Choosing a good acoustic guitar amplifier is important for any guitarist. Acoustic guitar amplifiers are used to amplify the sound produced by an acoustic guitar. There are different types of guitar amplifiers that can be used for both acoustic and electric guitars. These include solid state guitar amplifiers, tube amps and hybrid amplifiers.
Solid state guitar amplifiers utilize transistors for power amplification. These amplifiers are reliable and produce a quality sound. Tube guitar amplifiers utilize vacuum tubes for signal amplification. They provide a warmer sound compared to the solid state amplifiers. They however require regular maintenance as tubes are prone to frequent failure due to wear and tear.
Hybrid amplifiers combine the features of solid-state and tube amplifiers and hence the name hybrid.
Acoustic guitars, unlike electric guitars have a sound box that is used for sound amplification. Acoustic guitars maintain the acoustic sound produced when the guitar strings are plucked but have a limited volume. In order to be able to magnify the sound over a larger radius, special amplifiers known as acoustic guitar amplifiers are used.
Use of the typical guitar amplifiers for acoustic guitar amplification may lead to sound distortion. Both the typical guitar amplifiers and the acoustic guitar amplifiers have the same mechanism of operation for sound amplification. Acoustic guitar amplifiers however have some inherent features typical to them. These features enable them to maintain the original sound produced by acoustic guitars without any sound distortion.
One of the main features typical to acoustic guitar amps is the feedback control systems. Signals are picked from the strings of an acoustic guitar by either a transducer guitar pickup or a microphone. Where these two devices are used, there is the possibility of feedback. Acoustic guitar amplifiers are equipped with feedback control systems to suppress this feedback.
Acoustic guitar amplifiers also have built-in effects typical to them. These effects range from the simple loop function to a compressor effects. A guitarist can choose a guitar amplifier with several effects depending on the style of music they want to play. Different music genres such as the jazz music, classical music, country music and blues require unique effects when playing them.
Built-in effects such as reverb provides a more robust sound that is richer and better. Solo performers can use loop function on acoustic guitar amplifiers to lay down a rhythm track and go solo over it.
Acoustic guitar amplifiers also have duo input for the microphone and guitar. This includes the XLR input system. Some acoustic guitar amplifiers have an option for phantom power.
These two features enables a guitarist to balance their vocals with the sound produced by an acoustic guitar. The XLR and phantom power input systems eliminates the need for a separate public address system when using an acoustic guitar amplifier.
Acoustic guitar amplifiers come in different wattage. Ideal wattage for guitars for practice and for home use is between 20 to 30 watts. However, when playing for a bigger audiences such as in a bar or coffee shop, acoustic guitar amplifiers with 50 to 60 watts would be ideal.