Every instrumentalist on the planet understands the need for high-quality equipment. Even the best guitarist in the world would benefit from the enhanced sound production of an amplifier. When shopping for this type of equipment, it may be difficult to determine the best product on the spot. You may feel the need to test out a piece of equipment yourself to know if it works for your style and preference. If you are planning to purchase a combo amp, we've curated a list of the best combo amps in 2022.
Every guitarist knows that music sounds better when you play with a combo amp, so if you’ve decided to get one, good for you. Our team is motivated to help you, and what better way to do that than highlighting some of the best combo amps available Sweetwater? However, we also understand that combo amps are complex pieces of musical equipment and you may need more information to help you make the best buying decision. That’s why we have compiled this guide to help answer pressing questions and highlight the elements that make the best combo amps.
What is a combo amp?
A combo amp is a unique piece of equipment that combines a speaker, preamplifier, and power amplifier in a single cabinet, which is usually mobile. Most of the operational control is done directly and you can use it for multiple purposes. It mostly serves guitarists and other instrumentalists.
What are the factors to consider when getting a combo amp?
The most important factor you have to consider when getting a combo amp is its power. Power is measured in watts and it will determine the capacity of your combo amp. If you want to use your amp for gigs and shows, get one with at least 50 watts of power. However, if your amp will only be doing studio work, you can always go for models with lower watts.
Combo amps can come in tube designs, solid-state designs, or digital designs. The tube technology is considered the standard because it delivers a high-quality tone for a long period. Digital combo amps usually require a lot of maintenance even though they are more affordable.
The size of your amp matters if you want to use it for gigs and shows. You would need to carry it around and it needs to be portable enough for mobility. In fact, the best combo amps have roller tires for easy movement.
Most combo amps come with extra features and some of them include Bluetooth/USB connectivity, auxiliary input, headphone output, footswitch, and so on. You can opt for a combo amp with the extra features you like best.
Tips for using a combo amp
Keep your equipment cool
The last thing you want is a scorching combo amp. Overheating can quickly damage the integrity of your equipment and then, you’d have to spend a good amount of money to fix it. To avoid this, always use your amp in a cool, well-ventilated area.
Get a flight case for your amp
Your combo amp should not be naked. If it is exposed all the time, dust and other debris could settle on it and slowly damage it after some time. However, if it is housed in a compact flight case, you would not have to worry about external damage.
Keep your amp away from moisture
Moisture can destroy a piece of high-quality equipment in seconds. So keep water and other drinkables away from your combo amp. You should also avoid storing it in moist or damp areas.
Combo Amp FAQ
Q: Are combo amps good for live gigs?
Models with 12-inch speakers are especially great because they are loud enough for live shows.
Q: Are tube amps difficult to maintain?
Tube amps are not difficult to maintain, but they are more fragile than solid-state amps. They generally have a lifetime of 3,000 to 5,000 hours. Just be sure to store them properly and handle them with care during that period.
Q: Is a 10-watt amp good?
A 10-watt combo amp is especially good for beginners who use it for personal practice and playing on a small stage. If you are a professional facing a large audience, you should definitely use something higher than a 10-watt amp.
Q: How much does a combo amp cost?
A: Combo amps come in different specifications, which gives them a diverse range of prices. But generally, they cost between fifty dollars to seven hundred dollars.
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.