Required Reading: '365 Guitars, Amps & Effects You Must Play'

Many guitarists may never know the crunchy overdrive and sweet compression of a vintage 1968 Marshall JMP50 “Plexi” amplifier driven through a 4x12 Marshall cabinet loaded with Celestion Greenback speakers, much less the grinding, high-gain distortion of a Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet.

And isn’t that shame?

Because if you care about tone, you’ll find that Dave Hunter's new book — 365 Guitars, Amps & Effects You Must Play — reveals why the handpicked pieces of guitars and gear within — from classic to current — became legendary. It’s an essential collection that may encourage you to seek out and experience for yourself the instruments mentioned, whether you’re familiar with them or not.

Among the book’s 320 pages and more than 680 beautiful photos, you’ll find unique and iconic guitars, vintage and classic amplifiers, popular and beloved effects, each with its own short description, informative features and what it sounds and feels like to play.

Great examples include rare amplifiers such as the counterfeit Fender “GI amp” (a Korean copy of a Fender amp that were sold to American servicemen stationed overseas during the Vietnam war), or the classic 1985 Dean Z guitar, made popular because of its high-output humbuckers and flamed maple top.

Not everything is out of reach; there are many examples of gear you still can easily acquire like the Z.Vex Fuzz Factory, a stompbox that is both powerful and unpredictable in the fuzz overtones it produces thanks to its innovative circuitry.

365 Guitars, Amps & Effects You Must Play is required reading for any gear lover who wishes to spend the next year becoming familiar with the instruments that are responsible for some of the most memorable tones.

For more info, check out the book on

I try very hard to remain under the radar despite being on camera as gear editor, but in this age of social media it was only a matter of time before it had to come to this. So with that, I will make my blog painless and a quick and easy read so you can get on to more important things like practicing guitar and sweep picking, or if you’re like me, obsessing how to race the Tour De France and trying to be Kristen Stewart’s next mistake. I will use this blog to inform you of things I find cool; like new gear I’m playing through and what I’m watching, reading or listening to at any given moment. So feel free to ask me anything that’s gear related — or if you have a problem with your girlfriend, you know, life lesson stuff, I’m pretty good at that too — and I’ll do my best to answer or address it here.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.