What a year that was! 2019 was a great year for gear across the board, but some bits of news seem to have struck a nerve among our readers. Here are the Top 10 posts on gearnews.com in 2019 ranked by the traffic they attracted from you.
1. How to make a cheap Squier play like an American Fender
Our most-clicked post in 2019! Jef, our resident guitar guru, gave us a few tips in how to make your Squier play better. Drawing on his 30 years of experience building and modding his own instruments, Jef showed us how to smooth off the edges of the frets on your budget to guitar to help it play better. Other posts in the same series showed us how to upgrade potentiometers and how to get to grips with your truss rod. Thanks, Jef!
2. Gibson’s Mark Agnesi to guitar builders: “You’ve been warned” over copyrights
In June, Gibson’s Mark Agnesi issued a warning to guitar makers on the issue of copyrights. Gibson were among the most talk-about brands last year, and not always for the right reasons. The now-infamous “Play Authentic” video and subsequent toughening of Gibson’s stance on companies selling guitars ‘inspired’ by its designs didn’t go down well in some quarters. I suppose it’s because we all love an underdog, and when a big brand flexes its muscles (even if legally and morally justified) we think, “Hey, leave that little guy alone!” But I suspect that in other industries, legal enforcement of copyrights is far more common.
3. Is there a major Logic Pro X update or Logic Pro 11 around the corner?
We asked this question back in January because we were expecting a big update any day. It’s now a year later and the update still hasn’t materialized! Our readers left a lot of feedback for Apple on what what they’d like to see in the next big update, though. Apple coders, take note.
4. Jef’s Tips for making your Gibson Les Paul play like a dream, Part 2: Truss Rod
Aforementioned Truss Rod post. I’ve owned a few guitars over the years, but I’ve never really got to grips with the finer points of setting up a guitar, beyond changing the strings and doing the intonation. So this one struck a chord with me, and evidently did with many of you, too. Turns out adjusting the truss rod is easier than I thought…
5. Top 5 Virtual Rhodes Electric Pianos
An older post, this one, but it seems that there are still many people out there looking for a good emulation of that classic instrument, the Fender Rhodes. Robin’s round-up was originally published in July 2016, so interesting that it still gets quite a lot of clicks. It speaks to the status of the Fender Rhodes as a sought-after accompaniment for all sorts of genres.
6. Electro Harmonix wins copyright piracy case against Mooer
A bizarre story, this. Makes you wonder how much copying is going on in our industry. Is this kind of thing more common than most of us want to acknowledge? Perhaps, but one would hope not.
7. New video of Gibson destroying guitars, this time it’s ES models
A story that moved a lot of people. Destroying instruments with flaws is a common occurrence on our industry, apparently. But many people watching this thought, “Why can’t you just give it to some school somewhere, instead?”
8. NAMM 2019: Line 6 Helix 2.8 update – K.O.T added
Line 6’s HELIX maintains its strong standing in the virtual guitar amp and FX world, and news of this relatively minor update was one of our most popular posts last year. I’n looking forward to seeing what Line 6 have in store in NAMM 2020!
9. NAMM 2019: Gibson goes back to the ‘Golden Era’ with new 2019 guitars
At NAMM 2019, Gibson announced a new range of guitars based on established designs from its Golden Era. Whatever your personal views on the brand, Gibson has made a strong comeback in 2019. Floundering financially in 2018, the company went into new ownership. The current management team who seem very committed to making this brand a success, focussing the brand more tightly on core models. We wish them every success for 2020.
10. Fender American Ultra Series leaked all over the web
News of Fender’s new products often leak out a few days before their scheduled announcement. Sometimes a dealer has uploaded the new models to their website a few days too early, sometimes a web page is published by mistake. In November, news leaked out that Fender was planning to launch a new Ultra series. Opinion among our readers was divided, but I think the new models look pretty cool.
That’s it! What were your favourite stories in 2019? Let us know in the comments section below.