How to Choose a Guitar Amplifier for Rock Music

If you’re in the market for a guitar amp, but are unfamiliar with all the little differences like tube versus solid state, or British sound versus American sound, it can be daunting. And what the heck does a “creamy tone” sound like? It can be enough to make you want to pick up a ukulele and move to Hawaii! Armed with the right knowledge and your own ears, you’ll be able to pick the right best amp for turntable for your needs in no time.


1.Use your ears.
Yes, it seems remarkably uncomplicated and highly un-technical, and there are really no acronyms to cover it. However, it’s important to realize that from the outset, you have to like the sound the amp makes relative to the style of music you play.
A Marshall amp sounds absolutely amazing—if the style of music you’re playing falls in to the Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, or ZZ Top camp.
A Fender amp also sounds amazing—if you’re going for more of a Eric Clapton, Dire Straits or Buddy Guy sound.
The best way to determine what an amp sounds like is to play your guitar through it. If you are more of a beginner, not confident about your chops, but want an amp you can “grow into,” have somebody at the store play it for you. The critical issue here is how amp “a” sounds when compared to amp “b,” so do whatever it takes to get a good comparison.
2.Understand what defines an amp’s overall tone. The sound quality experienced from an amplifier can be determined by many things, including (but not limited to):
the preamp tubes used
power amp tubes used
the wood material used for the speaker cabinet
the type of speaker cones
the resistance of the speakers
the guitar used
the cables used
the effects used
the pickups in the guitar
and even the fingers of the player.
3.GUITAR AMP SIZE AND PORTABILITY
When it comes to selecting your first guitar amp, choosing the best size is a great place to start. When it comes to sizing, guitar amps range from tiny micro amps to giant rigs with multiple speaker cabinets.

4.WHAT SIZE GUITAR AMP DO YOU NEED FOR PRACTICING?
When you are just starting out on guitar, a small practice amp will be all that you generally need to get started. Because of their smaller size, these amps are also great for musicians who travel for whatever reason, either on the road or to their next band practice.
5.PRACTICING AT HOME VS. PLAYING ON THE ROAD
For home use, you really don’t need a guitar amp that uses more than 20 watts of power. Having a high-powered amp at home is like having a race car that you can’t drive over 20 mph. You don’t need a lot of wattage to sound good.

Likewise, most practice amps have a single speaker between 8 inches and 12 inches in diameter. The practice amp is for practicing at home at a reasonable volume — save the big amp for the stage.
6.GUITAR AMP TONE AND EFFECTS
The kind of music you want to play will affect what kind of guitar amp you want to buy. A basic understanding of amp tones and effects can help you make your final decision.

-EQ CONTROLS AND SETTINGS
All amps will have some sort of “equalization” (or EQ) built in. These controls are usually labeled treble, mid, and bass. These controls help you achieve your desired tone. EQ is an important part of any amp. These controls will help you sound good in any environment, as you can shape the amp’s frequencies to sound best in whatever room you’re playing in.

-DISTORTION
Most guitar amps will have a gain knob. This controls the amount of distortion in your sound. For instance, heavy metal and punk bands usually have a thick, distorted tone.

-REVERB
Reverb is a standard effect that sounds like an echo in a big empty room. While not every guitar amp features reverb, it can be found on most practice amps.

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