You are indeed a great music lover. Some people listen, while others want to go further and be part of the music. If you have an electric or acoustic guitar, you are probably after a guitar amplifier to fully explore your creativity. You certainly want to feel the same as a professional guitarist, and, for that, you need to equip yourself properly.
Whether you are just starting or have been an instrumentalist for a long time, this guide can help you make the right choice based on what you want, the sound you try to get out of the instrument, and other factors to take into account. If you wish to emulate great personalities like Jimmy Page or find your style, we intend to help you as much as possible.
The most important
- A guitar amplifier may seem like a complicated item to understand, but once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll have found your way to review the options that best suit your needs.
- There are different types of guitar amplifiers on the market. There are the headstock type and the combo type, each with its particularities. You can also distinguish them by the technology used, something we will deal with later.
- In addition to knowing what a guitar amplifier can offer you, you must keep in mind a series of purchase criteria that we will present to you at the end of the text.
The best guitar amplifiers: Our recommendations
We were hoping you could make a purchase that makes you happy. For this, we try to bring a shortlist of amplifiers for different situations, but all with a good cost-benefit and well evaluated by the public. Just sit back and enjoy; we hope it is useful, and you like the selection.
- A very well rated guitar amplifier
- Good cost-benefit
- The best price
A very well rated guitar amplifier
The Crush 35RT is a combo guitar amplifier with two channels, great for those who are starting to do small shows, due to its 35 W power. It also has high gain pre-amplification coupled to his output and Voice Of The speaker ten ″ World, which will guarantee incredible results, a great punch, presence, and volume, besides having several other features for you to explore.
This is a combo-type guitar amplifier designed primarily for rehearsals and beginners, with its 10 W power. It has two channels, clean and overdrive, and a contour control function that together provide a great way to experiment with your sound. Weighing only 4.8 kg, this is an easy model to carry with you.
The best price
Made in memory of the legendary ’65 Twin-Amp amplifier, the Fender Twin 65 is great for those who are already starting to do some shows, with its power of 65 W. This model has a 9V battery or adapt AC (does not come with it), which guarantees good versatility as to where you can use it.
Shopping Guide: What you need to know about a guitar amplifier
If you have an electric or acoustic guitar, you need to know what guitar amplifier options you will find on the market. It is not difficult to understand what an amplifier is for and what it can do for you. Still, there are many brands and models available out there with high quality and different characteristics.
In a somewhat generic way, we will try to help answer your main questions.
What is a guitar amplifier, and what is it for?
In general, a guitar amplifier is an electronic device that amplifies the guitars’ signal, shaping it in such a way that people perceive the sound at a high volume. This sound is emitted through a loudspeaker. Almost all amplifiers have different functions, such as, for example, amplifying sound effects that adapt to your taste. Some of these settings allow you to modify the reverb, gain, or even equalize the sound to make the bass, treble, or midrange stand out. There are guitar amplifiers with different powers in watts, dimensions, more or fewer inputs, and outputs. More recently, models that have a Bluetooth connection and USB inputs are also being manufactured so that you can explore different ideas with your equipment.
When did the first guitar amplifier models appear?
The first amplifiers were made for acoustic guitars. It can be said that they emerged around the 1920s, the 20th century. However, during the 1930s and 1940s, electric amplifiers became widespread, primarily due to Hawaiian music. Of course, we are talking about models with a much simpler operation than the current ones. Little by little, they incorporated several sound effects and the levers on the guitars, such as a reverb area. It was not until the 1960s that guitar amplifier models started to become more sophisticated.
Dick Dale collaborated with Fender to create custom amplifiers. Saturation became even more in fashion with groups of that decade, such as The Kinks.
What types of guitar amplifiers are there?
We know some things can seem Greek when you don’t understand the subject very well, but don’t worry, we will try to help you know as much as possible about the guitar amplifier. For now, let’s take a look at the different types of amplifiers you can find on the market. You need to know this because they have other characteristics.
- Head: This is a pre-amplification device and power stage. This type of guitar amplifier is often used primarily to produce music professionally. But see, for the sound to come out right you will need a speaker with the same, or even more, power than the head itself.
- Combo: Its strength lies in the fact that it has all the parts of an amplifier, which means that you don’t need other items unless you want to configure some other specific elements. It is ideal for beginners, as it is much easier to use.
In addition to this main classification, it is also right that you understand a little bit of the technology behind these products:
- Valves: We can say that this is the first technology that was used in amplifiers. Its warmth and characteristics mean that there are still musicians who bet on such a guitar amplifier. However, they much restrict the type of sound you can produce.
- Solid-state: Also called transistors, they are a good alternative thanks to factors such as versatility, less weight, and the fact that they do not need much maintenance. Also, they are usually cheaper.
- Hybrids: Although not one of the most popular types today, these amplifiers offer the benefits of valves and transistors. They maintain absolute versatility and do not present great difficulties in keeping them in good condition.
- Modelers: Simply, these are amplifiers created with microprocessor technology. Thanks to this, they can mimic the sound of other types of amplifiers. They are endowed with a multitude of effects and are desired by musicians from rock and metal.
- Acoustic: As their name suggests, these models are focused on acoustic guitars. They reproduce a much cleaner sound and have no effects that can manipulate it, as is the case with other amplifiers.
What are the main parts that make up the functioning of a guitar amplifier?
So that you can understand a little better about what are the main parts that make up a guitar amplifier, let’s deal with it more graphically so that the information is put clearly and concisely.
In addition, here you will also be able to see what the head and combo amplifiers include. Thus, we group the information already described so far.
|Part of guitar amplifiers||What is?||Included or not?|
|Pre-amplification||Here the guitar signal is processed. This is the moment when saturation, equalization and different effects come into play||✓ Part included in both head and combo amplifiers|
|Power step||Part where the signal is intensified and power is applied to it, so that it can be heard||✓ Included in both head and combo amplifiers|
|Speaker||Party responsible for making the final sound||✓ Included only in combo amplifiers|
What power is suitable for a guitar amplifier?
This will depend mainly on the use you intend to give to your guitar amplifier, activity, and expertise. If you are still learning the usual thing, you might end up buying an amplifier for your home, and for that, a model with a power of 10 or 20 W will end up being the right choice. Things change when you already have a band and are dedicated to performing shows from time to time. In this case, the most normal thing is that you want an amplifier that can be used both for future rehearsals and for one or another recording and concerts.
For that, a 50 or 100 W guitar amplifier is more than enough. It is not advisable that you choose one with more power than that, not because it will give you a problem, but because it is more expensive and you will not get the most out of it.
Also, you need to know that the amplifier technology will also impact its power. A tube guitar amplifier tends to give more power once it is appropriately “warmed up” since they don’t do their best from the start.
Still, they tend to be more massive and more expensive, making them less common among aspiring musicians.
We understand that a person with guitar experience understands a lot about amplifiers. That is why we try to approach the topic so that a beginner can also know what an amplifier is, the types that exist on the market, and some of its main characteristics. Now let’s briefly address some other factors that are important when choosing your guitar amplifier.
- Amplifier type
- Technology and connectivity
Throughout this guide, we show you the different types of guitar amplifiers that exist. Perhaps the most recommended for those who are about to purchase their first amplifier are those of the combo type. Still, the most suitable type will always be something that depends on your specific needs.
Those of the combo types bring all the essential parts for you to get your guitar to work. Because you don’t need anything but them to play, this type of amplifier turns out to be much more convenient. Also, they are a priori, simpler to adjust.
The headstock type is recommended for those who already have a medium or high level in the guitar’s art. This type of guitar amplifier focuses on the professional audience, despite having only the pre-amplification and power part. This means that in addition to the amplifier, you will also need a speaker system. These models are much more sophisticated and complex and allow them to obtain a significant variation in the sound produced.
Technology and connectivity
Once you’ve decided which type of amplifier is right for you, it’s time to review its technology, be it tubes, transistors, hybrids, shapers, or acoustics.
Another factor that you must consider is the number of controls and equalizations that the guitar amplifier has. For those who are still beginners, the model doesn’t need to have many options in this regard, although more can never be too much.
Amplifiers usually come with enough inputs and outputs to allow you to connect other separate accessories. Also, the latest models have recently incorporated Bluetooth technology and USB ports.
Consult all the specifications so that you are sure of the purchase you intend to make, do not let a little extra money get in the way between you and the amplifier you need.
This is a significant factor. The reason for this lies in the fact that it is the power that will determine the sound’s fidelity when the volume is high. This means that if your equipment is low on energy, and you will use it in huge locations, the sound may end up being bad and weak.
Power is directly linked to the use you intend to give your equipment.
If what you are looking for is an amplifier for the home, 10 or 20 W of power will be more than enough, depending on whether you have one with a valve or transistors. With 50 W you will be able to use it in test rooms and in some small rooms.
When we reach 100 W we are talking about something more serious, since a guitar amplifier like this will offer you extra power so you can play in places with a lot of public.
The guitar amplifier market is full of brands and models that cover almost every possible and imaginable case. There are those made for beginners, for practically and, of course, for professionals. In addition, there are different types so that you can give your guitar an amplification more to your personal style and taste.
Do not forget to analyze the different possibilities, remembering that it is important to decide between the different types of guitar amplifiers that exist and the type of their technology, number of effect regulators and equalizers, their connectivity, and, of course, their connectivity, their power and quality. Keep in mind that power is based on the type of place you usually play.
We hope that we have helped you as much as possible. If you liked the text, leave us a comment or share the article on your social networks. Thank you!