gear award 2019

The 60+ guitars, amps, pedals, basses, and accessories that stood out from the crowd and earned our coveted Premier Gear Award this year.

Carr Telstar

This handwired 17-watt, 1x12 combo employs two familiar power tubes—a 6L6 and an EL84—to produce the presence and immediacy of a great Fender tweed, the thrilling sparkle of Vox overdrive, and a tighter, tougher bass response than you’d expect from a strictly vintage midsized combo. Telstar’s suave spring reverb, strong note fundamentals, articulate attack, and extraordinary touch response caused Joe Gore to exclaim, “I love this frickin’ amp.”

Read the review
$2,450 street, carramps.com

Watch the First Look:

Plus! December Premier Gear Award Winners!
Read the full reviews on the pages indicated below!

1. Peavey Invective.MH$699 street, peavey.com
2. Chase Bliss Dark World$349 street, chaseblissaudio.com
3. Comins CGS-16 $2,399 street, cominsguitars.com
4. Ernie Ball Music Man Short-Scale StingRay$1,999 street, music-man.com
5. EBS MicroBass 3$349 street, ebssweden.com

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Spring-reverb junkies rejoice: This brilliant offering from France puts three amp-rivaling ambience options right on your pedalboard.


Recorded using a Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom with Curtis Novak Tele-V bridge and JM-V neck pickups going into a Ground Control Tsukuyomi boost (set at 9 o’clock) and then into a Warehouse G10C/S-equipped 1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb (with reverb off) miked with a Royer R-121 and feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Le Bon tank (first bypassed) then with two different settings: 1) All controls at noon and spring-saturation switch off, first in middle pickup position, then neck pickup. 2) Out and low at max, mix at 2 o’clock, and high at 10 o’clock, first in middle pickup position, then in middle pickup position with spring-saturation switch engaged.
Clip 2: Same as clip 1, but with La Brute tank.
Clip 3: Same as clip 1, but with Le Truand tank.
 

Ratings

Pros:
Adds world-class spring-reverb sounds of all stripes to any amp. Great build. Reasonable price.

Cons:
Requires careful pedalboard placement and possibly extra padding, particularly for heavy stompers.

Street:
$349 street (Premium bundle, tested), $249 (Le Bon bundle), $279 (La Brute bundle), $299 (Le Truand bundle)

Anasounds Element
anasounds.com



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Though capable of chaotic violence, this granular delay is also ingenious, inspiring, and endlessly fun.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Many cool tones—and the means to control them. Fine sound quality. Good price.

Cons:
Definitely not for-everyone.

Street:
$299

Red Panda Particle 2
redpandalab.com



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