New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)

8th Nov 2010 | 16:09

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
September-October 2010: Guitars, amps, FX and more

Every month MusicRadar's industry-leading sister magazines - Guitarist, Computer Music, Total Guitar, Rhythm and Future Music - publish the best independent and in-depth music-making gear reviews.

This is a collection of electric and acoustic guitars, amps and effects - all of which have been meticulously tested by either Guitarist or Total Guitar in recent issues and published on MusicRadar throughout September and October 2010.

Flick through this month's picks and follow the links to read each product's full review. Up first: Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-69US

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-69US (£2299)
It looks better than the first Variax, but what else is new?

MusicRadar's verdict:

"The 2010 Variax updates the previous version with better sounds, functionality and a much, much better chassis: a must-try for any player who requires lots of different sounds or tunings, fast."

FULL REVIEW:Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-69US

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Randall RT503 (£840)
All-valve tone on a budget

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Definitely worthy of consideration for valve virgins. Affordable and accessible if not aimed at heavier tones."

FULL REVIEW:Randall RT503

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 205)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Epiphone Inspired By 1964 Texan (£349)
Epiphone tips its hat to the guitar that wrote Yesterday

MusicRadar's verdict:

"An affordable and likeable version of what is a classic guitar with bags of history."

FULL REVIEW:Epiphone Inspired By 1964 Texan

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Epiphone Emperor Swingster (£499)
Meat and potatoes rockabilly machine with extra tonal gravy

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A great looking guitar with an amazing tonal range and fantastic playability - and all for a price you can't refuse!"

FULL REVIEW: Epiphone Emporer Swingster

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Orange TH30 combo (£749)
High-gain tone from this manageable gigging amp

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A portable beast with some fantastic clean, crunch and hard rock sounds."

FULL REVIEW:Orange TH30 combo

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Glenelg T6A10 (£260)
Experience large true valve tone from this tiny Scottish newcomer

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A decent first effort from these amp newcomers; far from perfect but cool for powerful valve sounds on the move."

FULL REVIEW:Glenelg T6A10

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 205)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Dean Ramsay Doomsday Machine (£150)
Create fuzz fuelled mayhem with this UK-made stompbox

MusicRadar's verdict:

"If you're bored with straight OD/distortion, the pedal's harsh clipping could be for you."

FULL REVIEW:Dean Ramsay Doomsday Machine

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 205)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Blade Dayton Standard (£629)
Mixing passive electronics and a new body shape for some real vintage flavours

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A serious minded mid-price electric that covers plenty of tonal ground and looks unique to boot. One for anyone looking to stand out!"

FULL REVIEW:Blade Dayton Standard

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Line 6 Spider Valve MkII (£549)
New hybrid amp from Line 6 and valve kings Bogner

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A whole host of a neat tools without compromising on the valve tone. The best of both worlds indeed."

FULL REVIEW:Line 6 Spider Valve MkII

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Music Man Albert Lee HH (£2025)
The Albert Lee gets the humbucker treatment

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A facelift for the Lee that edges into the 'other' camp. Just try one."

FULL REVIEW: Music Man Albert Lee HH

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
LTD ST203 FR (£469)
Versatile, pre-worn doublecut from Metallica's favourite metal mavericks

MusicRadar's verdict:

"The ST203 FR faces tough competition in a crowded market, but although the aged finish might be a little off, the playability makes this guitar stand out from the crowd."

FULL REVIEW:LTD ST203 FR

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Hayden Petite 2 (£399)
From Hayden's UK custom shop comes this blast from the past

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A very simple, plug-in-and-play hand-wired amp that boasts excellent UK build -quality and a blend of old-school clean and dirty blues tones."

FULL REVIEW: Hayden Petite 2

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Budda Budwah (£179)
Smooth wah sounds meet cool aesthetics

MusicRadar's verdict:

"One of the pricier wahs on the market, but you certainly get what you pay for with this quality pedal."

FULL REVIEW:Budda Budwah

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Schecter Damien Elite 8 (£599)
This guitar could transform your playing, but there are strings attached

MusicRadar's verdict:

"An eight-string like this is always going to be a divisive instrument, but give it a go and you may find that it opens up a world of playing possibilities you never imagined. Or not. Who knows?"

FULL REVIEW:Schecter Damien Elite 8

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Carr Amplifiers Artemus 30 1 x 12 combo (£1979)
Carr's new amp promises to nail that elusive EL84 British Invasion tone

Musicradar's verdict:

"Like many boutique amps, the Artemus is zeroed-in on a particular vibe. If you get it, you'll be blown away by this amp."

FULL REVIEW:Carr Amplifiers Artemus 30 1 x 12 combo

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Rocktron Third Angel Distortion (£135)
Hellish amounts of gain from this holy distortion pedal

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A decent, well-made distortion pedal, but it just doesn't blow us away like we'd like it to."

FULL REVIEW:Rocktron Third Angel Distortion

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 206)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Zoom G2Nu/G2.1Nu (£119)
A pair of low-cost multi-FX processors from Zoom

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Practical and affordable processors for practice, gigging and computer recording."

FULL REVIEW:Zoom G2Nu/G2.1Nu

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield (£2795)
PRS looks and a Fender/Gibson hybrid sound

MusicRadar's verdict:

"PRS looks, Fender-style materials and the excellent 'hybrid' pickups combine to create a unique and highly musical-sounding guitar."

FULL REVIEW:PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III combo (£844.83)
The world's most popular do-it-all amp gets updated

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A market-leading amp, updated. Simple, loud and portable, it rewards players with a good sense of touch."

FULL REVIEW:Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III combo

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
PRS 25th Anniversary 305 (£2795)
Has PRS gone all Fender?

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A union of PRS's renowned build quality and Stratocaster-inspired tones, the 305 is a superlative take on Fender's #2 son."

FULL REVIEW:PRS 25th Anniversary 305

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Fender Super-Sonic 22 combo (£1126)
Fender classic cleans plus all new tonehound focused, thick distortion

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A small gig revelation - fat gain with classic fifties and sixties cleans. In one amp? Yep."

FULL REVIEW:Fender Super-Sonic 22 combo

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
PRS Angelus Custom (£6393)
PRS enters the acoustic world with a suitably spec'd and priced flat top

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Undoubtedly one of the world's finest genuine all-rounder acoustic guitars… with a price to match!"

FULL REVIEW:PRS Angelus Custom

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Fret-King Super-Matic (£1299)
With its onboard ATD bridge, this is the latest self-tuning guitar. But is it the best?

MusicRadar's verdict:

"The most efficient and affordable self-tuning guitar to date. The Super-Matic not only self-tunes, but opens up the world of altered and open tunings to any player."

FULL REVIEW: Fret-King Super-Matic

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Epiphone DR-500MCE VS Masterbilt (£449)
Epiphone tips its hat to Yesterday while looking to the future

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Epiphone has managed to produce a modern electro that still captures the essence of a vintage instrument."

FULL REVIEW:Epiphone DR-500MCE VS Masterbilt

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Randall NBKing 112 (£1233)
A combo version of Nuno Bettencourt's signature amp

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Balancing the channels is the key here, get that right and you'll have a wealth of great rock and metal tones ready to go."

FULL REVIEW:Randall NBKing 112

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 333)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster (£915)
With magnetic and piezo pickups, this is a long way from Leo's original Tele concept

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A beautiful, unpretentious acoustic/electric hybrid, which offers excellent value and playability and a mix of classic electric and highly convincing acoustic tones. A must-try guitar."

FULL REVIEW:Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
DRL Thinline CT09 (£899)
An unusual thinline designed in the UK and made in Vietnam

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Simple, effective and uncomplicated - the DRL Thinline makes a very good stage companion."

FULL REVIEW:DRL Thinline CT09

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Parker Dragonfly DF524 (£1299)
The Fly was one of the most futuristic guitar designs ever. The Dragonfly redraws that vision...

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Regular Flys polarise, but the DragonFly does away with most perceived negatives to leave a truly great electric guitar."

FULL REVIEW:Parker Dragonfly DF524

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap Signature Model (£479)
An affordable signature model in honour of an acoustic troubadour

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A visually-unique electro suitable for collectors and acoustic enthusiasts alike."

FULL REVIEW:Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap Signature

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Vanquish Mystique Studio Plus (£2500)
A well-made, good sounding Brit singlecut

MusicRadar's verdict:

"This is the best Vanquish electric yet: a thoughtful, considered guitar with impeccable build, versatile sounds and a more-than-fair asking price."

FULL REVIEW:Vanquish Mystique Studio Plus

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
DigiTech JamMan Delay (£387)
Is it a delay pedal? Is it a looper? It's both...

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Fully-featured looping and delay nicely integrated together in a single large stompbox."

FULL REVIEW: DigiTech JamMan Delay

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Vox Ice 9 Overdrive (£117)
Joe Satriani's new signature stompbox has plenty of classic flavour

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Far from just Satch-in-a-box, this is a versatile overdrive for any rock player not solely obsessed with gain."

FULL REVIEW:Vox Ice 9 Overdrive

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Budda Superdrive Series II V-40 (£1749)
The first new guitar amp from boutique makers Budda since hooking up with Peavey

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Budda amps have their own sound going on, the V-40 delivers a huge sonic punch and blends boutique cleans with classic rock distortions. If that's your bag, try it!"

FULL REVIEW:Budda Superdrive Series II V-40

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Egnater Tweaker Head (£369)
A compact, all-valve amp head that's already won a lot of fans in the US

MusicRadar's verdict:

"A truly great little amp from Egnater that's destined for future classic status."

FULL REVIEW:Egnater Tweaker Head

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi (£74)
Side-by-side overdrive and distortion and plenty of control options from the latest Big Muff

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Separate overdrive and distortion for the price of a single stompbox, and with enough control to create a wide-ranging dirty tone."

FULL REVIEW:Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Ovation DJA34 Bone Yard (£350)
A visually unique signature electro-acoustic from Guns N' Roses' DJ Ashba

MusicRadar's verdict:

"By no means a done deal, but with a price tag of £350, it's certainly worthy of investigation - and given the limited run, you'll need to move fast."

FULL REVIEW: Ovation DJA34 Bone Yard

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 207)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
BC Rich Zoltan Bathory Signature ASM (£899)
Five Finger Death Punch guitarist's new model gets a thumbs up

MusicRadar's verdict:

"For fans of modern, brutal metal riffs this guitar is a really great guitar."

FULL REVIEW:BC Rich Zoltan Bathory Signature ASM

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 207)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (October 2010)
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer (£89)
A unique new pedal to the E-HX range that's part sustain and part looper

MusicRadar verdict:

"A creative idea that can add a really interesting new dimension to your playing."

FULL REVIEW:Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 334)


Liked this? Now read August's new guitar gear round-up

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