The Best Buy award looks at the best bang-for-buck products of the year. If you’re a guitarist on a budget, you can be assured that our nominees for this category are going to punch well above their price bracket with their performance. Let’s take a look at the nominees.
WINNER: Yamaha Revstar Standard
Overhauled for 2022, the full range of new Yamaha Revstar guitars covers budget, mid-range and premium price points but that middle option is our pick for the best value guitar product of 2022. Guitars with comparable specifications to the Revstar Standard II go for many times its £650 asking price.
For pure sounds-per-dollar, there’s a nice spread of switching options: not only do you get alternate pickup voicings via the main five-way blade switch, you also get a “focus” switch on the tone pot. This gives you a tighter low end and shaves off some treble, letting you fine-tune the guitar’s resonances to the rest of your rig. Both the humbucker and P-90 variants absolutely sing on any setting – there’s been no compromise in the quality of the electronics to save cost.
But it’s in the build specifications the Revstar Standard really pulls ahead of the pack: the set mahogany neck is carbon-reinforced, and comes with a rather comfortable (and stylish) joint to the body. The Rosewood fretboard is loaded with slinky-feeling jumbo stainless-steel frets. Those are details you might expect on a guitar well over a grand, but here we are: the Revstar Standard may look and play like a million bucks, but it will cost you far, far less.
Playing the Guild Surfliner and you’d be forgiven for thinking it goes for twice its actual price.
For £400, you’re getting a very well-considered hardtail offset, one with spectacular playability, great electronics and a slew of rock-solid hardware appointments.. The fact that it’s Guild’s first new solid-body electric in decades – one with a rather fetching design and a set of gorgeous finishes – is a nice bonus too.
We get it – multi-effects units like the Boss GX-100 aren’t for everyone. But if you are looking to go digital, the new GX-100 proved itself to be an incredibly competitive offering in the category of compact “whole-rig-in-a-pedal” units. What lands the GX-100 into the Best Buy Award nominee list is the fact that, compared to the rest of its price bracket, it’s just jam-packed with features. You get more footswitches, more simultaneous effects blocks and more I/O than basically all comparatively priced units, and there’s also a touchscreen, nifty Bluetooth features and a bucketload of Boss-designed amplifier models and cabinet responses.
At this point it’s cliche to say that multi-effects units could be the “last pedal you’ll ever buy” but for the digital savvy guitarist, the GX-100 is really a no-brainer – and, as we pointed out when it was released, it doesn’t inherently have to replace your entire rig. It’s tuned to work well with other physical pedals, and of course is just as happy being plugged into a tube amp as it is a laptop.