Gear Of The Year 2016 – Best Accessory

We played a LOT of great pickups this year, three of which make the list. Pickups remain a hugely subjective area, but the Bad Cat Unleash’s ability to make a loud amp quieter or a quiet amp louder, all the while preserving tonal quality, really struck a chord…

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Winner – Bad Cat Unleash V2

• Price £449
• First reviewed Vol 27 No 12
• Contact Coda Music on 01438 350815 or visit www.badcatamps.com

The Unleash V2 wowed G&B senior product specialist Huw Price back in the summer – and he’s a man who knows a thing or two about attenuation. It’s a 100-watt class-D power amp that’s smaller than a shoebox and controls your amp’s volume without sabotaging the tone. It’s lighter and smaller than the competition, very powerful and offers continuously variable attenuation. In short, it’s the perfect gigging amp to carry inside the cab of your studio amp.

Tyson Tone Pickups Set-53 Wraptail

Tyson Tone Cream P90s
• Price $210
• First reviewed Vol 28 No 04
• Contact Tyson Tone Pickups on 001 831 776 8692 or www.tysontone.com

Bob Tyson couldn’t find pickups that sounded like vintage P-90s, so he made these incredible mid-50s replicas that hold their own with the genuine article. Bravo, Bob!

Highly Commended – Wudtone CP Vintage Tremolo

• Price £119
• First reviewed Vol 27 No 11
• Contact Wudtone on 01291 671515 or www.wudtone.com

This vintage-style vibrato assembly is a beautifully made product that takes the original Fender design to its logical conclusion. It delivers tonal improvements and stability, without making any compromises over aesthetics or tone.

Highly Commended – Oil City Pickups Wapping Wharf

• Price £59
• First reviewed Vol 27 No 09
• Contact Oil City Pickups on 0208 257 0281 or www.oilcitypickups.co.uk

Torn between early- and mid-50s Tele bridge tones? The Oil City Wapping Wharf’s tapped coil gives you both at the flick of a switch. Rated at 10K/15K with thin 43AWG wire and A2 and A5 slugs for the plain and wound strings respectively, the range of fat and twangy vintage tones blew us away. It’s still in our guitar.

Highly Commended – McNelly Sparkletron

• Price £94 each or £189 per set
• First reviewed Vol 27 No 08
• Contact Home Of Tone on 07976 972884 or www.mcnellyguitars.com

The Sparkletron is McNelly’s take on vintage-style Filter’Trons, and it’s one of the most convincing approximations we’ve heard. It features wax-potted coils, hand wound with 42AWG wire and alnico 5 magnets, and produces sweet upper-mids with tons of twang and growl and woody cleans. McNelly has nailed that twang thang!

To get your copy of the Gear Of The Year issue of G&B, click here.


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