Gear Of The Year: The best new guitars, pedals and amps of 2021

The best guitars, amps, pedals and more from another fantastic year for the guitar industry.

The ongoing pandemic has impacted the guitar industry in myriad ways, and here at the tail end of 2021 we’re still feeling the effects of that. On the positive side, the enforced downtime of 2020 led to a huge explosion of people picking up guitar for the first time, or coming back to the instrument leading to a demand for guitars, amps and effects that shows no sign of stopping – leading one industry analyst to declare that for guitar brands, “current prospects are brighter than during the post-Beatles era”.

If that’s the exciting stuff, then the flipside is that many brands are still trying to get back up to speed following the enforced closure of factories and workshops all over the world in 2020, something that has been compounded by the global supply chain crisis of 2021. Across the industry, order books are full, and even the biggest brands are struggling to keep up – in March, even Fender admitted that it was struggling to keep up with the demand for its beginner and intermediate guitars.

Which is all to say that it’s been another strange year for guitar, but a hugely exciting one with it. Despite the challenges and obstacles presented to them, the guitar industry has responded with fantastic innovation and creativity over the last 12 months. Whether that’s conversation-starting acoustic guitars, revolutionary new developments in the worlds of effects and modelling, or further refinements to some of the most iconic guitars ever made, 2021 has defied the odds to deliver some game-changing gear for us to get our teeth into – here’s our pick of the very best of it.

Best Acoustic Guitar

Gibson Generation G45

Winner: Gibson Generation Collection G-45

Also nominated:

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Best Affordable Effects Pedal

Blackstar Dept.10 Dual Drive

Winner: Blackstar Dept. 10 Dual Drive

Also nominated:

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Best Premium Effects Pedal

Benson Germanium Fuzz

Winner: Benson Germanium Fuzz

Also nominated:

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Best Affordable Electric Guitar

Fender Player Plus Nashville Telecaster

Winner: Fender Player Plus Nashville Telecaster

Also nominated:

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Best Premium Electric Guitar

Macmull Stinger

Winner: Macmull Stinger

Also nominated:

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Best Guitar Amp or Accessory

Neral DSP Quad Cortex

Winner: Neural DSP Quad Cortex

Nominees:

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