When we think of amplifiers, a picture of a group of rock stars performing with huge cabinets and speakers at the back comes to our mind. Amps increase the volume of your guitar. So all those heart-thumping sound you get at a concert is because of amplifiers. Acoustic guitar amps produce accurate, clean and natural sound of an acoustic guitar.
The type of acoustic guitar amp you will buy depends on your style and the venue where you’re going to perform. There are two types of amplifiers for acoustic guitar: solid-state amps and tube amps. Solid-state amps use transistors for power and preamp. They produce a clean tone and are very reliable. Tube amps produce organic and warm tone. Tube amps require maintenance over time. If you sing along with playing guitar, then you need a dual-channel amplifier with an XLR input for a microphone. Some amps produce effects like delay, reverb, chorus, etc. If you are practicing at home, you’ll need a small amp with low wattage. A small speaker is usually included with the amp. The prices of amps that are used for home practice are of course lower than those used for live performance. If you are buying an acoustic guitar amp for your studio then you must buy an amp that includes additional feature which adds gravity to your recordings. For performing in a small club or coffeehouse, you will need an amp with range between 40 to 100 watts. These amps will have separate channels for vocals and guitar, along with an XLR input for plugging in your microphone. Some amps also have the option of stereo input so that you can plug in your smartphone or iPod to play along with recorded tracks. Unlike those amps used for home practice, dedicated speakers, woofers and tweeters are present for amps used for performance so that high and low frequencies can be handled properly. You must keep in mind, though, that size of the speaker doesn’t have any relation to the sound produced by the amp. If you are jamming with a band, you will need amps with 100 watts or more. These amps come in wonderful cabinets with feedback-fighting filter. Amps help to project undistorted and clean sound when you are playing on a band. For larger outdoor venues, you need built-n PA system in the amp. PA includes speakers, mixers and other accessories needed to perform. If you are performing in street performances then you need an amp that is lightweight, portable and battery-powered.
Channels are an important feature of an amp. Most amps have multiple channels, which allow multiple instruments or microphones to be easily plugged in. Acoustic guitar amps have various inputs including XLR input for microphone and stereo inputs for iPod or smartphone. Many amps have built-in effects like reverb, chorus, etc. Feedback control is another feature you must keep in mind when you buy an amp for your acoustic guitar. Amps of more than 20 watts include feedback control, which minimizes the chance of feedback. Keeping all these features in mind, we have come up with a list of top rated acoustic guitar amps for you.
Yamaha THR AMPS THR5A Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
Yamaha THR AMPS THR5A Acoustic Guitar Amplifier is ideal for electric-acoustic guitars. It uses the latest modeling technologies of Yamaha. It provides reproductions of classic tube condensers and mics along with studio effects. This creates a tone similar to that of a recording studio from your guitar directly. It has five mic models and both Ac power and batteries. This amp uses effects processing using VCM technology. You get a Cubase Al recording software free with it. This Yamaha amp costs less than $200.
Behringer Ultracoustic AT108 amplifier
The Behringer Ultracoustic AT108 amplifier is a 15-watt compact amp having 8’’ speaker and using VTC technology. This amp is very versatile and has 2 channels. It has additional input for microphone and a individual volume control option. It produces tube-like sound with its VTC Virtual Tube Circuitry. The sound that comes from this amp is shaped using its 3-band EQ. There is an input for CD that lets you play along with your favorite track. This amp is a very lightweight and portable. The price of the amp is less than $200.
Fishman Loudbox Mini Acoustic Instrument Amplifier
The Fishman Loudbox Mini Acoustic Instrument Amplifier is a 60 watts amp having a 6.5’’ Woofer and a 1” tweeter. It has two channels, one for the guitar and one for the microphone. It includes effects like chorus and digital reverb. It also has ¼’’ and 1/8’’ auxiliary input with XLR output. The amp has a switch for reducing feedback. It has a 3 band EQ for controlling low, mid and high tones. This fantastic amp you can get at Amazon for less than $350.
Fender Acoustasonic 15 1X6-inch 15-watt portable amplifier
The Fender Acoustasonic 15 1X6-inch 15-watt portable amplifier comes with a specially designed 6’’ full-range speaker. It has two channels for the guitar and the microphone. The amp has a number of controls. Its instrument channel includes bass, middle, chorus, treble, etc. Controls for its microphone channel include bass, treble, middle, etc. At Amazon, this amp will cost you about $100.
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier
The Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier is a great amp which you can get for only $139.00. This amp can be used for acoustic guitar, electric guitar and also bass. Players can easily change their electric guitar to acoustic guitar using instrument modeling feature of this amp. This amp is ideal for practice rooms and studios. It produces professional sound with various effects including chorus, flanger, reverb, octave, tremolo, etc. It has a built-in USB interface that is used for recording purpose.
Though most people like the natural tone of acoustic guitar, amps are necessary to enhance the volume of your guitar at times. Amps that are found today don’t only increase volume of your instrument, they also include various features like effects, microphone input, recording option, etc. So even if you are just a hobbyist, you can buy an amp to improve your practice experience even at home.