gear award 2008

Your guide to the best-reviewed gear this year.

Looking to add some gear to your holiday wish list? Here are 60 of the surest bets we played through this year. Each of these items scored either a 5 or a 4.5 overall, and basically blew our minds. If you need more guidance, check out our Premier Gear Awards, where we bestowed awards for categories like, Loud as Hell, Artisan, Nice Price and more.

Perfectly Reviewed Gear
Duesenberg Mike Campbell Signature
Brown’s Guitar Factory BGF Guitar
Collings 290
Hahn Model 228
Gretsch G6118T “Double Annie”
DeTemple Spirit Series
McPherson MG3.5
Amps & Cabs
LR Baggs Core 1 Acoustic Amp
Industrial Amps Rock 120
Mills Acoustics Afterburner Cab
Goodsell SuperSeventeen Mark Three
Retro King 18-Watt Combo
Two Rock Classic Type Two
Xits Piper X30
CB Evans Spitfire
Carol Ann OD2r
Soldano 44 BCM
Tone God TubeUlent
Jaguar Twin
Jekeko Fixed Wah
Analog Man DS-1 Midrange Mod
Source Audio Distortion
Xotic Effects BB Plus
Ibanez Tube King TK999HT
TC Electronic Nova Reverb
Source Audio Soundblox
BOSS SL20 Slicer
Wampler Analog Echo
BSM RG (Rory Gallagher) Treble Booster
BSM VX-T Treble Booster
ISP Technologies G-String Decimator
Mad Professor Little Green Wonder
Pickups & Accessories
Jodavi ZZYZX Snapjack
PW Modular Snake System
G7th Nashville Capo
Joe Barden J-Style Bass Pickups
Aphex 230 Master Voice Processer

Near-Perfect 4.5 Gear
St. Blues Mississippi Bluesmaster
Liquid Metal Guitar
Reverend Ron Asheton
Huss & Dalton 00-SP
Hamer Talladega Pro
Spalt Voodoo
Taylor Solidbody
Carvin SH550
Campbell American Transitone
Zemaitis Tribal Tattoo
Stromberg Montreux Jazz Guitar
Nik Huber Junior and Special
Ribbecke Halfling Acoustic
Amps & Cabs
Carr Mini Mercury
Reinhardt SV18 Head & Cab
Carr Raleigh
Reason SM50
Carvin X100B
TC Electronic Nova Delay
Fishman AFX Reverb
Arteffect Zenith Overdrive
Catalinbread Serrano Picoso
Catalinbread Ottava Magus
Tonebone PZ-Pre
Mojo Hand Analogue Filter 442
Mojo Hand Nebula
Mojo Hand Luna
Fractal Audio Axe FX
BOSS DD-7 Digital Delay
Mad Professor Fire Red Fuzz
Devi Ever Legend of Fuzz
Oohlala Synth Mangler
Tim Champion Hissy Foot
MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay   
Visual Sound V2 Liquid Chorus
Visual Sound V2 Comp 66
Seymour Duncan SFX-07 Shape Shifter
Himmelstrutz Elektro Art Fetto
Dino''s Guitars Rust Box
Aguilar Tone Hammer
Demeter OD-1 Over Drivulator
Visual Sound V2 Route 808
Visual Sound V2 Son of Hyde
Tim Champion Fuzzar-o
Pickups & Accessories
Fishman Matrix Infinity Undersaddle
Carl Martin Octa Switch

Guitar store staff have better things to do than clean your instrument, so a well-loved but unsoiled 6-string like this is going to command a higher trade-in value than one that comes in covered in years of residue.

Believe it or not, you can boost the value of your instrument by making everyone's life a little easier … and cleaner!

There's an overwhelming amount of activity in the guitar market these days, and the sheer amount of demand has left some manufacturers struggling to keep up. But rather than wait around for stores to re-stock, more and more customers are shopping for used and vintage guitars. You might wonder, where do all those used guitars come from?

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How jangle, glam, punk, shoegaze, and more blended to create a worldwide phenomenon. Just don’t forget your tambourine.



  • Learn genre-defining elements of Britpop guitar.
  • Use the various elements to create your own Britpop songs.
  • Discover how “borrowing” from the best can enrich your own playing.
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When considering the many bands that fall under the term “Britpop”–Oasis, Blur, Suede, Elastica, Radiohead’s early work, and more–it’s clear that the genre is more an attitude than a specific musical style. Still, there are a few guitar techniques and approaches that abound in the genre, many of which have been “borrowed” (the British music press’ friendly way of saying “appropriated”) from earlier British bands of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

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