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.

Recording Gear Buying Guide

Recording Gear Buying Guide

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

Audio Cable Buying Guide

Audio Cable Buying Guide

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Images: Monster Cable

How to choose the right connectors and cables to match your gear and budget

While cables may not be the sexiest part of your setup, understanding how they work and what to look for when shopping will eliminate hassles and ensure you get the best possible sound. This guide will get you up to speed on all the in and outs of audio cabling to help you choose the correct cables for your purpose.

Martin Guitar Buying Guide

Martin Guitar Buying Guide

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How to choose the right Martin guitar to match your budget and music

History of the Channel Strip

History of the Channel Strip

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Find out how channel strips evolved from the clunky mixing desks of the '50s and 60s and what Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon have in common.

Semi-Hollowbody Guitar Buying Guide

Semi-Hollowbody Guitar Buying Guide

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The semi-hollowbody guitar embodies the best in both electric and acoustic guitars offering both tonal depth and visual appeal. In addition to being a highly versatile instrument at home in a range of music genres, it also feels very familiar to anyone who’s played an acoustic or electric guitar.

Here’s a look at what this guitar is all about, and why you should be interested.

Violin Buying Guide

Violin Buying Guide

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How to choose the violin that matches your skill level and budget

World Percussion Buying Guide

World Percussion Buying Guide

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From drum circles to bands that feature hand percussion, interest in world percussion instruments has never been greater. In this buying guide we will familiarize you with the many instruments available today, their history, and the music genres in which they’re found.

How to Choose the Right Guitar or Bass Amp Replacement Speakers

How to Choose the Right Guitar or Bass Amp Replacement Speakers

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A Musician’s Friend Buying Guide

The ins and outs of replacing and upgrading speakers in guitar and bass combo amps and speaker cabinets

How to Choose the Right DJ Equipment

How to Choose the Right DJ Equipment

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Photo: Pioneer DJ

A Musician’s Friend Buying Guide

Whether you're a seasoned pro who regularly plays at clubs and events or an aspiring DJ still learning the ropes, you want to be well-informed before dropping your hard-earned cash on DJ gear. However, with so many different options available, picking DJ equipment and software can be confusing.

That's why we've designed this guide.

We will walk you through the buying decision, helping you understand all the DJ gear options and technical terms you'll come across.

If you're buying your first setup or upgrading your current rig, you'll find the information you need in this guide to shop with confidence.

How to Choose The Right PA System

How to Choose The Right PA System

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As a performing musician, capturing, mixing, and amplifying your sound involves choosing a live sound system that’s well matched to your music, budget, and the venues in which you play. In this guide we’ll walk you through all the live sound gear you need, tell you how it works, and help you find the right PA equipment to make your music sound its best.

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