Pros: Great clean and overdrive tones. Beautiful construction. Cons: Expensive. Contact: (909) 808-5558; badcatamps.com
Pros: Legendary tone. True-bypass effects loop. Cons: None. Contact: (516) 333-9100; marshallamps.com Reeves Studio/Stage Combo
Pros: Excellent Brit-flavored tones. Neat handwired circuitry. Cons: Reverb tank not secured. Chassis not screwed to cabinet. Contact: (513) 451-1071; reevesamps.com
Blackstone Appliances MOSFET Overdrive Model 2SV3
Pros: Sounds like an overdriven tube amp. Battery or AC adapter power. Cons: Tiny bypass LED can be difficult to see. Contact: blackstoneappliances.com DiMarzio Tone Zone S
Pros: Thick humbucking tones from a single-coil-sized pickup. Four-conductor wiring allows parallel or split-coil operation. Cons: Sacrifices some Strat-style single-coil sparkle. Contact: (800) 221-6468; dimarzio.com Lehle Dual Switcher
The German-made Lehle Dual ($225 street) is the BMW of switchers. Employing gold-plated relays (no semiconductors) and an electrically isolated Lundahl line splitter (which eliminates ground loops), the Dual provides professional-grade switching between or combining two amps. And, because the Dual uses a passive signal path, it doesn't mess with your tone by converting signals from high to low impedance. The super-heavy-duty Dual also sports mechanically quiet footswitches with large buttons, ultra-bright LEDs capped with magnifying lenses, -6dB trims for balancing output levels, a thermal cut circuit that automatically switches the unit off if a short occurs, and a socket that accommodates any 8- to 20-volt power supply. You can even retrofit the Dual with a DIN connector for parallel use with other Lehle switchers (see lehle.com for details).
Pros: Industrial-strength construction. Excellent components. Super-quiet with many amps. Cons: Noisy with some amps. Expensive. Contact: (201) 594-0817; lehleusa.com Klotz LaGrange Cable
Pros: Exceptional clarity, focus, and detail. Doesn’t twist up. Cons: None. Contact: (512) 932-3130; kendrick-amplifiers.com
Dean Markley Alchemy Strings
Pros: Long life. Great tone. Natural feel. Cons: None. Contact: (800) 800-1008; deanmarkley.com
Snarling Dogs Guitar Restoration Kit
Pros: Revival Cream can work wonders. Cons: None. Contact: (516) 496-2200 x 112; snarlingdogs.com
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