Guitar playing in a concert/ a show is very technically advanced and requires certain equipment and systems for bringing the right effects on stage and reproducing the sound of the guitar compositions in their dynamics and complexities for a ‘live’ audience. Guitar amps is one such much needed musical accessory for a stage performance. These amps come in different specifications, models and brands and have different features to them.
Clean sound vs. good overdrive:
A good quality amp is one that does not affect the tonal quality of your instrument’s sound. Choose a product based on the kind of music you play. For example, if you play classical, or soft rock or blues you need an amp that produces clean, unaffected sound with a soft overdrive. But, if you are into metal or heavy rock, with heavy music then an amplifier with a rough or a high gain overdrive is what you require.
Not all amplifiers are created equal and come with specifics like only clean sound or a good overdrive. The best models usually come somewhere mid-way between the two. And it is for the musician to choose an amplifier that suits his requirements better.
Tube amp vs. Solid State amp:
Amplifiers have two options namely tube state and a solid state. Though, the tone or the sound quality is better in the former, it also requires regular maintenance and is more delicate and expensive. The solid state or the transistor amps as they are commonly referred to, are more durable and do not face many maintenance issues. But the tonal quality, many say, is not as superior as that of a tube version.
Mobility is another issue. It is important that your guitar amplifier is more portable and easy-to-handle, if you require them constantly for shows and performances. It is important for you to check the various configurations such as the head or the cabinet stack, the combo amps and the features.
The wattage is very important to an amplifier and is also dependant on whether it is tube-based or a solid state one. Tube amps usually require 40watts or more to be clear and for a solid state an 80-100watts is a safe option.
Apart from these it is important to look at the front and back panels, a plug-in for the footswitch, lineout and external speaker jacks, ground and power-cut switches and so on. Do a bit of homework and find out about the best features that you want in your amp which is suitable for the music that you play.