Top 10 for 2019
Throughout 2019 we saw some great products released from top brands including Fender, Roland, Blackstar, BOSS, and Gibson, to name but a few.
With so much exciting gear launched this year it was hard to pick a top 10, but we thought we'd give a special mention to some outstanding products/ranges. So in no particular order, here we go...
The BOSS RC-10R is a real next-gen loop pedal, and joins the best-seliing Loop Station series. Within its rugged, compact design BOSS have crammed a whole load of tools including song-based looping and high-quality rhythms making it a great product for live performances, practice, jamming and songwriting.
Late this year saw the launch of the lightweight Tone Master series which includes the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb and the Tone Master Twin Reverb. Utilizing advanced digital processing, Fender managed to emulate the tone, feel and dynamics of these classic amps but without the weight and fragility of the valve powered incarnations. Hearing (and lifting!) is believing...to say we were impressed is an understatement!
M-Audio interfaces have always been hugely popular at GigGear, delivering great reliability combined with great specs whilst maintaining an affordable price point. 2019 saw the new M-Audio Air range launched, featuring the new Crystal preamps in conjunction with a selection of other upgrades, and complete with a great software bundle, they are the perfect hub for the home or project studio.
Gibson well and truly returned for 2019! New CEO James "JC" Curleigh headed up the return to form, "revamping" the 2019 range to hit a true home-run. Classic spec guitars were back, with the iconic Les Paul and SG taking true inspiration from classic era models, complete with a welcome selection of other models in the mix too...welcome back Gibson!
Packed with 121 synth sounds, the BOSS SY-1 is able to transform your guitar or bass into an array of classic analogue synth tones...all without the need for any special pickups! Easy to use, compact and great-sounding, the SY-1 has been a huge hit, and rightly so, as it's so inspiring to play!
After the huge success of the flagship LX700 range, 2019 saw Roland follow that up with the HP700 range of digital pianos; HP702 and HP704. Packed with high-end features that have dripped down from previous flagship models, the HP700 pianos deliver a truly rewarding piano experience whilst maintaining an affordable price point.
With their boutique looks paired with ultra-powerful digital processing (courtesy of the SHARC processors), Blackstar really got it right with the Silverline range of amps. When you combine the 6 onboard preamp voices, TVP technology, and component-level analogue characteristics, you have amps that really deliver tonally, whilst also allowing for great amounts of versatility.
BOSS really hit it out of the park with the first BOSS Katana range, delivering typical BOSS reliability and build quality with a great selection of onboard amp voicings, effects, and features. The MkII models saw some great upgrades including 5 additional, newly voiced amp voicings, 5 simultaneous effects categories, a Power Amp in for your preamp or effects unit and more!
Early in the year, we saw Fender release the Vintera Series (superseding the Classic Series/Player) range, but that wasn't all in 2019 for Fender guitars and basses, as in the final quarter Fender launched the American Ultra Series, taking place of the American Elite range. Packed with careful selection of new appointments, the American Ultra range of guitars and basses are Fender's most advanced ever designed!
A very late entry into the top 10! The BOSS Waza-Air were only launched in December but are sure to be another massively popular product for BOSS. These next-gen headphones fuse premium amp tones (taken from the best-selling Katana range) and pairs them with BOSS' spatial technology to deliver a guitar amp headphone experience like never before!
Well, that wraps up our 2019 top 10 list. By no means definitive, but we think it's a selection of great products that have excited both us here at GigGear and you guys too!
Feel free to add your favourite products in the comments below.