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One question that pops up a lot around the internet from people who have just bought their first acoustic guitar is, “Can I plug my acoustic guitar into my electric guitar amp?” Or maybe, if they don’t own one, “Should I buy an amp for my acoustic guitar?”
To answer the first question: technically, yes, you can. But your natural sound will not be very good. Plugging an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar amp is generally not a good idea.
Without getting too technical, electric guitar amps are simply not built for acoustic guitar amplification, and, as a result, that beautifully organic acoustic tone will get distorted.
If you are interested in buying an amp for your guitar, we highly recommend that you get one made specifically for acoustic guitars, as they will give you the full power and tone you're looking for.
This leads us to the second question: what acoustic amp should you buy?
Our top pick is the Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT because it offers both a spectacular amplified tone and a channel for voice, making it ideal for singer-songwriters.
Let’s take a look at some of the best acoustic guitar amplifiers on the market today!
Quick Summary of the Best Acoustic Guitar Amps
- Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT (Best Overall)
- AER Compact 60/4 (Best for a Big Budget)
- Fender Acoustic 100 (Best Design)
- Fishman Loudbox Performer (Most Powerful)
- ToneWoodAmp (Most Innovative)
- Yamaha THR5A (Best for Home Recording)
- Blackstar Sonnet 120 (Best Blackstar Amp)
- Orange Crush Acoustic 30 (Best Orange Amp)
- Roland AC-33 (Best Roland Amp)
- Mesa Boogie Rosette (Best Mesa Boogie Amp)
Best Acoustic Guitar Amps
1. Best Overall – Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1 x 6.5 woofer, 1 x dome tweeter
- Effects: Delay, Echo, Chorus, Reverb, Looper
- Output: 60W
- Weight: 10.2 kg/22.5 lbs
The Boss Acoustic Singer series is the best of the best when it comes to acoustic amps. The Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT is a wonderful all-in-one amp for acoustic guitarists, and a more portable and affordable version of Boss’ classic Acoustic Singer Live.
A powerful bi-amp design, along with 60 watts of power, a 6.5" woofer, and 1" hi-frequency tweeter, provide a vibrant, high-definition tone that naturally projects the true acoustic qualities of your guitar and voice.
The Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT's delay/chorus effect on the guitar channel, delay/echo effect on the mic channel, and independent reverb on both channels will enable you to easily enhance your performance, develop a new sound, and infuse your live shows with waves of fresh energy.
Feedback is a common problem for acoustic stage performers, but the Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT gives you the tools to tame it quickly and easily with the Anti-Feedback knob. You can even use it to isolate a specific frequency and remove it completely.
The Acoustic Singer Live LT also has a USB audio interface that lets you record and replay your live performances or track song ideas into a computer for later reference.
2. Best for a Big Budget – AER Compact 60/4
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1 x 8” twin-cone speaker
- Effects: Short Reverb, Long Reverb, Delay, Chorus
- Output: 60W
- Weight: 7.1 kg/15.6 lbs
Nobody’s doing acoustic amps like German manufacturers AER, and their Compact 60/4 is one of the best-known acoustic guitar amps in the market. AER is committed to providing premium quality sound and portability in a simple yet stylized and elegant package.
The Compact 60/4 doesn’t add anything to your guitar, instead endeavoring to recreate its natural tones faithfully. Even if you turn up the volume, the sound remains very true to the original.
Don’t let its compact size fool you, though! This compact amp packs a serious punch, putting out almost 60 watts of sound—more than enough to fill a small-sized venue.
The Compact 60/4 has two channels—one with XLR and one with jack—which makes this a great acoustic guitar amp for singer-songwriters. And it doesn’t only work its magic on acoustic guitar and voice!
Other recommended instruments for the Compact 60/4 are wind instruments, mandolins, oud, traditional Chinese instruments, mouth harps, and even cellos and electrical instruments.
It also has four onboard effects that, although simple, are tremendously useful for adding an extra shine to your guitar playing without distorting it.
3. Best Design – Fender Acoustic 100
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1 x 8" full-range whizzer cone
- Effects: Room Reverb, Hall Reverb, Tape Echo, Delay with Repeats, Chorus, Vibratone, Delay + Chorus, Delay + Hall Reverb
- Output: 100W
- Weight: 8 kg/17.6 lbs
The Fender name is synonymous with premium quality music products, and there's no doubt that they're among the best acoustic guitar amps manufacturers. You really can’t go wrong with a Fender amp, regardless of which one you choose, but we’re going to take this opportunity to focus on the Fender Acoustic 100.
This stage-ready acoustic amp will look stunning on any stage or studio with its specially designed plywood shell that not only looks great but also complements the acoustic guitar's form.
With an output of a whopping 100 watts, this amp can handle larger gigs than our two previous entries, delivering a full, natural tone for acoustic-electric guitar and microphone.
One of our favorite features of the Fender Acoustic 100 is its Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to stream backing tracks from any compatible device. This makes it perfect for solo performances.
Its onboard effects can help you create a polished performance, which you can stream or record to your computer via its USB jack.
The Fender Acoustic 100 may be a bit on the heavy side, but its integrated handle makes transportation super easy, making it one of the best acoustic guitar amps you can get today.
4. Most Powerful – Fishman Loudbox Performer
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1 x 8″ woofer, 1 x 5″ midrange, 1 x 1″ tweeter
- Effects: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Slap Echo
- Output: 180W
- Weight: 13.6 kg/30 lbs
At an output of a mind-melting 180 watts, the Fishman Loudbox Performer is a very powerful acoustic guitar amp. Whether you’re a solo performer or part of an ensemble, this behemoth guarantees your sound will be heard no matter where you play.
Not only that, but this impressive wattage also preserves the original tone of your voice and your acoustic guitar tone even when you really want to crank up the volume.
An improved, integrated kickstand design allows the Fishman Loudbox Performer to be tilted back 50º for better sound projection at short range, which makes it one of the best acoustic guitar amps for any kind of gig you have in mind.
The Fishman Loudbox Performer is another acoustic guitar amp with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to add backing tracks and other accompaniment to your gig, along with the built-in channels for guitar and a vocal mic.
Each channel includes Fishman’s renowned 3-band EQ, feedback-fighting controls, and a new effects section for more tonal options than ever before.
Other features included in the Fishman Loudbox Performer are a Channel Mute to silence both input channels, a Foot Switch input for remote muting of the mic input channel, the instrument channel, or the effects, and a headphone output for your private practices.
5. Most innovative – ToneWoodAmp
- Number of channels: 1
- Effects: Reverb, Delay, Echo, Chorus, Auto-wah, Overdrive, Tremolo
- Inputs: 1 x 1/4" (instrument)
- Outputs: 1 x 1/4" (to amp/PA), 1 x 1/8" TRRS (iDevice insert)
- Power Source: 3 x AA batteries
- Weight: 10.1 oz/286.3 g
The ToneWoodAmp is not so much an amp as it is a wonder of innovation. It is a revolutionary, pocket-size device that uses an acoustic guitar's own body and soundhole to create a range of enhancement effects.
So, how does this technological marvel work?
Quick and easy to install, the ToneWoodAmp requires no tools and leaves no permanent markings or residue on your guitar. All you need is a guitar with a pickup—or you can get a pickup as part of ToneWoodAmp’s bundles.
Once the initial installation is done, it attaches and detaches magnetically, which makes using it a piece of cake. It works with any flat-back or slightly arched-back acoustic guitar.
The ToneWoodAmp uses patented technology to vibrate the back of your acoustic guitar, thus producing an “amplified” effect—no amp, cables, or effects pedals needed!
This cutting-edge device also offers a variety of effects, like reverb, delay, echo, chorus, auto-wah, overdrive, and tremolo, to add another level of sparkle to your performance.
The ToneWoodAmp is perfect for solo performers and can be used at home, in a recording studio, or in small, intimate coffeehouse-style gigs.
There's absolutely nothing else like the ToneWoodAmp on the market, but we'll still go ahead and call it one of the best acoustic guitar amps ever made, a must-have device for any acoustic guitarist.
6. Best for Home Recording – Yamaha THR5A
- Number of channels: 1
- Speaker: 2 x 3.1”
- Effects: Compressor, Compressor/Chorus, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo, Delay, Delay/Reverb, Reverb/Reverb, Spring/Reverb
- Output: 10W
- Weight: 2.0 kg/4.4 lbs
This small, battery-powered amp has a lovely, transistor-radio-like design that sets it apart from other acoustic guitar amps in the visuals department right off the bat. But there’s so much more to the Yamaha THR5A than meets the eye!
Lightweight and practical to carry around, the Yamaha THR5A is designed to be a portable practice and home recording amp. At 10W watts, you probably don’t want to take this one to a big gig, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find its equal for your home recording sessions.
There’s a single guitar input and a 1/8” aux input that lets you play back audio via your personal music player, making the most of the THR5A’s stereo speakers.
What really sets the THR5A from the competition, though, is Yamaha's Virtual Circuitry Modeling, which lets you blend in a choice of five virtual microphones and amp simulators: condenser, dynamic, tube, and nylon mic simulations, as well as EG CLN (a clean electric guitar setting).
This enables you to play in a wide variety of styles and adds a professional recording-studio shine to your tone.
With a wide range of onboard effects, a built-in tuner, a headphone socket, and USB connectivity for recording, playback, backing tracks, and preset editing, this little amp is truly one of the best acoustic guitar amps on the market.
7. Best Blackstar Amp – Blackstar Sonnet 120
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1 x 8", 2 x tweeter
- Effects: Four Reverbs (Hall, Studio, Chamber, Plate)
- Output: 120W
- Weight: 11.5 kg/25.3 lbs
Blackstar had one purpose in mind when making the Sonnet 120: to deliver the most transparent, true, and natural acoustic sound at a powerful amplification. There’s no doubt that they succeeded in this endeavor, making the Blackstar Sonnet 120 one of the best acoustic guitar amps out there.
The Blackstar Sonnet 120 is equipped with two channels, both guitar, and mic, and each has its own independent 3-band EQ controls and gain knobs.
Its four built-in reverbs (Hall, Studio, Chamber, and Plate) can also be adjusted individually in each channel, and they add that final bit of polish to your performance or recording session.
This acoustic guitar amp also comes with High Pass Filter (HPF), and Brilliance controls that allow you to adjust the crucial body resonance and piezo high-end of your acoustic instrument.
More amazing features of this incredible combo amp include onboard +48V phantom power for your condenser mics, a fantastic anti-feedback system, USB recording, and Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to capture incredible sounding live streams and videos, with audio synced to your device’s camera in real-time.
8. Best Orange Amp – Orange Crush Acoustic 30
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1 x custom 8″, full-range Voice of the World speaker
- Effects: Reverb, Chorus
- Output: 30W
- Weight: 6.12 kg/13.5 lbs
British manufacturer Orange has been making top-of-the-line electric guitar amps for decades, so it’s no wonder that their Crush Acoustic 30 is one of the best acoustic guitar amps. This lightweight, portable, battery-powered acoustic combo continues the Orange tradition of simple but versatile design.
Small but mighty, the Crush Acoustic 30’s two channels—instrument and voice or dual guitars—sound incredible through its tilt-back, top-quality birch plywood cabinet.
This portable amp is optimized for crystal clear acoustic guitar tones, Channel 1 features a ¼” jack input and a 3-band active EQ. A -10dB Pad switch helps guarantee a clean signal with higher output instruments while the Colour switch adds a treble boost and slight mid scoop.
Channel 2 has an XLR/jack combination input, which means it can be used for a second guitar signal or as a dedicated microphone input. The Mic/Line switch selects between XLR and jack inputs, and its +48V Phantom Power lets you use your favorite studio microphones.
The Crush Acoustic 30 is the perfect amp to use on the go or for prolonged studio sessions. Powered by 10 AA batteries, you get 3 hours of power at full volume, 5 hours at 50% volume, and 8 hours at low volume.
This acoustic guitar amp can also be powered by the supplied DC adaptor, which disconnects the batteries when in use.
9. Best Roland Amp – Roland AC-33
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 2×5”
- Effects: Reverb, Chorus, Ambience
- Output: 30W on AC adaptor, 20W on batteries
- Weight: 4.7 kg/10.36 lbs
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Roland’s high-quality and versatile amps are ranked among the very best you can buy. We’d be remiss if we didn’t add the world’s first battery-powered acoustic guitar amplifier to this list: the Roland AC-33.
Over a decade after it was first introduced to the market, the AC-33 is holding strong as one of the best acoustic guitar amps, and it’s looking better than ever with its brand-new, beautiful rosewood-look cabinets.
The attractive woodgrain styling perfectly matches the atmosphere of your living room or studio, as well as the aesthetic of your acoustic guitars.
Portable yet powerful, the AC-33 provides true stereo sound. Its two channels (Guitar and Mic/Line) have independent control knobs for volume, multi-band EQ, and chorus. You can also connect an MP3/CD player to the stereo AUX input for play-along practice or performance.
Master volume, reverb, ambiance, and anti-feedback are provided as well. All these audio inputs mean you’re getting a great combo that functions as a guitar, vocal, and play-along amplifier as well as a portable PA.
The AC-33’s onboard Phrase Looper lets you record, loop, and jam over your own guitar riffs or incoming audio from the AUX input.
Finally, aside from its shimmering reverb and chorus effects, this acoustic amp comes with an ambiance effect that adds spatial, 3D-type depth to your sound.
10. Best Mesa Boogie Amp – Mesa Boogie Rosette
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker: 1x10”, 1x high-frequency dome tweeter
- Effects: Room Reverb, Hall Reverb, Chorus
- Output: 30W on AC adaptor, 20W on batteries
- Weight: 12.7 kg/28 lbs
Mesa Boogie is well known for its exceptional electric guitar amplifiers, and this outstanding quality is also present in one of the best acoustic amps for all occasions: the Rossette 300.
The Rossette 300’s insane 300-watt output, along with its crystal-clear definition, brings out the very best in your instrument. Whether you find yourself practicing at home or performing at a stadium-size venue, the Rossette 300’s got you covered.
This two-channel acoustic amp’s channel one is switchable between XLR and 1/4” instrument jack, while channel two is exclusively for your instrument.
The Rossette 300’s semi-parametric EQ setup gives you complete control over your signal through both channels. It even comes equipped with an effects loop to add even more customization to your sound.
This incredible amp is, admittedly, not for everyone. The price tag is among the highest on this list, and the sheer amount of options can be overwhelming.
It's also not exactly what we could call a portable amp. We recommend the Rossette 300 for gigging musicians who are ready to take their acoustic game to the next level.
The Rossette line is a dedicated acoustic instrument platform designed not just for acoustic guitars but also for mandolin, ukulele, violin/fiddle, dulcimer, cello, upright bass, and other uniquely acoustic instruments.
Best Acoustic Guitar Amps Buyer's Guide
Buying an acoustic guitar amplifier is an excellent way to share your music with larger audiences without compromising the original sound of your instrument.
After all, the reason you bought an acoustic guitar in the first place was probably because of its unplugged and natural sound, so the last thing you want is to distort it beyond recognition.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best acoustic guitar amplifiers on the market, so now let’s dive a little deeper into what features you should be looking at when choosing the best acoustic guitar amp for yourself.
The first feature you should look at is wattage, also known as the amp’s output. Our list has amps that range from a subtle 10W to a booming 300W and everything in between. The wattage of your acoustic amp will depend on what you want it for.
If you’re going to be using your new amp for practicing at home or putting on a mini-gig for your closest friends, you will be perfectly alright with a 10-watt amp.
If your plan is to perform in front of an audience, you’re going to need a bit more power—or a lot, depending on the size of the audience. Anything from a 30-watt to a 50- or 60-watt acoustic amp will be ideal for coffeehouse-style gigs and larger gatherings of your friends and family members.
Then you have the behemoths of the acoustic guitar amplifier world. You’ll be needing anything from a 100- or even a 300-watt output if you want to get real loud, say, for a stadium-size gig.
Channels, Inputs, and Outputs
Let’s talk channels. Most acoustic guitar amps are 2-channel, though some of the smaller ones have only one channel. Again, it all hinges on what you want to do with your amp.
If you’re an acoustic guitar player only and don’t plan on giving massive performances, a 1-channel amp should be enough.
Two-channel amps give you a complete setup if you’re a singer-songwriter since they give you both a guitar channel and a mic channel. Some amp’s second channel can also serve as a second instrument channel, which brings us to the topic of inputs.
Make sure to check your potential acoustic amp’s input specifications. Most amps are equipped with XLR inputs for plugging in your microphone. Amps like the Rossette 300 have the added feature that this second channel can also be used to plug a second instrument, which makes it great for a duo or ensemble.
Keep an eye out for amps with an AUX input if you want to play along to a particular tune or spice up your performance with a backing track!
Now let's move on to outputs. If you prefer to keep your solo practices to yourself, you’ll need an amp with a headphone output. If you’re also looking for a recording amp, or you want to boost your signal through PA speakers, you want to look for an amp with an XLR DI output or a line out.
Battery Power and Portability
Are you planning on busking or taking your music on the go to parks, forests, mountains, or the beach? Portability and battery power are very important features for the musician on the go.
There are plenty of excellent battery-powered amps that are easy to carry around and can give you several hours of quality sound. Just be sure to carry an extra set of batteries with you in case you lose track of time while you’re jamming!
The majority of the best acoustic guitar amps on our list are hailed as being “portable,” but that term can be a matter of perspective. While 25 lbs (11 kg) may not sound like a lot, it will probably get real annoying real fast if you have to carry it around frequently to and from rehearsals.
If you plan to set your amp in one place, or you don’t anticipate having to move it much, then a heavier amp won’t be too bothersome.
Feedback can utterly destroy your performance if you’re in front of a crowd or take you and your bandmates out of the zone if you’re in the middle of a particularly good rehearsal session.
The bad news is that acoustic guitars are particularly prone to feedback, especially if you like to crank up the volume.
The good news is there are plenty of acoustic amps that take care of this annoying problem. Look for an amp that offers some sort of measure to stop feedback, be it a phase, notch filter, or sweep.
Most of the best acoustic guitar amps nowadays are equipped with a set of built-in effects. This ranges from the most basic effects, like reverb and chorus, to the more tricked-out effects, like flanger, delay, and echo, among others.
The amount of effects you want out of your acoustic amp is entirely up to personal taste, and there’s enough variety out there that you don’t have to either settle for only a few simple effects or overcomplicate your life with way too many.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you use a regular amp for an acoustic guitar?
While we touched on this topic at the beginning of the article, we want to take the time now to give you a more detailed answer to this question.
Electric guitars and acoustic guitars are built very differently. Electric guitars depend on the power of both their pickups and a good electric amp to extract the most out of the sound.
On the other hand, acoustic guitars are more dependent on how they were built, the type of wood used, and how well designed they were to exploit their resonance and tone.
Having said this, an electric guitar amp will provide your electric guitar's sound its full power and, most importantly, tone color, while an acoustic guitar should already have all of this built into it.
This makes it so that acoustic players are generally not looking to shape/color their organic tone. What we’re looking for in acoustic amps is simply to elevate the natural acoustic tone of our instrument to higher volumes without changing its color and sound.
And that is exactly what acoustic guitar amplifiers are engineered to do. A good acoustic amp will offer simplicity, clarity, and a clean, transparent tone. Nothing more, nothing less.
Mind you, you can use an electric guitar amplifier (whether it's a solid-state amp or a tube amp) to create a unique sound. However, if you're looking for a fully amplified, clean, organically acoustic sound, you will need an acoustic guitar amp.
Why should I buy an acoustic guitar amp?
We’ve said this time and time again, but it bears repeating. Before deciding whether you should buy an acoustic guitar amplifier or not, you should think about what you will be using it for.
If you're someone looking to play in open spaces, perform in small cafes, or venture into the world of open mic nights, you will certainly need an amp by your side.
At the same time, if you're looking to become a master at dialing in amps and exploiting your guitar's natural tone to the max, an amplifier is a great tool to have.
The smallest and most portable acoustic amplifiers are ideal if you plan on busking, doing small gigs, or practicing with a bit of power behind you. In other words, they’re great for scenarios where you don’t necessarily need to crank up the volume that much.
We would only recommend buying medium to large acoustic amps if your plan is to put on bigger performances, such as outdoor festivals or big venues.
Why shouldn’t I buy an acoustic guitar amp?
This one is a tricky question, mainly because, once again, it's very dependent on what your goals are. If you're only looking to play acoustic guitar for yourself or in intimate spaces, you won't need your sound amplified.
Another thing to take into account is that acoustic guitars are naturally built to be resonant. A good acoustic guitar has in itself all the power, dynamics, and volume you will ever need. One can even say it's a purer task to master your acoustic guitar unamplified before altering the volume/distortion factors.
If you take that into consideration, you must now include the factor of recording. Yes, amplifiers are commonly and widely recorded, but this is mainly for electric instruments.
In general, a condenser microphone can better capture the full sound and tone of an acoustic guitar, or any acoustic instrument for that matter.
This is why, if your goal is to record your acoustic guitar, whether it's in the present or the near future, an amplifier is not what you need most.
Having said this, is it an unnecessary thing to have an acoustic amp within your setup? Absolutely not. Ultimately, the more tools, the more inspiration you can draw from.
It is clear by now that acoustic guitar amps have a lot of benefits. From small, private events to massive gigs, from the busking singer-songwriter to a full, touring ensemble—there’s an acoustic guitar amp for everyone. And you don’t have to go broke—or break your back!—to get one!
Now armed with all this knowledge, we’re confident you can find the best acoustic guitar amp for you without a problem!
Photo Courtesy Sweetwater