While I didn’t get to be there this year, I kept my out on every last piece of gear announced and marketed and collected a few of my favorites below. These are products I desperately want to get my hands on for reviews and personal use!
Fender Announces Squier Starcaster
A cult classic, the Fender Starcaster has slowly grown in popularity in the past decade thanks to affordable re-issues from Fender’s Modern Player line and usage by modern day guitar giants such as Dave Keuning from The Killers. To budget minded guitarist’s delight, Fender surprisingly announced a new Squier series of these wonderfully weird instruments. The f-hole free but chambered Contemporary Active model features two of Squier’s active humbuckers and a sealed semi-hollow body. The Classic Series represents the nicest of the bunch with Fender designed wide-range humbuckers, tone and volume controls for each, and a vintage-style gloss neck. Lastly, the affordable Affinity Series also gets a look with Squier humbuckers, one tone and volume control, and a variety of great colors.
Ciari Guitars Ascender: A Gig-able Travel Guitar
Marketed as the first premium, stage worth travel guitar, the Ciari Guitars Ascender features Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers, coil taps for each pickup, and locking tones. That’s a ton of great features you wouldn’t imagine finding on a travel guitar, but the real impressive thing about this guitar is how quickly it folds up. Check out the demo above to see how easily you can remove tension from the string thanks to a locking hinge and spring loaded bridge!
Pedal Legends Electro Harmonix Debut New Amp “Dirt Road Special”
Electric Harmonix may be best known for their pedals but they’ve crossed over into solid state amp territory with a great combo amp called the Dirt Road Special. Loosely based off the Mike Matthews Dirt Road Special from the ’70s, this amp features a streamlined control panel that even has their famous Holy Grail reverb built into it. Tone is a treble to bass booster while bite covers the upper harmonics, and obviously the volume controls output. The reverb knob has further controls such as time and swell allowing you to really dig in and create lush, room filling tones.