New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)

4th May 2012 | 11:46

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
DigiTech iStomp
A future-proof stompbox that can deliver any effect you like… could it be your ace in the hole?

Every month MusicRadar's industry-leading sister magazines - Guitarist, Computer Music, Total Guitar, Rhythm and Future Music - publish the world's 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 tested meticulously by either Guitarist or Total Guitar in recent months and published on MusicRadar throughout April 2012.

Flick through this month's picks and follow the links to read each product's full review. First up, a new concept in stompboxes...

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A pedal for all seasons. Add one of these to your rig and you'll always have a use for it.

FULL REVIEW: DigiTech iStomp

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: DigiTech iStomp currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Washburn Idol WINPRO
A cornerstone of the Washburn catalogue enjoys a makeover, complete with brand new pickups. Let's take a look at the results

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Affordable, good-looking and a great player - an impressive guitar.

FULL REVIEW: Washburn Idol WINPRO

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Reverb
TC Electronic's TonePrint series can now get new sounds straight from a smart phone. We check that out with the new Hall Of Fame reverb

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A pedalboard-friendly reverb pedal that can be constantly refreshed with different versions of the effect.

FULL REVIEW: TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Reverb

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Reverb currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Taylor SolidBody Classic SB1-X
Taylor's SolidBody electrics can now be kitted out as you like. We give the Configurator system a try…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A modern solidbody design with numerous custom options and a welcome old-school tonality. It's time to take Taylor seriously as an electric guitar maker.

FULL REVIEW: Taylor SolidBody Classic SB1-X

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: Taylor SolidBody Classic SB1-X currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Taylor SolidBody Classic SB2-X
Taylor updates its SolidBody electric programme with a fresh double-cut design

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A modern take on the Stratocaster? Well, that's one way to look at this double-cut…

FULL REVIEW: Taylor SolidBody Classic SB2-X

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: Taylor SolidBody Classic SB2-X currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-59
What's this Korean-made, Les Paul-shaped Variax got to say for itself?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

This is a huge palette of sounds on a classic canvas. The JTV59 is a brilliantly versatile instrument. Just make sure you get one that's light enough for you…

FULL REVIEW: Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-59

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-59 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Kemper Profiling Amp
It's new and groundbreaking, but don't run for cover. Does Kemper's much-hyped Profiling Amp really take digital modelling to the next level?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A product that finally delivers on the promise of digital modelling. A truly revolutionary piece of kit for serious recording guitarists and producers.

FULL REVIEW: Kemper Profiling Amp

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY Kemper Profiling Amp currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music | Thomann
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-69
Was this Korean-made Variax worth the wait?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

The 69's vibrato just adds to the accuracy of some of the modelling sounds; the Fender Stratocaster and Gretsch G6120 settings being a prime example.

FULL REVIEW: Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-69

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-69 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Takamine EG630S-VV
Not primarily associated with compact designs, Takamine has added this rather smart-looking parlour-style electro to its roster

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Attractive parlour style offers plenty of personality as an electro.

FULL REVIEW: Takamine EG630S-VV

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY Takamine EG630S-VV currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann
USA: Sweetwater
FR:Thomann | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-89
The Korean versions of James Tyler's brilliant USA Variax guitars have landed - and this one's keeping it metal…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

The JTV89's racy looks, slim neck profile and full two-octave fingerboard mean there really is a Variax to suit every player now.

FULL REVIEW: Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-89

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-89 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Rotosound String Cleaner
Dirty strings? Here's another potential solution

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A neat little addition to your case or gigbag that, if used directly after playing, will certainly clean and prolong the life of your strings.

FULL REVIEW: Rotosound String Cleaner

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Hardwire HT6 FastTune Tuner app
A polyphonic tuner for iPhone or iPad

MusicRadar’s verdict:

If you're an iPhone user, now you'll never be without a polyphonic tuner.

FULL REVIEW: Hardwire HT6 FastTune Tuner app

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Ahead Custom Molded Earplugs
DIY protection for your hearing

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Loss of hearing is no laughing matter, and if you have concerns this system is worth a try, not least because it will provide a pair of efficient and custom-fitted earplugs.

FULL REVIEW: Ahead Custom Molded Earplugs

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

BUY: Ahead Custom Molded Earplugs currently available from:
UK:Absolute Music

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Bizzy Bee Contact Mic
UK-made contact pickup for your acoustic instrument

MusicRadar’s verdict:

For home, or indeed studio, recording, it's ideal for someone wanting more interesting acoustic sounds.

FULL REVIEW: Bizzy Bee Contact Mic

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 354)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Vox Amplug Night Train
Vox Populi

MusicRadar’s verdict:

HIghly recommended headphone amp.

FULL REVIEW: Vox Amplug Night Train

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Vox Amplug Night Train currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann | Michenaud

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
RockSlide Swamp Slides
Born on the Bayou

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Quite honestly, what's not to like?

FULL REVIEW: RockSlide Swamp Slides

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang
Don't like Nirvana? Never mind, you can still enjoy this pimped classic

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Fan or not, you'll find his new Mustang is pretty close to tonal Nirvana.

FULL REVIEW: Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Cry Baby
Express yourself, JoeBo style

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A superb blues and rock‑oriented wah.

FULL REVIEW: Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Cry Baby

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Cry Baby currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
EC Custom Shop The Mystical Sustainer
Distortion with a little voodoo magic

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A fantastically clever little pedal that covers a lot of ground.

FULL REVIEW: EC Custom Shop The Mystical Sustainer

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Vox Amplug Twin
More pocket power from Vox

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Another great little unit from Vox.

FULL REVIEW: Vox Amplug Twin

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Vox Amplug Twin currently available from:
UK: Thomann
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Jaden Rose Tachyon 6
A pro-quality shred guitar from British luthier Jaden Rose

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Jayden Rose's core demographic might be seven and eight-string players, but in the crowded shred-machine market the Tachyon is a genuine contender.

FULL REVIEW: Jaden Rose Tachyon 6

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
ESP Horizon NT-II
Just back from finishing school, this modern ESP classic has never looked so suave

MusicRadar’s verdict:

The NT-II has got to be the closest the Superstrat has got to evolutionary perfection.

FULL REVIEW: ESP Horizon NT-II

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: ESP Horizon NT-II currently available from:
UK: Thomann| Gear4Music
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Ibanez AW3010CE-LG
What do you get when you mix an Aran jumper with day-glo spandex? Something a little like this...

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Sounds fantastic, looks far better than photos can show and feels utterly inspiring to play.

FULL REVIEW: Ibanez AW3010CE-LG

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Ibanez AW3010CE-LG currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Gear4Music
FR: Michenaud | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Special
This Tele with a twist has bags of retro style plus a little bit of 'kook' to spare

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Squier's Vintage Modified Telecaster Special carries on the Tele tradition, and at a price that will leave you feeling like you've robbed someone.

FULL REVIEW: Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Special

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Special currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Blackstar HT-5R
How brightly does this five-watter's 'Star shine?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

It looks cool, costs relatively little, offers an MP3 socket and roars like a bear being poked by a stick - it's a true 'Star.

FULL REVIEW: Blackstar HT-5R

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY: Blackstar HT-5R currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Woodbrass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Washburn XM-DLX2
A generously spec'd shred axe at mate's rates prices? Come live the blue collar shredder's dream

MusicRadar’s verdict:

For a guitar whose playability is matched by its practicality, price and very nearly by its voice, this is a real peach.

FULL REVIEW: Washburn XM-DLX2

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Ampeg GVT5-110
Can the king of bass amps deliver a great five-watt guitar combo?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Ampeg remains the ace of bass, but the GVT5-110 doesn't do quite enough to lead the five-watt field.

FULL REVIEW: Ampeg GVT5-110

(Reviewed in Total Guitar issue 227)

BUY Ampeg GVT5-110 currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

New guitar gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Guitar gear of the month: April 2012

Now read: Guitar gear of the month: April 2012

New guitars, amps and FX from Gibson, PRS, Vox and many more!

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