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The Year in Gear 2019

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

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


DØVYDAS & John Bohlinger Busk in Downtown Nashville
DØVYDAS & Bohlinger Busk in Downtown Nashville Before We Give Takamine Guitar & Fishman Amp to Local

Then we give a Takamine guitar & Fishman amp to an up-and-coming Nashville musician.

Music City is always swirling with top-notch musicians performing anywhere they can, so Takamine and Fishman challenged PG's John Bohlinger to take his talents downtown to gig on the street where he ran into YouTube sensation DØVYDAS and hands over his gear to rising star Tera Lynne Fister.

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The new Jimi Hendrix documentary chronicles the conceptualization and construction of the legendary musician’s recording studio in Manhattan that opened less than a month before his untimely death in 1970. Watch the trailer now.

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Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays
Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays

PG contributor Tom Butwin dives into the Rivolta Sferata, part of the exciting new Forma series. Designed by Dennis Fano and crafted in Korea, the Sferata stands out with its lightweight Simaruba wood construction and set-neck design for incredible playability.

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We’re unpacking Reid’s playing—from his early days in the NYC jazz underground through his work with Living Colour and into supergroup superstardom—and his longstanding gear-acquisition-syndrome.

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