Gear Of The Year: Best guitar gear of 2020

From 2020 with love: the best guitars, amps, pedals and accessories of the year.

2020 was a very different and much more challenging year for the guitar industry than the one we anticipated when we convened in California for NAMM back in January. But despite the enormous obstacles and difficulties that many makers had to overcome – the disrupted supply chains, the shuttered factories and much more – it’s also been a year of rejuvenation for guitar playing.

Barely a week goes by without a news story proclaiming the guitar a massive pandemic success story, with sales soaring as guitarists new and old turn to the instrument while spending more time indoors.

If you’ve only recently discovered the joys of all things guitar, welcome to our wonderful little club. If you’ve been here for a while already, you’ll no doubt have noticed that despite considerable adversity, the guitar industry delivered in 2020 in every conceivable way.

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From the big guns churning out some of the best budget guitars ever made, to boutique maestros pushing the limits of what can be squeezed out of classic materials and recipes, we’ve seen genuine boundary-pushing innovation and variety at every turn. We’ve said it before but there’s never been a better time to be a guitar player – and our pick of the very best gear of 2020 is all the proof you need.

Best guitar accessory

Audient EVO 4 GOTY

Winner: Audient EVO 4

Recommended:

  • Sennheiser Wireless Digital XSW-D Pedalboard Set
  • ThroBak Electronics Koss-301 MXV
  • Boss Waza-Air
  • Descendant Vibrato

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Best guitar amplifier

Fender Tone Master GOTY

Winner: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Recommended

  • Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 Floor
  • Blackstar JJN-20R MkII Jared James Nichols Signature Combo
  • Matchless Laurel Canyon 112R
  • Strymon Iridium

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Best acoustic guitar

Taylor American Dream AD17 Blacktop

Winner: Taylor American Dream AD17 Blacktop

Recommended

  • Atkin Guitars The Forty Seven
  • McNally Guitars Presentation OM Celtic Ivy
  • Fender Acoustasonic Stratocaster
  • Lowden F-35 Ebony & Sinker Redwood
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Best effects pedal

Walrus Audio Mako D1

Winner: Walrus Audio Mako Series D1

Recommended

  • 1981 Inventions DRV
  • Gamechanger Audio Third Man Records Plasma Coil
  • DanDrive Tweedy
  • Jackson Audio Golden Boy
  • ThorpyFX Field Marshal
  • DryBell The Engine
  • Danelectro Back Talk Reverse Delay
  • Becos CompIQ Twain
  • Redbeard Honey Badger

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Best affordable electric guitar

Epiphone Les Paul Special

Winner: Epiphone Inspired By Gibson Les Paul Special

Recommended

  • Fender Vintera Road Worn ’50s Telecaster
  • Manson Meta Series MBM-1
  • Rivolta Mondata Baritone VII
  • Charvel Pro-Mod DK22 SSS 2PT CM

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Best high-end electric guitar

Nik Huber Piet

Winner: Nik Huber Piet

Recommended

  • Ivison Guitars The Hurricane
  • Music Man Sabre
  • Gretsch G6129T Players Edition Jet FT
  • B&G Goldfinger

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