Types Of Guitar Amplifiers

If you just bought a guitar and wondering “what kind of amplifier do I get”, this information below may help you decide. Not only are there electric guitar amps but there are acoustic and combo amps. Do I get a solid state, tube, or a hybrid? Below I will discuss the different types to help you decide.

First Things First

first thing you will need to know is, if you are buying an electric guitar as your first instrument you will also need to buy a guitar amp or (amplifier). Electric guitars do not have natural amplification source like sound holes like the acoustic, so this will be the only way you will hear your guitar.

Let’s talk about what you want to use the guitar amplifier for. Do you want it for practicing or performing, do you need something with a lot of power, maybe 100 watts or more, something small and simple, maybe twenty to fifty watts? These are questions you want to ask yourself before you even look at amps.

I myself play the bass guitar and have two amps. The reason I have two is that with a bass, you get into the low tones. I found my twenty watt base has a tendency to sound a little fuzzy, so when I want to hear those low crisp notes, I then switch to my 150 watt amp. This gives me a much crisper sound on those low tones.

With an acoustic and an electric guitar, you don’t have those low notes, so both small and larger watt amps will work great. All you have to do is figure what you are going to use it for.

Apart from boosting the weak signals, a guitar amp is capable of doing so much more. Guitar amplifiers can also modify the tone of the instrument. They are equipped with controls to emphasize or de-emphasize frequencies, ad electronic effects, manage distortion, and edit reverb. They are just like the bass and treble knobs that work on other stereo products.


Types of Amplifier Configuration

Amplifiers comes in two configurations. There are head and a cabinet The head is the amplifier itself and the cabinet is where the speakers are, then there are combo amps where amplifier and speakers are put together in one box. With this said there have been two types of amps in the past. Today there is a new third kind of amp as well.

The electric guitar uses an electromagnetic pickup to pick up signals while an acoustic guitar use a piezoelectric pickup. The signals are then transferred through a patch wire that plugs into a quarter inch jack of the amp. An acoustic guitar

amp is intended for amplifying the signals of an acoustic guitar.

accoustic combo amp

An acoustic guitar amp is mostly used by people who perform in front of a crowd. If you have trained yourself on an acoustic guitar, the best thing to do would be to buy an acoustic guitar amp. A solo musician who records or plays his instrument at home, won’t find an acoustic guitar amp appealing.

An Electric Amp For Both Guitars?

I know it may sound funny, but the one thing you can do is, use your acoustic guitar in an electric amp. This may sound

strange, but it will not hurt your guitar or amp.

I’ts a good idea to pair your acoustic guitar with the electric amp. The only thing you can’t do, is play an electric guitar through an acoustic amp.This is that an electric guitar produces a distorted sound, (which is what an electric guitar player wants), An acoustic guitar amp cannot produce this type of sound. Acoustic guitars are known for outputting a cleaner sound. The electric amp is made to boost the distorted signals from an electric guitar.

Most people who play an electric guitar, can’t afford to buy an additional acoustic guitar amp so they use there electric amp to play with the acoustic guitar. You can do this as long as you know how to properly adjust the controls for the desired output. So if you decide to go electric or acoustic guitar, you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

3 Different Types Of Amps

A solid state amp uses transistors for its preamp and power selection. It has a cleaner sound and is considered to the most reliable type of amp. Though they are not digital, they also utilize new technology, transistors for amplification.Solid State










Tube-Based Amp The tube amp is know for producing a warmer and more organic sound. These involve tubs, like the old televisions, which amplify the sound signal and the need to be replaced from time to time. If you want a warm sound with a vintage vibe, then tube amps are your choice. These are the oldest types of amps and have been used for decades. They do tend to be expensive, and heavy. Tube-based amp







Modeling Amp Modeling amps are the newest type of amp, and are also known as digital amps. These types of amps use processors to amplify guitar tones. Though they are considered digital, they still need a solid state preamp. With the quality processors and advanced software, modeling amps have the potential to be the go-to am of the future. The advantage of modeling amps is that they have so many effects. It is very easy to distinguish the sound of a modeling amp from that of a solid state or tube amp.Modeling Amp

For beginners, a solid state amp is probably the best as it is the most reliable type of amp. It is really up to your own taste as to what type of amps produces the sound that you are looking at.

Quality and Pricing

Quality should be an important factor when buying an amp, along with price. The quality can have a real impact on the amp’s performance. One thing to look for is design and materials. If the materials are high quality then the amp is likely to be high quality as well, and will produce a top-level sound. You will have to get into the details of the different amps you’re considering.

If you are going to be performing and moving your amp around a lot, you want an amp that can stand wear and tear of frequent, heavy use. If it can withstand this, you know you have a high quality piece of equipment. In general, expensive products from well know brands are generally better quality compared with cheap options.


Pricing as you know will depend on the brands and features the amps have. Usually, solid state amps are the cheapest, but their price ranges can vary greatly. Just so you know, expect to pay at least one hundred dollars for a quality amp. If you go further up the scale, you can find some outstanding tub-based amps from the more high-end brands.


So in summary, you need to know what you are going to be using the amp for, look for quality materials and quality brands, and maybe an electric amp that you can plug an acoustic guitar into. If you decide you want to play both types of guitars. You will only spend money on one good quality amp, rather than twice the money for two amps.

If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Have a musical day.


Happy amping!

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3 thoughts on “Types Of Guitar Amplifiers

  1. hi,

    i play the guitar. I’m developing skill. I have a Blues Junior tube amp. I use a Tube Driver amp.

    Do you adjust the settings on your amp based on the guitar and/or pedal being used with it?

    Anyway, your blog looks very informative. I’ll use it as reference

    1. You adjust the amp based on the sound you want to achieve. If you want a clean sound, you put your gain way down. If you want a Over drive, turn your gain up a little. If you want a distortion sound, turn gain up higher.

      I hope this helps.

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