Both acoustic and electronic guitars have amplifiers. They strengthen signals from the guitars so that they can produce sound through the loudspeakers. An amplifier may be a combo or standalone. A standalone amplifier is a cabinet, usually made from wood or metal that only has the power amplifier and circuits. A combo amplifier, on the other hand, is a cabinet that contains both the speakers and the amplifier. There is no standard amplifier to suit all guitars. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights.
Guitar amplification may have an effect in the tone of your guitar. It uses equaliser controls to emphasise and deemphasise some frequencies. The input of most modern guitars is ¼’’ jack. Acoustic guitars feed it through a piezoelectric pickup, and electric guitars use an electro-magnetic pickup. The signal goes through a wireless transmitter or a patch cord. Electric guitars have a huge dependency on amplifiers for their tone or sound.
Guitar amplifiers are made up of two amplifying circuit stages. Some of them have extra electric circuits for tone shaping. They control the treble and bass functions. High-quality amplifiers come with more controls to control other frequency ranges. They may have ‘midrange’ and ‘presence’ controls for better frequency. Some of them have parametric equalisers and graphic equalisers. The preamplifier is the first step of amplification. It provides enough amplification for the signals to reach the power amplifier which generates current signal that is high enough to drive a loudspeaker. An amp produces sound after power amplification.
How to Set Up Your Guitar Amp
After getting a new amp for your guitar, you must know how to set it up. Learning how to set up your guitar amp comes in handy when you need to play in a gig. A poor set up may create an unpleasant tone. Do not dial similar settings to your previous amp. The new amp is unlikely to produce the same sound as your old one.
Take some time to learn your new amp. Set the gain and volume to levels that you can manage and adjust slowly until you achieve comfortable hearing. What is comfortable for one player may not be comfortable for another. You should, therefore, do it yourself to get the best results.
Center the EQ. It gives you a fair place to start. Try out different sounds by tweaking tone controls and adjust the knobs to find out their range. Centre out the EQ again and tune the gain taking note of how much dirt is on tap. Do this for all the channels. When you are done, you will be able to tell the range of tones that your amp provides. Dial it to get the sound you want
Remember that the knob positions are not a reliable way to predict sound. Amps are different. You should use your ears. The controls for most amps are interactive. Making changes on the treble, for example, may affect the midrange. If your amp is one of them, you need to keep checking the controls whenever you make changes to ensure that all of them are set up properly.
Every guitarist should spend some time with their amp while setting up. Do not rely on pre-conceived notions of how the controls should look. Good results are about how it sounds not how it looks.