WINNER: Blackstar amPlug 2 Fly
Adding Blackstar’s small-amp wizardry to what was already a fun product has created the best-sounding amPlugs yet. Particularly with clean sounds, there’s a warmth and depth to the amPlug’s tones that even the regular Fly can’t match through headphones. When adding a bit of spacey delay or reverb into the mix, it really does offer an engaging, three-dimensional feel.
WE SAID Adding Blackstar’s small-amp wizardry to what was already a fun product has created the best-sounding amPlugs yet.
EarthQuaker Devices Swiss Things Pedalboard Reconciler
The Swiss Things is based around the twin concepts of an A/B box and a dual loop switcher, with 20dB boost, a tuner out and expression-pedal volume-control functionality (which, when used like this, won’t affect your gain). The pedal also features ‘Flexi-Switching’, allowing each loop to be engaged by either a momentary or latching action on the footswitch.
WE SAID A great switcher that could transform how you approach your board and amps.
IK Multimedia AXE I/O
The AXE I/O is a one-stop shop for anyone starting to record in their bedroom or for the professional guitarist on the road looking to take a studio with them. With two quarter-inch inputs on the front and two phantom-powered XLR inputs at the rear, it’s extremely versatile.
WE SAID Fantastic, feature-packed unit for anyone just starting out on their recording journey.
Tul Microphones G12 Retro
Housed in a beautiful bespoke retro metal enclosure, looking like something you might stumble across in a cupboard at Abbey Road Studios, the G12 Retro is a dynamic mic specifically tuned to capture the natural sound of a guitar amp that’s equally at home in both recording and live environments.
WE SAID An ingenious pro-quality dynamic mic that’s versatile and great value to boot.
IsoAcoustics Stage 1
Our Stage 1 review package arrives with four chunky isolator feet that can be screwed to the bottom of a cabinet, or onto a board for use with multiple amplifiers. Just as fine pickups will make a guitar an improved version of itself, the Stage 1 isolators will help an amp sound the best it can. The promotional material stresses improvements in bass punch, but we hear differences across the entire frequency range.
WE SAID Offers improved clarity and focus and is likely to outlast foam-based alternatives.