20 gear innovations from the ‘80s that changed the game for guitar players

The '80s was the decade in which the Strat got modded, the Floyd Rose became essential, and technology drove the evolution of guitar gear forward like never before.
(Image credit: Future / Adam Gasson)

Electric guitar technology hardly changed during the first 30 or so years. Les Paul and Leo Fender gave us solid body guitars, Jim Marshall accidentally created desirable amp distortion, a smattering of floor-based effects were created and a few bits of gear were borrowed from organ players – including wah pedals and Leslie speakers. 

But, for the most part, guitarists didn’t have many choices in terms of essential gear – and even fewer technological options for unique expression.  

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