Even as we come to the close of February, the rollout of 2021’s best new guitars and gear hasn’t slowed a bit.
In the last two weeks alone, we’ve seen the release of Dean Superstrats, Dave Mustain signature Gibsons, and even more Fender 75th-anniversary models.
If you want to know what’s hot in pedals, amps, acoustics, and electrics, we’ve got you covered in our bi-weekly gear news update
GND’s Bi-Weekly Music News 4
Get Fingerpicking on a Budget with Harley Benton’s CG-400CE
The new kid in town
To learn more go to:
If you’ve been considering a new fingerstyle axe lately, Harley Benton’s new CG-400CE Thinline nylon string might be what you’ve been looking for.
This beginner guitar is designed to give you the soft, smooth sounds of a classical with the playability of more-modern acoustics.
To do this, they’ve combined the traditional slotted headstock and smaller body size of classicals with a thinline body depth and reduced nut. This updated classical also has a cutaway so you can play all the way up the neck with ease.
In all ways, the CG-400CE is built for comfort so you can pull it in close to play your fingerstyle masterpieces.
Despite its small size, the CG-400CE spruce top promises to project your tone throughout the room. And if it’s not loud enough unplugged, their HB-3T preamp/pickup system lets you amp up to any volume.
Best of all, this thinline acoustic is super affordable, starting at just $110!
Furch Fights Infection with Antibacterial Necks
I’d never really thought about it before, but guitar necks would have to look pretty disgusting under a microscope. After sweating, grinding, bleeding all up and down our fretboards, we probably leave a ton of funk behind.
Well, Czech Republic-based Furch has apparently thought about this a lot. So much so, in fact, that they’ve just started applying an antibacterial finish to all their acoustic necks.
To be honest, I think this is a little silly—I’m typically not sharing my acoustic with many people in the first place… but, in these pandemic days, a little extra caution can’t be bad.
In addition to the antibacterial properties of this finish, Furch asserts that the new formula is also smoother-playing.
This isn’t the first of Furch’s strange innovations—with their 9-string acoustics standing as proof.
Although I might not personally go for these costly antibacterial axes, if you want to stay germ-free while jamming a beautiful acoustic, Furch is on the frontline of this movement.
Dean Nods to Hair Metal with the New MD 24s
It looks like Dean took a page from the Ibanez handbook with their new MD 24 Floyd electrics.
These sleek, simple SuperStrats are the latest greatest thing from the Dean factories.
They come loaded with dual Seymour Duncan zebra humbuckers for a fat, furious tone. Their playability is designed for shredding, with 24 jumbo frets in a roasted maple neck + fingerboard. And, of course, you get a genuine Floyd Rose tremolo system.
You might not be thrilled with the finish options unless you’re really into that 80’s hair metal vibe. To cover the plain grain of the basswood bodies, these MD 24’s are coated in vibrant Vintage Orange or Vintage Blue finishes.
With the Seymour Duncan and Floyd Rose add-ons, you might expect to pay over a grand for these SuperStrats. But surprisingly, they retail for under $900.
If you’re looking to upgrade from your beginner shred machine, these MD 24 Floyds are a hot item right now.
Fender’s Boxer Series Gets a Revisit
Dean’s not the only one bringing Fender-esque metal guitars back in 2021… Fender is too!
One of many surprises from Fender this year, the 80’s-born Boxer series is back and better than ever.
You’ve got three new axes to choose from in this Made in Japan collection: a Telecaster, a Stratocaster, and a P Bass.
Both the Tele and the Strat feature a rare HH pickup configuration. These hi-output dual humbuckers give you the grit and groan you need for heavy genres—something the usual single-coil Fender’s can’t provide.
The Precision Bass also features high-output pickups, but in a PJ configuration. With its split single-coil, jazz pup, and versatile tone controls, you can take the new Precision for a walk in nearly any style.
Dave Mustaine Leaves Dean for a Gibson Signature Line
Dave Mustaine, lead guitarist of Megadeth, recently said farewell to his long-lasting Dean sponsorship. And now, he’s moving on to bigger and better things—namely, Gibson guitars.
Wrapping up what has turned out to be an 80’s revival this month, Dave Mustaine and Gibson have formally announced a new partnership. With this announcement came the tease of several new Mustaine Signature models.
Although no specs have been released yet, the 4 promised axes look stunning. Among them are 3 Flying Vs and a 24-fret cutaway acoustic, all built to the metal god’s specifications.
Don’t be disappointed if you can’t afford a Gibson though! There are also rumors of Dave Mustaine Epiphones brewing too… something I’ll be much more likely to get my hands on.
Fans of Djent Rejoice: the Misha Mansoor Amp has Arrived!
This week, Peavey unveiled their newest invective.MH, a versatile tube amp head loaded with useful features. Set to sell in July 2021, this head promises loads of metal power.
In a partnership with Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor, Peavey designed this 20-watt invective.MH to handle any scenario.
It cranks out 20 watts of tube power for rocking the stage, but can also be switched to lower 5-watt and 1-watt settings for studio and home jams.
What I think is coolest about the invective.MH is that it can be switched to pure-headphone mode. This specialized circuitry means you’ll still get the juicy gain you’d hear if you were going full blast but in the privacy of your own head.
Although you’ll have to wait a few more months to test this new rig, you can check out its bigger brother, the invective.MH120, to get an idea of what it’ll offer.
Thomann Offers 150 Virtual Pedal Demos
This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time—you can now test real-live pedals from home thanks to Thomann’s Stompenberg FX.
These are actual, physical pedals you can test; not digital replications.
I don’t fully understand the tech behind how they accomplished this, but it involved wiring actual pedal parts into a rack pedalboard. Then, somehow (magic?) this was connected to the internet.
What this means is that you can use your mic or audio interface to plug your guitar into your computer, connect to Thomann’s Stombenberg, and use these no-joke tangible pedals in real-time. Did I mention it’s free?
It’s very future/sci-fi in my opinion, and totally awesome. There are 150 pedals you can try out right now, so head over to Thomann’s page to test out their new Stompenberg FX.
The Pedal Movie Brings Exclusive Stompboxes
There’s been a lot of hype about Reverb.com’s feature film, The Pedal Movie. Though it was scheduled for a 2020 release, it’s still gathering steam today. And, this build-up is paying off in the form of special-issue pedals from renowned brands.
Although none of these new stompboxes have a release date, they’re bound to be powerful tone manipulators.
Included in this promotional pedal group is the crunching WarHorn from Walrus Audio, the dirty fuzz of Way Huge’s Beer and Saucy, and the versatile grind of the Chase Bliss + Zvex Bliss Factory.
It will probably be a while before you’re able to buy any of these units, but you’ll be able to get your effects fill once The Pedal Movie hits screens in March or April.
New Armstrum Attachment Gives Players a Hand
Although still in its prototype phase, a new guitar accessory from Indian research group Maker’s Asylum promises to bring the guitar to a wider audience.
The Armstrum, as it’s being called, is a device built for people with one arm who still wanna rock. Using two foot-controlled pedals, the Armstrum stands in for a picking hand, opening playing opportunities to many differently-abled players.
It may be quite some time before we see the Armstrum hit shelves, but it’s a promising concept I’m really happy to see.
That about does it for February! Aside from a few boutique axes, this month seems like it was dominated by 80’s metal nostalgia.
Perhaps in March we’ll see a 70s revival? Whatever direction it goes, I’m fired up for all this cool new guitar equipment. If this trend keeps up, 2021 looks set to be a historic year for guitars and gear!