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How to Buy an Amplifier

Crank the volume up to 11 with your brand new amplifier.


  • Step 1: Choose between combo or stack Choose between combo amps or the stack variation. Combo amplifiers have both the amp head and the speakers in one unit, whereas with the stack variation you can mix and match.
  • TIP: Pick the combo amps if you are planning on playing smaller venues.
  • Step 2: Know the types Know the different types of amplifiers. Solid state amplifiers use transistors and are affordable, but have a cold sound. Tube amps have a warm sound, but require more maintenance. Modeling amps let you modify the tone and sound digitally.
  • Step 3: Get a thick amp Get an amplifier with a thickness of at least 1/2 inch.
  • Step 4: Take control Take control with an amplifier that has knobs to let you adjust EQ settings, control tones, gain, reverb, and presence.
  • Step 5: Carry it Carry the amplifier around to test its portability and see if it is big enough or too big for your needs.
  • TIP: Test drive the amplifier before you buy it, and see if it gives you the sound you want.
  • Step 6: Budget Budget how much you are willing to spend on an amplifier. Buy an amplifier in your price range that fits your needs.
  • FACT: In 1906, Lee De Forest invented the audion, a vacuum tube device that was used in phones and radios to amplify weak electrical signals.

You Will Need

  • Budget

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