Posted by Kevin Gardiner on 6th Jan 2016
Look anywhere on the Internet, you'll see an abundance of different options to choose from when you need to buy a new amplifier for your favourite guitar. In this post, we are going to drop you some advice on selecting the best one for you! Read on to discover the factors Kevin and Stewart think you need to consider before you even narrow things down to a particular brand or model, when buying an amp from a music shop like Rainbow Music, online or in the shop!
First and foremost, you need to ensure that the power output is high enough for the use you are going to be putting it to. Blackstar's FLY 3 isn't going to cut it at Wembley! Stick a Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker combo in the front room of your terrace and wind up the volume... you aren't going to be seen as an up and coming star: you'll probably have the police and a posse of angry neighbours knocking on your door!
In basic terms, the output is roughly equivalent to how loud the music can be pumped out. 100 watts will be enough for BIG parties and sizable gigs, whereas 10 watts is meaty enough for average listening in a small venue. You will also want to choose a good brand, with Marshall kit, Orange amplifiers and Blackstar amps all being popular choices.
One thing a lot of people overlook is the physical inputs and connections, and then they are disappointed when they can't hook up their amp to the guitars they own and play. You need to make sure there's enough input and aux capacity for your pedals and speakers - and allow for the fact that your rig is likely to grow!
Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) is another vital consideration. Any electronic audio equipment is hostage to the sound of
electrons randomly whizzing around the amplifier circuitry. The trick here is to invest enough in your kit to ensure that this electronic white noise is minimised as much as possible, which is where the R of SNR comes in. Better amplifiers have better solutions to cancelling the random hisses and buzzes out: the higher that ratio - the better.
Finally, Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD + N) is a factor to bear in mind. A lower figure will often mean that the amplifier’s sound is closer to the original recording while a higher figure means the sound has more colouration. Many performers want that keynote tone that is often talked about with Orange kit, but for other styles a purer truer tone is what's wanted.
Read reviews! It's good to see what previous customers have had to say about the amplifiers they have bought and used - it's often a lot more telling than the manufacturer's blurbs!. If you come across a large number of negative comments, you know to reconsider your selection.
From the technicalities of THD + N to power output, and even the look of the kit on stage there are a stack of factors that will guide your buying decision. Perhaps the best way to decide; is to get your guitar hooked up to an amp in your favourite music shop. At Rainbow - Stewart and Kevin are always on hand and ready to give sound advice.
Use this mini guide, as a starter to get your thinking processes going, do your research into the amps that suit your guitar style... and then start shopping at Rainbow Music (preferably) today to find the perfect amplifier for you.
When it comes to buying amps, there's a whole constellation of brands and models to choose from. It can be a tough decision to choose the right brand of amp to go for. With everything from Marshall and Orange amplifiers to Blackstar amps to pick from, it can be a bit overwhelming. Why should you [...]
If you're a guitarist or rock music lover, you'll be familiar with the distinctive presence of the Orange Music Electronic Company. Usually referred to simply as Orange; this company was founded almost 50 years ago and they have built up a huge presence on the rock circuit, especially in the UK, which is where they are still [...]
Back in the day in 1973 I decided at the age of 12 that I would like to learn to play the guitar. In those days the main shop in Carlisle at the time was J.P Dias who sold a variety of instruments including HH amplifiers ( Who remembers those !! ) sheet music , [...]
The new Epiphone EJ200CE is another model that has Gibson’s influence all over it. In fact, it is the brand’s version of a Gibson classic, the J-200. Appearance-wise, the EJ-2-00CE sports a Jumbo body with a solid spruce top and select maple back and sides, a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, and Grover turners and royal crown inlays. It is [...]
In light of insistent public demand, the organizers of the upcoming “100th Birthday of Les Paul” have issued more tickets (although, by this time, they’re probably all sold out, too). The grand event would be held on June 9 at New York City’s Times Square and feature legends like Joe Satriani, Steve Miller, and the Les Paul Trio. Whether you are a [...]
World-famous Gibson guitars, like the iconic Gibson Les Paul Traditional, are practically the byword for quality, beauty, and overall musical sophistication: this has made them objects of desire for musicians and enthusiasts the world ove for many years. The Les Paul family of electric guitars has in itself been a huge influence in shaping the today's musical soundscape, and this [...]
For music fans and guitarists, the legendary Gibson Les Paul is probably as recognisable as Superman’s logo, Michael Jordan or any other icon from the pop culture of the westernised world. It’s no surprise that millions of guitar lovers, collectors and musicians around the world covet this marvel of an instrument with an almost obsessive passion. First appearing on the [...]
Although your first thought about Rainbow Music might be that we are the people to come to for Epiphone's big brother, we have also got a huge collection of Epiphone guitars ready and waiting for you to try out in our shop.You can find us just opposite the castle in Carlisle. As Cumbria and the North West's [...]
The Epiphone brand is a well-known manufacturer of many different levels of guitars, from affordable beginner models to lush archtops worth thousands of pounds. One of its prestigious models, the Texan, was an acoustic favoured by musical luminaries such as Peter Frampton, Noel Gallagher, and Paul McCartney. With the release of the AJ-220SCE, it appears the guitar maker wants to [...]