reviews

An overachieving overdrive that gets way bigger than its name suggests.

Sweet balanced crunch tones. Dynamic. Sparkling, full, and clean at attenuated guitar volume. High-quality build.

Pretty expensive.

$249

Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive
greateasternfx.com

5
4.5
4.5
4

Overdrive pedals don’t often set my world alight—even great ones. But I’ve spent a month with the England-built Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive, and it remains attached to the other end of my coil-y cable. Ostensibly, the Small Speaker is meant to be a variation on the tweed-Fender-Champ-in-a-box theme. However, both the pedal’s name and the Champ associations fail to do justice to how large and alive it sounds and feels tethered to a bigger amp.

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Idiosyncratic pickups pull this slimline Gretsch along unexpected tone trajectories.

Unique, idiosyncratic pickups. Tidy construction. Top-notch playability.

Some tuning instability with Bigsby use. Some players will miss classic P-90 trebles.

$649

Gretsch G2622T-P90 Streamliner
gretschguitars.com

4
4.5
5
4

Gretsch’s new Streamliner guitars—like the 1960s Streamliners before them—are great instruments living in the shadows of the company’s most iconic shapes. Where guitars like the 6120, Country Gentleman, White Falcon, and others are either quite thick, very wide, or both, the Streamliner is slim and relatively light—in the fashion of the Epiphone Casino, Gibson ES-335, Fender Coronado, Rickenbacker 300-series, and various Voxes, Hofners, and Hagstroms that ruled the ’60s. They are exceptionally comfortable, engaging, and ultra-fun to play, particularly when fitted with a Bigsby, like the Gretsch G2622T-P90 Streamliner reviewed here.

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Bilt and Milkman collaborate on a tweed Deluxe-style amp that adds tone options and enticing styling.

Responsive with an impressively wide range of tones. Bass knob is a welcome addition. Super sleek. Successfully sags at high volumes.

Only available to Bilt owners. Expensive. Cabinet finish might not hold up to heavy gigging.

$2,999 base price (available as add-on to Bilt order, or to current Bilt owners)

5
5
5
4

There’s a good chance your first electric guitar came in a packaged set with an amp, case, cable, some picks, a tuner, and maybe even an instruction book. Mine did—and I still remember the excitement I felt while opening it on that fateful Christmas morning. The Bilt Starter Pack is a chic, high-end, customized guitar/amp combo package designed to re-capture that thrill for players with fancier tastes. And while the Starter Pack isn’t exactly designed for budget-conscious newbies, unless you already own a Bilt guitar, it’s the only way to get your hands on the new Bilt Amp.

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