Come with us, time travelers, as we revisit a year’s worth of axes, amps, stomps, basses, baritones, and other tools of our music-making trade—all deemed worthy of the Premier Gear Award.

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Echopark F-1

David Von Bader called the F-1 “foolproof, musical, and explosive.” That’s good, given that there are only two knobs to control this primitive, but sonically cultivated little beast. But while the minimalistic F-1 may appear limited, it’s wildly adaptable. Gray it may be, but this Echopark is a fuzz for all seasons.
$230 street, echoparkguitars.com

Click here to read the full review

Come with us time travelers, as we revisit a year’s worth of axes, amps, stomps, basses, baritones, and other tools of our music-making trade—all deemed worthy of the Premier Gear Award. This year’s list is as diverse as ever: Classics revisited, shred machines made affordable, fuzzes refined and made more fiendish, amps that blast and purr, basses that boom, and time-warping delays and reverbs that mock astronomers’ notions about the cosmos. From manufacturers big and small, these delights await you in the pages ahead. Enjoy the voyage.

Can a bona fide funk guru help design a better Klone?

Wide range of gain. Very useful EQ.

Doesn’t do the Klon clean boost as well as original.

$349

Jackson Audio The Optimist
jackson.audio

5
4.5
4.5
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Jackson Audio’s pedal collaboration with modern funk hero Cory Wong could have taken a few different paths. Considering Wong’s style, a compressor would have been an obvious choice. Instead, the Optimist is a dual overdrive that builds on a Klon-inspired baseline, adds a second overdrive, and has a clever EQ to create a super-flexible overdrive. Named after Wong’s second album, The Optimist suits Wong’s exuberant and fun-loving personality. But it also describes the way you might approach a gig with this pedal in hand. Together, the two separate overdrives and active EQ give you enough tones to cover almost any gig this side of Slayer cover band.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

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