Gear up with great new guitars, amps and pedals from Gibson, Epiphone, Kramer, Maestro and Mesa Boogie

Gibson has been on an impressive winning streak the past few years, and things clearly haven’t let up in 2022. 

As we head into the fall, the company continues to roll out new and exciting equipment – and not just under the Gibson name, but also via its other brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, Maestro and Mesa Boogie. To get a handle on just some of this great gear, Guitar World’s Paul Riario and Alan Chaput shined a spotlight on five new products from the Gibson family.

First up is a powerhouse offering from Epiphone – the Power Players Les Paul and SG. Trimmed-down versions of the Les Paul and SG models, the guitars boast a 22.73” scale length and slightly smaller mahogany bodies, making them easy to play and an ideal option to learn on for younger guitarists. 

Other features include a bolt-on mahogany neck with a sculpted heel for improved upper fret access and a pair of Epiphone 650R and 700T ceramic humbuckers for rich, full tone. Finally, the guitars come complete with a variety of finish options and a gig bag, strap, picks and a guitar cable. It’s a package that makes the Power Players the perfect guitars to get you playing now and forever. 

Next, Paul and Allen take a look at the new Kramer Striker, a guitar that is built for serious speed. The high-performance, shred-ready axes feature a satin-finished maple neck with a Kramer K-Speed SlimTaper C profile for fast, easy and incredibly comfortable playing. Electronics-wise, you get three Alnico 5 pickups – a zebra-coil bridge humbucker and two single coils – for everything from sparkling cleans to hard-rocking, heavily-overdriven humbucker crunch. 

Other features include a variety of hot finishes, an optional hardshell case and, of course, a licensed Floyd Rose locking vibrato for all your dive-bombing desires. 

Looking for a cool fuzz to go with your hot licks? Allow Paul and Alan to introduce you to the brand-new Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-M. If this little effects unit sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Back in the ‘60s, the Maestro name became synonymous with guitar effect pedals, debuting with the FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone – the sound of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” Now the company is back, and their first offering is an updated version of that iconic pedal. 

The new all-analog FZ-M offers up an FZ-1-inspired fuzz sound, but you also get a three-knob control layout (Attack, Tone and Level), and an innovative Mode toggle switch that provides two-in-one functionality for both classic fuzz and a thicker, more modern tone. 

And it’s all controlled via a true bypass footswitch that, in a very cool touch, also triggers the LED lights in the bugles in the Maestro logo, so that you always know when the pedal is active. 

Next up in our roundup is a killer amplifier from Mesa Boogie: the California Tweed 6V6 2:20. The new amp expands on the record success of Mesa’s larger-sized and higher-powered California Tweed 6V6 4:40 model, which set a new standard of performance from a simple, vintage-inspired “single channel” design by providing five power-amp voicing and output levels from a simple “Multi-Watt” rotary switch.

The 2:20 offers vintage-voiced tube amp sound and feel in a choice of 20, 10 or 1 watt power configurations, and also boasts Duo-Class and Dyna-Watt technologies for two operating classes and three wiring options via a single 3-Way Rotary Switch.

Other features include two 6V6 power tubes and a preamp stocked with five 12AX7 and one 12AT7 preamp tubes, a single channel with Normal and Low Inputs, Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb, and Master Controls, and Vintage All-Tube Spring Reverb with an external reverb switching jack for remote activation.

Finally, Paul and Alan bring it all back to the legendary Gibson brand, wrapping things up with a look at the new Les Paul Tribute in Satin Honeyburst. The updated model captures the vibe, feel and tonality of a traditional Les Paul, but with a rounded maple neck profile and ultra-modern weight relief for super-easy playability. Features include a mahogany body, maple top and a pair of 490 R & T humbucking pickups with Alnico II magnets for classic tone, power and sustain.

You also get medium jumbo frets, an aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge and vintage deluxe tuning machines with keystone buttons, and in addition to Satin Honeyburst, the Les Paul Tribute is available in three additional classic finishes. As Gibson likes to say, it’s “all the guitar you need, and nothing less.”

For more information on all these great products from Gibson, Epiphone, Kramer, Maestro and Mesa Boogie, check out the video above.

MusicRadar Team

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