Music Instrument Buying Guides

Overwhelmed by the mindboggling array of music gear out there today? Dazed by all the specs, features, and technobabble? Can’t figure out if you want a guitar with active or passive pickups? Stymied over the best way to get started recording or playing live? Can’t decide what recording equipment is right for your home studio? Uncertain what guitar amp is the right fit for your music and budget? You’ve arrived at the place to get the answers you need. We’ll help you choose the music gear and instruments that makes sense for your style and budget with straightforward, no-B.S. information you can count on.

Headphones and Earphones Buying Guide

Headphones and Earphones Buying Guide

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What do you look for in headphones and earphones? While there are many models to choose from, your planned use should help greatly to narrow your choices.

Sound quality, of course, is important to everybody; but for some, big bass is a must where others prefer open, full-range reproduction that emphasizes overall accuracy. Other factors include isolation, comfort, weight, portability, and fit, which we’ll discuss below.

Do you need headphones or earphones to plug into a portable player of some kind for casual listening? Or are you looking for a set of studio-worthy reference headphones for monitoring recordings? The following discussion of the different types of headphones and earphones and their applications will give you the basic knowledge you need to choose the right model for your purpose.

Pearl Drums Buying Guide

Pearl Drums Buying Guide

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Find the right Pearl drums to match your music and budget

Stratocaster vs. Les Paul: Which Is Right for You?

Stratocaster vs. Les Paul: Which Is Right for You?

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We break down the primary features and compare these two iconic axes

Best Recording Gear for Beginners

The Best Recording Gear for Beginners

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How to choose the right audio equipment to match your ambitions, budget and music

Stage Monitors Buying Guide

Stage Monitors Buying Guide

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How to choose the right stage monitor speakers or in-ear monitors to match your budget, music and shows

Four Guitar Amps That Helped Birth Blues-Rock

Four Guitar Amps That Helped Birth Blues-Rock

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A look at four signature guitar combo amplifiers and how they helped write the history of electrified blues and rock.

iOS Gear for DJs Buying Guide

iOS Gear for DJs Buying Guide

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How to choose the right iOS-compatible audio equipment to keep the beats coming seamlessly

Audio Mixers Buying Guide

Audio Mixers: How to Choose

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In the most basic terms, the audio mixer, or mixing console as it’s sometimes called, combines audio signals, processes them, then routes them to wherever they need to go. Nowadays, many different devices offer some mixing capabilities. Even tablets and smart phones teamed with the right apps and interfaces can perform some mixing functions. And of course, all DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software includes mixing capabilities.

Bass Amplifier Buying Guide

Bass Amplifiers: How to Choose the Right Bass Amp Rig

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Tips for finding the right bass guitar amplifier and speaker cabinets to match your budget, music and the venues where you play.

Live Sound DJ Gear Buying Guide

The DJ Buying Guide to Live Sound Gear

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Moretti

How to choose the right PA equipment to match your music, gigs and budget

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