It may be only March, but 2021 has already bestowed upon us a wealth of new and mouth-watering gear. And if nothing else, we all have a bit more time at home these days to play around with all these new tools and toys.
With this in mind, Guitar World has taken the liberty of highlighting some pieces of gear you should absolutely, positively, without question check out. Here’s our Best New Products of 2021 roundup.
Like its MG-300 modeler, the new NUX MG-30 boasts the company’s TSAC-HD (True Simulation of Analog Circuit) algorithm. This “white box” modeling algorithm offers the most impressive and authentic real tube amp response, with the ability to model every component, including capacitors, tubes, transformers and more, in order to emulate the entire amp circuit.
What’s more, the MG offers even better definition, from HD to 2K, than its predecessor.
The modeler sports two NXP RT processors and drives 1024 samples with Impulse Response resolution with ultra-low system latency. There’s also two premium 32-bit two-channel audio CODECs for high-quality sound performance and a dynamic range of 110dB.
Features include 25 electric guitar amp models, two acoustic amp models and three bass amp models, as well as eight guitar and bass cabs, eight mics and three mic placement options.
It’s a smaller virtual gear set, but as NUX explains, “Working musicians don't need hundreds of mediocre amp models. Knowing this, we focused on 30 classic essentials, and made each and every one live up to the standards of the most demanding players.”
The MG-30 also boasts a host of pre- and post-effects, as well as a tuner and phrase looper, 4-inch LCD screen with intuitive UI, external foot control, USB recording interface. QuickTone edit software, meanwhile, allows users to tweak parameters, download patches, load third-party IRs and more.
It’s a whole lot of top-rated functionality in a compact and affordable unit. For more information on the MG-30, head to NUX EFX.
Fender Spark-O-Matic Jazzmaster
We’ve seen a lot of interesting new designs from Fender courtesy of its Parallel Universe models, but nothing quite like the Spark-O-Matic Jazzmaster.
For starters, it’s built using a three-piece body, composed of a mahogany core and chambered ash wings, rather than the one-piece alder body you’d usually find on a Jazzmaster.
Pickups, meanwhile, are three chrome-covered Seymour Duncan SM-1N and SM-3B mini-humbuckers that offer everything from a “smooth growl to full-throttle roar,” and are controlled via a five-way switch.
More typical Fender appointments onboard are an American Pro Jazzmaster bridge and tailpiece, 25.5” scale, Deep C maple neck, 18:1-ratio ClassicGear tuners and a 9.5”-radius, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard.
The Parallel Universe Volume II Spark-O-Matic Jazzmaster is available now for $1,999. For more info, head to Fender.com.
Red Witch Binary Star
Red Witch’s new Binary Star pedal is billed as a "celestial time modulator," offering up a number of analog-flavored delays and mods.
Indeed, from subtle chorus to insane pitch shifting, Red Witch's latest creation touts immeasurable versatility and tonal flexibility.
Analog-flavored sounds appear in the form of straightforward delays – slapback and long repeats – as well as other modulation effects, including chorus, vibrato, and pitch-shifting.
Adjustments can be made through universe, replicate, mix, velocity and depth knobs, which work alongside two additional switches that throw even more sonic options into the mix.
Dialing up the velocity will give you a cascading effect, while rolling it back in favor of more depth will give you a deep shimmering sound. Universe and replicate controls set the delay time and determine the number of repeats, while the mix knob allows you to curate your own concoction of the dry and wet signals.
The toggle switch on the left allows you to easily increase or decrease overall delay time, while the right hand toggle switch flicks between warm and bright tonal variations.
As an added feature, the Binary Star can also be used in mono or stereo mode – the latter lets you split the wet and dry signals into two outputs, which can be run through separate amps.
The Binary Star is available for $249. For more information, head to Red Witch.
Boss Nextone Special
In the market for a new amp? Boss first announced its “premier” Nextone Special 1x12 combo late last year, and the boutique-style unit is finally, officially available.
The 80-watt amp, like others in the Nextone line, utilizes Boss’s Tube Logic to replicate the dynamic response of classic tube guitar amps, bolstered by switchable power amps, including a choice of EL84, EL34, 6V6 and 6L6 class AB circuits.
The Special also adds in two fully independent channels, accessed via the front panel, as well as “enhanced reactive drive circuitry” to refine the interaction between power section and speaker.
That speaker is an all-new Boss Waza B12W 12-inch design, which promises to capture the sound of ’60s ‘blue bell’ models, offering rich lows, mellow mids and clear highs, all with modern power handling capacity.
Other features include a choice of British or American tone stacks, an Extra Headroom switch on the clean channel and the ability to set switchable solo levels on both channels.
For more information on the Nextone Special, head to Boss.
Kiesel Jason Becker Yin Yang
Since this is Guitar World, after all, we’ll finish off this new gear roundup with one more six-string - in the case, the Kiesel Jason Becker Yin Yang.
The new collaboration with the beloved shredder seeks to encapsulate his "dream guitar", and boasts a number of exclusive options offered on no other Kiesel model.
Build-wise, the JBYY sports a slightly tweaked body shape composed of mahogany, which seeks to deliver a warm, resonating tone when paired with the bolt-on quarter-sawn maple neck and 14"-radius roasted maple fingerboard.
The body boasts a yin yang artwork, which pays homage to both the stylistic appointments of Clapton's “Blackie” and the Chinese philosophical concept of balance. The imagery is continued elsewhere, with yin yang inlays adorning the fingerboard.
Other functional appointments include a Becker-model-mainstay Floyd Rose tremolo, as well as a locking nut, Kiesel locking tuners, a 24.75" scale length and reversed angled headstock.
Pickups are an M12SD bridge humbucker and the Mark's single coil. While the former seeks to reproduce the tones of Becker's Bluey pickup, the latter offers up a more classic, traditional tone.
The electronics are controlled by way of a five-way pickup selector, master volume and master tone control.
On the choice of imagery, Becker said, "Although I love the meaning of unity/duality in the yin yang symbol, my desire to design a guitar like this came from my love of Eric Clapton's 'Blackie' guitar.
"This yin yang design of mine was meant to capture the look of 'Blackie.' To me, every line and curve is beautiful. I worked really hard on getting the perfect balance of black and white and artistic movement.”
The JBYY lists for $1,999, and a portion of the proceeds from sales will go directly to Becker to help him finance his high medical costs.
For more info on the new guitar, head over to Kiesel.