Choosing The Best Jazz Guitar Amplifiers

By Kenya Campos

There is no one size fits all solution for the variety of guitar players out there. There are many types of amplifiers, including jazz guitar amplifiers. Not all amps are suitable for all situations. There is no one size fits all solution for the variety of guitar players out there.

The amp that works will depend on the type of music and the venue it will be used on. The studio may have multiple types of amps, and each one that it has would fit a particular sound. Whether it be a soothing night of jazz, heavy metal bash, or a country barn opry, the amps will be the defining point of the music.

Just purchasing any amp without forethought is a bad idea. The performance and quality of the sound determines whether the gig is a fail. Amps have specific sounds, brands, layouts, and technology that make them unique from one another. Choosing the right amp will require one to familiarize himself with the distinguishable qualities of amps.

The wattage produced by the amplifier is what rates the amps used. Low watt tubes are decent models for the aspiring musician. Tubes focus on harmonic quality more than the power. The higher the watts, the more powerful the speakers are. More watts equal more speakers.

The solid and tube amps are quite different. Tube amps are more expensive than solid states, and the tube amps are studio quality. Solid amps use transistors to produce sound amplification. There are various solid state amps that try to reproduce the sound of tube amps, but most of them do not meet the standards.

Practice and micro amps are good for the beginner. As the majority of them dish out about 10-50 watts, they are not good for gigs or studio quality recordings. While they make good practice amps, the micro amps are solid states due to their size.

The 1 x 12 amplifier uses a single 12 inch speaker ideal for small gigs. They make useful practice amps when sound quality holds more weight than finger techniques. While they pack a punch, they do not meet the standards of playing in large venues. Though, they can be added to large Pas via line out jacks or mic ports.

The 2 x 12 amp is ideal for medium-sized venues and studios. The cabinets work for many categories of music. When looking for that amp, do not confuse the terms head and amplifier. The head is an amplifier without a speaker, and numerous heads can be hooked up to play a stack or half stack speaker system. A typical head can run up to 400 watts for the speakers.

Cabinets can hold 4-6 12 inch speakers or a configuration of 4x12s and multiple small speakers; these are called half stacks. A cabinet that holds a 200 watt head mounted on the speakers would be ideal for midsized to large venues. A half stack is a cabinet with 4 12 inch speakers, while a full stack is twice the amount. Full stacks are the best for large stadiums and concerts. This gear is used by the pros, and the power of the amps are what separate the hobbyists from the big players.

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