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Acoustic guitar amplifiers are installed to amplify the sound of the acoustic guitar. Acoustic Amp amplifies the sound of the acoustic guitar with the help of loudspeakers.
However, most beginners like you are often confused, they cannot decide between a wide variety of amplifying devices available in the market.
This confusion is basically due to excessive options and choices.
There are so many types of acoustic amp devices. However, when it comes to choosing the best acoustic guitar amplifier, you must give preference to your style statement.
Different performers face different conditions while performing. Moreover, each user has own sound preferences.
So, why you should choose the one that’s according to the needs of your friend? Be your own master and use this guide to choose the best acoustic amp.
How to Find the Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifier?
When you are going to buy an acoustic guitar amplifier you must be following some basic factors:
- An acoustic guitar has its unique sound. Therefore when you are buying an acoustic guitar amplifier make sure that it does not distort the sound of the acoustic guitar. Your acoustic guitar should always sound like an acoustic guitar, not like a broken instrument!
- While purchasing the best amplification for your acoustic guitar keep in mind that the basic purpose of an amplifier is to enhance the sound of your acoustic guitar. I.e. It should make the sound of the acoustic guitar bigger and better, not the other way round.
- The best acoustic amplifier should be designed and manufactured professionally. This means that it should be reliable and available whenever you need it.
- Your best acoustic amp should be adaptable and versatile. It should have built-in mike input for vocals, outputs for a P.A system. There must be Reverse and Chorus systems built-in along with speakers and subwoofers.
- Acoustic guitar amplifier works closely with an acoustic guitar pickup, therefore to get the best-amplified sound it is necessary to have the best acoustic pickup along with the best acoustic amp.
Parts of Best Amp for Acoustic Guitar:
An acoustic guitar amplifier can be divided into three main parts:
1. Pre Amp
2. Power Amp
- It is the signal processing part of the amplifier that allows you to control volume.
- This is the section of the amp that allows you to plug-in other sources like CD player and tuner.
- Along with volume, preamp also allows you to change bass and treble settings.
- The sound controlling feature of the preamp allows you to naturally control the volume of your acoustic guitar.
- This section of the amplifier drives the speakers.
- They are more useful when you are playing your acoustic guitar in a small venue or a small confined area.
- There is more available power in acoustic guitar power amps. This is also known as the headroom.
- The cabinet or speaker cabinet contains speakers.
- The number of speakers may vary from 2-12.
How to Distinguish Several Types of Acoustic Guitar Amp?
When you are going to search for the best acoustic guitar amp you will come across so many brands that your head will be blown up and you won’t be able to distinguish one acoustic guitar amp from the other.
However, to make things simpler, acoustic guitar amp can be divided into a few basic types. Once you know all about them you will be able to distinguish one from the other and that too quite easily.
According to the Shape and Structure, we have:
This is an all-in-one amp; you can also call it all-rounder amp. This amp contains all, Power amp, Preamp and Cabinet.
Head Amps / Cabinet:
Head Amp comprises two parts, that is headlamp (Preamp + Poweramp) and Cabinet connected to Headamp through connection cables.
According to Technology, we have:
Tube Amp – Valve Amp: using vacuum tubes (old technology at the 1930s)
- This is also known as valve amp.
- This is the best choice (number one) for professional guitarists.
- These are usually the most expensive acoustic amps. However, they are personal favorites of many of the performers. People believe that they are worth the money spent.
- Tube acoustic amps have a unique sound of their own. This is one of the reasons why they are given preference over others.
- The sound produced by these amps is clear, with warm and sweet overdrive.
- Tube amps might require maintenance over time.
- Tube amps/Valve amps are created using Vacuum tube technology.
Solid State Amp: using semiconductor – transistors.
- These acoustic guitar amps are less expensive than Tube Amps.
- Solid Amps come in many sizes and wattages.
- However, guitarists prefer them over Tube Amps because they come with many built-in sounds. E.g. Sample sounds of certain famous numbers or tunes of solos can be found present and are available without any extra effects pedals.
- These are easier to carry than Tube Acoustic amps; this is primarily due to their lighter weight. So if you travel a lot you can seriously think about buying solid acoustic amps.
- They use semiconductor transistors technology for their preamp and power sections.
Hybrid Amp: using both vacuum tubes and transistors.
- These amps have a separate dedicated channel for the acoustic amp as well as a separate dedicated electrical channel.
- Hybrid amps can play excellent acoustic sound from one channel and an equally brilliant electric sound from another channel.
- Some hybrid amps can switch on and off on any one of the channels.
- There is an easy to use anti-feedback equalizer that tunes out unwanted notes. This gives clearer acoustic sound.
- These amps are very popular among live performers.
- These are made by using double technology, i.e. they use both vacuum tubes and transistors.
Modeling Amps: using digital IC chip.
Modeling Amps uses Digital Integrated Circuits to emulate sounds like the sounds of some famous Amp brands. Generally, the sound of these Amps are not as well as these Amps were listed above, but it still has some of the best quality modeling amps with high expensive price.
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What are the Difference Between Acoustic Guitar Amps, Electric Guitar Amps, and Regular Amps?
There is a big difference between all three. The following are given main features of acoustic amps, electric lamps, and ordinary amps.
Electric Guitar Amp:
Electric guitar amps significantly color the sound. They are heavily voiced in tone stack and speaker selection.
Most of the electric guitarists choose their amps depending on the sound that they want. This is because different electric guitar amps give different sounds. So probably this is the reason why they choose them according to personal preferences.
Acoustic Guitar Amps:
- They generally produce natural sound.
- These amps contain features like notch filter which clear feedback.
- They have a more user-friendly control panel.
- Acoustic guitar amps have XLR DI output and parametric equalization.
- These are also known as practice amps or stage amps.
- They are generally low wattage amps typically 15 watts or less.
- They usually come in small packages.
- They are used with mic and sounds good, but not as good as acoustic amps or electric guitar amps.
Why You Should Buy Best Acoustic Guitar Amp?
An acoustic guitar amp is most suitable for your acoustic guitar because it produces a natural sound. The acoustic guitar has its own unique and individual sound.
Most people prefer it over electric guitar because of this unique sound quality. Only acoustic guitar amp can preserve and amplify the original sound of your acoustic guitar. All other amps can distort the sound of your acoustic guitar.
Another reason to choose acoustic guitar amp is that it clears feedback and thus provides you a clearer sound, no matter which genre you are playing.
Overall, acoustic guitar amps are easy to use, their control panel is no rocket science, and you can easily understand and use it.
An acoustic guitar amp if chosen correctly can help you live your sonic dreams! And above all, if you are concerned about the tone of your acoustic you will never connect your acoustic guitar with an electric guitar amp.
How to Buy an Acoustic Guitar Amp?
Finding a great acoustic guitar amp is not that difficult, the following are given some of the simplest suggestions that you will help you find the best acoustic guitar amp.
Choose The Acoustic Amps That Goes Well with Your Acoustic Pickup:
Acoustic amp and acoustic pickup both work in collaboration with one another. Most of the acoustic guitar amps come in accordance with piezo acoustic pickups. However, there are several other types of acoustic pickups other than piezo. Furthermore, piezo pickups are usually modeled with an electric-acoustic guitar.
So, when you are going to buy your acoustic amp make sure that it goes well with your acoustic guitar amp. If pickup and amp of your acoustic guitar do not go well the purpose of getting flawless amplification will be lost.
Play Your Acoustic Guitar Amps Before Buying it:
When you are going to buy acoustic guitar amp you should play it first before making any decision. There is simply no other better way to know whether it is according to your taste or not.
Visit your local store and play as many amps as you can get your hands on. While playing acoustic amps focus on controls and EQ.
In case your guitar has an equalizer either turn it off or leave it in the middle. Leave the volume of your guitar at a moderate 75%.
To get the best results, it is better to taste the sound of the amp alone without messing up with controls of your guitar.
Choose the One That Best Caters with Your Needs:
Best Acoustic Guitar Amp is the one that sounds best and that gives you awesome sound quality. Thus when you are choosing your best acoustic amp to keep in mind following things:
- Your main purpose is to find the best acoustic amp that means you have to find the amp that suits most with your acoustic guitar and its other accessories.
- The best acoustic amp is the one that urges you to keep on playing, that means it should give you the best of the best sound quality.
- Remember this you are going to move this instrument with you here and there. Especially when you are going for practice sessions and performances, so make sure that its size is easy to carry and supports the free movement.
- Never choose an acoustic amp that is difficult to control or that makes you confused and frustrated.
There are hundreds and thousands of acoustic guitar amps available in the market. Some of them do not fit with your taste; some are rejected by pickups and other instruments of your acoustic. Remaining few that you think go perfectly well with your acoustic guitar are too expensive that they can leave a permanent dent in your budget.
Does the question arise what to do? A simplistic answer is to do some extra search. Once you find the best one for your acoustic you should buy it immediately if it comes under your budget. However, if it’s too expensive there are few options.
Start searching for the secondhand model of your shortlisted acoustic amp. In case you do not get your hands on your favorite one this time, if possible, wait and make savings until you can collect enough money to save your favorite one.
There are websites like Amazon that offer good quality acoustic amps at a reasonable price. However, there is one negative thing; you won’t be able to test the instruments.
In this case, it would be better to get suggestions from someone who knows all, and we mean “everything” about acoustic amps. This person should be so much knowledge that you can trust and follow his suggestions and recommendations without any doubt.
Now that you have your best acoustic guitar amp, go and plug-in it. Do not forget to share!
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