You could win one of SIXTEEN pedals in this year's I Love Pedals giveaway. Come back daily for more entries, giving you dozens of chances to win! Giveaway ends March 1, 2024.

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Gibson G-00 (top) and G-200 (bottom)

Solid wood construction and Bozeman-built appeal in more affordable and streamlined designs.

Intimate-feeling playing experience. Nice neck. Easy to play. Body shape well suited to austere appointments.

Fundamental build quality good, but detail-level work could be much improved.

$999

Gibson G-00
gibson.com

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3
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Gibson's history is rich with acoustic instruments built to be accessibly priced. The company's beloved and underrated B series guitars from the '60s, for instance, used laminate mahogany sides to make them more attainable. Even the legendary J-45 began as a relatively affordable model—cleverly using that beautiful sunburst finish to conceal less-than-perfect spruce pieces that were in short supply around World War II.

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We've reviewed a ton of cool gear over the past 12 months, but these stood above the rest and won our coveted Premier Gear Award.

This year more than 40 guitars, basses, effects, and amps from a diverse group of gear makers earned the coveted Premier Gear Award from our discerning editors. Here is our gear of the year.

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A mid-priced take on a slotted-headstock, 12-fret dreadnought with big bass and a lot of class.

Solid build. Big bass response. Great finish. Easy-to-play neck.

Fourteen-fret dread fans may miss some sustain and high-end resonance.

$999

Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB
alvarezguitars.com

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4.5
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Mid-priced acoustic guitars are a tricky proposition. The maker has the unenviable task of building a guitar that's affordable but upmarket enough in sound and playability to justify spending what's still a considerable chunk of change. That design directive generally means compromise at every turn. So, when I received the Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB, I thought a lot about what concessions Alvarez might have made. But sitting there in the case, everything about this guitar's looks belie its $999 street price. From its 12-fret neck, cool vintage sunburst, all-solid spruce and rosewood construction, slotted headstock, and hip 12th-fret inlay, the Alvarez sets up big expectations.

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