Guitar Amplifiers

Let’s start with the basics: here we are going to talk about guitar amplifiers. First, in general terms, an amplifier is a device that amplifies the signal. It’s a unit capable of strengthening an audio signal that is provided from an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, or bass guitar. After this, an altered signal is sent through a loudspeaker, generally inside a cabinet.

Built-in guitar amp devices are able to modify signals afterward by emphasizing or de-emphasizing some of the frequencies. You can also achieve it by doing the same thing, but with a variety of different dynamics, distortion, and reverb effects.

Guitar Amplifiers: a Little Bit of History

The first amplifiers date back to the telephone and radio broadcast industry. Years later, The Electro String Instrument Company developed the electric guitar and the first guitar amplifier. After that, other corporations presented their own versions of guitar amps for commercial use. However, with the beginning of World War II, the growth of the guitar amplifier industry paused.

Regardless, shortly after, some companies began to create amplifiers again. For example, the Fender Musical Instrument Company made amplifiers known for their roughness and power. Because of their unique characteristics, these amps dominated the market. With the birth of Rock & Roll came a great demand for bigger and louder sound systems, so new solutions for guitar amplifiers, as well as tube and solid-state base amps emerged. 

Guitar Amplifiers: All You Need to Know

Firstly, guitar amplifiers have a specific structure. It involves two amplifier circuit stages and one extra circuit for tone shaping. Secondly, prices vary. This means that more expensive amplifiers might have added control for more frequency ranges. Thirdly, there are two alternatives regarding the configuration of guitar amps. The first one is a combination that involves an amplifier as well as one or more speakers. The second alternative is a standalone amp, known as an amp head, which does not include a speaker. In relation to the latter, speaker configurations can have a single speaker or multiple ones.

Some Subcategories: a Teaser

Vacuum Tube Amps

Tube components in amps tend to heat up fairly quickly and they become useless fast. The sound produced by tube amps is warmer and more natural. Because of this, until solid-state based type tubes took over, Vacuum Tube amplifiers dominated the market. 

Solid-state Amps

Solid-state amplifiers vary in terms of output power, size, price and sound quality. These amps have semiconductor circuits. Plus, they are not that expensive and tend to be more reliable than tube ones. Some say the sound of the solid-state tubes is cleaner.

Modeling Amps

Modeling amplifiers are capable of creating multiple sounds and tones through the same amp and speaker. They are able to do this because of the microprocessor technology they use. You can program these amps to imitate different tones and effects.