If you’re in the market for a guitar amp, you’ll want to consider a few things before making your purchase. The first thing to consider is what type of music you’ll be playing. If you’re into classic rock or blues, you’ll need an amp with a warm, vintage sound. Meanwhile, country and folk fans may prefer something with more clarity and definition.
On the other hand, if you’re into heavier styles of music, such as metal or hard rock, look for amps with lots of distortion and power. No matter what type of music you play, try out different amps and read some reviews at sites like musiccritic.com before making your final decision. After all, the perfect amp can make all the difference in your sound. So, don’t wait any longer – start shopping today!
Will You Be on the Road?
The first thing you will need to consider when buying a guitar amp would be whether or not you will be playing on the road or if you will be spending most of your time playing at home. If you are just playing at home, buying an amp that uses more than 20 watts is not really necessary. A practice amp between 8 to 12 inches in diameter is perfectly fine.
Next, you will need to consider the type of speaker configuration the amp uses. Remember that most amps don’t sound so great when turned up to full volume. If you are already using an amp and don’t even turn it up halfway, you don’t need to get a big amp.
When choosing your speaker configuration, you’ll need to consider the impedance and wattage of the amp. More wattage means more power, but that doesn’t always translate to more volume. In terms of impedance – the higher the impedance, the better the sound quality.
That said, practicing at home should only require one 12-inch speaker. For playing at a gig, two 12-inch speakers should work most of the time, but there are also four 12-inch speakers if you want to go a bit beyond.
Sound for Stage
A big question many people ask when buying their first guitar amp is what amp is needed for playing on stage. The good news is that this question isn’t as important as it once was because most venues that usually have live musicians already have either PA systems that the amp will connect to or use microphones on the amps.
Chances are, you won’t be playing in a stadium if you buy your first guitar amp, so you won’t need a 100-watt amp. In most scenarios, two 12-inch speakers at between 30 to 50 watts will be more than good enough. If you are a heavier band, then you might need a 4×12 cab.
As you might have noticed, wattage is brought up quite a bit when talking about amps, so what wattage would you need for your first guitar amp? As mentioned above, many people are under the impression that more wattage means more volume, but that isn’t always the case; there’s only a 5-decibel difference between a 30-watt amp and a 100-watt amp.
Having said that, if you plan on playing live at quite noisy venues, you should do fine with a 12-inch speaker at between 50-60 watts. If it’s just a bar or a relatively small restaurant with a stage, a 30-watt amp will work perfectly.
Finally, the last consideration you will need to make, probably the most important, is the overall quality of the amp itself. Most beginners would go for a combo amp; this is an amp where the speakers, pre-amp, and amp are combined in one unit.
While it is true that there are some really great quality combo amps, typically on the lower end of the price range, combo amps that have a lot of wattages tend to have distortion at higher volume and not the type of distortion that is used for creative effect.
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