john bohlinger

Power and personality in a 50-watt combo optimized for pedals.

A well-thought-out bundle of features in a compact, powerful combo for the pedal-friendly age. Lots of personality.

Tube changes require removing the entire chassis.

$1,499

Supro 1932R Royale
suprousa.com

4
4.5
4
4.5

While some tube-amp makers buck the proliferation of pedal-dominated rigs, others thrive by taking an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach to the pedal platform concept. Supro’s new Model 1932R Royale isn’t the first Supro designed with pedal-centric players in mind. But the high-headroom 50-watt 1x12 combo is a natural for the role. Given this predisposition, the Royale is promoted as Supro’s “first loud, clean amp.” And if your expectations of Supro are still informed by the grungy, midrange-saturated Supros of the 1960s—and the reissues inspired by them—the Royale may surprise.

Read More Show less

Maple makes the dread grow mellower.

Exceptional playability and intonation. Sweet midrange focus. Records well in dense mixes.

Some will find the maple voice quirky. Not a lot of low-end resonance for a dread. Satin finish doesn’t suit a $2K-plus instrument.

$2,199

Taylor AD27e Flametop
taylorguitars.com

4
4.5
5
4

One of the nice things about designing guitars for a company like Taylor is that you’re less burdened by tradition. Even though the builder is now nearly a 50-year-old institution—not to mention one of the biggest guitar makers in the world—to many acoustic traditionalists they are still very much the new kid on the block. While such fresh-faced “newness” may mean flattop classicists look askance at your every move, it also means you can introduce a design departure like the company’s V-Class bracing without risk of rebellion from your consumer constituency—or, for that matter, build a dreadnought with a top fashioned from big leaf maple.

Read More Show less
x