Here’s the thing about guitar amps; you’ll need them at some point even if right now you’re certain that you won’t. How? Well, you may not be moving around playing gigs right now but at some point, you will be. Instead of making ends meet with a new sound guy every time, having your own gear will help you move forward with your own presets, saving both time and sound-related frustrations. Plus, there’s another reason why you’ll need a guitar amp and this one’s not very common - you’ll need it when you’re feeling the blues and just want a change of sound. Whether you have a sound processor or just filter your guitar through some DAW plugins, sometimes, you just want to have new and better sounds, play with the tone a bit. In the case of acoustic guitars, this is only possible if you can lay your hands on a guitar amp. So, if you’re somebody who likes to play those warm, mellow, lo-fi tunes, you may want to check out one of our favorite acoustic guitar amps of 2022 - we’ve reviewed 10 in this guide.
If you’ve never bought an amp before, don’t worry. There’s also a buyer’s guide at the end of this article to help you through your purchase. Let’s get started!
Finding Your Next Acoustic Guitar Amplifier: A Buyer’s Guide
When buying a guitar amp, a guitarist is usually looking for ideally two or more inputs - one for the mic and the others for the instrument. Perhaps, individual channel controls over reverb and delay and any other effects one may get their hands on. However, beginners may not know of this and the ones who do, may not be sure about the amp that delivers these features flawlessly. This section will simplify the whole thing for you - we’ve already put together the top guitar amps above. Let’s help you choose the one that best suits your needs!
What to Consider When Selecting a Guitar Amplifier
If you play in a band or you’re used to playing gigs, you’ll need to have a guitar amp that can be carried around easily. Similarly, if you just want to be able to play your guitars on the go - perhaps at bonfires, parties, or trips, get yourself one of those small portable amps. They will allow you to have cool tonal versatility without doing much!
Overdrive, reverb, delay, chorus, phaser - these are some of the most common effects you can find in a guitar amp. However, we’ll suggest you ensure that the effects are applicable to individual channels if that’s what you’re looking for. Similarly, an effects looper is another cool feature that you might consider having in your ideal guitar amp.
If you’re a solo performer, having two channels on your amp is a must-have! It’ll allow you to play your instrument and sing along! Plus, even if you have a single channel on your amp and you don’t play an instrument, you can just play an instrumental track through AUX or Bluetooth and use the channel for your mic. The best part about having these input channels on your amp is that they allow you to move freely on the stage and don’t limit your movement.
Depending on a sound guy’s equipment, however, does limit your movement and tonal diversity, to some extent.
If you’re looking to be loud, you need an amp with high wattage. If you’re playing at home with a power outlet nearby, you can get an amp that runs on a direct power source. On the contrary, if you don’t need a loud sound and you’ll be needing to play at spots that don’t have power outlets, going with a battery-powered amp or an amp that supports both AC and battery power is the smarter choice!
Your amp needs to have some sort of prophylactic measure that stops feedback. It strikes when you least expect it and it’s the result of some mischievous frequency. There’s usually a notch filter or frequency sweep filter in this case that cuts these frequencies off that may be causing a problem.
What is a Combo Guitar Amp?
There are two types of amplifiers - head and combo. An amp head is the brain of the amp that controls all the frequencies, usually followed by speakers in its cabinets that project the sound. In the case of a combo guitar amp, both the amp and speaker are loaded into the same unit. In this article, we’ve mainly targeted combo guitar amps since they’re the ones most widely used but if you’re really looking for that ideal, custom sound, you’ll need to do your homework, get yourself an amp head, and pair it up with the required cabinet speakers to get the job done!
Guitar combo amps are usually just as good, provide almost the same tonal diversity, and serve as an easy solution.
Tube vs. Solid State Amp
This debate is older than the amps themselves but here’s a spoiler; don’t worry about whether it’s a valve or solid-state-amp, as long as it sounds good, it’s a good product!
The transistor vs. tube debate has been here forever and will continue to be so - but the technology has improved and both types of amps have improved. We advise you to refrain from being bogged down due to this comparison.
How Much Should You Invest in an Amp
If you’re looking for a middle-sized amp with 30 - 60 watt speakers, you can hope to pay anywhere between $300 and $800. More often than not, this price range will be more than enough for you to get your hands on an ideal guitar amp.
The pricing thing with instruments is subjective - you can always go as high as you want to and get your hands on even a better product!
People Also Asked
Q: Do you need a special amp for acoustic guitars?
A: For them to sound? No. Acoustic guitars come with a sound hole and don’t need any external speakers for the sound signals to reach your ear. However, if you’re planning to amplify your sound when singing for an audience, that’s when you’ll need an amp.
Q: Can you turn an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar?
A: Both the guitars have their own unique sound. However, if you’re looking to get that same ambient sound of an electric guitar out of your acoustic, you’ll need to use advanced EQs, multi-effects processors, or some DAW plugins. It isn’t possible to achieve this solely through the acoustic sound hole.
Q: What is an acoustic guitar amplifier?
A: An acoustic guitar amplifier is designed while catering to specific frequencies. It helps improve the presence of an acoustic guitar and makes it more crisp and loud.
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.