Best guitar gear of 2017
It’s been a big year as always for guitar and related gear so we have attempted to round up some of the best of the gear we have reviewed and new releases that we have seen across the year. Let us know what you think below and what your favourite gear has been this year.
It’s tough to get hands on with a bunch of new guitars, but this year has truly been the year of the boutique builder and their growth. It seems that people are slowly moving away from spending $3k+ on a Gibson that may have dodgy QC and are moving to stuff that is handmade with love. I have really been impressed by the look of the Millimetric Instruments guitars that I have seen this year, they are handcrafted and don’t look like anything else of the market at the moment, and from all reports they are awesome players as well.
As for my personal collection, I bought a Fender Classic 50s Stratocaster from Japan a few months ago and it is a great guitar, there is something about the Japanese build quality and attention to detail that blows me away every time. I will also be writing a guide on buying from Japan in the near future so keep an eye out for it – buying online can be a great way of picking up really cool and unique gear that is built locally in the Japanese factories and for a fraction of the price that you would pay in Australia.
The guitar that we reviewed that I found the best was the Artist Guitars Cherry58, a 335 model. For the price it is fantastically made and has great QC from the Australian distributors. I have played the Epiphone and Ibanez equivalents and this model performs exceptionally well besides them and all for a price that is at least $200 less than an entry model of those guitars.
My best purchase
It came out in 2016, but was purchased this year – the Boss Katana solid state amp really punches above it’s price range. It has a bunch of onboard effects (2 + reverb) and works fantastically as a practice amp. I haven’t gigged it but from all that I hear, even the 50 Watts is possible for small gigs and will cut through with a drummer. I particularly like the utility of this amp and it’s ease of dialling in a great sound, Brown setting in particular for that extra bit of grit. It also takes pedals quite well, especially on the clean setting and will take pretty much anything that you throw at it. My one piece of advice is to crank the Master volume on the amp and then dial in the playing volume that you want through the pre-amp and on your guitar.
Best Buying Experience
Guitar stores are moving away from brick and mortar stores to online and that is no secret, it’s just the way of the world. But this year, it seems that the guitar world is starting to embrace the idea of online shopping AND the ability to provide awesome customer service. I can’t think of a bad experience this year at all, so my advice is if you are worried about buying gear, please just approach the salespeople, they are always more than happy to help.
Look out too, as we will release our best pedals of the year as well in the coming week.