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Gear Award 2018

The products listed here received 90-percent or higher cumulative ratings for relevant categories (tones, playability or ease of use, build/design, and value) in reviews published during the 2018 editorial cycle, thus earning them Premier Guitar’s coveted Premier Gear Award.

ARTICLES

The Year in Gear 2018

November 20, 2018
Step inside Premier Guitar’s magical, miraculous time machine and revisit the gear that stood head and shoulders above the rest as Premier Gear Award winners in 2018.
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx III Review

November 20, 2018
Vast libraries of IRs and amp and effect models, as well as improvements in interface, memory, and connectivity, make the III tough to beat.
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Quick Hit: String Theory EFX KE/64 Overdrive Review

November 14, 2018
Raw and super rich—the KE/64 packs a punch that never overpowers.
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Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend Review

November 9, 2018
A dual-source setup is extra terrific on one of Fishman’s finest amplification pickup/preamp systems yet.
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Chase Bliss Audio Thermae Review

October 31, 2018
It’s pricey and slightly daunting, but Joel Korte’s brilliant bastardization boldly goes where no analog delay has gone before.
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Mesa/Boogie Fillmore 50 Review

October 22, 2018
Tweed Fender-style tones form the foundation of a flexible clean-to-mean Boogie beast.
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Quick Hit: SviSound RetroZoid Germanium Fuzz

October 19, 2018
From Bulgaria with love, this tiny wonder puts convincing Bender, Muff, and Fuzzrite tones in a single, pedalboard-liberating package.
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ZT Custom Shop Lee Ranaldo Club Review

October 18, 2018
Small, light, and super-powerful, this solid-state amp is a blank slate that brims with character.
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Marshall Origin 50C Review

October 11, 2018
A big-toned bargain that’s perfect for pedalboard tone sculptors.
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Quick Hit: ValveTrain PowerTrain Studio 20

October 7, 2018
An incredibly simple cabinet that adds glowing tube warmth to your digital setup.
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Quick Hit: Electro-Harmonix Op-Amp Big Muff

October 2, 2018
The black sheep of the Big Muff family returns—as brash and beastly as ever.
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Wren and Cuff Super Russian Review

September 26, 2018
A multifaceted Muff clone offers brutalizing and beautiful sides of the Sovtek coin.
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Joe Gore Porkolator Review

September 25, 2018
Meet a Harmonic Percolator-inspired powerhouse that dazzles with dynamics, sonic complexity, and the clout of a heavyweight.
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Line 6 HX Effects Review

September 23, 2018
A wickedly versatile multi-effect unit with remarkable flexibility.
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JHS Bonsai Review

September 20, 2018
Many modes of TS-style overdrive—every one a winner.
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Mastro Valvola LFO Optical Tremolo Review

September 18, 2018
Optical analog tremolo and a digital brain make this Italian trem’ a grab bag of modulation tricks.
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Tsakalis AudioWorks Phonkify Review

September 15, 2018
Envelope filter and octave combine to reach realms beyond the same old jam and funk riffs.
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ZVEX Vibrophase Review

September 14, 2018
ZVEX’s phaser/vibrato retains the rich, immersive modulation tones of its candle-driven design concept predecessor.
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Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Review

September 10, 2018
Reverb’s depths made accessible in a small and super-economical package.
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ThorpyFX Fat General Review

September 7, 2018
Parallel compression equals transparency and copious options in a top-flight British squeezebox.
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