Unlike a lot of other blogs and video producers, I’ve waited until the end of the year/decade to nominate my gear of the year – how it can be done in Q3 before all the big “Black Friday” releases are out I’ll never know, but you know, clickbait and SEO is king!!! This is my massively subjective list, based on my own experiences with gear, and one that is not to be taken literally. It’s just my take on stuff…

Guitar of the Year

Seth Baccus ShoreLine T
Is this the guitar that ended my search for the perfect Telecaster? It is, unfortunately, it’s also the one that finally made me realise I don’t actually want a regular tele. However, the build quality, the attention to detail, the concept and most importantly, the sound and response of this guitar is outrageously good. Why anyone would spend £5K on an off the shelf mass produced guitar when you can have a piece of art, made to your exact specs for somewhat cheaper, is beyond me. The following video isn’t recorded at pro-level, but you can hear the spank…

You can read more about my experiences with it here.

Guitar of the Decade

Strandberg* Boden
Although this guitar can be dated back to 2007, it was within the last 10 years it has truly taken off. I first saw one being played in 2014, and that was Jack Gardiner at MusikMesse and was blown away by how someone wasn’t just releasing a variation of a theme, but pushing innovation forward.Plus, any excuse to show people Jack playing is good with me…

 

Amp of the Year

BOSS Katana Mk2
Like other stuff that is coming up at the moment, the modelling/ease of use train is one we should all be embracing to some extent… it’s a tool, it’s not a replacement, but you know, it’s an amazing one that we should all be looking to add to our arsenal.


Amp of the Decade

SYNERGY system
A rack mounted all tube module system with the modules designed by real amp makers? It’s genius, sounds amazing, easy to use and it’s been the very top of my GAS list (the constant list, not the one that changes every 5 minutes based on “ohhh pretty” for about 3 years now) – if I could have one wish, right now, it would be to have the SYN2 with 3-4 modules and the power amp. Yes PLEASE!!!


Multi-Pedal of the Year

Wampler Terraform
Would it be inappropriate to say it’s a pedal I worked on? Well, even if it is, I stand by it! We took a format, condensed it and made it the best we possibly could – the most useable MultiMod on the market today, without a need for a degree in programming, I’m obscenely proud of it.


Multi-Pedal of the Decade

Line6 Helix
Let’s face it, they took a concept that was foreign to most and made it 100% accessible and affordable to the masses. It’s not the best out there, but it’s definitely the most influential. So much so, I’ve got two versions and I use the FX in my live rig. Not because it sounds as good as individual pedals, but it’s small, light and so very easy to use and it sounds good enough for the audiences I play to.


Single Pedal of the Year

Chase Bliss MOOD
There isn’t a lot to be said about this pedal that hasn’t already been said, Joel Korte is a genius, a visionary and makes this industry a wonderful place to be right now. Plus, he’s a top guy and I doff my cap in his general direction for just being so damned brilliant.


Single Pedal of the Decade

Strymon TimeLine
There can only be one for me, and it’s the one that spawned a million variations and has sold an absolutely shedful along the way. This is the pedal that defined the decade.


Manufacturer of the Year

BOSS
Because, BOSS. Innovation, self deprecation, reacting to how the market has changed and is changing… there is no one like BOSS. They are the masters.

Manufacturer of the Decade

TC Electronic
They’ve been quiet for a year or so now, as they seem to be reeling from the lose of Tore, and they’ve had some QC issue pop up in the forums (which, let’s face it, are opinions and we all know what they are) but TC… from the Polytune to the Ditto Looper, TonePrint to Mesh – there have been a few more innovative and exciting than TC Electronic for the last 10 years.

Notable mentions…

Two Notes.
Dr Guillaume Pille and the team have cornered the market in high end amp/cab emulation with the Torpedo line of equipment. Legendary.

Fortin Amplification
Mike Fortin is the master of amp high gain – after the association with Randall ended, he went on to almost corner the market on the high end, high gain amp market. I’m a big fan not only of the tone, but the guys behind it. Doing it their way, doing it right, and not taking any crap.

Universal Audio
Anyone who has a copy of a DAW cannot fail to be impressed with UA plug ins, top of the list, every time.

Effects Database
The definite resource for pedal fans… Bart works tirelessly on this thing, we should all send him £2 now and give him the reward he deserves for producing and maintaining this invaluable resource.

That Pedal Show
Because Dan and Mick, and those behind the scenes – Simon and Katherine – are epic.