What Kind of Amp Do I Need?

Live musical performances with audiences would be of little value today without the existence of amplifiers. So, if you are looking to buy one for yourself or for your band, we have got some tips for you. Regardless of how well-known you may be in this field, there are just some basic mandates to go through when getting an amplifier. Without the output of the amp, playing would not really be audible. If you need one then check our article on What Kind of Amp Do I Need?

What kind of wattage are you looking for? How many modes does it have? How adjustable are the levels of the sound in the amplifier? These are just a few of the questions to be concerned about, so let us get discussing.

You can also read: Best Curtains for Noise Reduction

What Category to Choose From?

What Kind of Amp Do I Need?
Photo by: Manuel Breva Colmeiro

There are quite a few different categories of amps you can choose from. Power Amps, Combo Amps, Head Amps, Tube Amps, etc. are just to name a few. Needless to say, what amp you should get completely depends on what you are looking for.

There are a wide variety of reasons why you may want to buy an amplifier. Do you want one to play indoors? At a practice pad? Do you need one because you will be performing at your school or university? Or maybe you need one to go live in front of a big crowd.

Honestly how big the crowd is a big factor to what kind of amplifier you want to choose. It would be rather wasteful to get an amplifier that can please an audience of ten thousand people in an open stage, where you would actually be performing in front of a high school graduation ceremony.

At the same time, the opposite is true. It can be very ridiculous to buy a home studio level amplifier, when you are going to be performing in front of a crowd of 200 people.

With that in mind, let us take a look at the types of amps that will be available to you in the market.

Power Amp

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A power amp, technically referred to as an Audio Power Amplifier is an electronic device that is used to amplify comparatively weak vibrations or signals into high level digital signals. In other words, it turns loud sounds from rather quiet sounds.

This device can be used for most cases, such as for guitars, drums or any other form of input that requires plugging in. And the output can be given out by a speaker or a headphone. Though it is highly ill advised to use a power amp with a headphone as an output as that can be fatally injurious for your ears with the wrong setup!

Power amps are widely used for musical recording sessions and even live performances, so if you are into that, consider getting yourself one. In most cases, it is a decent choice for your musical activities, as it is decently priced and usually suffices all your musical necessities.

Head Amp

What Kind of Amp Do I Need?
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A head amp works with what is known as a cabinet to complete the process of amplification. The head only handles and processes the signals that it receives; it actually does not do any of the output. So usually, if you are to get a head amp, you would also want to get a cabinet amp. The most important thing to remember is that neither one works without the other.

Head and Cabinet amplifiers are great for outdoor performances, where you want a great, loud output. They can also be used for indoor performances, but they are not really the wisest choice to make as it is rather overpowered for that. In fact, the design of these amplifiers is usually so big and grand that the general size of it would make you want to not keep it indoors.

These consume a tremendous amount of power when processing and playing the inputs they receive. The loudness obviously comes at a price, and in this case it is their size and their power consumption. They are also rather difficult to maintain because of their sizes.

Drum Amplifier

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Like the name says, these amplifiers are made for the specific purpose of drums. They may also be referred to as Electronic Drum Amplifiers or Drum Amps. They come with a range of drummer friendly features – such as controller knobs which can be regulated using drumsticks.

Drum Amps are also available in different ranges based on their wattage and sizes to let you decide what kind of a drum amp you want. This makes the process of buying much easier for you as you do not need to take many things into consideration aside the size and power output.

We understand if a lot of drummers who play indoors are happy with playing just using mics, but for outdoors, it is highly advised to use drum amps to get the maximum quality sound from the live performances!

Bass Amplifier

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Like the name suggests of the previous entry, this is also a function focused device. This one is made for specifically being able to play basses. Unlike guitars, basses are extremely difficult to play without proper equalizers.

And using a guitar amplifier with a bass is basically going to end up damaging the amp in the long run. The sounds produced by a bass, contains too much bass (no pun intended!) for an ordinary guitar amplifier to process.

To tackle this, bass amps are used widely which lets bassists handle their playing both indoors and outdoors without getting the neighbors to call on them. And if you are a bassist, you would want this too!


That was about all we have to summarize about what kind of amp you should get if you need one. We hope you found the article helpful. Getting an amp is an essential part of the whole process of playing music, and we understand that. So if you need one, get one that suits your budget and get playing as soon as you can! Happy playing!

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