Guitar gear of the year 2017
As another year slowly draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on what's dominated the headlines over the previous 12 months. While there’s been more than enough bad news to make you want to move underground, in the guitar world things have looked far brighter.
This year, we’ve been treated to pioneering guitar gear in all sectors, and much of it more affordable than ever before.
We asked you to vote on the crème de la crème of gear this year, and ahead you'll find the results in categories spanning best electric, acoustic and signature guitars; amps; effects pedals; and innovations.
We think you'll agree 2017 has been a vintage year for guitar - here's to 2018 and all the joys that NAMM can bring…
Best new electric guitar of 2017: Chapman ML2 Modern Standard
We said: “The mid-price market is a real street fight but the ML2 Modern more than punches above its weight.”
Full review: Chapman ML2 Modern Standard review
Best new signature guitar of 2017: Epiphone Lee Malia Explorer Custom Artisan
We said: “If the look appeals, you may well be surprised at where this guitar takes you - so much so we’d really like to see this pickup configuration on even more guitars."
Full review: Epiphone Lee Malia Explorer Custom Artisan review
Best guitar amp of 2017: Blackstar HT Club 40 MkII
We said: “In use, the HT Club 40 MkII is jaw-droppingly good – while the MkI version was effectively efficient if a little bland sometimes, the MkII is full of character and attitude, with astonishing tonal depth and response that will have many top-dollar boutique amps struggling to keep up.”
Best new guitar effects pedal of 2017: Electro-Harmonix Canyon
We said: “The audio quality and diversity should make this a no-brainer for experimental players whose compact needs aren’t met by the DD-7 or Flashback and don’t need stereo outs.“
Full review: Electro-Harmonix Canyon review
Best new acoustic guitar of 2017: Martin 00LX1AE
We say: “This guitar is a reminder not to come to hasty conclusions based on spec alone; you really need to play a guitar to know if it’s going to light your wick - and here’s a little chap we suggest you add to your ‘must-try’ shortlist.”
Full review: Martin 00LX1AE review
Best new guitar innovation of 2017: TC Electronic MASH footswitch
We say: “First utilised on the Hall Of Fame 2 Reverb, MASH is a kind of pressure-sensitive footswitch, which allows players to adjust the intensity of the effect by how hard they push - it controls different parameters dependent on the reverb type, and is a little like having an expression pedal built in. Impressive stuff."
More info: TC Electronic MASH footswitch