An acoustic guitar amp is an electronic amplifier designed to make the signal of an acoustic guitar louder so that it will produce sound through a loudspeaker. Acoustic guitar amps modify the instrument’s tone by emphasising or de-emphasising frequencies and adding electronic effects.
An acoustic guitar can be amplified by using various types of pickups or microphones. The piezo and magnetic pickups are the most common used for acoustic guitar amplification. Piezo pickups are generally mounted under the bridge saddle of the acoustic guitar and can then be plugged into an amplifier, or mixer. Conversely, magnetic pickups are generally mounted in the second hold of the acoustic guitar.
There are many great ways of producing a realistic amplified acoustic guitar sound. They vary in terms of equipment required and type of expense. The three parts of the amplification include Transducers, converting the guitar’s sound into an electric signal, Preamps, conditioning this signal so that it is appropriate for amplifiers as well as Power Amps, which amplify the signal.
When shopping for your acoustic guitar amp you need to consider what you will use it for, how loud you need to be, if you’ll be competing with electric instruments in a band and what kinds of inputs you need. For example, if you only need to plug into a standard guitar cable then you will only need a quarter-inch input, whereas if you need to use external microphones you will have more options. The outputs are also a significant consideration. It is good to use a balanced DI feed if you intend to use the amp as an on-stage monitor. Tuner outputs risk degrading the signal by running your tuner in-line with your acoustic guitars cable. It is useful to consider buying an effects loop with a level control, if your sound depends on external effects. The last consideration is the physical size of the amp. Some amps are too large to be transferable to certain venues. Therefore, it is ideal to purchase lightweight acoustic guitar amps.
There are various types and brands of acoustic guitar amps. The retailer, Fenders Australia consists of many types, such as the Acoustasonic SFX II, Acoustasonic Jr. DSP and Acoustasonic 30 DSP in their Acoustasonice Series Amplifiers. Roland Australia also has top acoustic amplifiers such as the AC-60 which uses the latest in DSP technology to deliver a rich, pure acoustic sound with projection far beyond its compact size. So there you have it, all the features and considerations when buying an acoustic guitar amp!