8. IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic
After receiving over 50,000 votes across 11 categories, this year's Total Guitar readers' polls were fiercely competitive. Now, the results have been tallied, and we're ready to announce what you voted the finest gear and guitarists of 2015.
Oh, the sights we have seen, the sounds we have heard! Innovation is very much alive and well in the guitar world, as these pedals, amps, interfaces and accessories attest – first up…
IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic
The latest addition to its ever evolving iRig mobile interface line, iRig Acoustic is, according to the company, the world's first mic/interface combo produced specifically for acoustic instruments, and pairs with the AmpliTube Acoustic app. The app offers multiple amplifiers, stompboxes and features designed specifically for acoustic playing.
The mic itself is touted as a piezo- and magnetic pickup-beater, featuring MEMS (MicroElectrical-Mechanical System) technology. Its omnidirectional polar pattern allows it to be placed in an optimal position just inside the soundhole.
MORE INFORMATION: iRig Acoustic mic/interface touted as world's first
7. Yamaha THR100HD
When Yamaha came up with the THR combos a few years ago, a lot of guitar players liked the novel 'third amp' concept that drove their design.
You had your big amp for gigs and a smaller one for band rehearsals, so what you needed was a small, unobtrusive, lounge-friendly amp that wouldn't annoy your significant other by taking up valuable floor space.
Add stereo speakers, great onboard effects and a handy USB recording interface, and the THR was a great success. So much so in fact, that lots of THR users started to use the amp for gigs as well, which in turn drove the development of the head you see here – the all-new THR100HD. It's a THR, but this time one that's intended for live use.
"All things considered, the THR100HD could be a game-changer."
FULL REVIEW: Yamaha THR100HD review
6. Laney Ironheart IRT-Pulse
The innovative IRT range has captured many players' imaginations, with features that often work as well at home or in the studio as they do on stage. The range includes combos, heads, and an awesome specialist recording head called the IRT-Studio, which blew us away when we first tried it back in 2013.
Now, Laney has distilled the IRT-Studio into a conveniently sized desktop preamp and recording tool with a host of other potential uses: meet the IRT-Pulse.
"One of the best desktop preamps we've ever used - and one of the year's best bargains."
FULL REVIEW: Laney Ironheart IRT-Pulse review
5. DigiTech TRIO Band Creator
Any guitarist who's played in a band will know how brilliant it is when a drummer and bass player mesh together to provide a solid foundation to the music. But getting there takes a lot of work.
So, how about a rhythm section that gets it right first time, is always in time and always hits the right notes? Well, forget about hiring some top session pros - for a lot less money, and 24/7 availability, there's the DigiTech TRIO Band Creator.
"Tell the TRIO what to play and it will almost always get it right."
FULL REVIEW: DigiTech TRIO Band Creator review
4. Boss SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer
We admit it: guitar synths have never been exactly... cool. They've had their moments, but for many of us, seeing someone play a guitar only to produce a flatulent horn impersonation from the PA speakers is hardly cause for admiration.
What's more, they've long been hindered by the requirement of fitting either a MIDI or divided pickup to your guitar – itself a royal pain in the arse. Well, brush your preconceptions aside and throw that beginner's guide to MIDI in the bin: the SY-300 is here to revolutionise the guitar synth.
"For guitarists seeking to occupy keyboard ground, soundtrack artistes looking for an immediately accessible sonic palette or anyone interested in expanding the sonic scope of their instrument, the Boss SY-300 marks a giant leap forward for guitar-synth kind."
FULL REVIEW: Boss SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer review
If you've ever felt the need for an extra finger or two on your fretboard, new single-string capos Fretlocks could be the accessory you've been waiting for.
Fretlocks simply stick onto your fretboard and two tiny blades 'fret' the string – there are three different sizes of Fretlock dependent on string gauge.
2. Positive Grid BIAS Pedal
Following on from the BIAS Amp and BIAS FX guitar amp processors, BIAS Pedal is a distortion processor available as a plug-in for computers and an app on iOS devices.
As you might expect, BIAS Pedal goes in-depth with stompboxes, allowing users to design and modify their own custom distortion pedal – right down to parameters including transistors and bias – as well as tone match real-life analogue overdrive, distortion, boost and fuzz pedals.
1. TC Electronic PolyTune Clip
The Clip is the world's first polyphonic headstock tuner. Based on the PolyTune pedal tuners the Clip is little longer than a nine-volt block battery, about half the thickness, and is attached to a stainless steel clip with rubber pads designed to protect the headstock you clip it to.
Its jaws are wide, too – even thick classical guitar headstocks are no problem. The tuner moves through one plane – it doesn't swivel 360 degrees – but the display does reorientate depending on if you have it on the face or rear of your headstock.
"Far from the cheapest headstock tuner, but aside from that polyphonic display, it's extremely accurate and rather cool!"
FULL REVIEW: TC Electronic PolyTune Clip review