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What I’d buy this week: a guitarist’s guide to the new year’s new gear

2024 has arrived with a bang – and a U2-inspired delay.

MXR Joshua Ambient Echo

Credit: MXR

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As you’re presumably still nursing your three-day New Year’s Eve hangover, you might have missed that the January sales have started, along with, well, January. Terrifying. And the prospect of looking at screens, or just bright lights in general, might still strike fear into your heart. So let me be the first to venture out into the brave new year and explore the most important thing about the start of 2024: what guitar gear should you spend your hard-earned cash on?

MXR Joshua

MXR Joshua Ambient Echo
Credit: MXR

This launch from MXR started the year off with a bang and the obligatory influencer drop – but by all accounts, the hype is well-earned. The sounds speak for themselves, offering mono or stereo slewed-out old-school digital rack delay, all packed into MXR’s compact format. Impressive, as is the external expression/tap-tempo/alternate right-channel jack that’ll make it easily fit into a more complex rig. £269 means it’s definitely not the cheapest single-stop delay out there, but given the bevy of features, it’s something I’d absolutely check out.

Fender Player Plus Meteora HH

Yes, it’s the January sales, so as retailers start fresh it’s a good time to grab some gear for cheap: what caught my eye in PMT’s clearance was a good £173 off this HH Meteora. The Meteora shape has always been intriguing to me, someone used to mostly Jazzmasters, as have the not-quite wide-range humbuckers it’s loaded with and the frankly mad finish.

UAFX Orion Tape Echo

Universal Audio UAFX Orion Tape Echo, photo by Adam Gasson
Universal Audio UAFX Orion Tape Echo. Image: Adam Gasson

Tape echo is great. Universal Audio’s UAFX pedals sound great. The smaller units in the range don’t need an app, which is great. But at £199 for a single-stomp, it was a little hard to justify for me – but at £50 off? That’s a lot more tempting. The UAFX line is all very, very good at meticulous digital recreations of wonky analogue weirdness, the Orion being no exception, and thanks to guitarguitar’s January clearout, it’s only £150!

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