For me, 2018 has been a pretty epic year for guitarists. We’ve had some amazing new gear and advances in both guitar design and technology. Some of them have even been quite controversial for the reserved ‘old guard’ of guitarists…
Top Gear 2018
Okay, I’m going to say it and I have no qualms about it either. Probably the most interesting new piece of guitar equipment was the PRS John Mayer Silver Sky. This ‘new’ design had guitarists arguing up an down the land on both sides of the Atlantic. However, I think it proved that a well thought out design, based on a classic that can still be improved upon.
Having played them and spoken to others that own them, I would say that this take on the classic Californian originals has proved its worth. The consistency of tone and playability of this new PRS has been commented on by many players and I would agree it brings a lot to the table.
Next up is the Fender Parallel Universe Tele Thinline Deluxe. To me, this guitar just looked amazing. Some of the other guitars in that series are a bit meh, but not this one. It combines classic Thinline Telecaster styling with Gretsch style TV Jones Classic pickups and that fantastically outlandish orange finish!
The silver sparkle pickguard works well and I’m also a fan of the block inlays on the dark rosewood fretboard. This is certainly my style of guitar and one that I could easily see myself buying soon.
For those moments when you need to shred, I think you should be checking out the Ibanez Nita Strauss JIVA Signature model. It is the guitar Nita plays herself and I’ve heard a rumour that she plays them stock, with no modifications.
It comes loaded with her signature DiMarzio neck and bridge pickups and uses an Edge Zero-II bridge. I’m also a fan of the Deep Space Blonde finish and ebony fretboard. If you are looking for a well-specified modern day rock guitar then this Ibanez has it all.
I have eclectic tastes in guitars, so when I first saw my next choice it certainly resonated with my inner guitar geek. I love an offset and also enjoy a good Firebird-style guitar. The Lucem Custom Designs The Unorthodox was designed for Slowdive guitarist Neil Halstead.
To me, it combines many things that I enjoy in a guitar like a 25.5″ scale length with a neck-through-body and mahogany construction. It is my ‘oddball’ guitar of the year and so I had to include it on this list.
Last but not least is a very recent one – and yes as I’m a fanboy for this one! The Reverend Guitars Reeves Gabrels RG-SUS has many things, including that Sustainiac pickup system.
The whole guitar just oozes cool. I’m a big fan of it’s utilitarian Metallic Silver Freeze finish. It combines the Reeves Gabrels Signature humbucker pickup with the Sustainiac and also has the very handy Bass Contour control to expand the tonal palette.
I’m also quite partial to Korina as a body wood, so when combined with a roasted maple neck and the Blackwood Tek fingerboard, I think this could be quite a tone machine!
Any of your favourites not in the list? Let us know in the comments below!