It's been a good year for amplifiers... so this is easily the most competitive Gear of the Year showdown we've had in the amp category.
The big names in the amp industry all came out with new flagship valve amps, many of them handwired, in what seemed like a colluded effort to compete with the burgeoning boutique amp manufacturers.
And those very same burgeoning boutique manufacturers all came out with some absolute beauties this year too, we're spoiled for choice.
But we actually kick off with a digital amp... no seriously, we do.
5) Blackstar ID Core Stereo
Valve purists and boutique purists look away now because one of the cheapest amplifiers on the market has made it into our top five pedals of the year.
Let us justify this decision before you send a vigilante after us.
The stereo field on this single speaker amplifier is unbelievable, when the guys at Blackstar first showed us the amp in January, they explained how they used a combination of black magic, voodoo and science to achieve the effect (and DSP, obviously).
But on top of this, the ID Core Stereo series offers an incredibly impressive tone for the price, and the tonal range makes it almost the perfect practice amp.
For pure value for money, this practice amp should be sitting in your house right now, read for you to plug in and have a good time.