Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide: Things To Consider Before Buying a Guitar Amp

a guitar with guitar amplifier and other rock band instruments on a stage

If you are a guitarist involved in playing electric guitars, you must know the significance of guitar amplifier. Guitar amplifiers are electronic devices used mainly to boost the strength of the signal coming out from guitar instruments. If you try playing electric guitars without amplifiers, you will realize that your audience may not hear whatever you play.   

Composition of a guitar amplifier  

A guitar amplifier has a power amplifier inside a preamp or box. It also has a speaker to eliminate the need for any separate box for playing the guitar. The signal travels from the pickups of your electric guitar to the amplifier. At this point, the signal amplifies and strengthens before entering the speaker. In this way, the audience will hear loud music.

How does a guitar amplifier work?

The combination of rectifier and power transformer works together as electric pumps for pulling electrons out from the amplifier circuit. The combination creates a positive voltage and the electronic circuit of the amplifier receives DC for amplification. Later, the DC converts into AC when the guitar signal goes into the amplifier.

What do the amplifier controls do for your electric guitar?

Guitar amplifiers usually come with the following amplifier controls to perform the essential functions, which include the following-


Amplifiers have two different volume controls, where one controls a clean channel and another one controls the distorted one. However, if your amp has a single control, it will be a master volume control. 


The bass control of your amplifier determines the low-frequency sound, which you will hear from your amplifier. 


Mids are mid-range frequencies, which come out from the speaker of your guitar amp. If you have a high mids setting, your tone will have more sound and depth. A high mids setting will prevent the loss of your guitar sound when you play with other singers and/or instruments in a band. 


Contour control is present on most of the Marshall amplifiers. If you want to increase the mid-range frequency of your guitar, you must increase the contour control. However, if you reduce the contour, the mids will increase. 


Treble implies the amount of sound of high frequency you hear from the speaker of your guitar amplifier. These frequencies result in a sharp and crisp tone of the sound. 


Presence is also an essential control present in Marshall Amplifiers. It controls higher frequencies, like the treble and upper mids.    

Tone or EQ

A few guitar amplifiers do not have any separate bass, mids, or treble control. Instead, such guitars have tone control or equalizer. These controls produce a similar type of effect in adjusting the bass and the treble. 

Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide  

Once you collect valuable pieces of information related to guitar amplifier controls, you have to consider a few things to buying amplifiers.

Solid-state or tube technology 

A few guitarists consider tube technology as one of the state of the art technologies. However, if you want to save money without compromising your performance, you may choose digital amplifiers and solid-state amplifiers. To crack the best deal, you must undergo a listening test to judge the tube tone.

Check distortion in the power amplifier 

The preamplifier, the power amplifier, and the speakers are three distinct sources to distort your guitar signal. Guitar players often overlook the distortion caused by power amplifiers while they play them.

However, individuals describe the section of the power amp as low-end balls and chunks. In this situation, you must take an audition of the power amp by turning up the master volume and turning down the gain. You must make sure to produce a lively sound with crisp guitar bits. 

Focus on the size of a guitar amplifier 

If you want an amplifier to fulfill the home recording purpose, an amplifier of 100 watts stack will not be the right choice. In contrast, an amplifier of 10 watts is insufficient while playing with drummers and singers in a band.

Channel surfing 

Multichannel amplifiers work well for guitarists who use a combination of different tones. However, if you want a clean sound combined with a distorted sound, guitarists have to choose multiple amplifiers.

Do you want an amplifier with multiple channel surfing facilities? You should choose the one that provides separate EQ controls for the channels.


Therefore, guitar amplifiers are crucial for guitarists who want to play in a band with other instruments and singers. Hence, whenever you go to buy amplifiers, you must check the necessary things to come up with the best deal.

At Bootlegger Guitar, we have Blues 15/30 a true boutique tube amp. If you love playing blues, rock, punk, outlaw, metal (with a pedal), or progressive Jazz you will want our Blues 15/30. Take a visit to our online store and close a best deal.

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