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Music

  • The varitone introduces a useful way to manipulate the frequencies of a guitar signal. Introduced into the market in 1959 by Gibson, the varitone switch acts as a notch filter that passes the signal through capacitors that remove or reduce the specified frequency. Though they were first prominent in electric guitars (B.B. King’s classic Lucille guitar is one of the more prominent axes to feature one), it wasn’t long before bassists joined the party, with the first bass varitone switch being put into the Les Paul Signature bass in the early 1970's. Today, the bass varitone switch is still something of a rare find, but we’ve complied a list of the best ones available today, with each one listed here offering at least three different tonal settings to switch between, they can be installed at home without having to take into a shop for professional attention, and they also work with a multitude of separate capacitors to provide the wide tonal range that they provide.
    November 09, 2015
  • A good bassist knows that your tone is definitely something worth being meticulous about, and there’s no better way to get a really great-sounding signal out of your instrument than by running it through a bass guitar preamp. This unit can be used to simply boost the signal, or shape the tone further via EQ, compression, and effects. Bass preamps come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and types, from units that integrate into amplifier heads to rack systems. We've chosen the best bass guitar preamps, each one listed here featuring a drive control that allows you to add some grit to your signal, EQ settings that give you the ability to shape the frequency of your bass signal, and they all offer footswitch options to give you hands-free control over your sound while playing, whether it’s through the product’s pedal status or additional footswitch for the rackmount devices.
    November 06, 2015
  • So you want to equip your bass guitar with active electronics? At one point in time, this was quite an ordeal to pull off, requiring an installation of a completely new system, something that costs money and takes a significant amount of time to do. With onboard preamps, you can now introduce an entirely new level of control and flexibility to any kind of bass guitar. These are the best bass onboard preamps, with each one we've chosen providing multiple bands of EQ to manipulate your bass tone, can be installed without having to gut your instrument, and they also control the volume of your bass guitar.
    October 28, 2015
  • The guitar compressor pedal is an underrated tool in your average guitarist’s effects rig, but nonetheless a piece of gear that can subtly take the sound coming from the amplifier to the next level. The compressor pedal not only thickens and tightens a guitar tone by evening out the volume differences between separate notes, but can also increase the sustain of the signal which is a result that most guitarists normally lean on distortion for. In this case, distortion isn’t necessary, but a compressor can also be used in conjunction with distortion or overdriven signal to boost it further. Here are the best guitar compressor pedals, with each one we've chosen featuring knobs to control the amount of compression that is used so players can decide how extreme they want the effect to be, each pedal can be powered by a 9V battery, and they also provide little to absolutely no effect on your guitar rig’s signal when the effect is not activated.
    October 14, 2015
  • Guitarists can be pretty picky about the EQ of their tone. And while one can definitely adjust the frequencies of their instrument using the control settings on their amplifier and even on the instrument itself via the tone knobs, a tool like an EQ pedal offers an unparalleled degree of control and precision. Having your EQ control set inside a pedal gives you the ability to make changes quickly and easily, as the control is right at your feet, and can also be triggered on and off at will to drastically alter your sound in the middle of a performance. Here are the best guitar EQ pedals, with each one we've chosen offering multiple knobs and controls to shape individual bands/frequencies of your signal, they provide a small footprint so as not to take up critical space in your pedalboard or rig, and offer features to prevent feedback from creeping into the mix.
    October 09, 2015
  • If guitarists are super heroes (and let’s be honest, they all are, to some varying degree), then the capo most definitely belongs in the utility belt that carries the tools and tricks they need to get the job done. A capo essentially changes the key of a guitar, allowing players to voice more intricate barre chords using open chord finger positions. But beyond that, the capo is also a great songwriting accessory, giving players a new perspective on how they write and what chords they play, as well as quickly transposing the instrument to fit the key of a song. Here are the best guitar capos we've chosen, with each one listed here designed to easily attach and detach from your guitar using just one hand, provides a low amount of tension so as not to create any damage or buzzing to your strings when applied, and can easily be stored on the headstock of the guitar when not in use.
    October 08, 2015
  • When you’re first starting out in the world of electric guitars, you may be satisfied with simply plugging your axe directly into an amp (or when recording, directly into a recording interface), but time and experience typically will lead you to a better path. Guitar preamps are ideal for players who want to improve their tone from the jump; they can be used to simply boost volume, or to bring out frequencies and EQ in a way that is unparalleled once you’ve dipped your toe into that particular pool. Simply put, once you’ve experienced how great your guitar sounds with a good preamp, it’s difficult to go back to any other way. Here are the best guitar preamps we chosen, with each one manufactured in a pedal format so it can be easily integrated into your effects rig, they feature EQ settings that allow you to intricately sculpt the tone that the preamp provides, and they also offer different levels of gain boosting to crank up your signal as needed.
    October 08, 2015
  • There’s a good chance that you could poll a random selection of guitarists, and half of them are probably not entirely familiar with what a guitar power attenuator is and what it does. Yet the attenuator plays a very important role in any guitarist’s rig. The guitar power attenuator essentially plays the middleman between the amp and the speaker; this device diverts excess power that comes from the amplifier to control the volume of the speaker. It essentially allows your tone to remain intact, even when you lower the volume on your speaker. Here are the best guitar power attenuators, with each one we've chosen featuring a rugged, durable build that will allow you to take it on the road without worrying about causing any damage, they each provide a transparent effect on your signal in that it won’t alter or color your tone unfavorably, and they also feature additional controls to shape the frequency range and output of the guitar signal.
    October 07, 2015
  • Keeping your guitar in tune is obviously essential to a great performance, but there’s nothing that can suck the life out of the pace of a show than when you have to stop and disconnect your guitar from your rig and then plug it into your tuner, and then have to undo that process to reconnect back into your effects rig. Look, even reading that description was cumbersome. Enter the guitar stomp box guitar tuner, a pedal that puts your tuner right at your feet. No disconnecting and reconnecting necessary, allowing you to quickly, easily, and discretely keep your axe sounding good in a way that’s seamless to an audience’s perspective. We've chosen the best guitar stomp box guitar tuners, with each one here capable of accommodate standard tuning as well as some alternate tunings, they give you the ability to mute the signal so that no one will hear you tune, and all of them can be powered by either an adapter or batteries that can be easily found at any convenience store.
    October 07, 2015
  • Any guitarist will tell you that having a quality guitar strap is crucial to performance, whether it’s in the studio or onstage. We all like to treat our guitars like they are our babies, so having a strap that is sturdy and stable is essential because there’s nothing worse than watching your guitar fall to the floor. At the same time, a great strap can also offer something on an aesthetic level because while looks aren’t everything, but there’s nothing wrong with looking cool with your axe, either. After all, if you didn’t want to look cool, you’d have taken up the clarinet instead. Here are the best guitar straps, with each one we've chosen being adjustable to fit your body and guitar type, they're manufactured with materials designed to provide extra comfort when worn across your body, and they're also available in a range of flattering colors so that you can coordinate a strap to match your axe and/or outfit.
    October 07, 2015
  • While the guitar volume pedal may not necessarily be as flashy as some of the other effects pedals the average guitarist might find at his or her feet, it certainly plays a useful (and often integral) role. This pedal offers players a way to easily adjust the output of their instrument without having to adjust the master volume knob on the guitar itself. But beyond that utility-like function, the guitar volume pedal can also be used in more creative ways, providing swelling sound effects. When combined with other effect pedals in the rig, some truly interesting and captivating sounds can be produced. These are the best guitar volume pedals, with each item here designed to be particularly rugged to prevent from breaking during heavy use, can be used to reduce overall volume to 0dB or a higher volume rate as its base minimum, and they're all built to leave your tone unaffected wherever you place it in your effects rig.
    August 31, 2015
  • Why be tied down? Guitar wireless systems provide guitarists with the ability to roam around on stage without being tethered to a cable, allowing maximum performance ability and relief from the burden of worrying about just how much slack is left on the cable connecting the axe to the amplifier and pedalboard. In addition to providing that type of freedom, these systems also are designed to ensure that the audio fidelity remains clear and intact. Here are the best guitar wireless systems, each comprised by both a transmitter and receive, they all give players the ability to select a wide range of frequencies in order to find the best-sounding signal, and offer EQ/gain controls to further tweak the signal running through the system.
    August 24, 2015
  • Rocking out in the moment on stage with your guitar leaves very little room for caution or consideration. You can’t be worried about potentially dropping your guitar or having it fly into the audience. Having a solid set of guitar strap locks allows you to play with full aplomb, with the security of knowing that your axe will be held in place and kept safe. Here are the best guitar strap locks, with each item here available in a variety of finishes to match the appearance of your guitar, have been engineered to make it easy for you attach (or detach) your strap from the instrument, and can safely sustain more than 200 lbs of pressure/tension.
    August 24, 2015
  • Guitarists constantly carry them around, are quite particular about which ones they prefer to use, and they’re so important that nationally touring musicians typically have a row of them lined up and ready to go just a few inches away from their faces; we’re talking, of course, about the guitar pick. An essential accessory in the performance of many different styles of music, the pick is used by players to coax sound out of their strings and because there are many different types of guitarists and several different kinds of sounds/styles, there are a number of guitar picks to choose from. We've selected some the best guitar picks, with each one designed to be durable for hard and consistent playing, they bring out a brighter tone from your guitar strings, and they're all available in multi-packs for a great deal and easy replacement.
    August 24, 2015
  • Having a collection of guitar effects pedals is cool; having to transport and power them all individually, not so much. Enter the guitar pedal board, a piece of gear that not only houses the array of pedals that the average gigging/recording guitarist may use, but will also often supply power for them without having to worry about individual battery lives or connecting each pedal to a wall outlet. These are the best guitar pedal boards, with each product here featuring a protective exterior to keep your pedals safe from impact, each can fit at least five effects pedals, and they're all built to allow guitarists to customize their chain and configuration to fit their playing needs.
    August 20, 2015
  • There’s no way around it, you’ve got to keep your guitar in tune if you want to play it. The locking tuner presents an ideal way to achieve this task, as the tuning pegs use a screw/retaining configuration so that there is minimal movement of the strings on your axe. In turn, they are less likely to go out of tune. Here are the best guitar locking tuners, with each of our selections available in different finishes/colors to match your axe, are designed to offer firm stability to prevent the guitar from going out of tune, and can be used with very little preparation or experience.
    August 12, 2015
  • Many people regard instrument cables as an afterthought, a mere accessory that has no real impact on the sound or performance of an instrument like the guitar. These people would do well to do their research since guitar cables are absolutely crucial in the realm of signal flow. They can deliver high quality audio or be the factor responsible for the deterioration of said signal. Here are the best guitar cables, with each selection available in multiple lengths to fit your configuration, offered in straight to straight setups that are ideal for quickly and smoothly plugging a guitar into an amp or pedal, and are equipped with multiple layers of noise-handling protection to ensure your signal is clear and not diluted by excess audio artifacts.
    August 07, 2015
  • Asking a guitarist to pick the best effect pedal is going to result in a wide variety of answers, but there’s one thing that is for certain, there are few effects pedals as fun (and as involving) to play than a wah pedal. By moving the pedal up and down with one’s foot, the unit sweeps the peak response of a filter up and down in frequency, creating a “wah” like sound that is similar to that of the human voice. There are multiple ways that this pedal can be used for expression, whether it’s applied to scorching guitar solos, funky rhythms, or anywhere in between. Here are the best wah pedals. with each selection giving players the flexibility of choosing between a battery or AC adapter power source, durable case builds to ensure that these devices won’t break under the type of heavy use that wah pedals typically receive, and specific tonal settings entirely unique to that pedal and not found anywhere else.
    August 07, 2015
  • When it’s time to crank up the volume, guitarists need to look no further than guitar amps. Since the invention of rock and roll, the amplifier has played a major role in not just projecting the sound of the electric guitar, but also in shaping the tone, style, and attitude that has allowed players to carve out their own voice in the world of guitar playing. Although the amplifier may be most commonly associated with the Spinal Tap-esque imagery of loud, deafening metal bands, nearly every style of music that utilizes electric guitar (or any electric instruments, for that matter) counts the amplifier as an important part of the sound chain. And as technology continues to advance, there are more options than ever for guitarists looking to buy their own amp. It’s a lot of to consider, but luckily we’ve compiled some important things to keep in mind in our guitar amp buyer’s guide b elow.
    June 16, 2015
  • Incessant pop singles may have reaffirmed it in recent years, but musicians throughout history can confirm that it has, in fact, always been all about that bass. The bass guitar is a staple of popular music, playing a significant role in genres such as rock, jazz, soul, funk, R&B, hip hop, and more. And while its cousin the electric guitar may have a slight advantage in the popularity category, the bass guitar plays an integral role in both holding down the bottom end of the mix as well as enhancing the groove and rhythm of a song. If you’re looking to buy a bass guitar, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. We’ve highlighted some important things to keep in mind in our bass guitar buyer’s guide below.
    June 16, 2015
  • The acoustic guitar provides the most no-frills experience for guitarists. Forget having to pick up cables, amplifiers, pedals, pre-amps, and other accessories, and devices, an acoustic guitar is your one-stop shop for just picking up an instrument and playing music. These guitars can be used as a writing tool at home, a piece of a composition in the recording studio, or as a means to play music onstage, at the beach, in the park, or on a rooftop. There are a ridiculous amount of acoustic guitars available on the market for guitarists of all sorts of styles and skill levels, and it can get a little overwhelming when trying to find the right one. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some things to keep in mind in our acoustic guitar buyer’s guide below.
    June 16, 2015
  • It’s ironic that as we move further into the future, even the most incredible breakthroughs in technology have us yearning for the sounds of the past. In fact, most digital effects and processors are still essentially emulating their analog predecessors. To that end, the vintage guitar pedal is one which holds a special place in the hearts of guitarists around the world.It’s not hard to understand why, as the music created in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s shaped pop culture forever; in fact, the sounds from those bygone era are still coveted and emulated today. Fortunately, there are many vintage guitar pedals available to guitarists looking to capture those iconic sounds. All the information you need to make an informed purchase is provided below in our vintage guitar pedal buyer’s guide listed below.
    June 16, 2015
  • Many guitarists enjoy collecting multiple effects pedals for all of their recording and live performance needs, but there’s something to be said about a tool offering multiple effects in one unit. The multi-effects processor is a device which saves guitarists the time and finances necessary for tracking down and purchasing multiple pedals to add to their rig; it also takes up less space on what can often become a crowded pedal board. Logistics aside, they just sound amazing. With so many multi-effects processors available for you to choose from, we’ve outlined some important considerations to keep in mind in our buyer’s guide below.
    June 16, 2015
  • A bass guitar amp is a crucial part of any bassist’s rig. While a quick glance might mislead newbies into thinking this critical piece of gear is similar to models used by electric guitarists, bass amp rigs are an entirely different animal. Because the frequencies that a bass guitar provides are much heavier on the low-end of the sound spectrum, bass amplifiers are properly configured to process those sounds and give a final result that can shake the room but also provides clarity and distinction when playing – and adjusting the EQ – of the instrument. There are many things to consider before purchasing a bass guitar amp, and we’ve outlined them for you in our buyer’s guide below.
    June 16, 2015
  • The acoustic electric guitar combines the best of both worlds for guitar players. On their own, they provide guitarists with a full-on acoustic experience just like any other acoustic guitar does. They can also can be plugged in to an amplifier/speaker during performances or into an audio interface when you’re ready to record. Like any instrument purchase, picking out an acoustic electric guitar is more than just a matter of finding what looks good. We’ve outlined some essentials to consider in our buyer’s guide which you can find below.
    June 16, 2015
  • Well into the 20th century, the electric guitar has been a symbol of all that is cool, rebellious, innovative, and creative. Nearly every genre of popular Western music employs the electric guitar while utilized by some of the most popular and significant musical icons in existence. While many musical greats have used it to carve out their legacy and shape the evolution of music, it’s still an instrument used in garage rehearsals by countless artists who may change music in the years which lie ahead. If you’re looking to buy an electric guitar, you have a wide range of options to choose from. We’ve outlined some important things to keep in mind in our electric guitar buyer’s guide below.
    June 15, 2015
  • While effects pedals may be more commonly associated with guitars, there are also numerous effects specifically designed to enhance and transform the sound of the bass guitar. These effects pedals can play a big part in the tone and style of bassists in a variety of musical genres; truth be told, most of popular music’s most prominent bass players owe part of their signature sounds to their effects. Navigating the sheer amount of bass pedals on the market can be a daunting task, but fear not, we’ve laid out some important guidelines for you to follow in our buyer’s guide provided below. 
    May 29, 2015
  • Most bassists find themselves taking part in an on-going quest to find the best tone they can get out of their instrument. And while there’s a variety of factors playing a part in shaping the sound of a bass guitar, there’s nothing more crucial than choosing the right bass strings. Because certain players and styles of music call for different attributes, there are many options to choose from when shopping for bass strings, and sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming. We’ve outlined considerations you should take into account when purchasing new bass strings in our buyer’s guide listed below.
    May 29, 2015
  • Bass pickups may be the unsung heroes in the world of bassists. While other factors such as the type of bass guitar, strings, and amplifiers obviously all make a significant impact on the sound and tone of the instrument, the type of pickups used play a much more subtle yet no less important role in the end result. By capturing and processing the vibration of the bass guitar strings and routing that signal so it can be processed, amplified, and heard by the human ear, these small devices are an undeniably crucial component of the signal flow. There are quite a few options available on the market for bassists looking to purchase bass pickups, so we’ve outlined some important factors to keep in mind in our buyer’s guide below.
    May 29, 2015
  • The ringing sound of a guitar chord channeled through a guitar drive pedal doesn’t just sound cool, it’s also the foundation for dozens of genres and styles of music. The implementation of drive pedals ultimately changed the sound of music forever. While the origin of the over-driven guitar tone first occurred accidentally when amplifier tubes were turned up too loud, the effect has since been implemented into the rigs of guitarists worldwide seeking to have notes sustain longer, showcase more character, and sometimes take on an effect that’s unable to be contained. If you’re a guitarist, you simply need a drive pedal and we’ve outlined what you need to look for in our buyer’s guide below.
    May 19, 2015