Buying a Guitar Amplifier

Glenn Sutton teaches guitar, electric bass, keyboard, theory and improvisation for over 30 years, he specializes in rock, blues, jazz, Latin, Brazilian, classical, country, and folk.

About Glenn Sutton

As a professional guitar teacher with 25 years of experience (see, people sometimes ask me whether they should learn guitar tablature or standard music notation. This article and video explain each form of notation and I also give some guidelines as to which notation guitar students should learn. I have included the video I recorded at the end of this article.

Buying a Guitar Amplifier

Guitar modeling amp Guitar Lessons Poway 619-306-3664

Guitar modeling amp
Guitar Lessons Poway 619-306-3664

An amplifier is a device that increases the volume of the device it’s designed for which means a guitar amplifier is a must for a true musician to really get the sound he or she wants. However, buying a guitar amp for the first time can be a tricky and often confusing when you go in with no information on what you are getting. Especially since guitar amps range from anywhere between 70 dollars to a few thousand, it is not wise to go into getting an item like this without some idea of what you want!

A good idea for buying a guitar amplifier would be to make a list of what you need from the guitar amp, how much you can afford to spend on it, and what special characteristics it should have if there are any you may need later on. There are many brands of guitar amps out there ranging from Fender, Vox, Marshall, Line 6, and so much more. This means if you feel comfortable with a certain brand name you should consider starting your research with them and seeing what that brand has to offer in terms of guitar amps. Remember if you buy a Fender guitar that doesn’t mean you have to get a Fender guitar amplifier! Also, non-brand name items tend to cost less and if you can find a few good sources of recommendations for them it may save you a few dollars right off the bat!

solid state guitar amp

Solid-state guitar amplifier

Guitar amps come to two basic types: solid state, which is tend to be less expensive but are also not as well recommended with professional guitarist and there is the tube guitar amp which can range in all prices still and are considered to give a better sound! When buying a guitar amp you should also consider the configuration of the amp, whether you want an amp head with a speaker cabinet, or perhaps a combo amp. Also, if you go with a speaker cabinet configuration you should decide the layout of it which can be one 12 inch speaker, two 10 inch speakers to four 12 inch speakers. Lastly, when dealing with the style of the guitar amp you should decide how many channels it should have. Like a sound board, the number of channels that go into the guitar amp will affect the quality, sounds, and power of each input or channel but with the addition of more channels you can produce a much more powerful and unique sound. Here is where the power of your guitar amp comes in to play, and the power of the amp is one of the most critical components to your music and sound!

Guitar amplifiers measure the power they have in watts, the more watts you have the more power your amp can handle. Ranging from under ten watts to well over one hundred watts the choices are many with all the different combinations of styles, powers, and inputs numbers you can have in your guitar amp. So once you decide the price range of your guitar amp, the style you want, the configuration of the amp, and how much power you will need for your music, you could still be left with a very large number of amps to choose from. Once you’ve narrowed your list to that range you can look at the features the remaining amps have!

Guitar amps have many, many features to help improve your sounds and music. The features may include battery powered amps, modeling amps, effects, USB ports (to download more sounds), and many others.

Now that you have decided on a price range, a style, the configuration and/or configuration of the speaker cabinet type (if you choose that route), the power level, the number of channels, and the types of features your guitar amp will have, you are now ready to buy a guitar amplifier with an informed and ready state of mind.


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