SPECIAL MENTION: Fender’s new hybrid guitar ($1,999), based on its beloved vintage 1958 electric, goes beyond what prior electrified acoustics have offered to create a new sort of instrument for working musicians. When played unplugged, its hollow body resonates like a traditional acoustic guitar, but when the juice is on, electronics inside let it ring like an amped-up acoustic or roar like a true electric. Moreover, via its signature “Blend” knob, users can discover mixed tone combinations that traditional guitars could never produce. —Don Steinberg
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