The electric guitar amp - Your electric guitars other half.
It seems like guitar amplifier choices are more abundant than ever.
Which is good, but it can be very disturbing to someone that is hunting for the perfect amp.
Some beginners (or their parents) choose an electric guitar package with an amp included to keep things simple.
Now to someone that is really motivated and is determined to succeed no matter how their setup sounds that can be OK. Cheap guitars are sounding better than ever.
But to some beginners the less than great sound on these packages can be a source of discouragement.
The choice of a good amplifier in the first place can provide years of satisfaction and years of approval from people that are hip to what a good amp is all about.
So where to start when choosing an amplifier for your electric guitar?
What's the application?
1. Practice in the bedroom or around the house?
2. Small club or coffee shop?
5. What style of music? Country, Rock, Metal, Rockabilly?
Each style of music has its sound though there are no hard and fast rules.
Country is usually a Fender telecaster through a Fender amp like a twin.
Rock - A Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall Amp.
Metal a high-gain amp like a Krank Krankenstein.
Rockabilly - a Gretsch guitar through a Fender Supersonic amp with a slapback echo effect.
6. Are you using effects? An effects loop is the best way to go to keep your guitar signal clean before it gets to your amp.
7. Will you need multiple channels? This is great for a variety in live performances when you go from rhythm to lead.
8. Whats your budget? Should you wait and save up for your perfect amp? Sometimes you should wait and spend your money on what you really want.
Tube amps vs. solid-state
The overall consensus on this is that a tube amp sounds better and requires more maintenance.
Tubes add just that special touch of warmth and surprisingly enough, a bit of distortion even while played clean, that adds that special something to an electric guitar amp sound that humans like to hear. (That's good)
Tubes need periodic replacement and extra care when the amp is hot from being on.
Solid state amps are climbing up the food chain because of improved technology and they are sounding better but not quite there.
The advantages of a solid state amp are they are reliable and take no maintenance unless you get a dog. (Always wait on new software based amps until the bugs are worked out.)
Mistakes that many people make when choosing an amp.
Let's face it, almost anyone that wants to play an electric guitar, especially Rock guitar can be a bit extreme. Highly educated folk would call them immoderate. :)
What do they want - the ultimate amp!
Wife's, families, and neighbors may not agree. Many people have lost or damaged their hearing while playing guitar also.
This is not a small thing, once a persons hearing is gone - it's gone forever. Just ask Pete Townsend or Ted Nugent.
A practice amp does not have to be much more than about 5 Watts especially if it's a tube amp. I just saw a Vox amp that had a setting knob that goes down to 1/4 watt. It was great.
15 watts is more than enough to rattle a house.
Can't you just turn it Down? Yes, you can but a tube amp sounds best when it's cranked.
So here's the rule. You can get the natural tube amp distortion that you want allot easier by getting a lower powered amp and keep the neighbors from calling the Police (maybe).
Many recordings of wild over the limit guitar ragings are recorded with an itty bitty electric guitar amp of about 5 watts or so.
An amp for a coffee shop or small club I would recommend something in the range of 30 to 50 watts. Maybe a Roland Cube they are very versatile and sound great.
An auditorium or stadium if it doesn't have a PA would be a great place to break out the 100 watt stack amplifier. Marshall makes some great amps, but they are not the only game in town.
My other recommendation would be a Peavey. No reason other than people like Ted Nugent like, Eddie Van Halen used to play them and they seem to know what they are doing.
Please be sure to check out the following related pages on this website.
Did you know they're great portable amps you can take with you?Battery powered amps really can sound quite amazing.
2.Guitar amp settings - How do you get the best sound for you out of a great amp?
Links to useful websites.