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The Year in Gear
An Audio Deep-Dive Into Acoustic Amplification

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eastman ac622ce acoustic guitar

Gear Review: Eastman AC622CE Acoustic Guitar

The AC622CE is a beautifully made guitar with a big and bold sound. It manages to be both strong and clear at the same time, great for strumming and inviting of picking and fingerpicking, the latter especially offering firmly spoken tones.

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orange crush acoustic 30 guitar amp

Gear Review: Orange Crush Acoustic 30

The Crush Acoustic 30 is a tiny little amp that weighs almost nothing. The specs claim it’s 13.5 pounds, but I don’t believe that. It comes right out of the box with a tilt-back design, so all the sound is projecting upward, where you want it.

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SonoTone Symphonic guitar strings

Gear Review: SonoTone Symphonic Strings

SonoTone, a small-batch guitar-string company based in Massachusetts, prides itself on design and tone, as well as the pitch accuracy of its handiwork. Developed to faithfully produce authentic vintage tones from the 1950s–’70s, SonoTone’s American-made strings are available in two types for acoustic guitarists: phosphor bronze Symphonic and Concert brass.
Henriksen Bud Head acoustic guitar amplifier

Gear Review: Henriksen The Bud Head Amplifier

In the not-too-distant past, acoustic guitarists and singer-songwriters were relegated to hauling around large PA systems replete with a mixer, power amp, speakers, stands, plus duffle bags stuffed with a wide assortment of tangled cables—all in an effort to simply be heard in a rehearsal, club, or coffeehouse.

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Gold Tone PBS-D

Gear Review: Gold Tone PBS-D

The Gold Tone PBS-D—or Paul Beard PB Signature-Series Squareneck Resonator Deluxe Guitar—is an elegant instrument with a homespun sound. In terms of looks, materials, and tone, it covers all the bases for slide players looking for high performance in a traditional package.

Guitar & Gear Review FAQs

How do you choose which guitars to review?
Our writers are guitar fanatics, just like you. They’re always on the lookout for new or updated offerings to recommend. We’re sometimes asked why we don’t publish negative or one-star reviews – there are so many great guitars being produced today that we’d rather share our balanced opinions on the instruments we do think you should consider.

Do companies pay for you to review their instruments?
No. We are proud of the firm separation between advertising sales and editorial coverage that we’ve held strong since our founding in 1990. We only accept endemic advertising – meaning, you won’t see ads for products or services unrelated to making music with an acoustic guitar; inevitably that means we’ll review products made by companies who advertise with us, but you’ll see just as many reviews by companies who do not. We have never (and will never) take money or gifts in exchange for a favorable review.

What’s up with affiliate links?
There is no billionaire owner or mega-corporation behind Acoustic Guitar – your support keeps us independent and in business. When you shop for gear using one of our affiliate links, a small percentage of your purchase gets shared with us (at no cost to you) for being the one that referred you. This is one way you can support our work (learn about more ways here.) We do not select products to review based on the availability of affiliate links.