The Best Blues-Ready Guitars, Amps and Effects on the Market
Got the blues but not the gear?
Cheer up with this excellent assortment of blues-ready guitars, amps, effects and more!
Epiphone Gary Clark Jr. “Blak & Blu” Casino With Bigsby
The Epiphone Gary Clark. Jr. “Blak & Blu” Casino with Bigbsy is the signature model for modern blues phenomenon, Gary Clark Jr. The Casino comes in a distinctive “blak and blu” sunburst finish, and features a glued-in set mahogany neck, 22 medium-jumbo frets, a 24 3/4–inch scale, Sixties SlimTaper D-shaped profile, rosewood fingerboard with parallelogram inlays, factory-installed Bigsby B70 vibrato tailpiece, Gibson USA P-90 single-coil pickups, laminated five-ply maple and birch top, and completely hollow body construction.
STREET PRICE: $799 | epiphone.com
Fender American Elite Stratocaster
The American Elite Series Stratocaster includes many innovations for players seeking modern performance. The guitar features groundbreaking fourth generation Noiseless pickups, a comfortable compound neck shape and heel, a two-point modern tremolo that adds emotive touches without sacrificing tuning, and locking, short-post tuning machines that provide increased break angle at the nut.
LIST PRICE: $1,899.99 | fender.com
Reverend Guitars Rick Vito RT
The Reverend Rick Vito RT is an Art Deco showpiece designed in partnership with blues legend Rick Vito. The guitar is a visual and sonic treat, with unique features that include ebony fretboard, stair-step tuner buttons, pickup pan knob, Reverend Revtron pickups and a Bigsby. The guitar also comes with Reverend’s Standard Two-Tone Teardrop case.
STREET PRICE: $1,499 | reverendguitars.com
PRS Guitars SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow
The PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow guitar produces musical midrange and outstanding resonance with its semi-hollow body construction. The guitar features a maple top with a single f-hole and flame maple veneer, chambered mahogany back, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, and dual humbuckers with a volume, tone, and three-way toggle electronics configuration.
STREET PRICE: $729 | prsguitars.com
Ibanez Mini Analog Delay Pedal
The Ibanez Mini Analog Delay mini-pedal is patterned after the original Ibanez AD9. The Mini Analog Delay is made in Japan and features 20 to 600 milliseconds of delay time with delay time, repeat and blend controls, 100-percent analog circuitry, true-bypass switching, all-metal housing and heavy-duty switch.
LIST PRICE $142.84 | ibanez.co.jp
Earthquaker Devices Bellows
The Bellows is a back-to-basics, transistor-based dirt device that straddles the line between amp-like grit and fuzzy saturation to create a remarkably vintage, tweed-type tone. The Drive control determines how hard the signal hits the input. Keep the Drive low for mellow, amp-like break up, and slowly bring up the Drive to arrive at blown out fuzz land. While designed for guitar, Bellows also handles bass well at growling low and scorching high levels.
LIST PRICE: $145 | earthquakerdevices.com
Boss Waza Craft VB-2W Vibrato
Based on the classic Boss VB-2 Vibrato pedal from the Eighties, the VB-2W uses 100-percent analog circuitry to recreate the original’s distinctive, sought-after vibrato with true pitch modulation sound. The pedal also features a new custom sound mode and real-time control functions that extend the effect’s range and versatility. The VB-2W produces consistent, controlled vibrato sounds similar to fretless string instruments, and lets you add natural vibrato to full chords without using a whammy bar. At extreme settings, the pedal is also capable of warble sounds and dramatic special effects.
STREET PRICE: $199 | bossus.com
DR Strings Pure Blues
The DR Strings Pure Blues strings use old-style construction to improve modern performance. The Pure Blues electric guitar strings are designed with pure nickel wrap wire, round wound on round cores. While this method of string making is slow and expensive, the result is a string that produces increased sustain, warm vintage tone and great bottom end for playing rhythm and lead.
STREET PRICE: $5.99 (per pack) | drstrings.com
Supro 1695T Black Magick
This 25-watt all-tube, high-gain blues amp hearkens back to the dimensions, cosmetics and circuitry of the Supro amps from 1959. The Black Magick features two channels wired in parallel, with independent volume controls and a single, shared tone control. The amp’s cathode-biased Class-A power section uses 6973 tubes to achieve the instantly recognizable midrange grind and touch dynamics that define the Supro sound. The signature Supro power tube tremolo adds footswitchable depth and dimension to this blues machine.
STREET PRICE: $1,499 | suprousa.com
DigiTech DOD Looking Glass Overdrive
A collaboration between DigiTech’s DOD and the boutique company Shoe Pedals, the Looking Glass is a sweet and musical drive with a character that works well for any task: lead, rhythm, low-gain, high-gain or even as a tone-shaping boost. This new hybrid of Class-A discrete FETs and asymmetrical clipping is so responsive that it can go from one end of the gain spectrum to the other with not only a flick of a switch, but with pick attack alone. Dual gain ranges are selectable on toggle, so the player can control the intensity of overdrive and distortion.
STREET PRICE: $149.95 | digitech.com
Tech 21 Boost Overdrive
The Tech 21 Boost Overdrive pumps up the midrange and adds sustain, like all the blues-rock sounds of classic pedals from the Seventies. The pedal’s all-analog circuitry provides greater dynamic range and cleans up like a tube amp. The Sparkle control adds upper harmonics for an open, snappy sound, and the Boost function delivers up to 21 decibels of clean boost, which can be used independently.
STREET PRICE: $149 | tech21nyc.com
Way Huge Overrated Special Overdrive
The Way Huge Overrated Special Overdrive is a bold and punchy overdrive designed for blues phenomenon Joe Bonamassa. The pedal is hot-rodded for a more pronounced midrange, with an added 500-hertz control for cutting or boosting low end.
STREET PRICE: $199.99 | jimdunlop.com
Electro-Harmonix The Crayon
The EHX Crayon is a versatile overdrive with independent bass and treble controls and an open frequency range that provides players with a musical alternative to mid-focused overdrive pedals. Housed in a compact, pedalboard-ready enclosure, the Crayon delivers a range of sounds from a hint of dirt to full-on distortion.
LIST PRICE: $83.63 | ehx.com
Fishman Fluence Signature Series Greg Koch Gristle-Tone Pickup Set
This signature pickup set incorporates two unique voices at the push of a button: open chicken pickin’ and muscular, fat and punchy. The set is a direct pickups replacement for Telecaster guitars, and includes a full assembly of two pickups, volume and tone pots, and a 1/4‑inch output jack with USB input for the integrated lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack. The set also includes a completely assembled, prewired, drop-in control plate with three-way switch and push-push voice selector button.
STREET PRICE: $349.95 | fishman.com
Roland Blues Cube Hot Guitar Amplifier
The Roland Blues Cube Hot is equipped with 30 watts of power and a custom 12-inch speaker. This compact combo is ideal for home or studio use, yet still delivers plenty of stage volume. The Blues Cube Hot features Roland’s acclaimed Tube Logic design, which reproduces the inner workings of the revered tweed-era tube amps: including preamp and output tube distortion characteristics, power supply compression, speaker interaction, and much more.
STREET PRICE: $499 | rolandus.com