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.

Peavey Delta Blues 115 II 30W 1x15" Guitar Combo Tube Amp

Peavey Delta Blues 115 II 30W 1x15" Guitar Combo Tube Amp

The Peavey Delta Blues 115 is a two channel tube amp that goes from slightly dirty to medium gain.

This particular model comes in a 30-Watt 1 x 15" combo profile, which should be loud enough for most small to medium size venues.

It features three 12AX7 preamp tubes, and four EL84 power tubes, and has Pre/Post gain knobs for fine tuning your tone.

Peavey 6505 Plus 112 Tube Combo Guitar Amplifier 60W 1x12 (Discontinued)

Peavey 6505 Plus 112 Tube Combo Guitar Amplifier 60W 1x12

The 6505 Plus 112 is a direct descendent of the Peavey 5150 Eddie Van Halen signature which up to this day is sought after its high gain tone. Peavey changed the name to 6505 after EVH parted ways with the company.

This particular model is rated at 60W and equipped with a 12" Sheffield speaker.

It has five 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6GC power tubes, and comes in a 2-channel format with pre/post gain controls and 3-band EQ per channel.

Blackstar HT-20R MKII 20-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp w/ Reverb

Blackstar HT-20R MKII 20-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp w/ Reverb

The HT-20R MKII is a 20-watt 1 x 12" combo tube amp with Blackstar's ISF (Infinite Shape Feature), which provides sonic versatility without resorting to digital modeling.

While the versatility of its all-tube overdrive channel is its strong suit, it does have a boutique amp inspired clean channel.

Another cool feature of this amp is its built-in power attenuator, which lets you switch between 20W and 2W, taming the amp for practice or recording.

Marshall DSL5CR 5-watt 1x10" Tube Combo Guitar Amp

Marshall DSL5CR

The Marshall DSL5CR is rated at 5W and can go as low as 1W via power attenuation.

To faithfully reproduce Marshall's familiar overdriven tones, the amp is equipped with two ECC83 tubes in the preamp section, and a ECC99/12BH7 poweramp tube.

Like its smaller sibling, the highly regarded DSL1CR, this amp lets you switch between 2-channels, Classic Gain and Ultra Gain, and it comes with a slightly bigger 10" speaker from Celestion.

Vox AC10C1 Tube Guitar Combo Amp 10W 1x10

Vox AC10C1 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

The Vox AC10C1 is a 10W tube amp that's designed to be a portable grab-and-go alternative to the company's popular AC15 and AC30 models. It essentially houses the same Vox flavor tones in a streamlined and compact configuration.

It has none of the bells and whistles found in other amps, but it does come with all the essentials, including two 12AX7 preamp tubes and two EL84 tubes, along with the company's popular Top Boost circuit.

Rogue RA-090 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Rogue RA-090 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Some people are dismissive of Rogue instruments because they’re unabashedly focused on beginners. But it is what it is, cheap enough to be accessible for those who want to test the waters of guitar playing, with enough quality to keep them playing.

Note that this guitar is a full-sized dreadnought, which is quite big, especially when considering the price, which means it has fuller acoustic sound, the downside being it maybe too bulky for aspiring guitarists with smaller frames.

Jasmine S-34C 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Jasmine S-34C

Jasmine make a number of entry level guitars and one of their more popular and highly rated is their S-34C model.

This guitar’s body falls into the “Grand Orchestra” category, which is rounder and slightly smaller than a dreadnought. The difference isn’t dramatic, but a Grand Orchestra is definitely more manageable for children or smaller framed adults.

Epiphone DR-100 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Epiphone DR-100 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Gone are the days when Epiphone was looked at as just cheap alternatives to Gibson guitars. These days, they are respected for guitars that nicely balance value and quality.

Case in point is the DR-100, a true to form dreadnought that is priced incredibly low but with decent specs and cosmetics.

It doesn't stray off from the beaten path, rather everything about this guitar is familiar, from its body shape, to its playability, down to its old school appeal. This familiarity also reduces the need for technique adjustments when students level up to more expensive guitars.

Epiphone EL-00 PRO Acoustic-Electric Parlor Guitar

Epiphone EL-00 PRO Parlor Guitar

The Epiphone EL-00 Pro is based on smaller "parlor" style flat top acoustics that they were building prior to being owned by Gibson.

This smaller body makes it viable for younger players, while older players appreciate its traditional "blues box" appeal.

And it's not just about looks because Epiphone equipped this guitar with a solid spruce top, supported by mahogany back and sides, following after classic designs.

Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs (1 Pair)

Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs

Vibes made their breakthrough in the hearing protection scene when they appeared on the show Shark Tank.

They are primarily tuned towards concert going applications as well as for everyday use.

The 22db attenuation caters to people who may use these earplugs for more than just music.

The Loar LH-204 Brownstone Small Body 6-String Acoustic Guitar

The Loar LH-204 Brownstone Small Body 6-String Acoustic Guitar

Known for their stunning archtop acoustics, The Loar also make some excellent flat top guitars such as the LH-204.

It's designed to sound like the pre-war era (1930's) small body guitars with warm sounding mahogany back and sides off-set by the relative brightness of its solid spruce top.

This guitar is used for both live performance and recording, and by rhythm players as well as fingerpickers although many owners say it really excels at the latter.

Boss Katana-100/212 MkII 2x12" (KTN-212-2) 100-watt Combo Guitar Amp

Boss Katana-100/212 MkII 2x12" (KTN-212-2)

The Boss Katana-100/212 MKII takes the Katana Series' focused amp modeling and effects concept and make them available for big stage and big venue use.

At 100 Watts and with two 12" speakers, this combo amp can go really loud, while maintaining the features that make the Katana series highly rated: having fewer but high quality amp models, and the inclusion of Boss effects right on the amp.

Taylor Big Baby BBT 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar

Taylor are one of the most highly respected brands for acoustic guitars and the 15/16 size BBT is the closest you can get to owning a new full-sized Taylor for less than $500.

The Taylor Big Baby line is a series of guitars aimed at students and musicians on the go, featuring smaller body profiles that's easier to carry around and play on. The Big Baby BBT in particular is based on the dreadnought, only this one is around 15/16th of its size.

Takamine GD20-NS - 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Takamine GD20 6 String Acoustic Guitar

The Takamine GD20 is solid-cedar topped acoustic guitar, a type of wood commonly used in classical guitars, which results in warmer tones. Since Takamine guitars are known for their brighter voicing, the use of cedar balances out the overall tone.

Another interesting feature of this guitar is Takamine's split-saddle, which comes in two pieces. Because of this, the positions of the strings are better positioned for improved intonation. This is especially useful when your playing intricate passages on the upper frets of the guitar.

Martin Custom D Classic Mahogany Dreadnought 6-String Acoustic Guitar (Discontinued)

Martin Custom D Classic Mahogany Dreadnought

While C.F. Martin & Co is still the brand to beat when it comes premium acoustic steel string guitars, the company has been successfully extending their reach to relatively lower price ranges. The Custom D is a good example, described as one of their most affordable American-made all-solid wood dreadnought.

Solid Sitka spruce is used for the guitar's top, while solid mahogany is used for the back and sides, all of which are built to their strict quality standards in their Nazareth Pennsylvania facility.

Ibanez AC240 OPN 6 String Acoustic Guitar (Discontinued)

Ibanez AC240 OPN

The Ibanez AC240 (also know as the AC240 OPN) is a grand concert profile guitar, which is the next size down from the dreadnought. This body style is known for its more pronounced mid-range, making it a great choice for musicians who want to focus on finger-style arrangements and lead flatpicking.

Like most of Ibanez' entry-level acoustics, the AC240 OPN is crafted using okoume wood, an alternative to mahogany. This particular model has a solid okoume top which gives it its a warmer voicing, and balances the brighter tone that's expected from its body profile.

Blueridge BR-140 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Blueridge BR-140 Acoustic Guitar

Blueridge’s BR-140 is a Martin-styled dreadnought, at a more affordable price point. The BR-140 is arguably the closest you’re going to get to that pre-War Martin tone while still keeping your budget under $1000.

Because of this, it’s a great deal if you’re looking for a Bluegrass guitar especially. However, the BR-140 is also at home with singer-songwriter work and vintage finger-style arrangements as well.

DV Mark Little Jazz Combo Guitar Amplifier - 45W

DV Mark Little Jazz

The DV Mark Little Jazz Combo is an interesting entry in this list because unlike the other amps, this one is especially designed to handle the intricacies of Jazz guitar and related playing styles.

This combo combines a 45W amplifier and an 8" speaker in a compact combo amp that's meant to be as straightforward as possible, so you can focus on embellishing your music via your playing technique, rather than through effects.

Vox AV15 Analog Guitar Modeling Combo Amp 15W (Discontinued)

Vox AV15 Analog Guitar Modeling Combo Amp 15W

The Vox AV15 is a hybrid tube/analog modeling amp with a 12AX7 tube in the preamp stage.

Vox describes the "models" as analog preamp circuits that are based on classic amps like their very own iconic AC15 and AC30, but it also features other popular American and British amps to expand its drive selection to cover high-gain tones.

Roland Micro Cube GX Portable Guitar Modeling Amplifier 3W

Roland Micro Cube GX Portable Guitar Modeling Amplifier 3W

If you’re looking for a compact practice amp, it really is hard to beat the Roland Micro Cube GX.

This amp comes loaded with a model for every situation, and weighs in at just six pounds.

It also comes with modulation effects (though to get different distortion profiles you will have to switch between amp voicings).

Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo

Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo

The Donner DC-2 is yet another value oriented capo that scores reasonably well.

Seymour Duncan SA-6 Mag Mic Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup

Seymour Duncan SA-6 Mag Mic Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup

The Seymour Duncan SA-6 Mag Mic Active Acoustic Guitar Pickup is a combination of a magnetic pickup and an omnidirectional condenser mic.

This allows the guitar's tone to have a natural sounding resonance while providing clarity via the magnetic pickups.

You can blend between the two to achieve natural, percussive or feedback-reducing tonalities.

K&M 21021 Overhead Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

K&M Overhead Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

The K&M 210 series is known for its reliability.

Despite being around for over 30 years, the engineering behind the product still holds up today.

The 21021 is a tripod and boom variant of the 210 series with a taller vertical adjustment point and a lower center of gravity.

Atlas Sound MS-10C Solid Round Base Mic Stand

Atlas Sound MS-10C Round Base Mic Stand

The Atlas Sound MS-10C sports chrome plating and a weather proof clutch.

The die cast base has an edge-concentrated weight distribution and has rubber pads underneath.

Atlas Sound TB3664 Tripod Mic Stand and Boom Kit

 Atlas Sound TB3664 Tripod Mic Stand and Boom Kit

Atlas Sound designed the TB3664 to be able to stand up to the rigors of stage use.

It comes with a cast 0.5lb counterweight to provide balance for heavier microphones

K&M 21070 Tripod Mic Stand

K&M 21070 Tripod Mic Stand

The K&M 21070 is an all metal tripod microphone stand. It has a square swivel joint and large wing nut for clamping and easy boom adjustment.

It also features a solid zinc die-cast base with long folding legs.

Pyle Pro PMKS56 Heavy-Duty Tripod Mic Stand

Pyle Pro PMKS56 Heavy-Duty Tripod Mic Stand

The Pyle Pro PMKS56 is a heavy-duty microphone stand that has a durable tripod design, black glossy finish, and lock-tight pivot knobs.

It includes a universal, 5/8'' mic adapter for use with different clamping and attachment mechanisms.

On-Stage MS7701B Tripod Boom Mic Stand

On-Stage MS7701B Boom Mic Stand

The On-Stage MS7701B is a value oriented mic stand that offers features usually found on more expensive mic stands like rubber feet as opposed to plastic feet found on cheaper mic stands.

Fender Frontman 10G 10-watt 1x6" Combo Amplifier

Fender Frontman 10G 10-watt 1x6" Combo Amplifier

Fender’s Frontman 10G is a tried and tested amp for beginning musicians, and is arguably one of the most common and revered practice amps currently produced.

The amp, weighing in at just 8.5 pounds, has a great mid-ranged focus Fender-style clean.

Though the amp is does only come with a 6.5” speaker, the clean response actually compares pretty favorably to the larger amps in the Frontman series.

Blackstar FLY 3 Bluetooth Battery Powered 3W Guitar Combo Amplifier

Blackstar FLY 3 Bluetooth 3W Guitar Combo Amplifier

The Blackstar Fly3 Bluetooth is a step above its sibling, the Fly3, the main difference being the addition of Bluetooth connectivity.

This allows the amp to double as a multimedia speaker for streaming audio from Bluetooth compatible devices.

Very convenient for jamming and other than that, it has the same 3W 2-channel amplifier and 3" speaker, along with Blackstar's patented IFS (Infinite Shape Feature) knob, which lets you conveniently shape your tone to mimic various amp voicings.

Blackstar Fly 3 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amplifier 3W

Blackstar Fly3 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amplifier 3W

The Blackstar Fly 3 is a combo amp designed for portable use, rated at 3W and equipped with a 3" speaker.

Weighing in at just less than 2 lbs, you can literally take this amp anywhere, and since it can run on 6 x AA batteries or on an optional 6.5V DC power supply, you can play with it wherever you want to take it.

More importantly it's not just any generic amp, because it carries with it Blackstar's IFS (Infinite Shape Feature), which lets you change the voicing of the amp via a single knob.

Yamaha THR5 Battery Powered Modeling Guitar Amplifier - 10W

Yamaha THR5

Small guitar amps are no longer designed to just be practice amps, rather some of them are designed with home recording in mind, as exemplified by the THR5.

From its desktop friendly profile to its 2-channel USB recording, this amp is a perfect fit for small home studios where traditional combo amps would either be too bulky or awkwardly positioned.

Its sonic versatility is also recording friendly, with 5 amp models , 4 modulation effects, and 4 delay/reverb effects.

Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII 1x8" 20-watt Guitar Combo Modeling Amp

Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII 1x8" 20-watt Guitar Combo Modeling Amp

The Line 6 Spider series continues to be a big contender in the entry level guitar amp market, and Spider V 20 MkII is their current representative in the sub $200 price range.

As expected in this price range, this compact amp is mostly meant for practice, and has a somewhat streamlined feature set.

Still, streamlined for Line 6 is more than plenty compared with what others in this price range offer.

Fender Champion 20 Guitar Amplifier 20W

Fender Champion 20

The Fender Champion 20 is arguably one of the most versatile amps in its price range, with 8 different amp models and onboard effects.

The amp models cover vintage Fender Amplifiers, a Vox model, a Marshall model, and three high-gain models.

The onboard effects are also a great inclusion, featuring the majority of modulation effects the average guitar player is likely going to need. The amp also comes with Fender style reverb, which is the most copied reverb ever.

Fender Mustang I v2 Guitar Amplifier 20W

Fender Mustang I v2

The Fender Mustang I v.2 is highly regarded for its sound quality and versatility.

It starts off with Fender's great sounding clean tone which legendary artists like Kurt Cobain, Eric Clapton, John Lennon, George Harrison and many more used to make their chart topping music.

But it doesn't end there because it adds multiple amp models, a huge library of effects and other useful features - making it a great value-for-money guitar amp. It goes all out in terms of features, with 18 amp models and 37 effects that give you quite a lot of tones to work with.

Acoustic Lead Guitar Series G20 20W 1x10 Guitar Combo Amp

Acoustic Lead Guitar Series G20

While the brand name is Acoustic, this is actually designed for electric guitars, with a button that lets you switch between two channels - Lead and Rhythm.

Acoustic is a lesser known brand that build good quality amps, one of which is the Lead Guitar Series G20, a 20W 1 x 10" solid state combo amp rated highly for its tone and simplicity.

The Lead channel comes with a gain knob for adding overdrive, while both channels have dedicated volume controls.

Boss Katana-50 MkI Combo Guitar Amp (Discontinued)

Boss Katana-50 Combo Modeling Guitar Amp

NB: This model has been superseded by the Boss KATANA-50 MkII.

Well known for their guitar pedals, Boss injected their brand of versatility, quality, durability and intuitive control into their line of Katana amp. In particular, the Katana-50, a 50W 1x12" combo amp with built-in power attenuator and effects, is making waves in the entry level market.

Zoom R8 8-Track Multitrack Digital Recorder - DAW Controller - Audio Interface

Zoom R8

Although the Zoom R8 is used by some filmmakers, it was designed primarily with musicians in mind because it works as a multitrack recorder, USB audio interface, sampler and a control surface for DAWs.

It comes bundled with Cubase LE so it provides both hardware and software recording and mixing options making it well suited to musicians who are just starting in multitrack recording and music production.

Savarez 520R Rectified Nylon High Tension Classical Guitar Strings

Savarez 520R Rectified Nylon High Tension Classical Guitar Strings

Rectified nylon strings are extruded and then ground to playing quality.

Savarez 520R Rectified Treble strings have a slightly more textured feel than clear nylon.

This is to prevent finger slippage and allow for a different tone than clear nylon.

Savarez 500AR Classical Guitar Strings - Normal Tension

Savarez 500AR Classical Guitar Strings - Normal Tension

As far as classical guitar string tech is concerned, Savarez offers some of the more advanced in terms of material composition.

The 500AR set features a special formulation for the treble strings and special winding and polishing for the bass strings.

Martin M260 80/20 Bronze Ball End Classical Guitar Strings - Regular Tension

Martin M260 80/20

The M260 80/20 ball-end strings offer a rich tone from the crystal nylon trebles and deep and warm tones from the 80/20 bronze bass strings.

If you're a beginner and still learning how to securely tie your strings or if you're a veteran that just wants the convenience of a ball-end when restringing, the Martin M260 80/20 string set is a good budget option.

D'Addario Pro-Arte EJ45 Classical Guitar Strings - Normal Tension

D'Addario Pro-Arte EJ45 Classical Guitar Strings

D’Addario EJ45s are a standard among entry and mid-level classical guitar players.

The treble strings are made from nylon.

The windings on the bass strings are silver-plated copper, a combination that offers a balanced combination of clarity and warmth.

Dragonpad USA 6" Pop filter

Dragonpad USA Pop filter

The Dragonpad USA Pop Filter is a value-priced offering with a 6" filter and a 13" gooseneck.

Stedman Proscreen PS101 Pop Filter

Stedman Proscreen PS101 Pop Filter

Instead of going for the usual nylon mesh filter material, the Stedman Proscreen PS101 comes with a metal screen.

The louvered metal diverts plosive air downwards while allowing sound to pass through clearly to the mic.

This results in good pop filtering without the durability issues inherent to cloth or nylon mesh.

Musician's Gear Double Pop Filter

Musician's Gear Double Pop Filter

The Musician's Gear Double Pop Filter employs an interesting method of removing the B and P consonant plosives - two pop filters divided by around half an inch of air space.

This configuration has double the efficiency of conventional pop filters, the first filter redirects the plosive consonants to the open space in between which disperses the excess air pressure, while the second filter further disperses any unneeded air movements while allowing the sound to pass through clearly.

Vox MINI3 G2 3-watt Modeling Combo Amp

Vox MINI3 G2

The VOX MINI3 G2 is a portable 3w powerhouse that packs more than what it shows.

It shares the same DNA as VOX's Valvetronix series modelling amplifiers with 11 built-in amp models, and 8 effects. It comes with a 1/4" mic input and has an auxiliary in so you can jam to your favorite tunes through the amp or through headphones.

Line 6 Spider V 240HC Modeling Amp Head 240W (Discontinued)

Rated at 240W, this is a loud amp head, but its in no way limited to just big venues and stages, because the Line 6 Spider V 240W HC is fitted with compact full-range stereo speakers (2 x 4") that lets it double as a mini combo amp.

This means that you can utilize this amp both on stage and inside your room, saving you more in the long run.

Being part of the Spider series, the 24HC is as versatile as it gets, with over 200 amp, cab and effect models that you can experiment with to get the tone that you want.

Orange Crush CR120C 120W 2x12" Guitar Combo Amp

Orange Crush CR120C

The Orange Crush CR120C is part of their streamlined line of solid state combo amps with no digital amp modeling.

This one is the biggest and loudest of the bunch, with its 120-Watt amplifier and two 12" speakers.

Instead of having multiple amp voices, this one has two channels, a clean and dirty channel in keeping with old school 2-channel amp configurations.

Washburn Harvest Series D7S (WD7S) 6 String Acoustic Guitar (Discontinued)

Washburn WD7S Acoustic Guitar

When it comes to entry-level acoustic guitars, Washburn is known for great value, as exemplified by the Harvest Series D7S.

For the price, you are getting a true solid spruce top dreadnought, with mahogany back and sides.

Neck specifications stay true to classic dreadnought designs, with its 25.5" scale length and 1.6875" nut width.

Cordoba F7 Paco Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

Cordoba F7 Paco Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

The Cordoba F7 Paco is an homage to classical guitar legend Paco de Lucia.

It features a thinner, flamenco style similar to the guitars that were used by its namesake in his lifetime.

To contrast the brighter tone with thinner bodied guitars, Cordoba opted to use warm sounding Indian Rosewood for the back and sides.

Yamaha NTX700 Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar (Discontinued)

Yamaha NTX700 Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar

The Yamaha NTX Series have the scale length of a Classical Guitar but with a thinner body, nut width and action that more closely resemble a Flamenco Guitar.

Yamaha say they designed this series as a 'crossover' range that steel string acoustic and electric guitar players will find easier to adjust to than a standard classical guitar.

Yamaha have also employed their A.R.E. (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement) technique to prepare the tonewoods in order to produce a result that Yamaha says makes them sound like aged or vintage instruments.

Antonio Giuliani CL-6 Rosewood Classical Guitar (Discontinued)

Antonio Giuliani CL-6 Rosewood Classical Guitar

Featuring solid woods instead of laminates, The CL-6 offers some very nice features at a great price.

Each Guitar is built using traditional Spanish methods and professionally set up with proper fret dressing, bridge height and neck relief adjustment for optimum playability out of the box.

Boss Katana Mini 7W Battery Powered Combo Amp

Boss Katana Mini 7W Combo Amp

The Boss Katana series is generally well received by critics and professionals with the larger 100-watt variants getting a lot of stage and studio time. Boss aims to continue this stellar performance with the Katana Mini: a 7-watt portable combo amplifier.

The Katana series can best be thought of as Boss’s answer to Fender’s Mustang line, featuring a variety of onboard effects and amp models.

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.

Vox VT100X Modeling Combo Guitar Amplifier 100W

Vox VT100X Modeling Combo Guitar Amplifier

The VT100X is part of Vox' line of hybrid amps that combine a solid-state poweramp section with a multi-stage tube driven preamp section.

To be more precise, it sports a 12AX7 preamp tube that adds realism to its built-in amp modeling capabilities.

This means that you get the warmth of tube, and the versatility of solid-state digital amp modeling, which lets you choose from 20 amp models and 13 effects, with up to 60 preset slots to work with.

Boss Katana-100 Combo Guitar Amp (KTN-100) (Discontinued / Superseded)

Boss Katana-100 Combo Guitar Amp (KTN-100)

The Boss Katana 100 KTN-100 is a 100 Watt combo amplifier with built-in DSP (digital sound processing) and power attenuation.

Its coolest feature is its power attenuator, which lets you lower the power rating to half (50W) and can even go as low as 0.5W. This feature allows you to drive the amp harder at lower volumes, making it ideal for practice and recording.

Fender Champion 100 Guitar Combo Amplifier 100W

Fender Champion 100 Guitar Combo Amplifier 100W

Behind its old school silver grille cloth front fascia, the Fender Champion 100 is a value packed amplifier that combines power with nifty features.

To start off, it has a 100 Watt amplifier section that drives 2 x 12" speakers, more than enough for most venues, while keeping the price tag reasonable.

The amp's first channel is based on old Fender Blackface clean, while the second channel lets you choose from 16 different amp voices, from overdrive to high octane distortion.

Schecter C-7 FR-S Apocalypse 7 String Electric Guitar

Schecter C-7 FR-S Apocalypse 7 String Electric Guitar

Although the first production 7 string, the Ibanez Universe, had a floating bridge, it is quite uncommon to see one on a 7 string these days.

The Schecter C-7 FR-S Apocalypse not only brings back the floating bridge to the extended range instrument, it is paired with a Sustainiac pickup in the neck position.

This active electronic pickup give infinite sustain to your notes.

Schecter Keith Merrow KM-7 MK-III Artist 7 String Electric Guitar

Schecter Keith Merrow KM-7 MK-III Artist 7 String Electric Guitar

Signature instruments tend to have specifications that are niche and unique to the person it's named after. The Schecter Keith Merrow KM-7 MK-III Artist is a signature guitar that's filled with top-tier specifications while still appealing to a broad (but still metal-oriented) audience.

Aguilar Tone Hammer Bass Preamp DI Pedal

Aguilar Tone Hammer Bass Preamp DI Pedal

The Tone Hammer is a versatile amp-in-a-box pedal that is especially designed for bassists by Aguilar, a music equipment manufacturer known for their bass-centric products.

It follows the same formula as the bass amp head version, although smaller and without the ability to drive speaker cabinets.

It features OBP-3 preamp circuit and Aguilar's proprietary overdrive called "Adaptive Gain Shaping" or AGS, which lets you tweak your tone from subtle enhancements to overdrive crunch.

Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp Pedal

Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp Pedal

Ampeg is well known for their bass amplifiers, so much so that even their competitors are trying to emulate their sound be it via digital or analog means.

The Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp gives you the distinct chunky low-end tone of Ampegs in a compact form factor, complete with 3-band EQ.

It also features Ultra-Hi and Ultra-Lo circuits that you can activate, in case you are looking for more higher frequencies and bottom end.

Akai Professional APC40 MKII MIDI Pad Controller

Akai Professional APC40 MKII MIDI Pad Controller

In 2009, Akai, in collaboration with the creators of Ableton Live, developed a hardware controller called the "Ableton Performance Controller" or better known as the APC40.

It was a piece of hardware designed with controlling the functions of software like Ableton Live with live performances in mind.

The APC40 MKII is not just an updated APC40 but a total rework in a more compact footprint.

Native Instruments Maschine Jam MIDI Pad Controller

Native Instruments Maschine Jam

While being around the same price point as the NI Maschine Mikro MK3, the Maschine Jam is not an "upgrade".

Rather, It offers a different workflow and feature set that caters to performance, live looping and on-the-fly improvisation.

Novation Launchpad Pro MIDI Pad Controller (Discontinued / Superseded)

Novation Launchpad Pro

The Launchpad Pro goes several steps beyond its predecessors.

New features include RGB pad lighting, velocity and pressure sensitive pads with aftertouch, expanded note modes for virtual instruments with custom scales where it mutes notes outside the scales you set to prevent off notes and more.

It has MIDI I/O for use as a grid based controller for other midi instruments outside Ableton.

Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK3 MIDI Pad Controller

Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK3 MIDI Pad Controller

The MK3 edition of the Maschine Mikro caused a stir when it was announced in September 2018.

Forums lit up at the prospect of a sub-$300 Maschine controller.

The Mikro MK3 lived up to the hype at release, bringing in a plethora of features like a new smart strip to control pitch, modulation, effects and even be able to "strum" held down notes as chords like a vintage Suzuki Omnichord.

Arturia BeatStep MIDI Pad Controller

Arturia BeatStep MIDI Pad Controller

The Arturia Beatstep is a compact, general purpose USB MIDI controller that also functions as a standalone sequencer and percussion controller.

The assignable velocity sensitive pads are great for expressive performances while its encoder knobs allow real-time virtual instrument control by assignment.

16 customizable presets can be stored and recalled easily with the touch of the recall button.

Line 6 POD HD500X Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Line 6 POD HD500X

While the PODHD500X isn't Line 6's flagship guitar processor, it is still very capable and much in demand as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive response that it continues to get from users and expert alike.

It follows after its predecessor, albeit with a more powerful CPU and improved interface via colorful LED rings around the footswitches.

While it is well loved for its HD amp models, it also packs quite a lot of effects (over 100!), applying the same HD modeling technology on actual stompboxes to get them to sound as close to the real thing as possible.

Boss GT-1 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal

Boss GT-1

The Boss GT-1 is a compact and affordable multi-effects pedal that features the same COSM DSP technology found on their more expensive guitar processors.

This means that you get the same software algorithms that reproduce the sound of popular amps and effects all in a floor pedal that's around the size of a regular school book.

It's also impressive how Boss was able to fit 3 footswitches and an expression pedal into the unit, along with a variety of buttons and knobs.

Donner Alpha Cruncher Multi-Effects Pedal

Donner Alpha Cruncher Multi-Effects Pedal

The Donner Alpha Cruncher is an analog style multi-effect pedal that combines three essential effects in one compact unit. First of which is the distortion effect, with classic Brit style hi-gain tones, second is chorus effect that's described as having a bright and warm sound, and finally, it comes with an analog-voiced delay.

It sports an analog style interface with dedicated footswitches and knobs that allow for hassle free and intuitive control. This means that unlike most multi-effects in this price range, you won't have to press buttons and navigate through menus.

Fishman Loudbox Mini 60-watt Acoustic Guitar Combo Amp (Discontinued)

Fishman Loudbox Mini

NB: This has been superseded by the Fishman Loudbox Mini BT.

The Loudbox Mini was Fishman's smallest and best selling acoustic amp before being replaced by the similarly spec'd BT (Blue Tooth) version.

It's a 60-watt amp with 2 channels - one for instrument input and the other for vocals with XLR input for dynamic mics (no phantom power).

Rivera Sedona Lite (Split Grill version) 55-Watt Combo Tube Acoustic Guitar Amp

Rivera Sedona Lite 55 Watt Combo Tube Acoustic Guitar Amp

The Rivera Sedona is a hybrid tube combo amp that works for both electric and acoustic-electric guitars.

It is rated at 55 watts with a 12" Celestion G12T-75 speaker.

Channel 1 is designed for acoustic-electric guitars, with EQ controls for tone shaping and a 1" dome tweeter to handle the extra high frequencies of acoustic instruments.

Like many acoustic amps, this one has anti-feedback controls. It also comes with a built-in ES (Taylor's Expression System) option for better pairing with Taylor acoustic guitars.

Fender Acoustasonic 15 15-Watt Acoustic Guitar Combo Amp

Fender Acoustasonic 15 15-Watt Acoustic Guitar Combo Amp

The Fender Acoustisonic 15 is an affordable entry-level acoustic amplifier, rated at 15 watts. It is as straightforward as its price, with basic controls and a compact profile that makes it an easy grab and go amplifier for acoustic-electric guitars.

It sports a 6" woofer that works nicely with its 15W amp section, having enough volume to fill small rooms be it for practice or for jamming with friends. To add a bit more character to your acoustic sound, Fender even equipped the amp with a built-in chorus effect

Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V (HSS) Solidbody Electric Guitar

Yamaha PAC112V

Yamaha continues to be the brand to beat when it comes to student friendly musical gear, including electric guitars where their Pacifica line continues to get good ratings. The PAC112V in particular is a true to form HSS (Humbucker-Single-Single) pickup configuration "super strat" at a very affordable price point.

For a beginner's guitar, this instrument has a wide array of voicings, thanks to its 5-way pickup selector and push-pull tone knob, which lets you utilize half of the humbucker for single-coil sounds in the bridge position.

Rode Podcaster - Large-diaphragm Dynamic USB Microphone

Rode Podcaster

The Rode Podcaster is a USB microphone tailored for broadcast sound quality and is aimed towards people who need a voice-centric microphone.

Unlike most USB Microphones which are variations of the large diaphragm condenser design, The Rode Podcaster is a Dynamic Microphone.

This makes it ideal for capturing only the speaker's voice while keeping background pickup to a minimum.

Blue Snowball iCE USB Condenser Cardioid Microphone

Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Cardioid Microphone

Following in the footsteps of it's older, similarly named brother, the iCE version of the Snowball by Blue Microphones does away with the three polar pattern selector on the back of the mic and gets a fixed cardioid pattern.

Because of this feature being taken out, the Snowball iCE positions itself at a more affordable price point than the previous generation.

ESP LTD EC-10 (HH) 6 String Electric Guitar

ESP LTD EC-10 Electric Guitar

The LTD EC-10 is ESP's affordable hotrod version of the classic single-cutaway design.

Immediately noticeable is its distinctly contoured body, which smoothens the parts of the guitar that come in contact with your arm, and makes it easier to reach higher frets.

Speaking of frets, this guitar has a 24-fret fingerboard on top of a thin U-shape profile neck.

Jackson JS22 Dinky Arch Top (HH) 6 String Electric Guitar

Jackson JS22 Dinky Arch Top

Many of today's super strat guitars owe their staying power to guitar brands like Jackson. With the success of their Soloist model, Jackson helped establish the Super Strat as a distinct guitar category, rather than being a clone.

The JS22 Dinky follows after Jackson's tried and tested formula, only this one is more accessibly priced.

Ibanez S-521 (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar

Ibanez S-521

Ibanez continues to be the go to guitar for the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, George Benson and a long list of other virtuoso guitarists.

But they're not just a brand for the elite - rather they are well known for their good balance of cost and quality - hence the popularity of guitars like the Ibanez S-521.

To break free from the typical dual humbucker setup, Ibanez equipped the S-521 with a 5-way pickup selector that allows for more tone options.

Epiphone G-400 Pro SG (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Epiphone G-400 Pro SG

The original SG may have failed to impress Les Paul, but it did impress scores of other guitarists, including greats like Tommy Iommi, Eric Clapton, Angus Young and many more.

The Epiphone G-400 Pro is an affordable remake of the classic twin horn double cutaway shape guitar, albeit with modern enhancements meant to improve playability (via the SlimTaper D Profile), tuning accuracy and reliability (via the LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge) and expand its tone options (via its Coil Tapping enabled circuit).

Gretsch G5445T Double Jet with Bigsby (FF) Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Gretsch G5445T

Double Jet is Gretsch speak for double cutaway, so the G5445T is essentially a double cutaway version of their popular solidbody guitar design.

And like its single jet sibling, Gretsch manages to make this design distinct, with some subtle but well placed changes to conventional double cutaway guitars.

Epiphone Les Paul Studio (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar

Epiphone Les Paul Studio

The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a streamlined version of the Gibson Les Paul, used by greats like Slash, Jimmy Page, Zakk Wylde and many more - only this one is lighter and cheaper.

Gone are the fancy bindings and metal pickup covers, but it retains essential Les Paul specifications, including its single-cutaway body, arched top design, and dual humbucker setup.

Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio

Many decades after it was first introduced, the Les Paul is still as iconic as ever, available in a variety of versions (including clones) that cover everything from cheap to ridiculously expensive.

The Goth Les Paul is an interesting entry in this list because there's nothing different about it on paper, other than its color, yet it still ranked higher than other Les Pauls in this price range.

Cordoba C3M Nylon String Guitar

Cordoba C3M

Cordoba's C3M has the main characteristics of a Classical Guitar including the nut width, neck shape, scale length and string height.

It sports a solid cedar top which is a bonus you don't often see in guitars in this price range.

PreSonus Eris E8 130W 8" Powered Studio Monitor (Discontinued)

PreSonus Eris E8

The Eris E8 is a bi-amplified studio monitor with an 8" kevlar weave woofer and a 1.25" silk dome tweeter.

The kevlar weave is designed to minimize extra reflections from the surface of the cone to more accurately project low and low midrange frequencies.

Boss RC-1 Loop Station

Boss RC-1 Loop Station

The RC-1 Loop Station follows Boss' tried and tested single stomp box design, ideal for those looking for an easy to use loop pedal.

What makes it stand out from other basic loopers is its 24-segment LED indicator, which lets you visually monitor your settings.

It sports up to 12 minutes of loop time, which is more than enough for the usual phrase looping, making it viable for keeping song and riff ideas.

Pigtronix Infinity Looper

Pigtronix Infinity Looper

The Pigtronix Infinity Looper Pedal offers a good range of features, with its two track looping, expanded connectivity options and MIDI compatibility.

Speaking of connectivity, this looper comes with two distinct input/output ports, which lets you record two different sound sources into dedicated loops and playback via dedicated outputs.

There's also an Aux loop out that can be used to send looped audio to a monitor, so your band can play in sync with your loops.

Shure KSM137 Stereo Matched Pair Condenser Microphones

Shure KSM137 Stereo Matched Pair Condenser Microphones

The Shure KSM137 is a popular high SPL (sound pressure level) microphone, so it is not surprising for a matched pair version to get the same positive response. It features an end-address condenser cardioid design, with a three-position dB pad that changes the microphone’s input volume. This allows it to handle different degrees of loudness, from vocals, to acoustic guitars, to drums.

TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb Pedal

TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb

As the name implies, the Hall of Fame Mini is a miniature version of the original pedal of the same name, carrying over most of its features - including its Tone Print technology - while keeping the form factor small and stripping down the controls to just a single knob and footswitch.

While real-time control on the pedal is obviously limited, the built-in Tone Print technology inside the pedal allows you to load different reverb types onto the pedal, which essentially makes it as versatile as the regular sized version.

Walrus Audio Deep Six Compressor Pedal V2 (Discontinued)

Walrus Audio Deep Six Compressor Pedal

Inspired by a vintage FET compressor, the Walrus Audio Deep Six is meant to give guitarists old school compression in a compact form factor.

Thankfully, compact doesn't always have to mean limited, because Walrus Audio equipped the Deep Six pedal with four knobs. Three of which give you control over essential parameters like level, sustain and attack, while the fourth knob lets you blend your dry signal to taste, in case you want a more subtle compression effect. Finally, it comes with a boutique quality finish and artwork, that easily sets it apart from other compressors.

Mooer Yellow Comp Compressor Pedal

Mooer Yellow Comp Compressor Pedal

Mooer’s Yellow Comp is a great option for anyone looking for subtle compression to smooth out their playing or fatten up their tone.

It’s also regarded to be very transparent, which is a huge plus for anyone who doesn’t want their existing tone to be colored.

Even better, this pedal is also true bypass so you won’t have to worry about it impacting your tone while it’s not engaged.

Casio Privia PX-5S 88-key Stage Piano

Casio Privia PX-5S 88-key Stage Piano

Casio are known for producing affordable pianos and keyboards, and the Privia PX-5S is one to look out for.

It features Casio's AiR processor, which seeks to emulate the detail and high definition sounds found in a grand piano. It also features the Hex layer synthesizer technology found in Casio's XW-P1 synthesizer.

This is made out of six sample layers that make up a single tone where you can manipulate each of their own parameters and effects.

Casio PX-560 Privia Pro 88-key Digital Stage Piano

Casio PX-560 Privia Pro 88-key Digital Stage Piano

The Casio PX-560 Privia Pro is another affordable digital stage piano featuring ebony and ivory textured keys.

Its 5.3" touch-screen color display makes it easy to add new sounds, program rhythms and access other parameters.

When it comes to its sound source, the Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source allows natural simulation of acoustic piano tones.

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