Christmas is right around the corner, which means it's officially the season to indulge in some new guitar gear and six-strong goodies that will keep your playing in working order come the new year.
If you fancy starting 2022 with an all-new electric guitar slung over your shoulder and a fresh acoustic guitar in your lap, or if you’re in the market to upgrade your arsenal of amps and accessories, look no further than Guitar Center (opens in new tab).
From Fender to Gibson, Boss to Mesa Boogie, the biggest names in the biz are all available from Guitar Center, which also has on offer a range of luxurious limited-edition electrics, special-run guitar amps and a range of effects pedals that will encourage you to push the boundaries of your playing.
Read on for a round-up of the 12 essential gifts we think should be on your radar if you plan on treating yourself – or anybody else, for that matter – this holiday season.
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazzmaster Limited-Edition in Daphne Blue
As the old adage goes, you can never have too many guitars, and if you’re looking to spruce up your six-string arsenal with some offset flavoring, Squier’s impressively spec’d Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazzmaster is as good a place to start as any.
Shown above in the limited-edition surf-ready Daphne Blue finish, the Jazzmaster carries a remarkably affordable price tag, yet doesn’t compromise on quality. Those Fender-designed Alnico single-coils deliver an impressive punch, while the true-to-template switching system lets you dial in a smorgasbord of sounds.
The Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazzmaster (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Fender Player Stratocaster HSS Plus Top Maple Fingerboard Limited-Edition in Sienna Sunburst
Fancy something a little more traditional? You can’t go wrong with a Fender Stratocaster, and with this HSS-configured beast you get the best of both worlds – meaty, riff-ready bridge humbucker leads and bold SRV-style neck pickup tones.
The Player Series is an excellent launch pad if you’re looking to get into the world of Strats, or even if you’re looking for something with a little bit extra to expand your sonic vocabulary. Specs to shout about include the Alnico 5 Player Series pickups, which offer some nice growl, as well as the comfortable C-profile neck.
It does just about everything a high-end Strat can do at a relatively purse-friendly price.
The Fender Player Stratocaster HSS (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Gibson Les Paul Studio Limited-Edition in Manhattan Midnight
And just so there’s something for everyone, if Fenders aren’t quite your vibe, this Manhattan Midnight-finished Gibson Les Paul Studio is definitely worth a look-in. Weighing in at over $1,000 cheaper than its Standard counterpart, this special-run axe pairs classic LP tones with contemporary aesthetics.
Apart from the lack of body and fretboard binding and the maple veneer, this Studio model does just about everything its older sibling can. A mahogany body is paired with a breezy SlimTaper neck – giving you an authentic feel and premium playability – while the 490R and 498T humbuckers deliver impressively meaty tones.
The Manhattan Midnight Gibson Les Paul Studio (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster
The Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster is a great option if you’re undecided on whether to invest in an electric or acoustic. The big F’s flagship Acoustasonic model gives you the best of both worlds, thanks to its unique Acoustic Engine.
Featuring a Fishman Under-Saddle Transducer, Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer and Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless magnetic pickup – all of which are at the mercy of the versatile Blend knob – the instrument can tap into a range of overdriven Tele twangs and crystal clear acoustic tones. It’s certainly a bit left field, but it’s definitely worth having on your radar.
The Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Gibson L-00 Standard Acoustic-Electric
If you’re already well-stocked in the electric department and are instead looking to improve your acoustic collection, the Gibson L-00 needs to be considered. The parlor-sized body makes it the perfect travel companion, and its comfortable playability makes it suitable for sofa practice or studio jam sessions.
Don’t be fooled by the size, though. This smaller scale six-string features an LR Baggs pickup system comprising an undersaddle transducer and soundhole-mounted two-band EQ, which means this plucky parlor isn’t out of its depth when used in larger settings. That classy sunburst finish is absolutely to die for as well.
The Gibson L-00 Standard Acoustic-Electric (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Boss Limited Edition Katana KTN-100 MkII 100W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amplifier White
To put it bluntly, the Boss Katana 100 MkII does just about everything. Yes, it’s a solid-state and yes, it has digital effects, but if you know how to handle it you can tap into some genuinely astonishing tones that are some of the nearest valve amp-style sounds we’ve heard from any of its peers.
It offers a chance to get experimental with your sound, thanks to a range of built-in effects that can be tweaked via an editing software, and serves up five individual amp models – Brown, Lead, Crunch, Clean and Acoustic – that can be manipulated by a three-band EQ.
Perfect for beginners looking to hone their tone and seasoned players seeking an intelligent valve amp alternative, the Boss Katana MkII is a serious contender for the best solid-state amp currently available.
The Boss Katana-100 MkII (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Mesa Boogie Mark Five: 35 1x12" 35/25/10W Tube Guitar Combo Amp Black
If you really are a true tube amp purist and fail to be sold by the above, Mesa Boogie’s Mark Five is sure to satisfy all your traditionalist tonal desires. It’s pricey, but you certainly get what you pay for – that being a pro-quality amp that delivers uncompromising, iconic tones.
This multi-watt Boogie features two fully independent channels with six clean and overdriven style modes – including Fat, Crunch and Xtreme – that can be meticulously manipulated with Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass and Presence parameters. A graphic Boogie five-band EQ makes tone tweaking even more hands-on, with a built-in spring reverb capping off the spec sheet for this remarkable little combo.
The Mesa Boogie Mark Five (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Fender Tone Master Super Reverb 45W 4x10 Guitar Combo Amp Black and Silver
If you want to delve into the digital amp world but still look authentic while you do it, look no further than the Fender Tone Master Super Reverb (opens in new tab). At first glance, it’s a classic Fender tube amp, but further inspection reveals it is in fact totally valve-less.
It provides a remarkably accurate emulation of the Super Reverb tone – thanks in part to the Jensen P-10R Alnico speakers – and can be dialed in to deliver everything from ethereal, modulated cleans to swampy, drive-heavy gains. It’s insanely light, too, meaning it can accompany you on the road, and it features 45W of tube emulation that will get along nicely with any pedals you may have. Speaking of which...
ProCo Rat2 Distortion Effects Pedal Bundle with Cable, Power Supply, Picks
There’s a reason the ProCo Rat 2 is considered one of the most iconic overdrive pedals in guitar lore. Launched in 1988, the unique pedal became famed for its tonal versatility that blended overdrive, fuzz and distortion into one unit. Safe to say, this three-in-one sound bank makes it a perfect addition to any pedalboard.
And as well as gaining access to some truly historic tones, this package from Guitar Center also gives you a 10-foot instrument cable, Rat RPS2 power supply and five Rat-branded guitar picks. It truly is a win-win.
The ProCo Rat 2 bundle (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Line 6 DL4 Delay
Why get a delay pedal that only offers one sound, when you can get the Line 6 DL4? The game-changing pedal, which has remained on thousands of pedalboards since its release, offers up 16 pro-quality delay effects, preset-saving powers, tap tempo capabilities and even a 14-second looper.
At the twist of a knob, the DL4 harnesses the tones of the Roland RE-101 Space Echo, TC Electronic 2290, Maestro EP-1 Echoplex and many more, making this ultra-versatile delay modeller a must-have for anyone looking to up their delay game.
The Line 6 DL4 (opens in new tab) is available now at Guitar Center.
Ernie Ball Volt Power Supply
If you plan on investing in some new pedals, you’re going to need a power supply that is up to the task. The Ernie Ball Volt is one of the market’s go-to pedalboard accessories owing to its real estate-mindful chassis – 90 x 59 x 23mm – that can be neatly tucked away even on the smallest of ‘boards.
In terms of getting juice to your pedals, the Volt also delivers the goods. The compact unit features five 9/18V isolated DC outputs, each at 300mA, and is daisy chain-compatible, meaning you can power pedals beyond the number prescribed by the Volt.
The Ernie Ball Volt (opens in new tab) is available at Guitar Center.
Ernie Ball Axis Capo
Though it may seem simple to design a capo – they literally just hold down strings, afterall – Ernie Ball’s Axis provides the added benefit of allowing for swift one-handed alterations that may be useful mid-song, mid-gig or even mid-practice.
Available in a range of colors, the Axis’ clever design makes it compatible with a wide variety of fretboard radiuses from curved to ultra-flat thanks to its nifty two-arm design. Simply flip the Axis over depending on your guitar’s fretboard, and voila.
The single spring design maintains ample tension on the fretboard to ensure no buzz creeps through, even when capoing at higher frets. It also looks pretty sleek, which is always a benefit.
The Ernie Ball Axis capo (opens in new tab) is available at Guitar Center.
All of the above, and much more, can be found over at Guitar Center (opens in new tab).