Line 6 JTV-59
This is one fast, precise ax, with two crisp alnico humbucking pickups plus a rosewood fretboard and tall nut that launch your fingers around the neck. The distinct tones you can get out of each string will automatically make you feel like a better musician. Line 6’s Workbench freeware lets you customize the pickups, right down to the coils’ (theoretical) angle against the strings. And the library of 28 simulated guitar sounds will let you switch on the fly from a Gibson ES-355 to a Martin D28 to a ’66 Guild 12-string.
get-gadget Virtual Capo retunes the strings’ pitch on the spot. Phish-show-worthy battery life. Enough simulated guitars to fill a store.
TIRED In the time it takes to understand the customization software, you could learn how to play the sax. Piezo pickup sounds a bit cheap.
$1,500 | Roland G5 Fender Stratocaster
Photo: Greg Broom