As we’ve said plenty of times on this website, choosing guitar amps can sometimes be even more difficult than choosing the guitar itself. Most guitarists have a good idea of their favorite guitar models, but the same cannot always be said about amplifiers. We review a variety of different guitar amps on this site to help you make a decision.
If you’re thinking of buying a new amp, take your time to browse our guitar amps reviews. You may also want to check out the quick introduction guide to choosing an amp below.
How To Choose A Guitar Amp
Step # 1 – Combo Or Head And Cabinet
An important decision is whether to buy a combo amp or a separate head and cabinet. If you’re only using the amp in your home or small gigs then a combo will often be fine. If you need your guitar sound to fill large venues then a stack with a lot of power, as well as a large cabinet, is essential.
Step #2 – Speaker Size
Size doesn’t just affect volume, it also affects tone. The larger a speaker the worse it is at producing high frequencies. This is why tweeter speakers in guitar amps are important for the high frequencies. In general, the smaller a speaker the better top end you’ll get. The size of amp you go for very much depends on your preference when it comes to tone.
Step #3 – What Are You Using It For?
The purpose of a guitar amp is another important factor. Many guitarists have different amps depending on whether they’re playing live, practicing or recording in a studio. In a perfect world all guitarists would have a different setup for each situation, but in reality this might not be possible.
Step #4 – The Type
There are four types of guitar amps, known as modeling, hybrids, solid state and tube. Solid state amps are probably the most reliable, making them popular amongst touring artists. Tube amps, on the other hand, tend to have a warmer tone than solid state.
Modeling amps are digital, but use sound processing to mimic the sound of tube amps. The benefit is that these amps often have effects built in.
Hybrid amps, as you’ve probably guessed, try to combine the best of both worlds.
Step #5 – The Rest
There are a number of other considerations when choosing a guitar amp, such as your budget. Cheap guitar amps, for example, may be attractive to new players but rarely provide the reliability and tone required. The power, construction and amplifier class also need to be considered.