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Published on October 28th, 2014 | by Art News

How to Find and Buy the New Amp You Need

Dunlop guitar strings

Congratulations! You’ve realized that your guitar skills have outgrown the sound equipment you’re currently working with, and have decided to check out what guitar amps your favorite online music stores are selling. Your sound is simply too big for your current equipment, and you need something that can handle all that musical power you’re shredding.

The only trouble is that you don’t know the first thing about guitar amps. Yes, you’d like to have something big and loud, but you’re not sure just how big and loud of an amp you need.

Here are a few tips to help you figure out how big or small you need to go.

Combo Amps V.S. Half and Full Stacks.

First things first, you need to know that there are two types of guitar amps: stacks and combo amps. Stacks are what the pros use. They’re comprised of two parts, the head and the speaker. The head is what you plug your guitar into, and the speaker is what produces the sound, obviously. These are purchased separately, and allow guitarists to scale their rigs either up or down as necessary. If you need something louder, you can simply buy a bigger speaker, going from a half stack to a full stack. Combo guitar amps, on the other hand, have both the head and the speaker built in. The key difference between the two is that stacks are usually louder, have more options and controls, and are more expensive.

Figure Out Where You’re at in Your Musical Career.

A half stack, a head that’s hooked up to a smaller speaker, might seem like the best route to go, but it’s usually too much for budding guitarists. Though combo guitar amps are smaller and can’t promise as much as a half stack, they’re usually more than adequate for the novice guitarist’s needs. If you plan to start playing in a band, or doing some recording, you’ll likely want to go with an amp that’s at least 30 watts.

Test It Out First.

Yes, online guitar shops have the best deals on high-end brands of guitar amps, like Tone King amps for example, but you need to try the amp out first before you buy. If you think you’ve found what you’re looking for, bring your guitar to a music shop that has the amp in stock and ask to try it out. It’s probably best to tell them that you’re shopping around for a new amp, and not that you’ve already found a better deal online than what they’re offering. Plug your guitar in and try it and a few other guitar amps out to see how you like it. If it’s everything you ever hoped and dreamed it could be, then you can buy it online.

Buying a new amp for the first time can be a bit tricky, but if you know what you need, you’ll won’t have a problem finding something that suits you. If you have any questions about guitar amps, feel free to ask in the comments.

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