How to buy the best electric guitar amplifier for your needs

By | April 5, 2021


Decide on a budget. Like guitars, amps vary in price significantly. You can find them for as little as $ 50 or as brand new while high end amps can be at least one several thousand dollars. There will be big differences in sound when you pay more … but do not forget that there are reduced returns. While there may be a significant difference between a $ 50-amp and a $ 200-amp, there may be a smaller difference between a $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 amp. If you are buying a guitar and an amp at the same time, I would suggest that you buy the best amp you can buy (even if it is at the expense of buying a nicer guitar), as the amp plays a crucial role in your tone.


Find out where to use the amplifier. Since amperes vary widely in terms of function, sound and volume, it is important to decide where to use it. For example, you can buy a large stack as a bedroom exercise amplifier. It is also possible to buy an expensive store amplifier for bars may not be the wisest idea … but it can work well inside a studio.


Decide if you want a bar or combo. There are two basic patterns for amperes. One is called the stack. iguration, the amplifier does not come with any speakers. Instead, you need to buy a cabinet with speakers inside and connect your amplifier to the cabinet. While this sounds a bit boring, it will let you experiment with different speakers a little easier. More importantly, you are less likely to hear rattles since the amplifier and speakers are separated. On the other hand, combos are often more compact and easier to carry and set up.


Choose the type of amp design you want. There are currently three different types of amplifiers.

The oldest design is the tube amplifier, named after the vacuum tubes in the amplifier. While this is an older technology, it is generally considered as the superior choice when it comes to sound. It is often more sensitive to your touch and its exaggerated sound is meant to sound warmer and more natural. On the downside, they are heavy and slightly more fragile than the other options. They also require you to buy tubes as often as these tubes will eventually die (like lamps). If you go the tube gain route, also note that different tubes create different properties in your sound. Fender and Marshall use different tubes (which usually cannot be replaced) and their sounds are very different.

Solid State is a modern design. It does not require pipes. Although it has a louder, less desirable exaggerated sound compared to tube amps, they are also cheaper and often lighter.

Hybrid amplifiers are fixed amplifiers that have a tube amplification section to ‘model’ the sound of a real tube amplifier. While most people will probably say that this is an improvement over the solid state design, it is still not quite as good as tube amps.

Finally, we have digital models. These are not really amplifiers but are digital devices that can mimic the sounds and properties of certain amperes. These are handy if you just want to connect to a PA system and still sound good. Line6’s POD is one of the more popular and affordable. Some of the advanced ones like AxeFX are thought to be close if they do not match their actual amp equivalents.


Ampere varies enormously in terms of weight (some approach the 100 lbs mark). If you know that you will often gig with the amplifier you are going to buy, you may want a lighter amplifier or one with wheels.

Decide how many watts (ie the volume) you really need. One thing to note here is that watts and volume differ significantly between solid state / hybrid amps and tube amps. I did not go into the physics and details but if you look around, many solid state amps are larger than 100W. Compare that to the glorious Vox AC30, a tube amplifier used for stadium concerts by bands like U2. This tube amplifier is only 30W !!! For tube amps, anything around 5W is usually more than enough to play bedroom. For smaller places where you will amplify the amplifier, up to 15W is enough.


Find out what features you want on your electric guitar amp.

Some people like power loops for their pedals (so they can put some effects like delay after distortion in your amplifier).
You can also buy a multi-channel amplifier that has two or more channels with different settings. For example, you can tune in a channel that & quot; ren & quot; one as ‘slightly exaggerated’ and another as ‘heavy, lead exaggerated’. It is typical to have several transmission or distortion channels.

Some amps have many buttons for fine-tuning the sound while others have only one button (volume).

Finally, some amperes have built-in effects. Reverb is usually the most common but recently many amps have come in with built-in digital effects. In my opinion, these digital effects are nice to play with but do not sound as good as pedals and are much more difficult to use in a live setting if you like to continue to change your effects during your set.

It is not the case to believe that more is better. Many reputable amps (like Dr. Z Carmen Ghia) have only one or two buttons, the amplifier has already ‘tweaked’ by its designer to sound its best.

8. Important, determine the desired sound. Find out what type of amplifier will get you the sound you need for your playing style. If you enjoy playing blues rock, buying an amplifier known for metal sound is probably not a good idea.

In addition, most amps can be described as imitating the sound of the Fender, Marshall, Vox and Mesa-Boogie amps. Marshall and Vox are British sound amplifiers (because they are made in the UK). Marshall is better known for its darker, warmer sound while Vox is known for its bell-shaped spark. Fender tends to be cleaner sound than Marshall. Mesa-Boogie is known for its ability to get highly saturated exaggerated / distortion sounds.

Tips and warnings

  • Do your research before you go to the store. Although I had some really good employees, I helped myself, I also helped & quot; of those who did not know what they were talking about or kept wanted me to buy the product that would give them the maximum number of commissions.
  • A good resource is
  • If you already have a guitar, bring your guitar when you try amplifiers. It will let you know exactly how your guitar sounds through the amplifier.
  • There are so many amps for your guitar on the market. Figuring out what’s best for you can be daunting. But do not worry, it is not as difficult as it may seem.