Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide

Shopping for an amplifier for your guitar is something that you should be patient with. This means that you shouldn’t purchase the first one that you settle your eyes on. You may love the way it sounds and the volume that it produces but you need to think about the fact that you may not be satisfied with it when you wake up next morning.

The salesperson that you are purchasing it from may praise about the amp just to get you to purchase it. You shouldn’t let anyone tell you what you should or should not purchase.

Therefore, before you purchase your guitar amplifier, make sure that you take the time to get a feel of many amps before you decide on the amp that you want to buy. There are several things that you should consider before you go out and purchase an amplifier.


You aren’t going to find the amp that you would be satisfied with by playing an instrument that you do not own or play. Even if you think that the shop that you are going to visit has compatible amp model for your guitar, it is prudent for you to still bring your own guitar so that you can play it to test the amplifier.

It is important to make sure that you are satisfied with everything that the amplifier has to offer depending on how your guitar sounds. Making sure that you are comfortable with the instrument that you are playing is one of the most important things about purchasing an amplifier for that instrument.

Portable vs. Power

There are 2 different types of amps that you can get and getting all of the information would help you decide on which amp is the perfect fit for you. The first type of amp is called combo amp and it is one of the most common types of amps that guitarists use today.

There are one or two speakers inside a box in the amp and it is incredibly easy to transport. All you have to do is plug in the combo amp onto the wall, plug in your instrument and begin playing right then and there.

The other type is the amp head which does not have its own speakers. However, it contains all the components of an amplifier. Instead of connecting the way that the combo amp does, the amp head connects to a speaker cabinet via speaker cables. The manufacturers of the amp head have designed a special speaker for it which you would need to purchase separately from the amp. There are some instances when the cabinet and amp head are sold together and this is known as guitar amplifier stacks.

There are several other factors that affect whether or not the amp can be considered loud enough for a particular type of situation. There are many other things to take into consideration such as number of individuals in the band, loudness of the drummer, size of the space that you plan to play in, type of music that you play and where the location of the amp in the space is.

Best of Both Worlds

Amplifier designers have worked very hard to create solid-state circuits that have the ability to replicate the tube-style distortion. There are some amps that store digitally-created distortion.

However, in the preamp section, there are others that incorporate a tube so that they can warm up the signal. The result of this is a broad range of very pleasing tones from the solid-state amps.

Professional guitarists, along with many other players, still prefer tube amps. In order to maintain their popularity, the solid-state amps require zero maintenance and come at a lower cost.

Although nobody can make the decision for you, almost every beginner usually chooses solid-state amps because they are versatile, portable and extremely affordable. With their focus on clarity without distortion, keyboard amps and acoustic guitar amps rarely incorporate tubes.

You can find several modern bass amps that have tubes available with them. However, solid-state amps have become much more popular now even among the professional guitarists.


In the past years, the different effects of music were physically created by the individual who was playing the instrument. However, amplifiers that are being built today have specific types of effects built right into the system of the amplifier. These effects include:

  • Tremolo
  • Reverb
  • Digital Effects
  • Equalization (EQ)
  • Effects Loop

All these effects are incredibly beneficial because they are added in without any effort and this helps the individual who is using it to focus better on playing their guitar rather than becoming distracted to add sound effects into their music. With the updated features of most of these amps, they have become more and more popular and the future of these amps would continue to change.


When you are purchasing an amp, it is important to understand that not all amp speakers are created same. The quality of the speakers is a critical part of the tone equation that your amp runs through. If you are looking for a more sophisticated structure, expensive speakers are the way to go even though they are heavier.

The amplifier’s tone has the ability to provide a more desirable coloration. Better and more expensive speakers are the way to achieve this. The type of music that you play determines the type of coloration that you would like.

In conclusion, these are just some modern features that can be seen in the today’s most common amplifiers. However, there are many more features that you can find in some other types of amplifiers that are far more advanced.

Choosing the perfect amplifier for yourself takes a lot of careful consideration and a lot of research on features and aspects of an amplifier that you need. Always take time to try out a few amplifiers before you decide to purchase one.