Gear of the Year 2015 – Best Accessories

Here’s a trio of simply brilliant products that represent the best of the best in their particular class.

From tiny tuners to retrofit pickups, there has been no shortage of interesting ephemera arriving at the G&B office in 2015. Here’s a trio of simply brilliant products that represent the best of the best in their particular class. Are your pedals in a tangled mess on the floor? Is your guitar out of tune or out of tone? Look no further…

Highly Commended – TC Electronic PolyTune Clip
polytune-clip-front-chroma copy
• Price £35
• First featured Vol 27 No 04
• Contact www.tcelectronic.com

Included in our round-up of Christmas stocking-fillers that begins on page 91, TC’s take on the popular clip-on tuner format makes the competition look rather dated to say the least. Derived from the Danish company’s PolyTune and PolyTune Mini pedal tuners, that have become the must-have stompbox tuners of recent times, the Clip is a killer little gadget that’s incredibly handy to have around, whether you are a touring guitar tech or a bedroom strummer.

Three fast and accurate modes of operation – polyphonic, chromatic and strobe – combine with a display that flips the viewing angle to respond to your needs. A modern design triumph and a must-have guitar gadget.

Highly Commended – House Of Tone House Special S Type 1960 pickups
rev pickups copy
• Price £155
• First reviewed Vol 26 No 12
• Contact House Of Tone Pickups 07791 691251
www.houseoftonepickups.com

House Of Tone’s Matthew Bascetta equates the voicing of pickups to carving the braces of an acoustic guitar. Building acoustic instruments taught Bascetta to listen and evaluate tone at a fine level, and these skills were employed in extremis when developing the House Of Tone range with partners Nick Leech and Bob Grocott.

This set was conceived as an ‘idealised’ 1960 Strat tone, based on readings taken from several genuine examples. We’re pleased to say they nailed it; in an A/B with a genuine vintage set we honestly couldn’t say the original pickups sounded better.

Winner – Pedaltrain Nano+
Guitar & Bass September-2 copy
• Price £42
• First reviewed Vol 26 No 12
• Contact Westside Distribution 0141 248 4812
www.pedaltrain.com

Since the company began as a one-man start-up in 1999, Pedaltrain has become so ubiquitous within the pedalboard market that some stompbox manufacturers now factor the dimensions of Pedaltrain boards into their plans when they’re designing new products.

As successful as Pedaltrain is, though, it refuses to rest on its laurels. Back in January 2015, the NAMM Show saw the company discontinue its entire range and launch 11 new models, from the enormous 42×14.5-inch Terra right down to the smallest board in its range, the Pedaltrain Nano+.

Reviewed in the September issue as part of our mini-pedalboard special, the Nano+ carries the dizzying accolade of being the only product to score a perfect 10/10 in G&B in 2015. The original Pedaltrain Nano was very successful, but the Nano+ adds four inches of extra board space and comes housed in a considerably more robust gigbag with chunky metal zippers, tough padding and reinforced stress points.

There’s also a new, narrower rail spacing designed to provide greater stability and adhesion for smaller pedals. Other than wishing the gigbag had an external pocket for cable storage, at this price the Nano+ is just about the perfect small pedalboard.

Buy a copy of the January 2016 issue of Guitar & Bass in print and digital forms here