Acoustic guitar amps have become very singer/songwriter friendly in the last decade, offering the flexibility of doubling as a full PA setup for coffeehouse-style acoustic gigs. There are several key factors in determining what makes a top-quality acoustic guitar amp wind up on our list. First, of course, is sound quality and how it clearly projects into the audience without clipping or distorting. Second factor is the tone and effects controls and how each sweetens the tone of your guitar. Portability is another important factor. The amount of inputs on your acoustic guitar amp can also make a difference, depending on if you want to use it as a live PA system or jam with a friend. Our list of the best acoustic guitar amps includes both IEC powered and battery-powered amps to suit a variety of gigs and jam sessions. Whether you are looking for a classic Fender model or a new sound, our list covers the best acoustic guitar amps for any gig.
What To Consider When Looking For The Best Acoustic Guitar Amp - Buying Guide
Whether you’re a musician looking to give your playing a boost or a recording engineer looking for an easy way to amplify your sound, an acoustic guitar amp can bring a sense of unique emotion and personality to your music. An acoustic amp is a handy tool for any musician who wants to add a few punchy low-end sounds to their already rich, full-range guitar sound. Acoustic amps have become more and more popular over the years, and the choices are almost overwhelming. We‘ve searched high and low to bring you the best acoustic amps on the market.
American Songwriter delivers original review content that connects musicians of all skill level with outstanding products. We help people discover practical products that will improve their lives and are worth the investment, focusing on experience and real-life use cases. In the same way that readers trust American Songwriter to navigate music news, they also trust us to navigate the abundant world of internet shopping. General information about types of products and categories is provided here to assist readers in meeting their varied purchase needs and is not intended to represent the page author's endorsement in any way.
Tips for Using a Guitar Amp
For a great sound, your acoustic guitar amp should have a clean signal. This means that the guitar has no noise in its signal path. With a dirty signal, the amplifier will add noise and distortion to the sound. Dirt on the amp’s metal circuitry will cause the strings to pick up noise.
In order for a tube amp to sound as good as it should, it needs clean power. Look for amps that have been specially designed to make clean, distortion-free power available to your strings
Check the reviews of those who have bought your amp and noticed that it's not as loud as you'd like it to be. If your amplifier doesn t sound right, don t be disappointed. It‛s possible that you have purchased a damaged amp. Before you return it, try connecting a different tube amplifier to it. A tube-amp combo is a very good choice if you want to add a lot of distortion without having to buy separate amplifiers.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Guitar Amp
Before you purchase an acoustic guitar amplifier, you’ll want to take a few minutes to think about the sound you want from your amp, and how you plan to use it. Are you looking for an all-around performer's guitar amp with a big sound? Do you prefer a clean amp for playing high notes? Or do you need a powerful fuzzbox? Different styles of music call for different amp sounds, so you should be able to find one that fits your style and your needs.
If you have a pickup in your guitar, do that first. But be sure your amplifier has enough power for your particular instrument. Some acoustic amps have 12-volt batteries that must be plugged into a standard power outlet. Others run on batteries or AC power. This is the type of amp you will need if you play shows or perform regularly. For daily use, a small portable amp with up to 500 watts of power is all you'll need.
Small amplifiers are a great choice for traveling because you can easily carry them from venue to venue. The bigger the amp—and the more watts it has—the louder your music will be. Amp size is not a good indication of performance quality. Unless you are buying an amp to power an entire stage, don't expect an 800-watt amplifier to sound good in the smallest of spaces. Keep in mind that a larger amplifier isn't necessarily louder. A smaller amp can sound louder because it uses more power and therefore has a bigger sound output. What matters most is that you hear the quality of your chosen amplifier in terms of how much wattage it puts out.
Price-Range of Acoustic Guitar Amps
Depending on what type of amplifier you purchase, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $6,000 for a quality acoustic guitar amplifier. As you’ll see from the price, some of the amps are more like mini speakers with onboard effects than a complete amplifier with built-in effects.
You can find small tabletop amps for less than $300. Small tube amps, also called “commercial” amps (which is how most people refer to them), are priced between $500 and $1,600.
These amps cost between approximately $2,500 to about $5,100. This is a good price range to start with if you just want an amp to play in your bedroom or are just starting out.
High-end acoustic guitars are a different breed. The priciest models are usually studio-quality amps with multiple input channels and preamps. Expect to spend between about $6,300 and over $10,000 for these.
Important Features of Guitar Amplifiers
Before buying an acoustic guitar, check out these essential features to look out for so you can find the best model for you.
All acoustic guitars come in different sizes, from standard 8-inch models to 15-inches. Once you've narrowed down your search to something specific, measure the size of your preferred instrument to ensure it will fit in your space. The first thing you should do is check the dimensions, since the holes in an acoustically driven guitar will be different to those on a guitar powered by a power amplifier. Also, the material used for the fretboard will affect how much sustain you'll get, so make sure you don't buy a fretless model if you want a lot of sustain.
If you're a beginner, you might not care too much about the sound quality of an amplifier, but if your musical intentions are professional, then it's definitely something you need to consider. Acoustics, especially, are notorious for producing some of the worst sound-quality you could possibly experience. If your acoustic is subpar to start with, don’t waste your money. Check out the online reviews to find out what other users have to say about a product‘s sound.
The best acoustic amplifiers will have their own power supply so that you won't need a separate power source for your guitar. Some models are even equipped with batteries, which will save you the hassle of fumbling around with a plug and socket.
To ensure that an acrylic sound acute guitar amp is up to scratch, be sure to check for quality features such as dampening, power adapter, and RCA cables. Depending on your needs, one power cable may be all you require, while a second will make it much easier to use.
Acu-Time amplifies are extremely simple to operate and will generally come with the option of picking between three, six or 12 tones. They also come packaged with all the necessary accessories so all your equipment is neatly organized. It's important to choose an amp that is easy to mount or if it needs to be wall-mount.
When it comes to weight, Acuvoice amps are among the lightest models you'll find. Most models will weigh under two pounds.
If you’re wondering whether an acoustic guitar can actually sound good, the answer is yes. Acoustic guitars are the most versatile type of guitar amps because they can produce a wide range of sounds. In fact, you can even play any kind of music on an acoustic or acoustic-electric guitar, so long as it has a speaker that's compatible with the instrument. The only drawback is that you may have to travel a lot to find a store that has the acoustics necessary for your style of playing. If you know you want to learn to play an instrument, it's time to start looking for an amp!
Acoustic Guitar Amp FAQ
Q: What is an acoustic guitar amplifier?
A: If you've got an old acoustic acoustic that doesn't sound right, an overdriven amplifier can greatly improve the sound, especially if you have a warm overtones in your playing. Acoustics are sensitive to air movement, so the overdrive will add body to your low end, bringing it up and adding a brighter, airier sound to the guitar. For electric guitars, the characteristic overdriving sounds the strings will become dull and lose their natural vibrato, making the playing sound harsher and less refined. If your acoustic is already dulled, adding an amp can make it sound better.
Q: What size amplifier do I need for an acoustic? What kind of amp do i need?
A: These are the main things you should consider when looking for the right ac amplifiers to fit your guitar, depending on the size of your instrument. You can use the measurements from your build to get an idea of the kind amp you would need, but you may need to make some measurements yourself.
Larger amplifers are better for larger instruments, while small amplifiables are best for smaller acoustic instruments. When shopping for your AC amp, measure the area of where you plan to put it. Then, ask yourself if it will fit comfortably in that area. The size you buy depends on what kind and size guitar you play.
Most guitars can be played on an open body guitar case, with a 12 or 16-inch speaker, or a gig bag. But if your amplifier will be used on a bigger size instrument like a mandolin, you will need something a little bigger. Also, if the amp will only be for small, thin acoustic wood like maple, then you don't need one of those big, heavy amps. Just choose the best size that fits the style of music you like to play and the type of amplifier you are.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Many experienced guitar players will know what to look for and tell you what size amp would fit best in the space you want to use it in. Whether you prefer a smaller, mid-range or big amp is up to you. Some people prefer to have lots of headroom, meaning they can take an 8- or 12-watt amp and still have plenty of power for their instrument s size. Others prefer no head room at all, which is the default setting on most electric amplifier.
It' s up for debate, as is whether you even want a full-size or mini amp. Either way, make sure that you get the correct size, otherwise, it won t work properly.
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.