2018 has been an exciting year for musical instruments, so we thought we'd round up the best music gear of 2018 including the best guitars, synths and drums released in 2018
Whether they were announced at Namm 2018 or trickle released throughout the year, 2018 has held some of the coolest musical equipment, so we thought we’d round up the best music gear of 2018. This list compiles some of the best electric guitars of 2018 as well as the best amplifiers, synths, drums and more released this year or made available here at PMT!
Fender Parallel Universe
The Fender Parallel Universe series of guitars completely blew us all away here at PMT. These guitars fused an array of classic Fender designs to create highly playable and extremely cool looking guitars.
A Tele mixed with a Jazzmaster, a Strat mixed with a Jaguar and a Telecaster style PJ bass were some of the highlights! Check out the full range here, but for now just look at this stunning Fender 2018 Limited Edition Jazz Tele Surf Green guitar!
BOSS GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor
The BOSS GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor took the guitar world by storm, screaming in to our best music gear of 2018 list with ease. This is essentially every Boss FX pedal ever crafted rolled into one, and has quickly become one of the best multi FX pedals for tone purists thanks to the combination of A.I.R.D technology and BOSS's acclaimed Tube Logic. These two features ensure your effect and amps respond exactly as you need them to. Hundreds of amps and effects are pre-loaded including effects from the DD-500, MD-500, and RV-500 pedals. There’s also 10 footswitches and an integrated expression pedal so you’ll have more than enough control over your sound.
The range of TOURTECH Drums have absolutely blown us away here at PMT as they provide electronic drummers with gig worthy options at a fraction of the price you’d normally expect. The four options range from total beginner electronic drum kits starting from £199 to professional level kits from as little as £399 and are all packed with hundreds of high-quality percussion voices and intuitive learning features. Check out the range with Steve White (Paul Weller, The Who) below.
- TOURTECH TT-12S Electronic Drum Kit
- TOURTECH TT-12SM Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Snare
- TOURTECH TT-16S Electronic Drum Kit
- TOURTECH TT-22M Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads
One brand we proudly began stocking in 2018 was the beautifully designed G&L Guitars range. These were the last guitars Leo Fender worked on, with which he famously declared 'G&L guitars and basses are the best instruments I have ever made.' And we couldn’t agree more!
Leo took the likes of the Telecaster and Stratocaster models he designed for Fender and improved them, introducing 3 key elements, most notably the Magnetic Field Design pickups, Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato and G&L Saddle-Lock Bridge. You can learn more about these beautiful guitars in our History of G&L Guitars blog. But for starters we recommend feasting your eyes on this G&L Tribute Legacy Hss 3-Tone Sunburst Maple Fingerboard!
The All-New Eastcoast Guitars and basses
The all-new Eastcoast guitars range really took our breath away this year. This brand-new series of guitars completely obliterate any previous expectations you may have had as the team at Eastcoast completely redesigned every aspect of their guitar and bass line-up, improving on construction, pickup design, playability and the materials used. This commitment to creating hard working, great sounding guitars has resulted in the brand easily making it into our best music gear of 2018 with their plethora of guitars and basses inspired by some familiar shapes.
We recommend checking out the Eastcoast GL20 Electric Guitar in Tobacco Sunburst. This is just one of the awesome guitars available to pre-order now offering everyone from beginner to professional guitarists with a gig worthy, workhorse of a guitar that won’t break the bank.
Sandberg Bass Guitars
Since landing at PMT stores in 2018, the Sandberg bass guitar range has quickly become a contender for best music gear of 2018. Each bass is made completely with love and everything is put together by hand by their experienced team of Luthiers in the factory in Braunschweig Germany. Each Sandberg is made to order and completely unique, as there is no ‘off the shelf’ or ‘cookie cutter’ style guitar. You can choose everything from shape, to pickup configuration to finish – you can create your dream bass!
Take a look at our Sandberg Factory Tour below and take a listen to how great these bass guitars sound, a little lower down.
Fender American Performer Series
The Fender American Performer Series guitars were created by musicians, for musicians, offering up some innovative design features that guitarists will not only notice but actually benefit from!
Each guitar and bass from the range features jumbo frets for easier playing, satin necks and the Greasebucket Tone System which allows you to cut the treble without losing any gain or ‘muddying’ your sound so your tone is intact.
The Fender American Performer Stratocaster in particular is a favourite with its beautifully designed new Yosemite pickups, Classicgear Tuning Machines and Push-Pull Potentiometer which allows you to activate the neck/bridge pickup combo and “all on” combinations, so you can take full advantage of your lush single coils. We think these are some of the best electric guitars of 2018 and possibly some of the best the brand has ever made.
Check out the full Fender American Performer Series here.
Alvarez Acoustic Guitars
Again, they weren’t strictly released this year, but this is the first year we have stocked the world-renowned Alvarez brand and we couldn’t be happier. The beautifully designed acoustic guitars are currently some of the most popular guitars in America and used by the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Bono, Johnny Cash, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Ani DiFranco, Jerry Garcia, Paul McCartney, Carlos Santana and Thom Yorke – to name a few.
With their innovative Forward Shifted Type 2 bracing system, asymmetric tone bars and superb tone woods, these acoustic guitars sing louder than most on the market today. Best of all, they have been designed to provide world-class playability without breaking the bank.
We love the Alvarez MD60BG Dreadnought Bluegrass Natural Gloss from the Masterwork Series - pictured above.
Check out the full Alvarez Guitars range here.
Moog Grandmother Analogue Synthesizer
The Moog Grandmother Analogue Synthesizer was a huge announcement that really got us excited and storms into our best music gear of 2018 confidently. This captures the essence of the original modular synth designs, but makes it entirely portable and affordable for the modern musician. Thanks to its smaller design, budget friendly price tag and amazing features such as 32-note Fatar keyboard with velocity and easy to use Arpeggiator and Sequencer, this is a powerhouse synthesiser that can be easily added to any studio setup.
Band Lab Link Analog Audio Interface for PC, Mac, IOS & Android
The BandLab Link has made all of our best audio interface blogs with ease thanks to its highly affordable price tag, plug-and-play functionality and extremely portable construction – I mean, look at it, it fits in the palm of your hand!
This offers completely portable recording for PC, Mac, IOS & Android, has a built-in rechargeable battery that charges via USB, an adjustable gain knob as well as combo jack socket and headphone out, so it’s essentially a recording studio in the palm of your hand. You also get everything you need to start recording straight away including all cables for your android and iOS device.
Boss MT-2W Metal Zone Waza Craft Pedal
A classic pedal gets the long awaited Waza Craft treatment! The Boss MT-2W Metal Zone Waza Craft Pedal is an updated version of the Metal Zone providing distortion lovers with a dual-stage gain circuit made from premium components. Standard mode updates the original sound with improved clarity and lower noise whilst the Custom mode provides increased dynamics and a tighter low end. This is the ultimate Metal Zone!
Adam T7V Nearfield Studio Monitor
The Adam T7V Nearfield Studio Monitors, which were announced at Namm 2018, got us excited here as they provided the home to mid-size room producers with the classic Adam monitor sound at a price anyone can afford. They’re packed with a new U-ART 1.9” Accelerated Ribbon Tweeter, new polypropylene 7” woofer and rear-firing bass-reflex port with a maximum peak SPL at 1 m per pair: 110 dB – that’s pretty impressive for a monitor at just over £150! Check out our video below and see why they made our best music gear of 2018. Available as a single monitor or as a pair.
Orange Brent Hinds Terror 15w Signature Valve Amp Head
When Mastodon’s Brent Hinds puts his name to something, you know it’s going to be good. Whether it’s a new Mastodon album, a signature guitar or this new Orange Terror 15w Signature Valve Amp Head, it’s going to blow minds! The Orange Brent Hinds Terror 15w Signature Valve Amp Head captures Brent’s signature Mastodon sound in a portable, but extremely powerful amplifier head. You have two channels to play with; Natural and Dirty as well as switchable power options so you can perform on stage and practice at home with the same power, just at a volume that won’t get you evicted!
Landlord FX Pedals
The Landlord FX pedal range is a new collection of guitar and bass effects that all guitarists can afford. These budget friendly pedals are well built, beautifully adorned with a tongue in cheek ‘Pub’ theme and sound amazing. Whether you choose the Whiskey Chaser distortion pedal, Taproom delay or Spinning Room Modulation, you’re getting a professional level effects pedal with a quality of sound you’d associate with pedals many times the price. Best of all, they won’t take up too much room either! Some of the best effects pedals of 2018, hands down!
View the full range of Landlord FX pedals here.
PRS MT15 Mark Tremonti Signature Amp Head
When it was announced at Namm 2018 and before it had even arrived in stores, the PRS MT15 Mark Tremonti Signature Amp Head had a place in our best music gear of 2018 list. This amp is simply stunning. This has been designed in conjunction with PRS and the legendary guitarist, so you know it’s going to sound good! This is an all-valve, 2-channel amp design with a lush Clean channel as well as a massive Gain channel that can take you to the world of crushing riffs and face melting solos instantly! A great sounding amp with a matching PRS MT15 1x12 Tremonti Extension Speaker Cab – take a listen below.
Akai Fire FL Studio Controller
Long gone are the days of trying to cobble together a bunch of different controllers for your FL Studio sessions as the Akai Fire FL Studio Controller is the answer to all your production prayers. This has been specifically designed for dedicated FL Studio control and instantly maps out of the box for plug and play functionality. There’s a 16-step sequencer, intuitive performance mode and 4 x 16 matrix of velocity-sensitive RGB pads plus many more features. One of the best USB MIDI controllers of 2018 and the essential FL Studio companion.
Laney Mini Amps
The selection of Laney Mini amps makes our best music gear of 2018 list thanks to their massive sound, portability and super affordable price tag. Oh wait… AND because you have access to literally THOUSANDS of classic sounds via the Tonebridge app! Laney's Smart Insert (LSI) function allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet to the amp via the supplied LSI cable and launch the Tonebridge app giving access to thousands of classic guitar tones. You can instantly access the sounds of Van Halen’s Eruption, Eric Clapton’s Layla and many more – the list is almost endless.
We love the Laney Mini-ST-Lion Battery Powered Stereo Amplifier with its 2 x 3 watt speakers and onboard tape style delay. It’s the Laney amp sound, just in a small package.
PreSonus ATOM USB Pad Controller
Finally, we have the PreSonus ATOM USB Pad Controller which is a fantastic, budget friendly option for producers both new and experienced as you can produce beats, trigger samples and take control of your virtual instruments. The budget friendly price tag, 16 velocity/pressure sensitive RGB LED pads and superb functionality allows it to take the final place in our best music gear of 2018 with ease. It also includes Studio One Artist Software for Mac and Windows as well as MVP Loops content custom-designed for ATOM which is ideal if you’re just starting out in the world of production.
We hope you enjoyed our best music gear of 2018 – we can’t wait to see what happens when Namm 2019 news is released and we can take a look at the best music gear of 2019 too!