1. Gibson Frank Hannon Love Dove
With their latest release, Gibson pay tribute to Tesla (the band, not the brand) guitarist Frank Hannon with a beautifully made acoustic guitar, dubbed the Love Dove. Based on a Gibson Dove from the 1970s, it features thermally-aged Sitka spruce top with maple for the back and sides, as well as a traditional hand-scalloped X bracing with a three-piece maple neck and rosewood fretboard.
The Love Dove is decorated with mother-of-pearl parallelogram and wing inlays on the bridge, while each guitar features a custom ‘Love’ engraved truss rod cover. There’s also an intricate hand-painted and engraved Dove pickguard for a touch of class, as well as a bone nut, a set of Grover Keystone tuners and an onboard LR Baggs VTC pickup. Hear how it sounds below.
2. Mesa/Boogie Subway TT-800
Another addition to the stellar compact Subway amplifier range, the TT-800 is Mesa/Boogie’s latest offering for bassists. Built in California and featuring an authentic tube driven preamp, the TT-800 provides full bore bass tone for the demanding player, with the legendary tone stack architecture of the Bass 400 being used in the Boogie channel for a tight low end with punchy mids and clean highs.
The Subway TT-800 features two input gain stages, as well as Deep and Bright switches in tandem with a four-band EQ on both channels for unlimited tonal flexibility. An inbuilt fan keeps things nice and cool even when your shredding is red hot, while an O/D Symmetry control in the power section lets you adjust the clip characteristics for each part of the power amp. There’s also an Aux In, Headphone Out, FX Loop, SpeakON outputs and switchable impendance to suit 2, 4 or 8 ohms, making the Subway TT-800 an absolute monster for the modern bass player.
3. Radial Hotshot 48v
Nobody makes useful gear quite like Radial make useful gear, and the Hotshot 48v proves why they’re considered kings in this domain. It’s not the most fascinating product they’ve released, but as far as a utility device, it’s definitely pretty nifty. Essentially, the Hotshot 48v lets you send your microphone signal to two different outputs, which could prove very useful for a vocalist looking to run wet and dry rigs onstage.
The Hotshot also lets you provide 48v phantom power to a condenser microphone, and you can even configure the footswitch to be momentary or latching for various applications. With a bit of creativity, we reckon this unassuming unit could prove to be quite powerful in the right hands, and at worst, it’s probably as good as an A-B switcher you’re likely to find on the market.
4. Collings 00 12-Fret Traditional Series
Bespoke acoustic manufacturers Collings have unveiled a pair of new models for their T-Series. With a classic 12-fret 00 design, the 001 T and 002H T act as a throwback to the glory days of parlor guitar builds, built with a Sitka spruce top and featuring Honduran mahogany and East Indian rosewood tonewoods for the back and sides respectively.
Each model features a sweet vintage voicing with a round treble response and less overtone complexity than other models, as well as open-slot tuners and a pyramid bridge. There’s also an ultra-thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish for a bit of extra sheen, while a redesigned neck offers a more articulate and woody tone. If you’re chasing a high-end acoustic that isn’t a big old dreadnaught model, these guitars look like a premium solution.
5. Ibanez AE Acoustic Series
Here’s something pretty cool! Ibanez have updated their AE acoustic range with brand new pickups, scalloped bridges, improved preamps and a new X-M bracing, putting a hyper modern spin on their acoustic range. There’s a whole bunch of awesome new models on offer, like the AE2912, a twelve string model with an okoume body and an wooden vine fretbaord inlay for jangly, earthy vibes.
There’s also the AE325, which features a five piece African mahogany and pau ferro neck, as well both am AP11 Magnetic pickup and a T-bar undersaddle pickup with stereo outputs for expansive tone shaping possibilities. It’s an awesome new update for such a classic series, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one soon.
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