dr z

The guitar universe gathered momentum in a big way in 2022—which is easy to see in this year’s wildly diverse parade of Premier Gear Award winners.

Here's a look at 2022’s most notable new guitars, amps, effects, and accessories, reviewed by our editors and writers:

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A versatile low-watt monster with a whole lotta roar.

These days, low-wattage amps are a staple of the boutique amp business. The best of these can cover everything from small club gigs to arena rock shows. And depending on the design philosophies of their creators, they can sound quite unique, too. Dr. Z’s new model, the Z-PLUS, is no exception. It’s a 1x12 combo that weighs in at 38 pounds and kicks ass across classic American and British tone dimensions.

The Z-PLUS is switchable between 7 and 15 watts, and has a familiar front-panel control set: volume, treble, mid, bass, cut, reverb, and master volume. It also features the company’s variable boost footswitch (included), which partially bypasses the amp’s tone stack via a variable potentiometer to provide boost that you can adjust via a side-mounted dial. And if you’re a dirty player who craves spanky lead sounds, the boost—and the way the Z-PLUS achieves it—pays off big time.

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PG's Review Demo specialist John Bohlinger plays a pair of Les Pauls and a T-style to see how good this 6V6-combo co-designed by Joe Walsh truly sounds.