05 Jan Best New Gear of 2021
Even though we couldn’t get out much, go to a gig or practice with our band we did have some great new stuff come out in 2021. Here is our pick of new guitars, pedals and amps from 2021:
- Gordon Smith Gatsby
- Gibson Generation Collection Acoustics
- Fender Nowenta Series
- Boss Electronic Guitar
- Fender Jazzmaster Acoustasonic
- PJD Woodford Standard
- Ibanez Headless Q Series
- ThorpyFx Pulse Doppler
- TC Magus Pro
- Orange Acoustic
- Chase Bliss Audio Reverb
- EHX Howitzer
- Friedman BE Mini Amp
- Godin Acoustic Amp
- Blackstar ID:Core V3
Gordon Smith Gatsby
It’s great to see Gordon Smith Guitars doing well and expanding their range of hand made (in the UK) electrics with the new Gatsby off set.
With its sleek lines and modern offset shape, the launch edition Gatsby come loaded with two home wound, chrome-covered GS P90’s, a low profile brass roller bridge, HK41 Vibrato tremelo, and GOTOH SG381 – 05 tuners.
The Gatsby launches in seven different finishes, five solid colours on a poplar body (£1299) and two trans finishes on a swamp ash body (£1399).
Gibson Generation Collection
Gibson have released a new series of acoustic guitars featuring their Gibson Player Port for a “new sonic experience”.
Here’s what they say about it:
The Gibson Generation Collection is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the highly-skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. Comprised of four models, G-00, G-45, G-Writer, and the G-200, the Generation Collection is equipped with the Gibson Player Port™ on the upper bout: an original 1964 Gibson concept refined today by the Gibson Lab. The Gibson Player Port delivers a truly unique and immersive sonic experience by projecting sound to the player.
The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish.
Fender Nowenta Series
Always thought that Fenders only came with single coils? Think again as they launch the limited edition Nowenta Series – Tele, Strat and Jazzmaster – with P90’s.
Designed to blend the classic Fender style with powerful tones, modern playability and cool looks, the Nowenta guitars are made in Mexico and come with a deluxe gig bag, maple or pau ferro fingerboards, alder bodies, bolt on necks and those cool P90’s.
Prices are around £799 for the Stratocaster; £759 for the Telecaster and £899 for the Jazzmaster. Get yours now!
Boss Electronic Guitar
Not content with some of the best amps on the planet and the largest range of pedals, BOSS has brought out the EURUS GS-1 electronic guitar!
Here is what BOSS say about it:
“Expanding the traditional guitar experience with powerful and expressive BOSS technologies. Born from this breakthrough approach, the EURUS GS-1 infuses a premium instrument with advanced guitar synthesis techniques refined over more than four decades. Deep, inspiring, and infinitely playable, the EURUS GS-1 will take your musical vision where it’s never gone before.”
Cutting-edge BOSS electronic guitar, crafted in Japan for bold sound innovators
Seamlessly switch between synthesizer and regular guitar sounds
Six onboard memories for storing different synth sounds
Premium playability with 24-fret neck, compound radius rosewood fingerboard, and offset double-cutaway body design
Two custom-designed pickups and five-way selector switch
Gotoh two-point tremolo bridge and locking machine heads
Independent ¼-inch outputs for synth and regular guitar sounds
Deep editing of synth sounds via dedicated app for iOS and Android devices
Onboard Bluetooth® for connecting with editor app and optional EV-1-WL Wireless MIDI Expression Pedal
USB for system updates via a Mac or Windows computer
Synth engine runs on four AA batteries or optional PSA-series adaptor
High-quality CB-EG10 gig bag included
Fender Jazzmaster Acoustasonic
Joining the Tele and Strat versions comes this new American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster representing the next phase of purposeful innovation that drives Fender acoustic guitars.
The power of the Fender and Fishman®-designed Acoustic Engine is sure to deliver true inspiration. From acoustic shapeshifting to electric rhythm tones, this extremely versatile guitar opens a new door to discovering endless sonic possibilities.
Three pickup systems: new Fender Acoustasonic Shawbucker; Fishman Under-Saddle Transducer; Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer
Cutting-edge acoustic-electric guitar
Acoustic Engine delivers a new and unique set of acoustic and electric voices
Mod Knob selects and blends voices
Patented Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS)
Integrated forearm and back contour, and mahogany neck
PJD Woodford Standard
This UK hand built S type guitar, finished in a choice of ten colours, can be yours for the bargain price of £999 – now that is exceptional!
Here’s what PJD say:
Hand built for a budget. Since starting PJD guitars in 2010 Leigh Dovey has always wanted to deliver a hand built guitar that didn’t break the bank. The Woodford Standard delivers quality materials, crafted using the highest building standards. Something for which PJD has become recognised. Pick from an amazing range of translucent colours to be applied to a painstakingly hand sanded, open grain, solid, American ash body. Add in Bare knuckle pickups (SSS or HSS), a individually carved neck and finish with Gotoh Hardware and you have the Woodford Standard. Available in left hand and a choice of 10 open grain colours. The Standard is a classic design delivering classic tones in a hand built lovingly finished guitar. You can add a PJD Hiscox hard case for £160.
Comes in ten colours!
Ibanez Headless Q Series
Recently released are these Q or Quest Series headless guitars from Ibanez, coming in a range of options and finishes.
Here’s what Ibanez has to say about them:
“The Q or Quest series is an entirely new concept for Ibanez. The “Quest” in this case was to not just to adapt an existing instrument into a headless design, but to develop an entirely new guitar from the ground up. This range features a number of unique elements intended to maximize tone, performance, and playing comfort.
These include, custom designed R1 single coil and Q58 humbucker pickups, a new Mono-Tune bridge, and a proprietary custom string locking mechanism. The QX subseries is also equipped with innovative 8-degree inward slanted frets, uniquely tailoring their ergonomics to the benefit of highly technical players.
Ultimately, this series offers a diverse and versatile enough feature set to attract not only the modern, technical guitarist, but also players who may have never even considered a headless guitar before. Regardless of genre, Q (Quest) allows guitarists of every background to question the full scope of their creative possibilities.”
ThorpyFx Pulse Doppler
Who doesn’t like a classic analog phaser on their board?
The PULSE DOPPLER PHASER is the first design ThorpyFx has released since Dan Coggins became a full time member of the team. This fully Analog Phaser is a MKII version of the Doppleganger, taking all that was great about that vintage pedal, mixing it up, distilling it and releasing a more compact, and easier to utilise version. It was designed from the ground up to provide the most incredibly versatile and original phaser sounds with an insane level of versatility from an analog effect.
With rotary controls for Depth, Rate, Blend, Enhance, and Manual coupled with two toggle switches and two footswitches this analog pedal keeps it functionally simple but is a deceptively feature packed beast. For stereo pedal enthusiasts, they will be pleased to know that the Pulse Doppler has both dry and wet outputs. This pedal allows you to deliver an almost unlimited tonal pallet no matter what your mood/style or guitar and amp setup. The premium sound is enhanced through the use of premium components all wrapped in a beautiful custom engineered enclosure.
TC Magus Pro
In a world full of overdrive and distortion pedals TC have brought the affordable Magus Pro to market. It has Classic High Gain distortion with three clipping modes and fat mids.
If you’ve ever needed a Classic Analog High Gain Distortion Pedal but been unable to find one with enough versatility to suit any scenario, the MAGUS PRO will be a very welcome surprise for you. Its slow slew rate, treble filter control and three different modes of operation provide more than enough variance in approach and tone to compliment any playing style. Street price c£45
Orange have added the Orange Acoustic Pedal to their range – a Single Ended, Class A, Acoustic Preamp, with a Full Parametric Midrange / Notch Filter, and a Buffered FX Loop.
And yes, it’s orange!
The Orange Acoustic Pedal takes all the know-how of our acclaimed Acoustic Pre TC preamp and Crush Acoustic 30 amplifier, cramming it all into a do-it-all, compact preamp pedal. Whether you need to win the battle against feedback, handle complex effects chains, brighten up a dull instrument or just plug into a PA, the Acoustic Pedal has you covered – in top-notch Orange style. With a low-noise JFET circuit design, surgical-yet-flattering EQ, XLR and 1/4″ outputs and a buffered FX Loop, all situations are taken care of. This high-headroom, high-quality pedal keeps your setup simple and controlled, leaving you free to do what you do best. Play.
Chase Bliss Audio Reverb
You will have to seriously love reverb to want the new Chase Bliss Audio reverb – the Automatone CXM 1978. Why? Well, apart from it being brilliant it will set you back £899…
Here’s what they say about it:
What happens when Chase Bliss partners with the geniuses at Meris to create a pedal adaptation of the beloved and famous 1978 studio reverb? The CXM 1978. Known around here as the next Automatone.
1978 was a big year for reverb. The dawn of sprawl, massive trails, and infinite decay. The CXM 1978 reaches back to that moment, allowing you to explore the charm of those late 70s imperfections. Using the Automatone’s robust industrial housing and Meris’s pro-audio level sound design, the CXM 1978 offers a modern take on its inspiration.
Features include moving faders with presets and MIDI control, 32 Bit AD/DA, three classic algorithms, adjustable decay crossover for fully shapeable reverb tail, expression pedal control, optional fully balanced I/O, stereo input and output, and internally boosted +/-15V rails for line level input.
New from EHX is the The 15Watt Howitzer guitar amp/preamp. An ultra-compact workhorse that’s perfect as part of a portable guitar rig, or as an emergency backup and gig saver should your main amp break down.
It’s super flexible, like a musical chameleon, and depending on the gear you use and your style, will fit in the broadest range of genres.
15 watts of power, but small enough to fit on a pedalboard or pack in a gig bag
A full set of sound shaping controls: Volume, Gain, Bass, Mid and Treble
Bright/Norm switch: choose between a subtle top boost with more presence or a slightly darker top end
Class D amp design for maximum output efficiency and minimal space requirements. Note: The D does not stand for digital and while this is a solid-state design, there is no digital coding of the signal
FX loop with Send/Return jacks lets you place effects between the 15Watt Howitzer’s preamp section and Volume knob
Power adapter included
Small is beautiful!
Friedman BE Mini Amp
This could be one of the bargains of the year – designed by amp legend Dave Friedman the BE-MINI head combines a 30-watt power section and his famous “BE” preamp circuit.
The BE-Mini has the same signature British-voiced harmonics, grind, and punch of the legendary BE amplifier’s legendary high-gain tones. The BE-MINI’s compact size, light weight and included effects loop makes the BE-MINI a killer companion whether onstage, at home or in the studio.
The BE-MINI is loaded with player-friendly features including Gain, Level, three band EQ, Presence control and powerful Cut and Tight switches. These tools allow you to tailor the BE-MINI’s character to your preferences. On the back panel, you will find a high-quality series effects loop ideal for using time-based effects with your high-gain tones. The included 24V universal-voltage power-supply means you can take your BE-MINI wherever you travel.
Godin Acoustic Amp
Godin, the Canadian guitar company and one of the biggest in the world with a slew of acoustic brands, has released the ASG-8 acoustic amp – and what a beauty!
Here’s what they say about it:
The Acoustic Solutions ASG-8 is a newly redesigned acoustic amplifier and it was developed with the performing singer-songwriter and acoustic musician in mind.
What makes this amplifier really special is that it was designed to sound pristinely clean with a relatively flat yet very natural response, which is ideal for various acoustic instruments as well as clear and dynamic vocals.
The ASG-8 also provides a convenient AUX input to play backing tracks from your smartphone or laptop, which can also be played though the easy Bluetooth connectivity of the amp.
The ASG-8 is light and portable, but it still packs a lot of punch and power in a compact cabinet with 120 Watts of power and includes an 8” Woofer and a 1” Tweeter.
Blackstar ID:Core V3
Never one to stand still Blackstar have updated their ID: Core range of practice amps with the release of V3, equipped with new features, upgraded effects and software downloads.
Still utilising their incredible Super Wide Stereo the new ID:Core V3 features 6 enhanced voices from clean to high gain, together with 12 upgraded effects also in a small, lightweight package.
Fine tune your perfect cabinet sound with Cab Rig Lite® then record effortlessly to your computer with direct USB, or via TRRS straight to your phone’s camera app for livestreams and videos.
The one shown is the “Double Cream” special edition.
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