« -Does gear even matter? »

Yes,.. and no.

There's certainly a temptation to equate great equipment with great tone and playing.  Honestly, I don't think that is entirely accurate or balanced.  A mediocre player with an incredible instrument is still going to sound mediocre!  On the other hand, a great instrument or device can open up creative and tonal potential that wasn't there before.

I could walk onstage at a Clapton soundcheck, pick up his guitar and play through his rig.  I know I wouldn't sound anything like Eric Clapton.  Conversely, I'm confident that Eric could plug my $80 pawn shop hollowbody guitar into a clock radio & instantly sound great & entirely like himself.  Of course, his musical vocabulary would be limited to the choices that this particular setup limits him.  This 'limitation' can actually be super-cool and generate great results, by the way!

All this is to say that while I am devoting a series of articles to various guitars, amps, pedals, etc... I don't think that gear matters any more than the player.  Arguably, the player is far more important!

I plan on continuing to update this section of with pictures, descriptions, anecdotes and soundclips of various pieces of gear that I use regularly or am reviewing.  I hope you find some value and entertainment from them.