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

Rocket Surgeon Codename: Black Hat


Whereas many twin-knob fuzzes aim for vintage Tone Bender, Fuzz Face, or Fuzzrite vibes, Rocket Surgeon’s new three-transistor affair (two silicon, one germanium) infiltrates a less-explored middle ground that offers shades of all three while eschewing those designs’ quirkier, less-predictable aspects. At any setting, the Black Hat cleans up like a killer tube amp when you rein in your guitar’s volume knob, which makes it a hugely adaptable utility pedal.

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$169 street, nordstrandaudio.com

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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