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.

Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 Drum Microphone Kit (7 Mics)

The DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 from Lewitt is a high-end set of drum mics recommended by audio engineers for professional use.

It contains a dual-element cardioid DTP 640 REX, three DTP 340 TT dynamic mics, two LCT 340 condenser mics and one MTP 440 DM cardioid dynamic microphone.

The DTP 640 REX kick mic has a dual design with both a dynamic and a condenser microphone capsule. It has switchable frequency response settings for a rich or flat sounding kick drum.

Presonus AudioBox 22VSL 24-Bit/96 kHz 2x2 USB 2.0 Audio Interface (Discontinued)

Presonus AudioBox 22VSL

The Presonus Audiobox 22VSL is a straightforward 2-channel interface that thrived in the entry-level market.

At its core is its distinguishing feature, two XMAX preamps that run on 30V power rails, higher than the usual 10V to 18V that other preamps use. This increased voltage results in more headroom and translates into a richer overall sound, that many users approve of.

Roland DUO-Capture EX UA-22 USB Audio Interface (Discontinued)

Roland DUO-Capture EX UA-22 USB Audio Interface

The Roland 2-channel DUO-Capture EX UA-22 is highly rated for its portability. It can run on 3 x AA batteries, which allows it to work with mobile devices even in locations where a power outlet is unavailable. The use of batteries is especially useful when pairing the DUO-Capture with laptops, tablets and other mobile computing devices. Traditional power options like USB bus power and AC Adapter (sold separately) are also available so you only use batteries when its actually needed.

MXL 3000 Condenser Microphone (Discontinued)

MXL 3000

MXL knows how to combine useful features with affordable production, resulting in good quality affordable microphones. The MXL 3000 is a great example, with its large 25mm gold-sputtered capsule that is designed for miking vocals and instruments alike. Working in conjunction with its built-in FET preamp and transformer coupled output, this mic is capable of replicating the warmth of old recording without the bloated price tag that others usually ask for.

Blackstar HT Club 40 Guitar Tube Combo Amp 40W 1x12 (Discontinued)

Blackstar HT Club 40 Tube Guitar Combo Amp 40W 1x12

Thanks to ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) technology, Blackstar is able to expand the possible tones that you can get from an amp, and do so without stripping it of genuine tube elements.

The HT Club 40 is a great example of what this technology can do, this gig-ready tube amplifier has all the traditional features, while having comparable versatility to a digital amp modeler.

With 40 watts of power, two ECC83 and two EL34 tubes, and a 12" Celestion speaker, this amp has juice for professional gigging.

Bugera V55 Infinium Tube Guitar Combo Amp 55W 1x12

Bugera V55 Infinium

Bugera made it possible to own a feature packed 55W tube amp in the sub $500 price range with the V55 Infinium.

This two channel amp features a multi-gain preamp stage with three 12AX7 tubes, while a pair of 6V6 tubes drive the output. And it doesn't end with just tubes, because this amp comes with essential gigging features that include having two independent channels, a complement of EQ knobs, a switchable reverb and a boost switch for even more gain.

Moog MF Minifooger Chorus Pedal (Discontinued)

Moog Minifooger MF Chorus Pedal

The Minifooger Chorus Pedal is an interesting piece of equipment. It’s not quite like anything else currently on the market, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on what it is you’re looking for.

Dunlop DVP1 Volume XL Pedal (Discontinued)

Dunlop DVP1 Volume XL Pedal

The Dunlop DVP1 Volume XL is a pretty standard volume pedal all things considered, with its two defining features being its large footprint and its torque screw. When we say “large footprint”, what we mean is that when compared to other pedals of this design the DVP1 is on the larger side. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your pedal board and preferences.

Keeley 4 Knob Compressor Pedal (Discontinued)

Keeley 4 Knob Compressor Pedal

Company founder Robert Keeley was once known for modifying mass produced pedals to make them sound good, first of which was a Ross compressor. Fast forward to today, Keeley electronics has grown into a manufacturer of original design pedals, which include their popular 4 Knob Compressor.

Gretsch G5435T Electromatic Pro Jet with Bigsby (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Gretsch G5435T Electromatic Pro Jet with Bigsby

Established back in 1883, Gretsch have helped shape music as we know it today, used by a long list of iconic guitarists that include Chet Atkins, John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles, Elvis Presley and many more.

The company maintains its distinct old school appeal up to this day, their designs have been made more affordable via the Electromatic line.

Kramer Pacer Classic (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Kramer Pacer Classic

Kramer is known for being one of pioneers of the modern tremolo bridge design, and while they were not as successful as other big brands, they did have quite the endorsers, with Eddie Van Halen being the most popular.

ESP LTD MH-50 Solidbody Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

ESP LTD MH-50

ESP is a Japanese guitar maker that has successfully moved into the international scene, thanks to the quality of their shred-friendly guitars, as well as their big name endorsers that include metal bands like Slayer, Megadeath, Metallica and more.

Up to this day, they continue to produce quality guitars aimed at rock and metal guitarists, including the lightweight LTD MH-50, which does not stray too far from the familiar shred guitar formula while keeping the price accessible.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro Audio Interface for iPad / Mac / iOS (Discontinued)

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

NB: This has been superseded by the IK Multimedia iRig HD 2.

IK Multimedia is known for iRig, a line of pocket-sized audio interfaces that simplified recording for many musicians. The iRig Pro with its combination of portability, flexibility and practicality became a favorite of many guitarists.

It owes its portability to its bus powered circuit, only requiring a 9V battery if you need 48V phantom power.

Steinberg UR22 MK2 USB Audio Interface for iPad, Mac and PC

Steinberg UR22 MK2 USB Audio Interface for iPad, Mac and PC

With Steinberg's expertise in DAW software development, it is not surprising to find that their audio interfaces are highly regarded. The UR22 MK2 is a 2-channel audio interface with hardware and DAW compatibility being its strong point.

Audio Technica ATW-1501 Wireless Guitar System Pedal

Audio Technica ATW-1501

Audio-Technica designed the ATW-1501 for guitarists and bassists who prefer their wireless receiver in stompbox form.

This configuration allows for hands-free muting/tuner operation, and lets you fit your wireless receiver into your existing pedalboard, to keep your gear organized.

IK Multimedia iRig MIDI 2 Midi Interface

IK Multimedia iRig MIDI 2 Midi Interface

The iRig MIDI 2 from IK Multimedia is a mobile MIDI interface that works with Mac, Windows and different generations of iOS devices. It's compatible with both USB and Apple's Lightning cable, which are both included and are detachable.

It features 3 MIDI ports: In, Out and Thru and these have light indicators as well. It can connect to Android devices with the use of a separate OTG to Mini-DIN cable.

iConnectivity iConnectMIDI4+ MIDI Interface (Discontinued)

The iConnectivity iConnectMIDI4+ is a 4 In/4 Out is a versatile class compliant MIDI interface that supports Macs, PCs, and iOS devices.

Apart from supporting 4 MIDI In and Out ports, it can support up to 8 additional MIDI devices with the use of the USB host port as well as allowing digital audio passthrough via USB.

Its ethernet port is another built-in feature that can connect this interface to a wireless router, ethernet hub/router, or any ethernet enabled device.

M-Audio MIDISPORT 4x4 Anniversary Edition USB Bus-Powered MIDI Interface

The M-Audio MIDISPORT 4x4 Anniversary Edition is the revamped version of the original MIDISPORT 4x4 released in celebration of M-Audio’s 20th anniversary.

It's 4 MIDI In/Out ports allows you to connect 4 MIDI input devices simultaneously and reduces the need for daisy chaining MIDI sound modules on the output side.

The convenience of having dedicated ports for multiple midi devices shouldn't be underestimated so it's worth considering if you have a few MIDI devices. It has a MIDI indicator for each port and is compact and lightweight for desktop and mobile use.

Roland FP-30 88-Key Digital Piano

Roland FP-30 88-Key Digital Piano

The Roland FP-30 is a sleek looking digital piano that combines a traditional acoustic piano playing feel with modern sound processing and connectivity features.

Zoom H1 Handy Recorder - Handheld (Discontinued)

Zoom H1 Handy Recorder

NB: Zoom has discontinued this recorder and superseded it with the Zoom H1n.

Zoom electronics have been producing good quality products for years and their entry-level H1 recorder was one of the most popular recorders on the market rivaling high-end digital recorders in terms of sound quality given its affordable price.

Behringer PB600 Powered Pedalboard (26.1" x 19.9")

Behringer PB600 Powered Pedalboard

The Behringer PB600 is an affordable all-in-one solution for transporting, storing and setting up of up to six standard size (2.5" x 4.5") stompboxes.

When packed, the PB600 looks like your average tough plastic toolbox, offering the same protection and portability to your favorite pedals.

Opening up the lid shows the pedalboard frame, which come complete with foam padding for snug fitting your pedals.

Pedaltrain Nano Pedalboard with Softcase (14" x 5.5")

Pedaltrain Nano Pedalboard with Softcase (14" x 5.5")

The Pedaltrain Nano is meant to be a compact solution for musicians who use fewer pedals. At most, you can fit in 4 standard size pedals into this board, which has proven to be just the right number for many acoustic guitarists, vocalists, ukulele players, bassists and others.

The board itself features two rails of aircraft grade aluminum, which allows for basic side-by-side positioning of pedals.

KRK Rokit 5 G3 50W 5" Powered Studio Monitor (Discontinued)

KRK Rokit 5 G3

The Rokit 5 G3 is not your typical flat response monitor, rather it is designed for DJs and producers who are looking for more bass from smaller studio monitors.

It brings with it the same yellow woofer scheme and stylish exterior as the bigger Rokits, only this one is meant for beginners and for those with small home studios.

JBL LSR305 82W 5" Powered Studio Monitor (Discontinued)

JBL LSR305

The JBL LSR305 in particular continues to get rave reviews from experts and users alike, who appreciate its quality and versatility, even though they are mainly available second hand these days.

Housed in its injection-molded ABS baffle is a 5" woofer and a 1" tweeter, that's bi-amplified by dedicated 41W amps. It's most notable feature is its wider center image, thanks to its distinctly designed wave guide, which allows sound to disperse more consistently across a broader area.

Focal CMS 40 Powered Studio Monitor (Discontinued)

Focal CMS 40

The Focal CMS 40 is a compact yet versatile studio monitor designed for near field use in small studios, or as satellite monitors for studios with bigger/multiple listening areas.

It sports a smaller 4" woofer, and 1" polyglass cone tweeter with a max SPL of 97dB, soft enough for long mixing sessions, while keeping the same attention to detail that the bigger CMS models provide. Note that because of its smaller woofers, it may not have the same bass response as its bigger siblings and you may want to pair this with a Studio Subwoofer if you need to mix bass heavy music.

Epiphone PR-150 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Epiphone PR-150

The Epiphone PR-150 is a great example of the combination of affordability and quality brought on as a result of automation. The PR-150 is a reproduction of the classic Gibson spruce/mahogany tone, making it a great option for guitarists who want that classic sound but can’t springe for a genuine Gibson.

Roland A-88 - 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller (Discontinued)

Roland A-88 - 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Roland bill the A-88 as "The Portable Controller That Plays Like a Grand" - perhaps that's a bit of marketing overstatement, but it's clear that many musicians have been impressed with their purchase after buying one of these.

The keybed uses Roland's Ivory Feel-G weighted keyboard which is found in their high-end digital pianos.

AxeRig Tune It Clip-On Tuner

AxeRig Tune It Clip-On Tuner

This is designed as an all-round tuner working not only for use with guitars and bass, but also other stringed instruments and saxophone, trumpet & cornet.

The screen is mounted on a swivel that allows for 360 degree rotation.

Boss TU-10 Clip-On Chromatic Tuner

Boss TU-10 Clip-On Chromatic Tuner

The Boss TU-10 is well regarded by guitarists for the strength and size of its clip which will fit onto even the largest headstocks.

It allows you to select your reference pitch and has a chromatic mode which allows for alternative tunings.

Korg Pitchblack Guitar Pedal Tuner (Discontinued)

Korg Pitchblack Guitar Pedal Tuner

The Pitchblack Pedal is designed for use with both guitar and bass and includes a 9V out for providing power to other pedals.

It also has true bypass so you don't need to worry about it eating up your tone when you're not tuning.

Some guitarists choose this over the Boss TU-3 because it's more compact and takes up less space on your pedalboard.

KLIQ MetroPitch - Metronome & Instrument Tuner - Handheld

KLIQ MetroPitch - Metronome & Instrument Tuner

Not only does the KLIQ MetroPitch have very high ratings, it's also another one that we know is quite popular based on sales data we have from other websites we operate.

It supports guitar and bass specific tuning modes as well as being suited to any type of acoustic instrument.

It has a built-in tap tempo metronome with a number of different rhythm patterns which is a handy little feature for practice and it has a tone generator for those of you who like to tune by ear to a reference pitch.

Korg Rimpitch-C Soundhole Tuner

Korg Rimpitch-C Sound Hole Tuner

The Korg Rimpitch-C fits a wide range of acoustic guitars that have a round soundhole - you can measure the diameter of your soundhole and compare it to the specifications below to see if it will fit your guitar. It has a hook and rubber grip to prevent it from falling into your guitar.

Samson Concert 99 Handheld Wireless Microphone System

Samson Concert 99 Handheld

Companies like Samson make it possible for musicians to enjoy quality gear at lower price points. Case in point is the Samson Concert 99 which is an affordable wireless microphone system that comes packed with features.

Roland PM-10 Drum Amplifier (Discontinued)

Roland PM-10 Drum Amp

The Roland PM-10 Personal Monitor amp has been designed as a portable companion for the Roland V-Drums series but can also be used with other electronic drum sets.

Its design is an ideal fit for small sized drum kits. Although small in size compared to other drum amps, it provides powerful sounds because of its 10-inch woofer and 3-inch coaxial speakers. It also includes a drum module input jack along with a line input which can be used to connect to CD players or any other similar devices.

Simmons DA50 Drum Amplifier (Discontinued)

Simmons DA50

The Simmons DA50 is a little sibling of the DA200s model. This amplifier has a high-frequency tweeter for clear cymbal sounds and a heavy-duty woofer for responsive bass sounds at 50 watts. It also features independent volume controls and five soft-touch knobs. Unlike the DA200It it doesn't have a ground-lift .

Simmons DA200S Drum Amplifier (Discontinued)

Simmons DA200S

The Simmons DA200S is designed to provide the best quality of sounds for electronic drum sets.

It is equipped with two 50-watt speakers including heavy-duty mid-range speakers for punchy mids and high-frequency tweeters for cymbal clarity. It also includes a 100-watt down-firing subwoofer for enhanced bass response.

In terms of portability and ease of use, this drum amplifier has soft touch knobs that are adjustable with drum sticks as well as a ribbed handle for ease of transportation.

Roland V-Drums TD-25KV Electronic Drum Set

Roland V-Drums TD-25KV

The Roland TD-25KV is a true high-end electronic percussion instrument that's meant for professionals and advanced users.

While it is not the top of the line model, it does have most of its features, with the main difference being fewer connectivity options, slightly smaller pads and a more streamlined drum module.

KAT KT4 Electronic Drum Set

Kat Percussion KT4 Electronic Drum Set

After being under Kaman and Fender, Kat Percussion was acquired by DW Drums, and is now serving as their electronic drum kit sub-brand. This is their flagship model which features the best that the company can offer, while retaining a mid-tier price.

It is packed with features, most notable of which are its four 11" dual zone pads that can be programmed to reproduce various snare, tom and percussion sounds. And since the pads are white, they provide a nice contrast to the black color dominated designs of other manufacturers.

Yamaha DTX532K Electronic Drum Set

Yamaha DTX532K Electronic Drum Kit

The Yamaha DTX532K packs as many features as they can put in while keeping the price reasonable and without sacrificing quality.

The inclusion of a true-to-form hi-hat stand with pedal easily sets it apart from others in this price range, while the three-zone cymbals and snare add to its expressiveness. Speaking of the snare, it features Yamaha's TCS (textured cellular silicone) material, a silicon gel based drum head which they developed for their DTX pads. It is described as having increased sensitivity while being quieter than regular pads.

Alesis Crimson Mesh Electronic Drum Set (Discontinued)

Alesis Crimson Mesh Electronic Drum Set

For the price, this kit sports all-mesh pads that include the snare, kick pad and toms, something that's usually only available from more expensive drum sets. Another noteworthy feature is its three-zone ride cymbal. While it doesn't have many training features, the Crimson Drum Module does have a built-in metronome and it lets you load up tracks via USB for backing use.

Roland KS-18Z Keyboard Stand

Roland KS-18Z Keyboard Stand

The Roland KS-18Z has a large range of widths it can be adjusted to which makes it suitable for many 25-Key keyboards as well as larger keyboards.

RockJam Xfinity Double-X Keyboard Stand

RockJam Xfinity Double-X Keyboard Stand

One of the nice things about the RockJam Xfinity is that it comes pre-assembled straight out of the box, just set it to the height you want and you're good to go.

Like all double X style stands, this is not a good option if you want to play sitting down because your knees will be constantly bumping into the cross bars.

Roland TD-30K V-Pro Electronic Drum Set

Roland TD-30K V-Pro Electronic Drum Set

There's simply no denying Roland's dominance in this market, and for many years, the TD-30K led their advance.

This particular drum kit provides drummers with the best that Roland had to offer in terms of playability, sound quality and versatility.

Gammon Percussion SP5 Acoustic 5 Piece Drum Set w/ 22" Kick (Discontinued)

Gammon Percussion SP5 Acoustic 5 Piece Drum Set - Black

Gammon isn't yet a well known brand in the music community because they mainly sell beginner gear via large retailers such as Walmart and Amazon rather than traditional music equipment stores.

This particular drum kit of theirs made it into our guide to beginner drum sets because it had a very high volume of sales based on the number of verified customer reviews it has, and because it had a good Gearank score.

Pearl Export EXX Standard Configuration 5-Piece Drum Set w/ 22" Kick

Pearl Export EXX Standard 5-Piece Drum Set w/  22" Kick

The Standard Configuration of the Pearl Export EXX Series has the essential components you need to set up a drum kit except for cymbals.

It features an Opti-Loc Mounting System, which is a three-way attachment design to hold toms in place without any movement, and SST (Superior Shell Technology) for maximum resonance and sturdiness.

Daking Mic Pre One Mic Preamp

Daking Mic Pre One Mic Preamp

The Daking Mic Pre One is a streamlined one channel mic preamplifier that's described as having boutique level quality at a more accessible price point.

It features a Class A amplifier with discrete transistor based circuitry with transformer balanced input and electronically balanced output.

Controls include variable high-pass filter, phantom power switch, 20dB pad, phase and gain, all of which are housed in a space saving form factor.

Warm Audio TB12 Tonebeast Mic Preamp

Warm Audio TB12 Tonebeast Microphone Preamp

Warm Audio describes the TB12 as a clone of the API 312 preamp, complete with premium Cinemag input-output balancing transformer. This distinct feature was normally found on more expensive units, but it is now more accessible, thanks to the increased efficiency of today's raw materials and production.

This preamp also houses multiple discrete signal paths that let you choose between two op-amps, be it the Jensen 918 (which is more transparent) op-amp or the Melcor 1731 (which is more colored).

Audient ASP800 Mic Preamp

Audient ASP800 Mic Preamp

Audient is relatively new to the recording gear market, but they have been getting much attention, especially in the mid-tier price range.

The ASP800 showcases what the company is all about, providing modern functionality and quality at a reasonable price point.

This rack mountable unit has 8 channels, two of which have MOSFET and Magnetic drive controls, interesting features that let you go from transparent to saturated coloration as you please.

Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200 - 2 Channel Tube Mic Preamp

Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200 - 2 Channel Tube Mic Preamp

The Ultragain Pro MIC2200 is an entry level mic preamp with two channels, utilising a pair of 12AX7 tubes designed to add old school warmth to vocal recordings and even live performances.

Since this is made by Behringer, you can expect it to have a myriad of features, including a 12dB high-pass filter, parametric EQ, phase reverse and LED metering. The unit comes in 1U rack profile for easy integration into your existing rack gear.

ART Tube MP Mic Preamp

ART Tube MP Mic Preamp

The Art Tube MP is a portable single channel mic preamp that features a 12AX7 vacuum tube.

What makes it unique is its transformer-less design, which gives this preamp improved clarity that many look for. More importantly, this tube driven preamp is easy to carry around, and affordable, making it an ideal choice for those who want to test the waters, so to speak.

Essential controls are provided, including a phantom power switch and phase reversal switch. It also features dedicated input and output gain knobs, allowing you to raise the input level to drive the tube.

Behringer Nekkst K10S Studio Subwoofer

Behringer Nekkst K10S

This budget friendly studio subwoofer was co-designed by KRK founder Keith R. Klawitter, which is an interesting collaboration to say the least.

The Behringer Nekkst K10S features a 10" glass fiber woofer, driven by a 180 Watt amplifier, and as expected, it comes packed with as many practical features as Behringer can pack into its compact baffle, while keeping the price tag affordable.

CAD Audio U37 USB Condenser Microphone

CAD Audio U37 USB Condenser Microphone

The CAD Audio U37 USB is a very affordable USB condenser mic which allows for direct audio recording via USB cable.

There's a nifty 10dB overload-protection switch and a nifty bass-reduction switch that allows for handling high SPL sources. The built-in pad can also be used to reduce room noise, which large diaphragm condensers are known to capture.

Samson C03U USB MultiPattern Condenser Microphone (Discontinued)

Samson C03U USB MultiPattern Condenser Microphone

The Samson C03U comes with impressive quality and multi-pattern versatility at a price point that's easily accessible. It captures audio at 16-bit resolution with up to 48kHz sampling rate and it comes with dual 19mm internal shockmounted diaphragms with neodymium elements for improved SPL handling.

Adding even more value to this mic is the ability to switch between supercardioid, omnidirectional and bi-directional (figure-8) polar patterns, which make the C03U viable for single and multiple source capturing.

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

The MXL 990 Condenser Microphone has a 3/4" gold-sputtered diaphragm and a frequency response range of 30Hz-20kHz, designed to to retain high and low frequencies and keep the overall sound well balanced and transparent. This transparency allows it to work well with commonly recorded sound sources in home studio environments, including acoustic instruments and vocals. It is wrapped in a vintage inspired metal exterior that looks good and can take a beating, making it an inspiring mic to have in case you need the extra encouragement.

Monster Rock M ROCK2-12A - 12' Instrument Guitar Cable (Discontinued)

Monster Rock Instrument Guitar Cable

If you're asking how a guitar cable would cost this much, Monster Cable will point you to its features - patented time correct windings which they say help improve sound transfer, the extra-flexible Duraflex jacket and IsoTec vibration isolation that helps reduce operation noise.

They also employ what they call multi-gauge design, and they claim that as a whole, the cable's design helps alleviate unwanted hum, crackles, and drop outs.

Martin D-16GT 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-16GT Acoustic Guitar

The Martin D-16GT is made in the USA and features solid woods for the top and body,

In November 2016 we announced that this was the 3rd highest rated acoustic guitar priced between $1,000 and $2,000. On January 24, 2018 it was removed from our recommended list because it no longer ranked in the top 3 in its price bracket - you can see our current recommendations in our guide to The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $2000.

Martin D-15M 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-15M Acoustic Guitar

The Martin D-15M is the highest rated acoustic guitar under $2,000.

The all Solid Mahogany construction of the top and body has proved extremely popular. Although this guitar comes in another version, the D-15M Burst, this version is far more popular and more highly rated.

In fact we first announced the D-15M was the highest rated acoustic guitar between $1,000 and $2,000 in November 2016, and as of January 2018 it is the highest rated of all acoustic guitars under $2,000.

Taylor 314 6 String Acoustic Guitar (Discontinued)

Taylor 314 Acoustic Guitar

The Taylor 314 sports a solid top as well as solid back and sides. Its Grand Auditorium shape provides versatility for both finger picking and strumming.

This was on our recommended list starting in November 2016 when we named the 314 as the Second Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar between $1,000 and $2,000. In January 2018 we announced that it had become the 3rd highest rated in that category.

Martin DRS1 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar (Discontinued)

Martin DRS1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Martin DRS1 was the highest rated acoustic-electric guitar in the $500 to $1000 price range in November 2016 - this won't come as a surprise to anyone other than some of the hard-core Epiphone devotees. Based on its high Gearank Score, it would almost certainly still enjoy that status today if it wasn't for the fact that we removed that category from our guide to The Best Acoustic Guitars in January 2018.

The stand-out feature of this Dreadnought guitar is that it has an all Solid Sapele top and body.

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. Although the body is slightly smaller than regular dreadnoughts, it has a full-sized scale length at 25.5".

Seagull S6 Original Cedar Slim 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Seagull Guitars S6 Original Cedar Acoustic Guitar

Seagull bills this guitar as "entry level" however it's clear from reviews that it is much more than that.

Since we first put it on our recommended list back in November 2016, it has continued to be one of the highest rated acoustic guitars in its price bracket, and as of now in January 2018 it is the highest rated acoustic guitar between $300 and $500.

Seagull Entourage Rustic Dreadnought 6 String Acoustic Guitar (Discontinued)

Seagull Entourage Rustic Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Seagull is one of the leading brands in this price range - in fact both the Entourage Rustic Dreadnought and the S6 Original Cedar were the equally highest rated acoustic guitars in the $300 to $500 price bracket when we first put them on our recommend list back in November 2016.

As of January 2018, this is the second highest rated acoustic guitar in the $300 to $500 price range - second only to the Seagull S6 Original Cedar Slim.

Takamine EF508KC 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Takamine EF508KC Acoustic-Electric Guitar

It is somewhat surprising to see a laminate top in this price range, however the presumption is that due to the high cost of Koa, and this has an all Koa body, that this was necessary to keep the price down.

Takamine have quite a number of highly rated acoustics and this was their most highly rated model when first recommended it back in November 2016..

The NEX body shape is Takamine's own design which they describe as a "scaled-down Jumbo at heart".

Mackie PPM1012 Powered Audio Mixer

Mackie PPM1012 Powered Audio Mixer

Mackie is well known in the live sound enforcement industry for providing quality equipment at accessible price points. As expected, their mixers are well received, including the PPM1012.

This lightweight mixer comes with a 500-watt RMS power amp that can drive both main speakers and monitors, providing an all-in one solution for small to medium sized venues with its 12 total channels and complementary features.

Gibson J-35 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Gibson J-35 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Most Gibson Acoustic guitars are priced above $2000 however there are a few priced below that and the J-35, while not the cheapest, was the highest rated of them all in November 2016. Just in case you're interested, the cheapest Gibson Acoustic at most stores is the Gibson J-15 which is also very highly rated.

Gibson first launched the J-35 back in 1936 and this version is still handcrafted in the USA just like the original.

Mackie ProFX16v2 Audio Mixer

Mackie ProFX16v2 Audio Mixer

The Mackie ProFX 16v2 is one of the more affordable analog mixers available, with essential features that include having 16 channels, multiple input options including a footswitch connection and 7-band graphic EQ.

This is essentially the budget friendly alternative to the other mixers in our buying guide, only this one is not streamlined - rather it packs quite a lot of extras including 16 mixer friendly effects and USB connectivity.

PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 Digital Audio Mixer

PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 Digital Audio Mixer

Presonus, who are known for their music production software, have successfully infiltrated the mixing console market with the StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer.

As the name implies, this mixer is designed to address the needs of both studio recording and live performances, having 16 channels, extensive EQ controls and Firewire computer connectivity. And what makes this mixer even more appealing is its reasonable price tag, allowing more musicians and sound engineers access to a true workhorse mixer at a lower price point.

Ibanez AC240 OPN 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Ibanez AC240 OPN 6 String Electric Guitar

All Mahogany guitars are very popular as evidenced by many of them rating so highly in this price bracket and higher ones as well.

One point of difference that this Ibanez guitar has are the Ibanez Advantage™ bridge pins which are designed to make them easier to remove and to put back in when you're changing strings

QSC KW181 1000W 18" Powered Subwoofer

QSC KW181 1000W 18" Powered Sub Woofer

QSC are one of the leading brands when it comes to powered PA speakers of all types and this includes their QSC KW18 powered subwoofer.

It comes with casters and a 36" mounting pole making it easy to position wherever you need it.

It's built tough with a birch plywood enclosure and 16 gauge steel grilles.

Ibanez AW54 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Ibanez AW54 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

The AW54 is also known as the AW54OPN or AW54 Open Pore Natural.

This is part of the Artwood series which Ibanez says is their "modern approach to acoustic guitar tradition" and it has an all Mahogany body including a solid Mahogany top.

Back in November 2016 we announced that this was the highest rated acoustic guitar under $200 with a street price of $199.99, and I can now confirm that as of January 2018 it remains the highest rated acoustic guitar under $200!

Epiphone DR-100 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Epiphone DR-100 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Epiphone says that the DR-100 has long been their top selling acoustic guitar and based on what we gleaned from our research this could well be the highest selling acoustic in its class.

For many years the DR-100 has been the choice of many as a student guitar and a low cost 'campfire' option - that's a term used to describe guitars you can take on camping trips without having to worry too much about getting it damaged as you would with an expensive guitar.

Jasmine S-34C 6 String Acoustic Guitar

Jasmine S-34C

Jasmine make a number of entry level guitars but none of them come close to being as popular or as highly rated as their S-34C model.

It has a street price around $100 and it was the only acoustic guitar in the sub $100 price range that had sufficiently high ratings for us to include in the first edition of our guide to The Best Acoustic Guitars and we're currently recommending it in our guide to Acoustic Guitars for Beginners.

Behringer VS1520 Passive PA Speaker 150W 15" Woofer

Behringer VS1520 Passive Loudspeaker 15" 150W

When it comes to entry level music related gear, Behringer is one the first brand names to come to mind. And it's not just about being cheap because the quality of their releases are getting better and better, while keeping their price ridiculously low.

The Behringer VS1520 shows they can do a reasonable of balancing cost with quality, with good features for small size venues having a 15" woofer and a 1.75" tweeter.

JBL PRX412M Passive PA Speaker - 1200W (600W RMS)

JBL PRX412M Passive PA Speaker - 600 Watt RMS

The JBL PRX412M speaker can get really loud, compared to other passive speakers with similar cone size. It has a very high peak capacity of 1200W, and like other JBL PRX speakers, each one has to pass a rigorous test which subjects the speaker to 100 straight hours of high level input.

JBL EON610 10" Powered PA Speaker with Bluetooth Control - 1000W

JBL EON610 Powered PA Speaker

The JBL EON 610 is a popular active loudspeakers , and while many use it as their main FOH speaker, a good many others have put it to good use as a stage monitor.

With its wedge shape, you can lay it on the floor and have a high headroom active monitor speaker that will be enough for even big stages and loud bands. And since it has a smaller 10" speaker, it has more clarity and sonic detail, making it great for vocals and instruments that do not require a lot of bass.

Peavey PV 12M Passive Floor Monitor Speaker Cabinet

Peavey PV 12M Passive Floor Monitor Speaker Cabinet

Peavey's passive speaker PV12M has good specs that translate well in actual use.

It features a 12" Sheffield Pro 1200+ woofer with a larger than usual 2.5" voice coil, and a 1.4-inch titanium-diaphragm compression, with a combined peak power of 1000W.

While it can be pole mounted, the PV 12M is specifically designed for floor wedge use, with its logo positioned horizontally. Thanks to its distinct trapezoidal enclosure, it can be angled at either 30 or 45 degrees from the floor.

Behringer Eurolive F1320D Powered Floor Monitor Speaker Cabinet

Behringer Eurolive F1320D Powered Monitor Speaker Cabinet

The Behringer Eurolive F1320D is a 300-watt (Peak) powered speaker that's specifically designed for stage monitor use.

While it can be set on a pole, the controls and the logo are positioned in such a way that works and looks great for floor monitor use. And since its from Behringer, you can expect that they pack in as many features as they can, including a 3-Band EQ, while sticking to a very accessible price tag.

Electro-Voice TX1152FM Tour-X 15" Passive Floor Monitor Speaker Cabinet

Electro-Voice TX1152FM Tour-X 15" Passive Floor Monitor Speaker Cabinet

One look at this passive speaker and you'll notice the difference, the tweeter and woofer have dedicated baffles. According to the company, this is designed to ensure that the sound coming from the two drivers are properly synchronized, resulting in a fuller and clearer sound for the one using the monitor.

With a peak power of 2000W and 15" LF Driver, this monitor is meant for handling louder mixes, including those with more bass.

M-Audio M-Track Eight USB Audio Interface - 8 Analog Inputs

M-Audio M-Track Eight

Introduced in 2000, M-audio is a popular brand that is well known for it's audio interfaces.

The M-Track Eight is the largest of M-Audio's M-track line and it delivers a straightforward no-frills 8 channels of mic preamp or line inputs. Each input channel has a dedicated gain control and level display and with a high headroom input that features M-Audio's Octane Preamp Technology. The two front inputs can be switched to allow Hi-Z instrument inputs such as guitar.

There are two headphone outputs with independent levels.

Komplete Audio 6 6-Channel USB Audio Interface (Discontinued)

Komplete Audio 6 6-Channel USB Audio Interface

Native Instruments is another music software developer that has crossed over into the hardware side of the business, and have done so successfully with popular products like the Komplete Audio 6.

This 6-channel 24-bit/192kHz audio interface has been well received by both experts and home recording enthusiasts, thanks to its intuitive design.

QSC K12 12" Powered PA Speaker - 1000W (Discontinued)

QSC K12

I have processed thousands of review sources for Gearank and rarely have I seen a product that is so consistently raved about by its owners as I have just now while researching the QSC K12 12" Powered PA Speaker. NB: This has been superseded by the QSC K12.2.

QSC K10 10" Powered PA Speaker - 1000W (Discontinued)

QSC K10 10 inch 1000 watt Powered PA Speaker

This is the 10 inch version of QSC's popular K series powered PA speakers.

It has received rave reviews, thanks to its excellent balance of sound quality, portability and reliability. With its 2000W Peak output power rating, the QSC K10 has plenty of headroom for most small to medium size venues, while maintaining studio monitor like clarity and sound detail. This premium sound quality is made possible by its quality components, directivity design and built-in DSP tuning, all of which work together seamlessly.

QSC K8 8" Powered PA Speaker - 1000W (Discontinued)

QSC K8 Powered PA Speaker - 1000W

The QSC K8 retains some of the features of its larger K10 & K12 siblings including the 1000W (Continuous) amplifier and 1.75" diaphragm compression driver.

RCF ART 310-A MK III 10" Powered PA Speaker (Discontinued)

RCF ART 310-A MK III 10" Powered PA Speaker

The RCF ART 310-A MKIII is meant to be an active PA loudspeaker that can double as a reference monitor. To accomplish this, the speaker is equipped with two distinct voicings: flat and boost. The default setting is "flat", which is meant to be as transparent as possible so you here important details in the highs and mids without coloration and without the lows muddying up the signal. Pressing the boost button changes the voicing to offer more low end, making the speaker ideal for top use.

Turbosound Milan M12 12" Powered PA Speaker

Turbosound Milan M15  15" Powered PA Speaker

Acquired by Music Group (Behringer's mother company) back in 2012, UK-based Loudspeaker manufacturer Turbosound continues to produce quality loudspeakers.

The Milan 12 is their top rated speaker in the sub $500 price range, featuring a 12" woofer, 1" tweeter and a 1100W (Peak) amplifier. While it is primarily meant for FOH use, the Milan M12's input options allow it to work as a portable PA system for solo performers, and it can also serve as a stage floor monitor.

Peavey Dark Matter 112 12" Powered PA Speaker

Peavey Dark Matter 112 12" Powered PA Speaker

Peavey's Dark Matter 112, a 12" powered speaker has versatile tuning capabilities via built-in DSP technology.

The unit's digital brain lets you fine tune the resulting sound to match different rooms, by selecting preset EQ curves or by changing the bass and treble parameters yourself.

Kremona Verea Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar

Kremona Verea Cutaway

If you hadn't heard about Kremona before, you'll be glad you have now. Originally emanating from Bulgaria and now with operations also located in the USA, this guitar manufacturer has a history that dates back to 1924 - they even survived the post war era when they were nationalized by the then communist government in their home country.

The Verea Cutaway is a hybrid instrument with a small 48 mm nut width that even electric guitarists find easy to transition to.

Cordoba GK Studio Negra Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar

Cordoba GK Studio Negra

Back in August 2016 this was the highest rated nylon string guitar in the $500 to $999 price range, and although there are now higher rated options, this is still a pretty good acoustic-electric classical guitar.

Cordoba designed the GK Studio Negra as a Flamenco Guitar rather than a classical with a solid spruce top, slightly reduced scale length, thinner nut width and body depth, low action, spanish fan bracing and protective golpeador.

Lucero LC100 Nylon String Classical Guitar

Lucero LC100 Nylon String Classical Guitar

Lucero is a Guitar Center brand (owned by GTRC Services, Inc.) and with the exception of Amazon, it's primarily available through retailers that are part of the Guitar Center group including Musicians Friend, Music123 and Woodwind and Brasswind.

The Lucero LC100 is positioned as a student/beginner instrument with a slightly smaller scale length and nut width than standard classical models but still within the size range that can be considered a Classical Guitar.

CAD Audio EPF-15A Pop Filter

CAD Audio EPF-15A Pop Filter

The CAD EPF-15A is an affordable pop filter that doesn't stray too far from standard designs, featuring a 6" washable nylon mesh screen that's made to protect your mic from plosives and from moisture due to saliva.

Its nylon mesh screen is described by users as having a similar feel to regular hose stockings albeit thicker, and it is connected to a flexible gooseneck holder that allows for positioning.

The EPF-15A pop filter also comes with a swivel mount for added flexibility.

Blue Microphones The Pop Universal Pop Filter

Blue Microphones The Pop

Unlike conventional designs that come with a circular shaped mesh filter, this one has a stylish bent rectangle shape. The mesh itself is built using metal wire, instead of the usual nylon, giving this filter a vintage appeal that better complements the look of most microphones.

Other features include a flexible gooseneck and a mounting bracket for clamping on to a mic stand.

Sterling Audio STPF2 Pop Filter

Sterling Audio STPF2 Pop Filter

The STPF2 pop filter from Sterling Audio comes with their own dual layer mesh design, providing improved dissipation of unwanted pops. It also uses the mechanism of having two mesh filters separated by an open air space which helps better dissipate excess air movements, only this one features a 6" mesh made from nylon.

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