Gear of the Year 2019

The top new gear of 2019, from guitars to strings to amplification and all things acoustic, selected and reviewed in text and video by our editors and contributors. Read the overview first, or skip to the products that interest you most.

Top Gear 2019

Top Gear: The Best Acoustic Guitars & Accessories of 2019

“Giant steps” might just be the motto of guitar makers in 2019. It was a year in which we saw the results of several large makers looking to the future of the guitar and daring to do something different. Martin hit the ejector-seat button on its popular Vintage series to launch the new Modern Deluxe line; Taylor built on last year’s buzz around a new bracing system to debut an all-new guitar that’s unlike anything they’ve made before; and Fender dropped an ambitious new acoustic/electric hybrid. Each move stirred the souls of the brands’ biggest fans, and you can say one thing for sure: These companies aren’t treading water. They’re challenging their own legacies by rethinking what can be done—and they’re delivering some of their finest guitars yet.
Sheeran by Lowden S02

Gear Review: Sheeran by Lowden S02

The Sheeran by Lowden S02 is a deeply appealing collaboration between a popular acoustic artist and a respected guitar designer and builder.
Eastman DT30D Guitar

New Gear: Eastman DT30D

Eastman’s Double Top series is among the first to use the boutique-maker idea of a double top—a soundboard incorporating two outer wooden layers over a synthetic core, for enhanced sound and responsiveness—in a production steel-string guitar model.


National Reso-phonic M-14T Thunderbox resonator guitar

Gear Review: National M-14T Thunderbox

Although known for its steel and brass instruments, National also offers many wood-bodied guitars, both tricone and single-cone biscuit bridge style. The M-14T Thunderbox is the most recent addition to National’s M series of single-cone mahogany resonators.
G7th Performance 3 Capo

Gear Review: G7th Performance 3 Capo

A clever new accessory from G7th, the Performance 3 capo, has a feature that sets it apart from anything else out there: namely the company’s “adaptive radius technology” (ART).