Guitar Amplifier – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
The electric guitar is one of the most widely used instruments in the world, however, in an open venue performance, if not used with an amplifier, its sound will reach all the audience. For that reason, those who have a guitar, must purchase an amplifier to enjoy the best sound. A product like the Yamaha GA15II will give you extra features that will complement your instrument, along with the ability to practice silently with headphones. On the other hand, models like the Asmuse 3W Amp are designed for you to enjoy portability and easy use no matter where you are.
The key to enjoying a good sound when playing your guitar is to choose a suitable amplifier for what you need, but, if you have no idea what aspects to take into account when making the choice, it is better to know the most important characteristics about these artifacts and choose the best one for you.
The first thing you’ll notice when comparing guitar amps, even before how much it costs, is the design and structure of the device. You need to know that these characteristics should not be the only determining factors when buying your new amplifier, however, it is necessary to take them into account because they are relevant and will facilitate various aspects.
There are many designs, however, the most classic are those of black color and square structure. If you want a more modern design, you can also find it, since there are brands that make models in other colors and with bright details. In addition to this, it is preferable to buy amplifiers that have connections at the rear for greater organization and a more professional front appearance.
In addition to the design, the structure has other qualities that are worth noting, such as its dimensions and its weight. The smaller the amplifier, the easier it will be to store it in any corner of your home and, for its part, the mobilization will be more comfortable as well. The latter can be complemented with a sturdy handle for optimal grip and light weight so you don’t have to make more effort than necessary.
What really brings an amp to life is its sound quality, therefore this is one of the most important aspects to consider. Fortunately, it is possible to find a good and inexpensive alternative that values the sound and is not very expensive. You just have to know exactly what to look for.
The power is what will determine the range of sound that an amplifier can reach and for that reason it is so important to know which power is the one that best corresponds to the activity you will perform. You can find 3W power amplifiers like others with a power greater than 100 W.
Those products that have between 5 and 10 W of power are ideal for practicing, since they are considered mini. The larger the number, the better the resonance and projection, so if you need an artifact for a concert, you will require the highest possible power.
On the other hand, it is advisable to purchase the amplifier with the largest number of buttons, as this only means better sound control. It could have an equalizer with three bands, a gain selector, a volume selector, etc.
In addition to all this, remember that there are two types of amplifiers: those of tubes and those of transistors. The former have better sound quality, but need more care and there are more restrictions when using them, while the latter aim towards achieving comfort and ease of use. Choosing one or the other depends only on your needs, because although the sound of the tube amplifier is better, that does not mean that the audio of a transistor amplifier is bad, it is still of great quality.
Finally, don’t forget that if you want a specific amplifier for an instrument, it is better to buy a specialized model than a general one. Although an electric guitar amp can be functional for an acoustic type, the sound will be higher quality if you use a model specifically designed for an acoustic guitar.
To finish your guide to buying the best guitar amp, after having verified the structure and the sound, you can already look at the extra functions that can complement and make the experience of using one of these devices better.
There are modern amplifiers that, for example, allow the use of backing music and even your voice. That way, if you want to give the product various uses, you can use a music playback device to listen to some melodies and you will also have the possibility of connecting a microphone to sing; this without leaving behind the main objective of giving your instrument sound.
In addition to this, if you want your guitar or bass to have personalized and unique sounds, some amplifiers have a repertoire of effects to distort or modify the sound of your instrument without affecting its quality. Some of them are reverb, chorus or tremolo. Regarding the connections, certain models also bring space to use effect or loop pedals without problem; This could take your performance from good to extraordinary.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a guitar amplifier?
Using it is very simple. To start, connect the amplifier to the current and connect the guitar to it. Proceed to turn on the amplifier and adjust the volume, to be able to equalize.
Continue the process by setting the EQ for Bass, Mid and Treble until you find the tone you need. Check the gain to increase or decrease the distortion, and finally just play the guitar.
Q2: How to make a homemade guitar amp?
Before starting the process, get an LM386 chip, a 10 ohm resistor, a 10k potentiometer, old headphones, a 9V battery and some Perfboard, plus a female Jack connector.
Following the instructions included with the chip, fabricate the electrical circuit without soldering anything at all. You must first test that it works to be able to make the welds.
The 9V battery will be attached to pin 3 of the chip, while the negative audio cable is grounded. For its part, the potentiometer will be the volume control, and it will be connected to the electrolytic capacitor and the ceramic capacitor. This will be connected to the small speaker you want to use.
Place the components on the Perfboard and start soldering. When finished, connect the Jack connector to the audio input, since the guitar cable will be placed there. Find a box or place to put the circuit and voila. You will already have a small amplifier.
Q3: How to record guitar amp?
To begin, you will need a computer that has a suitable program for audio recording, plastic tape, a microphone, a base for it and, finally, an audio interface.
As a first step, connect your guitar, pedals and amp, because without this you will not be able to produce sound. Make sure you are in a place where you can use a high volume without disturbing anyone and without generating an echo.
To continue, place the microphone on its base and secure it to prevent it from falling; proceed to connect it to the audio interface. Adjust the height of the microphone base until the device can be in front of the amplifier; You must bear in mind that the microphone must not touch the fabric of the amplifier and must be kept at a distance of 3 centimeters.
Turn on the computer and open the audio program, to be able to check the levels of the sound gain next to the interface. Both on the screen and in the interface, the lights should be green.
Position the microphone between the amp cone and the rim for balanced sounds between bass and treble.
By following these steps, you are ready to start recording.
Q4: How to test a guitar amp?
Pay attention to the body of the amplifier and make sure that all the screws are in place, and that the corners are not dented of any kind. In addition to that, check the top handle and verify that it is not flimsy, as it could prevent the device from falling by accident.
Regarding the connections, pay attention to the operation of the audio input and output. None should present sound distortions. Additionally, the guitar cable must be connected correctly without generating static noise or being loose.
Lastly, when connecting your guitar, check that the audio is clear and that all buttons, switches, and selectors are working properly.
Q5: How to use guitar amplifier as speaker?
Some amplifiers come with mini plug inputs for connecting MP3 devices or your computer. However, in case you don’t have it, you can use a plug reducer so that the amplifier cable can connect to the player you want to listen to music from.
Q6: How to equalize a guitar amp?
All amps, as well as guitars, are different and, for that reason, there are no hard and fast rules about the equalization of these. The buttons you should be familiar with are the treble, middle, and bass.
Keep in mind what sound you want to get, what genre of music you want to play, etc. The sound should be right for you, so don’t try to follow rules.
The best thing to do is bring all the buttons to level 5, which is right in the middle. Now with everyone at the same level, start adjusting the sound to your liking in treble, bass and mids until you reach the perfect balance.
Q7: How to repair a guitar amp?
Guitar amplifiers are usually delicate artifacts, therefore, it is not recommended that you give yourself the task of repairing it in case it is failing, unless you have professional knowledge in these devices and in electrical circuits.
To avoid further damage and to be able to identify exactly what the problem is, it is necessary for a person trained to repair it to verify it and carry out the corresponding process.