LAST YEAR, TO CELEBRATE GP’S 45TH ANNIVERSARY, WE UNIFIED ALL of our various tributes and awards under the Guitar Player Hall of Fame banner, and established an annual issue to announce the honorees. This year, the GP Hall of Fame recognizes our first country artist since 1985, corrects a heinous crime of omission, adds to the Manufacturing Legends roll call, and more. Although these awards are voted upon and selected by the GP staff, we encourage readers to join the fun by suggesting Hall of Famers throughout the year via email to the editors (get our email addresses in the Interact! box in the Community section) or comments on GP’s Facebook and Twitter sites.
GALLERY OF THE GREATS
Celebrating the guitarist who has most captured the ears of the GP staff the past year. The winner joins a community of transcendent players such as B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Les Paul, and Bonnie Raitt, who have attained membership since the Gallery’s debut in 1974.
He’s a country-pop superstar for sure, but he’s also a spectacular guitarist who has scored two Guitar Player covers. His ninth album, the self-produced Wheelhouse, debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart this year, and his Beat This Summer tour continues to thrill guitar fans with great tones and technical fireworks.
Honoring the men, women, and companies whose passion, ingenuity, and ears have consistently triggered seismic evolutions to the guitar gear we love.
Bob Taylor, Taylor Guitars
By making acoustic guitars with necks that were friendly to electric players, Taylor helped foster a new generation of “unplugged” guitarists.
Clifford Cooper, Orange Amplification
Orange has designed and manufactured outstanding British amps since 1968, including the 2013 hand-wired Custom Shop 50.
David Koltai, Howard Davis, Ray Heasman, Pigtronix
Sonic mastermind Koltai, analog circuit designer Davis, and DSP guru Heasman have consistently devised cool, innovative, and great-sounding pedals—including 2013’s Infinity Looper and Quantum Time Modulator.
Rob Turner, EMG
Turner created active pickups that were quiet, powerful, and gave a signature voice to legions of rock and metal players.
From its Stereo Chorus Flanger of 1976 to its Tone- Print pedals of today, TC Electronic has always been on the cutting edge of guitar technology.
Using technology borrowed from Gore- Tex fabric, Elixir dramatically increased the lifespan of guitar and bass strings.
Since 1964, GHS has been producing high-quality strings for electric and acoustic instruments, and a look at its huge roster list highlights the company’s success in rock, blues, jazz, country, and other genres.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Since 1983, this award has recognized and thanked the pioneers of guitarcraft.
Given the generations of guitarists he has inspired and entertained, it’s unthinkable that Keef has never been bestowed even one award by Guitar Player. We’re fixing that now.
Saluting the seminal designers, thinkers, innovators, and business people whose products forged the modern guitar revolution.
Inventor of the humbucking pickup. Mentor to Seymour Duncan.
Inventor of the locking tremolo.
Paul Reed Smith
Founder of PRS Guitars. Guitar builder. Guitarist.
Founder of Roland Corporation. One of the developers of MIDI.
CERTIFIED LEGEND AWARD
Inspired by Chet Atkins’ phrase “Certified Guitar Player”—and typically bestowed at NAMM during Muriel Anderson’s All-Star Guitar Night—this award debuted in 2003 with Les Paul as the first recipient.
A gifted soloist whose early career included stints with Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, and George Harrison, Ford is a blues/jazz innovator, an acclaimed solo artist, and an inspiration to legions of guitarists who worship his 6-string soulfulness.
Spotlighting inventiveness, this award recognizes gear that has significantly upped the technological, conceptual, and/or practical ante during the past year.
Fishman TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller
This MIDI controller system offers unprecedented features, tracks like a dream—wirelessly—and comes bundled with lots of great recording, notation, and other software.
Fractal Audio Systems Firmware version 10.0 for Axe-FX II
This update introduced Fractal’s MMIC physical modeling technology, improved the Tone Matching amp-cloning feature, added and updated amp, cab, and effects models, and much more, taking the Axe-Fx II to an appreciably higher level of tonal authenticity and flexibility.
Peavey AT-200 with Antares Auto-Tune for Guitar technology
A self-tuning guitar without motors, springs, or moving parts? That might seem impossible, but if you’re familiar with Antares’ Auto-Tune processing, you’ll immediately understand why the Peavey AT-200 is such a wonder.
Eventide H9 Harmonizer
The H9 can run effects algorithms from all of Eventide’s four other stompboxes, and lets you control, edit, and manage them wirelessly on iPods, iPhones, and iPads via Bluetooth using free apps.