This sweet-playing axe offers an extra measure of stability courtesy of its 25 1/2”-scale carbonized-maple neck. What I like about this guitar is its tight low-end response and spectrum of clear, powerful tones, courtesy of the splittable Duncan humbuckers. The Deluxe ($1,500 reatil) is a great choice for those who want an S-style guitar that has it going on the clean side, yet can sound thick and badass through an overdriven rock rig.
atomicguitarworks.com. —Art Thompson
STELLARTONE MICRO PEDAL JAZZ
The Micro Pedal ($129 street) is an outboard version of Stellartone’s ToneStyler tone pot replacement. You don’t have to modify a vintage instrument, and you can apply the 16 different EQ contours to any guitar with passive pickups. This is the Jazz version, so it’s voiced lower and woolier than the original, but could be perfect for burnished jazz tones or for taming a bright Tele or Strat. stellartone.com. —Matt Blackett
MONSTER TURBINE PRO GOLD AUDIOPHILE IN-EAR SPEAKERS
I consider ear buds a necessity, and the Turbine Pro Gold units ($220 street) are the best I’ve used to date. Their metal construction helps prevent odd resonances, the MicroStrand conductors don’t get tangled, and the low-mass, ultra-widebandwidth drivers ensure that you get great stereo presentation at any volume. Even the soft silicone tips (in a variety of sizes) fit better than others I’ve tried. monstercable.com. —Art Thompson
PLANET WAVES RENEW STRING CLEANING SYSTEM
Intended to “preserve that new string tone,” Renew ($8 street) bundles Planet Waves’ popular String Cleaner with an ingenious tool that cleans both sides of your strings simultaneously. The system, which includes two tools and 12 cleaning pads, performed admirably on several types of acoustic and electric strings. daddario.com. —Barry Cleveland