I noticed that a lot of times, less mainstream known companies tend to try very hard to get their name out, and make amazing products.

For example:

Bogner and Diezel are rising to a mainstream name but still aren't at the popularity of Marshall or Line6 but their amps are jaw dropping

Tom Anderson, Vigier, and Laguna Guitar Companies are nowhere near the fame of Ibanez, Gibson, and ESP but still make amazing quality guitars that I consider better than the bigger name.

Effects Pedals companies such as Xotic Effects arent near the fame of Boss, yet make some of the best pedals I've heard such as the BB preamp, and AC Booster

any other less mainstream companies you guys can recommend for me to check out?

Over the next year before music school I plan to take a good job and build up my tone, figured that instead of settling for the next step up, I might as well save up and buy professional gear and start a real movement towards the tone I want.

thanks in Advance
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Axl guitars for both. As well as SX Guitars, Agile Guitars, and Douglas Guitars, which can be found on Rondomusic.com. Keely guitar effects are probably some of the best boutique effects, along with Fulltone stuff, but not too many ppl know alot about em, at least not like Boss and Digitech pedals.
Bogner is awesome.
Har nånn egentli vorri langt sjøl om bestemt sæ for å bruk t å me gå å vill å gjør sjå mer lik?
someone told me kustom make alright cheap amps, but i have never used one so i wouldnt know
Quote by zombiak
True, I'm from Poland (that's where they produce the guitars) and they make really good guitars, especially for heavier types of music. If you're from Europe, look them up, they make quality stuff.

me too =D
Most of those companies ARE mainstream. Any guitarist worth his salt knows of Anderson, Suhr, Bogner, Ran, James Tyler, ENGL, Fulltone, Vigier, ZVex, Keeley, Dr Z, GMW, Bad Cat, Zion, Signature, Robin, Rand and probably some more I'm forgetting. You just don't here it mentioned here as 90% of this board doesn't have the money for such guitars, amps, and effects.

As for budget companies that aren't well known, like Cort, Samick/Greg Bennet, AXL, Hondo, and Aria is because they either make garbage now or made garbage back in the 80s/90s.
for Amps i have to say look up Randall Aiken's stuff. There is also Dr Z and his amps which are quite awesome.
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as far as amps go there is a bunch of stuff that would be considered much better than Marshall that average people don't know about. Of course they're usually considered boutique and are very expensive. Ceriatone is a good one that is actually very fairly priced. I'm thinking about getting one of their Dumble clones.
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Unbelievable amps:
Check out the sound clips for the Peacemaker, Scorpion, & Coyote models.
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Why can't they be mainstream? Just because there mainstream doesn't mean there not as good.

Also almost all the companies you mentioned are known by most guitarists who have a decent gear knowledge.
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