New Year New Gear: Gibson unveils new signature models, Gator lets you store your guitars in style and Xsonic offers new flexibility and control with the Airstep

We may be just a few weeks into 2021, but the year has already provided us with plenty of great new products from the MI world. 

But have no fear – Guitar World's Paul Riario and Alan Chaput are here to help you find exactly what you need to bring your playing to the next level. They've waded through tons of new equipment so you don't have to (and also because they really, really love it). 

With that in mind, check out these new items – Gibson’s Kirk Douglas SG and Kramer’s Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager guitars, Gator’s guitar closet hanging bags and Xsonic’s Airstep universal foot controller – that have grabbed Paul and Alan's attention in this installment of New Year New Gear. 

Gibson is kicking off 2021 with two standout signature models, the Kirk Douglas SG and the Kramer Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager.

The mahogany-body, triple-pickup SG from the Roots and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon guitarist sports Burstbucker 1, 2 and 3 humbuckers controlled via a three-way toggle, which selects the bridge, neck or both. Each of those two pickups has its own volume control with a push/pull coil-split on each. There’s also a third volume control (again with coil-split), allowing players to blend in the middle pickup with any other pickup combination.

Additional features include a single master tone knob, master volume, Keystone tuners and signature “Captain” Lyre Tail Vibrola tailpiece, and the guitar is finished in Inverness Green or Ebony.

The Tracii Guns Gunstar Voyager, meanwhile, is the first signature Kramer from the LA Guns guitarist. Features include a star-shaped mahogany Voyager body with a black metallic finish and flame graphics, a three-piece set maple neck with a Slim C profile and a classic Kramer pointy headstock with a Kramer Pyramid logo on the front and a chrome wrench holder on the back.

There’s also a pair of Epiphone ProBucker pickups, each with its own volume control and coil-splitting push/pull switch, a Floyd Rose 1000 series tremolo and a top mounted R2 locking nut and chrome string retainer bar.

For more information, head to Gibson.

New Year New Gear

(Image credit: Gator Cases)

Living in a small space but still yearning to collect as many guitars as possible? Gator is here to help you out with its new line of guitar closet hanging bags.

The bags feature dual rail hooks that are attached directly to reinforced nylon web straps to ensure guitars hang safely. Simply hook the bags directly over the closet railing and load in your instrument of choice.

Additionally, there's a durable grey polyester fabric exterior and soft tricot interior lining to protect guitars from dust and prevent instruments from damage when coming into contact with other closet items.

A built-in ventilation grommet, meanwhile, ensures proper humidity during long-term storage.

The bags also sport mesh pockets with hook-and-loop closures on the rear for additional storage for tuners, pedals, strings and other accessories. 

The guitar closet hanging bags are offered for $39.99 in electric, acoustic and bass designs at ProAudioStar.

New Year New Gear

(Image credit: Xsonic)

Xsonic has introduced the Airstep, a universal foot controller that offers unprecedented flexibility and control of your music-related devices and effects app ecosystem.

The Airstep allows you to control hardware effects and amplifiers with MIDI input, and it can also be used as a traditional relay footswitch to control amps and effects.

What’s more, it can control DAW and effect apps in a mobile phone, tablet or computer through Bluetooth, and even turn a traditional MIDI controller into a wireless one.

The unit sports five footswitches on its surface, and can wirelessly expand to five more. Each footswitch can send up to eight different control messages at one time, and the messages can be easily edited via the free Airstep app.

There’s also a massive library of built-in app presets, and all parameters are editable via the app.  

Additionally, Xsonic has also launched the Airstep Lite, which communicates exclusively via Bluetooth. The lower-cost unit is suitable in standalone applications where its big brother’s extensive feature set is not required, including controlling an IOS app, as an expansion for the Airstep to create a 10 footswitch controller and more.

For more information, head to Xsonic Audio.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.