Gear & Tech Tips / 14 January 2021

Getting BIG Tone for the Bedroom Guitarist: Our Picks

Anyone guilty of poking fun at bedroom guitarists who never play outside their home? Well jokes on you! We’re all bedroom guitarists now. 

Many of you will already appreciate, sounding great playing at a gig is a completely different ball game. What sounds awful at home might sound great in a band mix, and vice versa.

Now’s the perfect time to tweak your set up to sound great at home, whether you’re planning to record your guitar, practicing, or just feel great about your stay-at-home tone. We’ve selected some of our favourite gear that’ll give you some bedroom tonal bliss.

Marshall DSL5CR 5W Dual Channel Tube Guitar Combo Amplifier

Don’t mourn your huge 100 watt amp set up too much – low wattage amps certainly don’t mean anaemic tone. A 5 watt tube amp can still knock your socks off with its volume and achieve a great cranked tone (without inciting your neighbours to file a civil lawsuit against you!).

Small tube combo amps have entered a renaissance period over the past years and the Marshall DSL5C is no different. An all tube, twin-channel tone machine that gives you the glassy cleans and bone-rattling crunch that Marshalls are famous for, while the Softube speaker-emulated output on the DSL5C gives you the ability to silently capture those great tones for direct recording and monitoring.

Strymon Iridium Amp & IR Cab Guitar Effects Pedal

The minimalist, highly functional ethos isn’t just for lifestyle enthusiasts, at least that is what Strymon told us with the introduction of their highly acclaimed Iridium Amp & Cab IR pedal.

In simple terms, the Iridium is an amp modeller and a damn good one at that. This handsome space-grey pedal comes stock with three ultra accurate models of 3 highly sought-after vintage amps with 3 high-quality cab-sims for each. With its compact size, the Iridium goes nicely on your pedal board for a hassle free connection to PA systems for live shows or on your desk for quick and easy recordings sessions straight into your audio interface. The best part? The nifty headphone out for silent practice sessions whenever and wherever.

Hotone Limited Edition MP-100 Ampero Multieffects Pedal

What is the Hotone Ampero? It’s probably easier to list what the Ampero isn’t.

Part audio interface, part amp modeller and part effects-modeller, this pink paradigm runs on a dual-DSP platform running both the CDCM HD (Comprehensive Dynamic Circuit Modelling High Definition) and FIRE (Field Impulse Response Enhancement) modelling systems.

Long story short, the Ampero digitally recreates entire circuits using modelled electronic components. This results in some of the most accurate and realistic tones from a digital unit yet.

Served with an array of features such as a touch screen display, hundreds of effects and amp sims, multiple IO ports and a ground lift switch, the Hotone Ampero is definitely one of the most exciting products that has been unveiled in recent memory.

BandLab Link Digital Audio Interface

Coming from the folks over at BandLab, the BandLab Link Digital is a part of three entry-level audio interfaces that are designed to be reliable, rugged and easy-to-use.

Ideal for musicians who are making their first foray into digital recording, the Link Digital allows you to connect your guitar to your computer or tablet for high quality audio capture. Phantom power is included for microphones that need the additional juice, while gain and volume knobs offer the necessary controls to get you started.

The team at BandLab have also got you covered if you don’t have a DAW (or recording software)! Head over to bandlab.com on a Chrome browser, or download the app for iOS or Android, for a free cloud-based DAW packed with easy-to-use features for your next recording. Oh, and they’ve got a 16 million strong community if you’re looking to get your music out in the BandLab world.

Aston Origin Cardioid Condenser Microphone

If you’re looking to record your acoustic guitar for demos, then a condenser microphone has to be a top priority. Why? It’s because condenser mics have the widest frequency response and the best transient response in comparison to other types of microphones. If you’re after a quality mic on a budget, the Aston Origin might just fit the bill perfectly.

The Origin is a large diaphragm condenser mic that excels in many applications, especially on vocals and acoustic guitars. The Origin is able to capture a true and transparent-sounding rendition of your audio source without the dreaded shrillness. Exactly what you need if you’re going to be recording high-quality demos in your bedroom!

Keeley Tone Workstation Guitar Effects Pedal

Based on the fabled pioneer batch of pedals that have been used by the likes of John Mayer on Dead & Co., the Keeley Workstation is the reimagination of the pedal that has received rapturous reviews from musicians and collectors alike.

Built to deliver clarity and expressive tones, the Tone Workstation is a combination of Compression, Drive, Overdrive, and Boost effects, the essentials for tone-shaping. Perhaps the ultimate pedal in sheer utility, you’d do well to grab one while you still can before they all get bought up by tone hunters in 2026.

TC Electronic Ditto Jam X2 Looper Guitar Effects Pedal

This nifty gem from TC Electronic is a no-nonsense looping and overdubbing machine that captures up to 2 minutes of pristine 24 bit audio. This generation of X2 loopers come equipped with the BeatSense technology, a function that automatically analyses external rhythmic information to keep your loops from drifting out of sync.

A looper like the Ditto X2 makes for fantastic company when playing alone, whether you want to improve your soloing chops by accompanying yourself or to build up a song idea from scratch layer by layer.

Elixir Guitar Strings

Strings are easily one of the most overlooked topics when people talk about tone. Even the best collection of guitars, effects, pickups and amps are not going to make a set of dead strings sound good – you’ll only sound as good as your weakest link.

In a world full of snake oil and unvalidated jargon, Elixir strings prove to be some of the best quality strings for both electric and acoustic guitar. Featuring high-quality nickel plated steel cores coated in their secret proprietary coating, their strings not only have great tone but retain their freshness for longer too.

If you hate the sound of “dead strings” or have the unfortunate acidic sweat condition that corrodes your strings faster than Usain Bolt, Elixir strings are a great set you should definitely try out!


Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gear and tone! You can browse through many more pedals, amps and accessories on our online store.

We hope that our guide helps keep all you guitarists out there inspired to create new music during the course of your stay indoors. Remember we are still taking orders on our website and we’ll be able to deliver your music gear right to you. In times like this, it is the little things like a “New Gear Day” that helps inject a little joy into the day and helps us get through these trying times. Stay positive, stay safe, and keep the music alive!


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