Music Gear Meta-Reviews

Gearank meta-reviews tell you what large numbers of musicians and experts have been saying about specific models/items to help you swiftly grasp their pros and cons in real-world use and situations.

Instead of being limited to one reviewer's opinion, you get expert analysis of the reviews, feedback, discussions and comments a multitude of owners and users have shared via store ratings, forum discussions, videos, blogs, articles and the like.

Gator GPT-PRO-PWR Powered Pedalboard (30" x 16")

Gator GPT-PRO-PWR Powered Pedalboard (30" x 16")

The Gator GPT-PRO-PWR is a traditional style pedalboard that comes bundled with a power supply and a carrying case.

The pedalboard is crafted from plywood, and is covered in Tolex material.

This particular model is quite big, with a usable surface area of 30" x 16" - more than enough space for attaching more than 10 standard size pedals.

The board is angled for easier access to the pedals, and for providing space for a power supply at the bottom.

Gator GPT-BL-PWR Powered Wood Pedalboard (16.5″ X 12″)

Gator GPT-PWR Powered Pedalboard

The Gator GPT-BL-PWR is the smaller version of the GPW-PRO-PWR, with space for up to 8 regular size pedals.

The frame follows traditional plywood design, albeit covered in tolex for a more premium look.

The face of the board is covered in velcro for attaching your guitar pedals, velcro strips for the pedals are included in the package so you can setup your gear right out of the box.

Boss BCB-30 Pedalboard (13" x 11.8")

Boss BCB-30 Pedalboard

The Boss BCB-30 pedalboard case brings with it the company's brand of reliability and durability, designed for storing up to three standard size Boss pedals. It is basically a sturdy carrying/storage case that can double as a pedalboard, albeit with strict requirements when it comes to the shape and size of the pedal, following after Boss' stompbox design.

You simply unlatch the lock and take the top cover off to use it as a board, and re-attach the cover when you're ready to move out.

Donner DB-3 Aluminium Pedalboard with Case (20" x 11.42")

Donner DB-3 Aluminium Pedalboard with Case

The Donner DB-3 pedalboard carries over the same stability and portability of other rail-type almunimum boards, only this one is much more affordable.

While it may not have the same quality and weight reduction, it will get the job done at a more reasonable price, which is what matters for most guitar players.

The DB-3 has four aluminum rails with a 20" x 11.4" space for fitting in a good number of pedals, (around 12 standard size ones) for the money.

Gator G-Tour Pedalboard-LGW Large (24" x 11")

Gator G-Tour Pedalboard Large (24" x 11")

With their experience in building instrument and gear cases, Gator is in a good position to build quality ready-to-use pedalboards. And that is exactly what they did with the G-Tour Large Pedalboard, combining traditional elements with modern reliability and portability.

It starts off with a plywood frame that can house 10 to 14 pedals, and features aluminum valance for added structural strength.

Gator GPB-BAK Aluminum Pedalboard Large (23.75" x 10.6")

Gator Aluminum Pedalboard Large (23.75" x 10.6")

Gator continues to break the monotonous black color theme of aluminum pedalboards in the market, this time capturing the fancy of guitarists with a large size board that comes in various color finishes.

As the name implies, it is crafted from aluminum, which is preferred by many for it is strength and lighter weight.

It has an angled profile and features routing perforations for clutter-free positioning of your cables underneath the board.

Gator GPB-LAK-1 Aluminum Pedalboard Small (15.75" x 7")

Gator Aluminum Pedalboard Small (15.75" x 7")

The Gator Aluminum Pedalboard series wins the heart of many guitarists with its white, orange and green color options, but don't fret if you're a hardcore metal guitarist who want black on everything from your eye shadow, to your guitar, to your nails - they do offer one in black.

Instead of utilizing rails, Gator opted for a solid but thinner profile, while providing streamlined perforations in just the right spots for clutter-free cabling.

Pedaltrain Metro 16 SC Pedalboard with Soft Case PT-M16-SC (16" x 8")

Pedaltrain Metro 16 Pedalboard with Soft Case (16" x 8")

Pedaltrain's Metro series features the same powder-coated aircraft grade aluminum railings that are favored for being lighter and stronger than conventional plywood boards.

The main difference that the Metro series offers is its 3 railing configuration and non-angled flat profile. The 3-rail design is specifically meant for musicians with pedals that have different shapes and sizes. The top rail is ideal for accommodating taller pedals, or for positioning compact pedals horizontally.

Tascam Celesonic US-20x20 USB Audio Interface - 10 Analog Inputs

Tascam Celesonic US-20x20 USB Audio Interface

The TASCAM Celesonic US-20x20 can be used as a USB audio interface, a mic preamp and it even has mixer functions. As such, it is gives you quite a lot for the money, which in turn catches the attention of many home studio owners who want a good value for money interface.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen 18-Channel USB Audio Interface (Discontinued)

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

NB: This 2nd Gen version has been superseded by the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen.

Part of Focusrite's second generation of audio interfaces, the Scarlett 18i20 carries over the best of the original version with upgraded 24-bit/192kHz resolution, improved drivers and software bundle.

It gives you the 8 combo XLR/TRS inputs with Focusrite's popular mic preamps, a 2-channel S/PDIF input and an optical ADAT input for expansion to a total of 18 channels.

Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Arturia MiniLab MkII

The MiniLab MkII is the follow-up version of the original MiniLab with improved and upgraded functions.

It offers more than the usual MIDI features, even functioning as a synthesizer when paired with Arturia's own Analog Lab Lite software that has hundreds of quality sounding presets.

Its controls include 8 RGB pressure sensitive pads, 16 rotary encoders, and its touch sensors for its pitch bend and modulation control.

PreSonus Studio 2|6 USB Audio Interface

PreSonus Studio 2|6 USB Audio Interface

With its 2-in/4-out configuration, the PreSonus Studio 2|6 allows for two channel real-time recording and versatile monitoring.

At its core are two XMAX-L solid-state preamps, both of which run on standard USB bus power while providing good headroom.

For monitoring, PreSonus equipped this unit with Cue Mix A/B functionality, wherein you can switch between two sound sources conveniently.

Shure MVi USB Audio Interface for PC / Mac / Android / iPad (Lightning Compatible)

Shure MVi

Mobile users will appreciate the portability and plug and play compatibility of Shure MVi with the iPad and other iOS devices. It's also compatible with Android, Mac & PC.

Being a compact audio interface, it comes with a single XLR combo jack, but it does offer phantom power (12V powered by an iPad and 48V when USB Bus powered) via its class A preamp.

Other features include DSP preset editing via software and quick loading via built-in controls, and it comes bundled with a lightning compatible cable for convenient connectivity with your favorite iOS device.

Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD 4-Channel USB Audio Interface - 4 Analog Inputs

Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD 4-Channel USB Audio Interface

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD is an affordable 4-channel audio interface with a wealth of input/output options.

At its core are four combo jack inputs with Midas Designed preamps, which allows for simultaneous recording of up to four sources. Each channel comes complete with dedicated controls that include Pad switches, Line/Instrument switches and Gain knobs.

Peterson VS-R StroboRack Virtual Strobe Tuner (Discontinued)

Peterson VS-R StroboRack Virtual Strobe Tuner

Peterson are well known for making high-end tuners of all types.

This tuner is used not only by guitarists but has also found a home with guitar technicians who use it for performing set ups and adjusting intonation.

It's also used on stage by guitarists who appreciate the wide range of guitar-specific tuning modes it offers.

Korg CA-40 Chromatic Handheld Tuner (Discontinued)

Korg CA-40 Chromatic Handheld Tuner

The Korg CA-40 has a handy battery saving feature where it turns itself off when left on unused for 20 minutes.

It's not specifically designed for guitar but has found a place with guitarists who also play other instruments from ukulele to brass and woodwind, or who share it with others at home who play those instruments.

Lava Cable Tightrope Solder-Free PedalBoard Kit (10')

Lava Cable Tightrope Solder-Free PedalBoard Kit

The Lava Tightrope Solder-Free kit makes their brand of quality available for pedalboard owners who want to use custom sized patch cables.

It features 10 feet of their Ultramafic solid silver plated 20 gauge cable (32 pF/ft capacitance), which you can cut to your preference.

The cable is paired with 10 right angle plugs, all of which allow for convenient solder-free connectivity.

Creanoso Guitar Pedal Coupler (Discontinued)

Creanoso Guitar Pedal Coupler

The Creanoso pedal coupler is as straightforward as it gets, just two 1/4" male plugs connected back to back so you can save as much space as you can on your board.

The obvious downside of this design is that it will only work if the pedal jacks are of the same height and aligned properly, which limits its use. Still it is quite practical to have, especially since it is affordable.

Fender Performance Series Guitar Patch Cable 6" 2-Pack

Fender Performance Series Guitar Patch Cable 6" 2-Pack

Fender's Performance Series Patch Cable continues to receive good ratings and recommendations.

This patch cable is thicker than many at a 0.31" diameter, with two right angle 1/4" plugs and a flexible PVC jacket that protects the inner conductor and prevents cable memory and kinking.

Art ZDirect 1-Channel Passive DI Box

Art ZDirect Passive Direct Box

The Art ZDirect is incredibly affordable. Those who have used the unit were pleasantly surprised to find that their expectations were not only met, but exceeded.

Reviews are consistent in saying that this unit sounds good and works as intended, it even comes with nifty features like input attenuation and phase inversion.

Also, in a price range where plastic reigns supreme, the ZDirect feels solid with plenty of metal, so you're not too scared of carrying it around.

Behringer Ultra-DI DI600P 1-Channel Passive DI Box

Behringer Ultra-DI DI600P Passive DI Box

Behringer previously had an entry in our recommended list of passive DI boxes with the Ultra-DI DI600P, a versatile unit that's been a favorite budget friendly option for guitarists.

Reviewers rave about its clear sound which works great for both live performance and home recording use.

And you don't just use any DI box for recording, because you'll easily notice faults like clicks, pops and hiss - so being widely used in home recording is quite a testimony to the DI600P's sound quality.

Hughes & Kettner Redbox 5 1-Channel Active DI Box

Hughes & Kettner Redbox 5 Active DI Box

Coming from a manufacturer of tube guitar amps, the Redbox 5 is a guitar amp DI bod that's meant to be a straightforward way to connect old tube amps to PA systems with features that guitarists appreciate.

Speaking of features, the Hughes & Kettner Redbox 5 comes with selectable speaker emulation, which lets you choose from vintage to modern voicing, small or large cabinet size, and it even lets you set tighten or loosen the response. This allows this DI box to function as an easy to use direct recording tool.

Fender Performance Series Instrument Guitar Cable (Discontinued)

Fender Performance Series Instrument Cable

When it comes to guitar gear, there's no denying Fender's production capability. And we're are not just talking about quantity, because they are capable of keeping quality consistently high even with their mass produced products, and this is reflected in the many positive reviews that continue to pour in.

In addition to quantity and quality, they can also produce cables with various looks and lengths, so you can have one with just the right length for your needs.

Features include a PVC jacket, 90% copper shield, metal connectors and strain relief.

Yamaha DXR12 Powered PA Speaker 12" - 1100W (Discontinued)

Yamaha DXR12 Powered PA Speaker

The Yamaha DXR12 is the bigger sibling of the DXR10, featuring the same amplifier section, controls and input/output selection, with the main difference being its bigger 12" woofer.

Consequently, the enclosure is bigger and the overall weight is a bit heavier, but this results in more bass response when compared with the DXR10.

The same Class D amplifier is used, along with Yamaha's DSP FIR-X tuning technology which dynamically optimizes the time alignment between the tweeter and the woofer.

Boss AD-8 Acoustic Preamp Guitar Processor Pedal (Discontinued)

Boss AD-8 Acoustic Preamp Guitar Processor Pedal

Boss has a tendency of going for the extreme when it comes to adding features into their guitar processors, and this rings true with the AD-8.

This preamp packs quite a lot of sounds, equipped with COSM acoustic guitar modeling technology which morphs your guitar sound to be similar to the miked sound of an expensive and sought after acoustic guitar specimen. In addition, it has built-in reverb and a 4-band EQ which gives you even more room to tweak your amplified acoustic sound.

Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer Vocal Effect Pedal

Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer

More than just a vocal effects pedal, the Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer is an all-in-one preamp and effects solution for vocals and acoustic guitars.

It starts off with dedicated preamps for mic and guitar, both of which come with independent effects, of which the microphone side is of particular interest because of its myriad of features.

This includes essential effects like reverb and smart harmony, while also incorporating experimental ones that include distortion, robot and other electronic effect types.

TC Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic Vocal Effects Processor Pedal

TC Helicon Play Acoustic Vocal Effects Processor

The name itself is a big giveaway that the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic is meant for singers who play acoustic-electric guitar.

It combines TC-Helicon's popular vocal effects with TC-Electronic's popular acoustic guitar effects in one convenient package - with separate dedicated controls and input/output jacks.

The vocal section features a mic preamp and familiar effects that include smart harmony, dynamic processing, reverb, echo and pitch correction.

Markbass Micromark 801 Bass Combo Amplifier (Discontinued)

Markbass Micromark 801 Bass Combo Amplifier

The Markbass Micromark 801 is a boutique quality petite amp with good sonic flexibility. This flexibility is credited to its one-knob tone control VPF (Variable Preshape Filter), turning it higher boosts treble and bass frequencies and cuts mid-range frequencies. When lowered, the VPF adjusts the sound to emphasize the mids while lowering treble and bass frequencies.

The amp comes with three options for sound production: using the included speaker, passing the signal directly to a P.A., or driving an extension cab. It also features an AUX-in as well as a headphone-out.

Phil Jones Bass Double Four (BG-75) Combo Bass Amplifier

Phil Jones Bass Double Four Combo Amplifier

In every industry there’s a product that defies commonly held conventions, and the Phil Jones Double Four Bass is a perfect example of this.

Looking at the amp, you’d be right to think that it’s an overpriced practice amp.

That would be most musician’s first impression when they look at this amplifier. But believe it or not, this amp packs a pretty meaty punch.

Fender Rumble 100 V3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Fender Rumble 100 V3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Due to the popularity of Americana/folk based genres, there’s a significant number of electric bassists who play a genre that fits very well into the coffee shop scene. In this scene, you’re not really going to need a ton of wattage. Rather, the ideal amp in this situation is something light, versatile, reliable, loud (and preferably cheap!) - and the Fender Rumble 100 V3 fits the bill nicely.

Roland CUBE-20XL Bass Combo Amplifier

Roland CUBE-20XL Bass Combo Amplifier

Roland continues to build their reputation in the amp market with their popular Cube series, extending their reach even to the top echelons of bass amplifiers with the Cube-20XL Bass.

Weighing in at just 21 lbs, the Roland Cube-20XL Bass remains true to the portability paradigm of the Cube series, only this one is especially designed to reproduce the frequencies needed by bass guitars with its 20-watt solidstate amp and 8"speaker.

Sound Devices MixPre-10M 10-Track Portable Multitrack Recorder (Discontinued)

Sound Devices MixPre-10M

Sound Devices is an American company known for making field recording and live production products like their flagship Scorpio series.

The MixPre series was released in 2018 as a musician-centered mixer/recorder hybrid that offers overdubbing, punch recording, and track bouncing, along with professional-quality effects.

Neumann KH 805 Studio Subwoofer (Discontinued)

Neumann KH 805 Subwoofer Studio Monitor

The Neumann KH 805 is easily one of the priciest studio subwoofers, so it's not for the weak of heart when it comes to budget, but those who are willing to invest in the KH 805 will enjoy its premium build, sound quality and control flexibility.

It features a 10" woofer that's magnetically shielded for ultra-quiet and clean lows, while the 160W (Continuous) amplifier provides enough juice for use in any home and professional studio setups.

PreSonus Temblor T10 Studio Subwoofer Monitor

PreSonus Temblor T10

The PreSonus Temblor T10 subwoofer offers serious low-end that can fill small to big studios.

It features a 10" woofer that's driven by 250 watts of Class AB amplification, which can be quite loud when needed.

With its versatile input/output ports, the Temblor T10 is very easy to implement in home studio setups.

KRK K10s2 Studio Subwoofer

KRK K10S2 Studio Monitor Subwoofer

Founded in 1986, KRK has grown to be one of the most familiar brands in near-field sound monitoring. The KRK K10S2 is a 160 Watt powered subwoofer with a 10" glass-aramid composite woofer, and a 2" voice coil.

It features adjustable crossover with a sensitivity switch for better compatibility with other pro or consumer audio equipment, making this an ideal choice for those who want a subwoofer that can handle music production and leisure listening.

Countryman Type 85 1-Channel Active DI Box

Countryman Type 85

Countryman continues the be the DI of choice for many musicians and professionals, thanks to its impeccable reliability and its transparent sound.

D'Addario Planet Waves Classic Series Balanced XLR Cable 25'

Planet Waves Classic Series Balanced XLR Cable 25'

Planet Waves was acquired by popular guitar accessories manufacturer D'Addario, and it became their entry point into the cable market.

This sub brand now carries an extensive line of cables designed for specific purposes, and the Classic Series XLR cable is just one of them, especially designed for microphone use.

This XLR cable makes it to this list with its reliable operation, carrying over the same qualities that made Planet Waves instrument cables popular among musicians.

Korg microKEY AIR-61 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller with Bluetooth

Korg microKEY AIR-61 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller with Bluetooth

Korg is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to music gear technology, and the microKEY AIR-61 is an excellent example.

This MIDI keyboard offers true wireless operation with its built-in Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to control your software instruments without having to plug-in any cables.

M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV

M-Audio has a knack for producing music gear with good features at modest price points, case in point is the Oxygen 61 MKIV with its full-size synth-action keys that rival those from more expensive units.

Complementing the keys are controls that include 8 velocity-sensitive pads, 8 assignable knobs, and 9 faders.

The automap functionality with industry standard DAWs like ProTools, Logic, Reason, Cubase and more also makes first time experience with this unit even more pleasing.

Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 - 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

The MK2's most notable update is improved compatibility with Ableton Live, further establishing the Launchkey series as the MIDI Keyboard Controller to get for said DAW.

Hardware improvements were also implemented, including reliability improvements for the knobs and pads, as well as the addition of RGB color-matching feature to its 16 velocity sensitive pads.

It retains its 61-key velocity sensitive synth style keys and its class compliant design.

Alesis VI61 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis VI61 61 Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis continues its legacy of providing quality yet affordable equipment, as seen in their entry into this list, the Alesis VI61.

It's major highlight is the medium tension piano-style keys with aftertouch that it comes equipped with.

And it's not just about the keys, because the Alesis VI61 comes packed with features, with a staggering number of buttons to boot!

Samson Carbon 61 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Samson Carbon 61 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Samson Carbon 61 is as streamlined as it gets, with minimal controls, focusing only on what's important in the entry level price range, which is the keybed.

This reduces clutter and movable parts, resulting in a more compact and lighter controller that gets the job done.

The 61-key keybed is semi-weighted, which gives it a synth style action that many prefer. The keys are velocity sensitive, allowing for expressive playing.

RMI Basswitch IQ DI Bass Preamp Pedal (Discontinued)

RMI Basswitch IQ DI Bass Preamp Pedal

The RMI Basswitch IQ DI is a 2-channel preamp with expanded connectivity and tone shaping options.

It boasts of having a studio grade preamp with a Lehle LTMZ transformer especially tweaked for the lower frequencies needed by bass guitars. The preamp is complemented by a 6-band prametric EQ that can be bypassed or tweaked to your preference.

The unit's two inputs and switchable impedance allow for using different types of instruments, from passive to active electric basses, and even piezo equipped acoustic and upright bass.

Behringer Ultratone KXD12 600W 4-channel Mixing Keyboard Amp

Behringer Ultratone KXD12 600W 4-channel Mixing Keyboard Amp

This 4 channel amp has an XLR input that works well with microphones that don't require phantom power and many musicians report using it successfully as a small PA system to sing and play through at the same time. This includes both keyboardists and singer/acoustic guitarists and it comes with Behringer's FBQ feedback detecting system to help with that application.

Behringer Ultratone K450FX 45 Watt 3-Channel Mixing Keyboard Amp

Behringer Ultratone K450FX 45 Watt Keyboard Amp

The Behringer Ultratone K450FX is both a keyboard amp and a small PA system with 3 independent stereo channels, an XLR input for a dynamic mic and onboard effects including reverb, delay and more.

It is also designed to be used as an amp for electronic drums, and some acoustic guitarist / singers also use it.

Behringer have also included their FBQ Feedback Detection System which provides a control knob for eliminating feedback at specific frequencies.

Nektar Impact LX61+ 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX61+ 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Nektar Impact LX61+ is a step up in both price and features from the GX61. You get additional features like a more comprehensive control and pad scheme with faders, encoders and a full transport section.

Peavey PV 118 18" 400W Passive Subwoofer

Peavey PV 118 18" 400W Passive Subwoofer

Peavey have built the PV 118 to be durable with a perforated steel grille and steel corners in addition to a carpet covered MDF enclosure.

The two 1/4" jacks are in parallel so you can run multiple subs together or send the signal through to your main PA speakers.

It can be pole mounted or stacked.

Electro-Voice ELX118 18" 1600W Passive Subwoofer

Electro-Voice ELX118 18" 1600W Passive Subwoofer

The ELX118 is a reasonably loud 18" passive subwoofer.

It has a 35mm pole socket for mounting or it can be stacked.

It also comes with a 5 year manufacturer warranty.

Behringer Eurolive Professional B1800X PRO 18" 1800W Passive Subwoofer

Behringer Eurolive Professional B1800X PRO

Coming from Behringer, the B1800X Pro sits in the sweet-spot where quality and affordability meets.

This subwoofer is quite loud for the price, thanks to its 18" LF Driver and a peak power rating of 1800W.

This speaker comes with a switchable crossover that lets you switch between passive and Bi-amp mode, allowing for setup flexibility.

Electro-Voice SB122 12" 400W Passive Subwoofer

Electro-Voice SB122 12" 400W Passive Subwoofer

The Electro-Voice SB122 is extremely popular with people who only need a small passive sub.

It has a built-in low pass filter which means you can connect it in parallel with your main speakers without needing a separate amplifier, however the filter is completely transparent below 160 Hz so you can also use it in a biamped situation as well - just be careful not to drop below the minimum 6 Ohm rating by the manufacturer.

Bose F1 Powered Subwoofer - 1000W Dual 10" Drivers

Bose F1 Powered Subwoofer - 1000W

The Bose F1 Subwoofer is designed to be compact and portable, while still having good projection.

Unlike conventional subwoofers with single LF drivers, this one sports two 10" drivers, which adds to its projection while having improved punch and clarity.

This design also allows the F1 Subwoofer to handle fullrange speaker duties when needed.

Yamaha DSR118W 800W 18" Powered Subwoofer (Discontinued)

Yamaha DSR118W 800W 18" Powered Subwoofer

The DSR118W uses DSP technology to protect the amp and speaker - it has onboard 48bit AD/DA converters to turn the signal from analog to digital.

By going digital Yamaha have been able to include a range of technologies including their proprietary FIR-X tuning system which automatically optimizes the frequency and phase response.

JBL SRX828SP - 2000W Powered Subwoofer

JBL SRX828SP - 2000W Powered  Dual 18" Subwoofer

The JBL SRX828SP has one of the highest Max SPL levels of the powered subwoofers we've analyzed.

JBL packed these with features: HiQnet networking giving you complete control over tuning your system with a tablet app for iOS and Android; user-configurable DSP; Drivecore amplification by Crown; LCD screen and a handy glow in the dark rear panel.

Fender '57 Custom Champ 5W 1x8" Guitar Tube Amplifier - Combo

Fender '57 Custom Champ Tube Combo Amplifier

In a time where amp modeling continues to be popular, its refreshing to see simple amps still doing well in the market - and it doesn't get any simpler than the one volume knob interface of the Fender '57 Custom Champ.

What makes it special is its handwired circuitry, which complements its tube components to reproduce genuine Fender tube tones without any complications.

It's a true plug and play amp with just a volume knob, making it ideal for those who get most of their tone coloration from pedals.

Fender Blues Deluxe Tube Combo Guitar Amp 40W 1x12

Fender Blues Deluxe Tube Combo Guitar Amp 40W 1x12

As the name implies, the Fender Blues Deluxe is meant to reproduce the midrange warmth of classic tube amps used by blues players back in the '50s.

It is based on the Fender Deluxe amp of the same era, with modern elements like channel switching and reverb added to the mix.

At 40W, this tube amp can get really loud, especially when considering its triple 12AX7 tube preamp and dual 6L6 power amps.

Vox AC15C1X Tube Guitar Combo Amp 15-watt 1x12"

Vox AC15C1X Tube Guitar Combo Amp 15-watt 1x12"

Vox played an important role in shaping the sound of iconic bands and artists, like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Brian May, Mark Knopfler and many more.

As such, it is not surprising that an amp like the Vox AC15C1x is still the go to tube amp for many guitarists.

This modern day iteration follows after the AC15 British tone tradition, with minor changes that improve its overall performance and add value to the amp.

Fender Super Champ X2 Tube Guitar Combo Amp 15W 1x10

Fender Super Champ X2 Tube Guitar Combo Amp 15W 1x10

Fender blends traditional tube amplification and modern digital processing together inside the Super Champ X2.

At its core is a true 15-Watt tube amplifier section, with a 12AX7 and two 6V6 tubes that drive a 10" speaker, and as expected it reproduces Fender's signature clean tone nicely in channel 1.

Doepfer LMK2+ 88-Key Hammer Action MIDI Keyboard Controller

Doepfer LMK2+ 88-Key Hammer Action MIDI Keyboard Controller

Don't be too surprised if you haven't heard much about Doepfer before because they only recently started to be sold by major American retailers, but they are a highly respected brand from Germany.

The LMK2+ is Doepfer's 'low cost' option designed to be reasonably simple yet does what it does very well - it provides a robust portable instrument that has a surprisingly realistic feel according to many pianists who have played it.

Arturia KeyLab 88 MkI - 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller (Discontinued)

Arturia KeyLab 88 - 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Arturia are famed for their hardware synths and the KeyLab 88 comes bundled with their Analog Lab software which includes virtual versions of synths such as the Mini V, Modular V, CS-80 V, ARP 2600 V, Jup-8 V, Prophet V, Prophet VS, SEM V, Matrix-12 V, Solina V, B-3 V, Vox Continental V, Farfisa V - in all there are over 5000 sounds.

It also comes bundled with UVI Acoustic Grand Piano which is a Steinway Model D Concert Grand model and Piano V which has 9 acoustic piano models.

KRK Rokit 6 G3 50W 6" Powered Studio Monitor (Discontinued)

KRK Rokit 6 G3

The KRK Rokit 6 G3 is the third iteration of KRK's popular studio monitor line, well known for its improved bass response.

It continues to invade studios world over - you can see their unmistakable yellow woofer on many YouTube videos.

The most notable feature of the Rokit 6 is its 6" Kevlar/aramid composite woofer and front firing bass port, which gives it more bass frequency response than other monitors. And because of that, you should go for something else if you want a flat response monitor.

KRK Rokit 10 G3 - 3-way 148W 10" Midfield Powered Studio Monitor (Discontinued)

KRK Rokit 10

The KRK Rokit 10 G3 is a loud three-way active studio monitor that features a 148W 3-way amp, a drives a big 10" aramid glass composite woofer, a 4" mid frequency driver, and a 1" dome tweeter.

The bigger woofer and the front firing port makes this studio monitor ideal for mixing bass heavy, and to do so at louder volumes.

The dedicated mid frequency driver prevents the bottom end from muddying the mids, and it is mounted on a flexible module for easier positioning.

IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors 50W 3" Powered Studio Monitor

IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors 50W 3" Powered Studio Monitor

The iLoud Micro is a compact nearfield studio monitor with modern wireless connectivity via Bluetooth technology.

Since it is sold as a pair, some might mistake it for a regular multi-media speaker, but know that the iLoud Micro is designed with studio monitoring clarity in mind, at a price that's very affordable.

Yamaha THR10X Modeling Guitar Amplifier 10W (Discontinued)

Yamaha THR10X

The Yamaha THR10 series are regarded to be among the best sounding lunchbox amps available, which is surprising given the specifications.

The amp features two 3” speakers (this is according to Yamaha’s specifications for the amp), which somehow manage to avoid the thin tone normally associated with sub-8” speakers. With just 10-watts of power, this compact and relatively quiet amp is meant for hi-gain distortion (which on low to moderate setting isn’t buzzy).

Donner DEA-1 Electric Guitar Combo Amplifier 10 W

The Donner DEA-1 is a compact 10-Watt combo amplifier with 6.5" speaker designed with the beginner guitarist in mind. It comes with a straightforward set of controls, which include basic 3-band EQ (treble/middle/bass), volume and gain knobs.

It also comes with a boost switch that activates its built-in overdrive, giving you two basic tones. Finally, it comes with two 1/8" ports, one of which serves as an auxiliary input for plugging in your media player, while the other is a headphone output that allows for quiet practice.

IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 Guitar Audio Interface (Lightning Compatible)

IK Multimedia iRig HD 2

IK Multimedia are well known for the iRig, a line of pocket-sized audio interfaces for musicians.

The iRig HD 2 exemplifies what this line is all about, with special focus on electric guitars and other stringed instruments.

More than just a way to plug into your computer, it comes with an amp output jack for connecting your guitar to amplifiers, which expands your monitoring options in the studio, and makes it useful for live performances and jamming, when combined with its bundled software, AmpliTube.

Audient iD22 10-Channel USB Audio Interface

Audient iD22 10-Channel USB Audio Interface

The Audient ID22 is a 2-in / 6-out audio interface, with two Class A preamps paired with Burr Brown AD-DA converters that allow for 24-bit/96kHz resolution. And since Audient mic preamps are highly sought after, they are expected to improve the recording quality that you get from the iPad.

But it's not just microphone recordings that will benefit, because it also comes with a dedicated instrument input with JFET DI circuitry.

Apogee JAM 96K Guitar Audio Interface for iPad / Mac / iOS (Lightning Compatible)

Apogee JAM 96K Guitar Audio Interface for iPad / Mac / iOS

The Apogee Jam 96k is a compact audio interface designed specifically for guitarists and bassists - and their iOS devices.

It converts your guitar signal to 24-bit/96kHz digital audio that can be sent to your iPad and other iOS devices. And since its preamp circuit is especially tuned for instruments, it provides the right amount of headroom and dynamic range that other multi-purposes interfaces may lack.

Ddrum DDA50 Electronic Percussion/Drum Amplifier

Ddrum DDA50 Electronic Percussion Amplifier

The Ddrum DDA50 is a 50-watt amplifier that features a 10-inch subwoofer and an adjacent 2 1/2-inch tweeter.

It also features three 1/4" inputs, an XLR line out, an MP3 input and a headphone output.

And it has adjustable 3-band EQ knobs for tone adjustment purposes.

KAT Percussion KA2 Digital Drum Set Amplifier

KAT Percussion - KA2 Digital Drum Set Amplifier

The KAT KA2 is a durable amplifier equipped with a powerful 200-watt drumming amp. It features a 1"x1" compression driver for a crisp high-end sound, and a 3-band EQ for sound shaping with a presence "attack" control.

There are two 1/4" input jacks for drum input and a 1/8" input jack for external connectivity MP3 players and other digital devices. Its large carry handle is an advantage for ease of transport.

Simmons SD550 Electronic Drum Set with Mesh Pads

Simmons SD550 Electronic Drum Set with Mesh Pads

The most standout feature of the Simmons SD550 Mesh is its "tension-able" mesh heads that are designed to better replicate the bounce and feel of acoustic drums. This includes the 10" dual zone and dual-ply mesh snare, along with the 8" dual-ply mesh toms.

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit - Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit

The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is a complete drum kit with 5 drum pads, 3 cymbal pads, drum stand and accessories, including both the kick and hi-hat pedals, and drum sticks.

What's even better is that the drum pads have two zones, and you can tighten or loosen the mesh to your preference - and it does all these while retaining an entry level price point.

As for the drum module, it comes with 385 different drum and percussion sounds, along with 24 different kit sounds.

Saga LJ-10 DIY Electric Guitar Kit - LP Jr. Style

Saga LJ-10 DIY Electric Guitar Kit - LP Jr. Style

Based on the popular Les Paul Jr, the Saga LJ-10 DIY electric guitar kit follows after its streamlined aesthetics and electronics. It comes with the popular LP style body, crafted from basswood and pre-drilled for complete assembly. It has a bolt-on neck that you have to screw into the body, and a headstock that you can carve into your preferred shape.

Finally, it comes with a single P-90 style single-coil pickup, which is already pre-wired into the body, so you no longer need to do any soldering, unless you want to make changes into the circuit.

Seismic Audio SADIYG-02 Tele Style DIY Electric Guitar Kit

Seismic Audio SADIYG-02 Tele Style DIY Electric Guitar Kit

The Seismic Audio SADIYG-02 is based on the iconic Telecaster electric guitar. It comes with a single-cutaway body that's crafted from paulownia, a China native wood that's known for being light. The pickguard is already set into the body when you get the package, but you'll need to solder the input jack, the volume and tone knobs, the bridge pickup and the selector switch before you start using it.

AXL Do-It-Yourself Electric Guitar Kit (Discontinued)

AXL Do-It-Yourself Electric Guitar Kit

Here's another DIY guitar kit that lets you build and customize your own Stratocaster style guitar without much effort. It comes with a double-cutaway basswood body, maple neck and headstock, all of which are pre-drilled, so you can focus on working on your desired finish, instead of having to worry about routing.

The electronics are also pre-soldered, so ideally there's no need to solder anything, but it is still wise to have a soldering iron ready in case some of the wires are loose for whatever reason. Since the neck is bolt-on, you'll need a screwdriver to get it attached to the body.

Electro-Voice TX1152 Passive PA Speaker 500W 15" Woofer

Electro-Voice TX1152

With its 15" LF Driver, this speaker is more than capable of handling heavy bass, while the 1.25" titanium compression driver ensures that you're not compromising top end.

To be able to handle jolts of heavy bass, it has a high peak capacity of 2000W, and a max SPL (sound pressure level) of 133dB.

Other nifty features include dent resistant grilles, four way handles and rotating logo.

Peavey PVX 15 - 15" Passive PA Speaker - 800W (400W RMS)

Peavey PVx 15 - 15" Passive PA Speaker

Peavey is known for their expansive line of quality and affordable musical instruments and equipment. As a testament to this, you'll find their products often dominate the popular and top rated categories at many online retailers.

The PVX 15 is a great example of their design strategy, an affordable yet full featured speaker. Sporting a 15" diameter woofer and a 1.4" tweeter, it has surprising versatility and low-frequency capacity, comparable to other more expensive cabinets.

Behringer B1520 PRO Passive PA Speaker

Behringer B1520 PRO 1200W Passive PA Speaker

Coming from the popular budget-friendly brand, the Behringer B1520 Pro offers good specs at a very reasonable price point.

To start with, it houses a 15" LF Driver and a 1.75" HF Driver, both of which are big for the price.

As expected, it is not meant for big venues, but it can handle small to medium venues quite well with its peak power handling of 1200W and max SPL of 96dB.

Samson Meteorite Desktop Condenser USB Microphone

Samson Meteorite Desktop Condenser USB Microphone

The Meteorite is Samson's take on the ball shape desktop microphone trend, the main difference being its removable magnetic base which helps secure the mic for easier positioning.

This compact ball houses a 14mm diaphragm USB condenser microphone, with a frequency response of 20Hz–20kHz and sample rate of

Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

It's interesting how cheap the Shure SM48 is, especially when considering that it is part of Shure's mid-tier SM series.

It gives you improved frequency response (55Hz-14kHz), stricter polar pattern, and better transients - while having less handling noise compared to most entry level mics.

More importantly, it gives you all this while retaining an entry-level tier price tag.

Laney Amps CUB10 Tube Combo Guitar Amp 10W 1x8

Laney Amps CUB 10

The Laney Cub 10 is a streamlined 10W 1 x 10" tube amp, tweaked to be similar to boutique tube amps minus the expense.

It doesn't have much in terms of features, but it makes up with its impressive hardware specs, at the core of which are two ECC83 preamp tubes and two 6V6GT output tubes.

It follows after classic amplifier designs with its class A/B circuit that gives it a vintage voicing that many prefer.

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

If you're looking for a portable multi-purpose condenser mic then the Samson Go Mic may just be what you need.

It features a compact profile that can easily fit into pockets for transport, clip on laptops/tablets for mobile use, or stand on a desk for home recording.

It houses a small 10mm diaphragm condenser with switchable polar patterns (omni and cardioid), making it viable for solo vocal/instrument recording or for group/multi-instrument recordings.

Nady PCM-100 Professional Classic Style Condenser Microphone

Nady PCM-100 Professional Classic Style Condenser Microphone

One look at the Nady PCM-100 and you'll understand why its popular - it is a cool looking mic that comes with a very affordable price tag. And with that form factor, it is meant to be a stage microphone for use with vocal performers, but there are some who have put it to good use in recording as well.

It has a frequency response of 30Hz to 18kHz which is quite limited, but this limitation gives the mic its distinct presence peak that many prefer. It also has a switchable low-cut filter that allows for low end adjustments when needed.

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The AT2020 features a low-mass diaphragm that lets it handle high SPL (Sound Pressure Levels) better than many other condenser microphones.

It also has a smaller 16mm-diameter black-electret capsule, which give it a subtly brighter sound, that complements certain applications like female vocals, closed-miked horns, small bodied acoustic guitars, drum kit overheads and more.

Additionally, the components are protected by a modern looking cast metal exterior that's easy to store and easy on the eyes.

Behringer B-1 Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone

Behringer B-1 Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone

Behringer's presence in the music gear market is undeniably strong, especially in the the entry level tier. This encompasses the sub $100 condenser mic market, with which the Behringer B-1 is doing quite well in terms of popularity and ratings.

This large diaphragm microphone features a 1" gold-sputtered dual-diaphragm designed for improved transparency and fidelity - and many are raving that it the sonic quality of this mic is comparable to premium mics which are four times more expensive.

Nektar Impact LX25+ 25-key USB-MIDI Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX25+ 25-key USB-MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Impact LX25+ features Nekta's DAW integration where it intelligently maps its controls to the corresponding parameters and controls of several commonly used DAWs, such as Digital Performer, FL Studio, GarageBand, and Logic Pro. It has full-sized velocity sensitive keys with 4 velocity curves and an option to choose one of the 3 fixed velocity levels for a more consistent performance. It also has the essential controls such as pitch and modulation wheels, knobs, 30mm fader, and velocity sensitive pads.

Nektar Impact GX49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact GX49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Nektar Impact GX49 features transport and navigation controls for you to play, record or navigate without constantly reaching for your mouse or computer keyboard. This controller also has assignable buttons that you can manually integrate with your DAW even if you own software that's not supported by Nektar's DAW Integration. It is also compatible with iOS devices, such as iPads, and can be connected with the use of an Apple camera connection kit.

Audio-Technica M3 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System (Discontinued)

Audio-Technica M3 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System

Japan based Audio-Technica has come a long way from manufacturing phonograph cartridges back in 1962, now they are considered as one of the biggest audio equipment manufacturers in the world. The Audio-Technica M3 showcases why the company continues to thrive in the face of stiff competition, it packs in impressive features while keeping the price much lower than what other brands offer.

Audio-Technica M2 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System - (Discontinued)

Audio-Technica M2M

Audio-Technica is known for producing reasonably priced audio equipment that both hobbyists and professionals appreciate and the M2 is an excellent example. Among their lineup, the Audio-Technica M2 sits in the sweet-spot where price is accessible for beginners while quality is good enough for experienced users, which in turn allows it to maintain its high ratings.

Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Guitar Cable

Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Guitar Cable

D'Addario is well known for quality guitar accessories, and their sub brand Planet Waves have come up with a pretty good cable - the USA made American Stage guitar cable.
It features a slightly thin 22 AWG OFC conductor wrapped in 95% braided shielding. Planet Waves employed an exclusive in-line solder process that permanently bonds the wire and plug, which ups reliability and longevity.

It also features Geo-Tip Neutrik connectors that help keep the jack in place when plugged in.

Hosa GTR Guitar Cable

Hosa GTR Guitar Cable

The name may not be familiar to all, but Hosa Tech's decades of experience with audio equipment have enabled them to produce top rated and affordable cables like the GTR.

This particular instrument cable features traditional designs that make maintenance easy and convenient, including Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) conductors, OFC braided shield, and all-metal plugs.

What sets Hosa apart is how reliable and solidly built their cables are, compared to other similarly priced and configured cables on the market.

Steinberg UR242 4-Channel USB Audio Interface - 4 Analog Inputs

Steinberg UR242 4-Channel USB Audio Interface

Being the developer of the popular DAW software Cubase, Steinberg knows the needs of home studios. This is evidenced by the success of their audio interfaces, to be more specific, the UR242.

For the price, this audio interface gives you four simultaneous input channels, two of which feature class A D-Pre mic preamps, and the other two are meant for line level sources.

As expected, it has plug-and-play compatibility with Cubase, but it also works well with competing DAWs.

Behringer Europort PPA500BT Portable PA System

Behringer Europort PPA500BT

The Behringer Europort PPA500BT is a full–fledged PA System that can be compacted into a portable self-contained unit that looks like a bag.

When unpacked, this compact unit separates into three sections, which include two speakers and a central mixing console.

And as usual, Behringer packed this PA system with features that include Bluetooth connectivity, 5-Band EQ, feedback detection, and it even comes bundled with speaker cables and a handheld dynamic microphone.

Yamaha StagePas 400i Portable PA System (Discontinued)

Yamaha StagePas 400i Portable PA System

Yamaha is a brand that needs no introduction, known for manufacturing quality musical instruments and audio equipment. As a testament to this, their StagePas series of portable speakers ranked the highest on our recommended list before it was discontinued, thanks to its solid build and sound quality.

Focal Alpha 80 8" 140W Powered Studio Monitor

Focal Alpha 80 8" 140W Powered Studio Monitor

Known for their premium studio monitors and speakers, Focal have successfully expanded into the mid-tier market with the Alpha 80. It doesn't stray too much from conventional designs, with its 140 Watt amplifier (Bi-amp), 8" woofer and 1" tweeter - but it implements all these with their brand of quality materials and premium build, something that you usually have to pay top dollars for.

Finally, the Alpha 80 comes with automatic standby mode, an energy-saving feature that turns off the monitor after 30 minutes of idle time.

Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster '70s (SSS) Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster '70s

The Stratocaster is easily one of the most familiar electric guitar designs ever, made popular by iconic guitarists but used just as much by aspiring rockers. With so many clones and variations available, the Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster '70s stand out in terms of ratings, thanks to it being a licensed and good quality reproduction of strats from the 1970s.

Sennheiser HD 800 Open-Back Headphones (Discontinued)

Sennheiser HD 800 Open-Back Headphones

Being part of Sennheiser's top of the line offering, the HD 800 is assembled by hand in Germany to ensure its premium build and sound quality.

At the heart of the HD 800 are two 56mm drivers, which are among the biggest in the market - both of which feature Sennheiser's patented ring-like transducer shape.

These drivers are housed in open-back earcups that work together for a more natural sounding monitoring experience.

Yamaha GL1 Guitalele - Nylon String Guitar

Yamaha GL1 Guitalele

The Yamaha GL1 Guitalele is a unique instrument because it combines the dimensions of a ukulele with the tuning pattern of a guitar. Basically, it’s higher in pitch than a standard guitar but the music and technique learned on it can be carried over to a guitar.

Ultimate Support MC-125 Studio Telescoping Boom Mic Stand w/ Adjustable Counterweight

Ultimate Support MC-125 Studio Boom Mic Stand

The Ultimate Support MC-125 has an adjustable counterweight - that means you can position it along the end of the boom to perfectly balance the stand with any mics or other attachments such as pop filters without having to adjust the boom itself. If you haven't used an adjustable counterweight before then trust me it's a really handy feature!

The roller-blade style casters can be locked to prevent it moving once in position.

On-Stage Stands SB9600 Tripod Studio Boom Mic Stand

On-Stage Stands SB9600 Tripod Studio Boom Mic Stand

The tripod base on the SB9600 can be adjusted for additional height or spread further apart for greater stability when projecting the boom further from the base.

It's can also be extended high enough to use with overhead mics - in fact some people use it in a live setting for overheads even though it's primarily designed for studio use.

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