What Is An Electric Guitar Amp: Informative Guide To Guitarists

Would you like to know what is an electric guitar amp, the types available and some suggestions of good choices? That is exactly what this article is all about. Wanting to know more about guitar amps was one of my curious concerns as a boy who really loved music.

Though I didn’t have anyone to offer me information on what I wanted to know at that time, my mind couldn’t find rest till I got the illumination I so needed.

What is an electric guitar amp

First let’s define the terms here. An electric guitar amp  (amplifier) is an electrical device which boosts or gives more power to a weaker electric signal. The weak signal is derived from the action of a pickup which converts the strings vibration into an electric signal which when boosted by the amplifier becomes audible sound.

There are so many types of guitar amps according to make, purpose, features and brands. In this article we will be discussing some of the major types you will find in the market today.

Types of Electric Amps in the Market

As you shop for your Guitar Amp, you must realize that the market is very wide and therefore you must find enough information about what exactly you are looking for. It’s the desire of every client to buy the best in the market.

In the same way if you are looking forward to get the best Guitar amplifier, you must gather enough information about them before you settle for your choice. The following are some of the best types of guitar amps in the market.

1. Tube Guitar Amplifiers

These are the big vacuum tubes, glass cylinders in amps that produce orange lights and tend to get hot as much as they are used. These are the former amps but you will still find them in the market till now.

A great advantage of these amps is that they are known to be strong machines that produce quality responsive musical sound.

The disadvantages attached to them include: –

  • They are often very heavy to carry around.
  • Heating up often. They tend to burn up more faster especially after long hours of service.
  • The Cost is a little more expensive compared to others.
  • System is getting out-dated so it’s not easy to get spares for service.

See Our Tube Amp Recommendations 

California Tone Research Set5 Single End Tube Guitar Amplifier

California Tone Research Set5 Single End Tube Guitar Amplifier

Features & Specifications

  • This is all Tube Guitar Amplifier
  • It is a Single End Tripod design
  • The input is 5 Watts of Pure Class A power
  • It’s perfectly suitable for for Jazz, Blues, or Rock
  • Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Price: $113.95

Click here for more details

2. Solid-State Guitar Amplifiers

This is one of the most cost-effective amps in the market today. The technology style of this amp uses transistors and printed circuit boards.

Most performers prefer solid state amps because they produce steady tones which is good in performance. This is a machine you can go for if you value quality service.

They have the following advantages: –

  • They are light and portable to carry
  • Reliable in performance
  • Consistent in service
  • Inexpensive when it comes to buying
  • They provide a wide range of tonal effects.

See our recommendation for a Solid-State Guitar Amp

Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier


Features & Specifications

  • Mustang GT is beyond your imaginations and is suitable for players of every genre and skill level.
  • It is packed with 21 classic amp voices and produce authentic tones of some of the most revered amplifiers ever recorded in history.
  • Loaded with more than 45 different effects and can easily recreate classic tones or create brand-new sounds and tunes.
  • It has Bluetooth Enabled technology which lets you stream audio from your mobile device directly to your amplifier
  • Wi-Fi connection available. This is one of the world’s first WiFi-equipped guitar amplifiers, making it easy for you to download the latest updates.
  • The Fender Mustang GT Series utilizes USB technology to connect your amp directly to your computer.
  • Equiped with Crisp, full color display screen
  • It comes with inclusion of 2-Year Warranty.
  • Rating: 4 Stars
  • Price: $249.99

Click here for more details

3. Hybrid Guitar Amplifiers

Hybrid amps combines both tube and solid-state mechanism in terms of circuit construction. The preamp of hybrid amp uses a tube to create the tonal sound, but the power amp uses solid-state circuit mechanism to operate the speakers.

Now hybrid uses a method whereby the tube operates most sound effects. This system is good for quality control and for the sake of your budget. The combining brings the two together ie tube and solid-state in order to give forth something new in terms of quality.

Our Recommendation on Hybrid Guitar Amp

Orange Micro Dark 20W Hybrid Head

Orange Micro Dark 20W Hybrid Head

Features & Specifications

  • The input Power is 20W – hybrid
  • Preamp Tube is one 12AX7
  • It has the following Controls: Gain, shape, volume
  • Impedance: 8-16 ohms
  • Allows Headphone out with CabSim circuit
  • It has Carrying handle to make it easily portable.
  • Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Price: $189.00 plus

Click here for more details

4. Digital Modeling Guitar Amplifiers

If you are one of those people who love tubeless amps, digital-modeling amps is a good option for you. These amps are among the latest technology and use computer modeling/system to create their sounds.

Digital amps have the best sound effects and are good at flexibility. Modeling technology has a reputation and carries an advantage of being able to imitate sounds. This means that digital amps can emulate a tube-amp sound in a very convincing way such that you won’t tell the difference.

Digital-modeling are cheaper and often lighter, so you can easily afford to buy as well carry it around unlike the tube and solid-state.

Our Recommendation For Digital Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Vox Guitar Amplifiers

VOX VT100X Digital Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Vox Guitar Amplifiers


Features & Specifications

  • This Amp is 100 Watts; 1 x 12″ Speaker
  •  It uses VET system (Virtual Elements Technology) which delivers an outstanding sound quality
  • The Valvetronix preamp uses a vacuum tube multi-stage amplification circuit system
  • There are 11 realistic amp models; 13 high quality on-board effects; 33 preset programs
  • It has some important combinations: a built-in tuner, AUX in jack, Headphones out, and USB connectivity; Optional VFS2 & VFS5 footswitches
  • VTX amplifiers produce the most accurate and realistic amplifier sounds to date.
  • Rating: 5 Stars
  • Price: $379.99

Click here for more details

Read More: Portable Electric Guitar Amp Starter’s Kit: On The Spot Review

My Final Words

We have discussed about what is an electrical guitar amp and in this article we’ve seen that this is an important device used to magnify the sound of an electric guitar. There are different types of electric guitars and we’ve discussed four common ones found in the market today.

The four includes Tube amps, solid-state, hybrid and digital modeling amps. All these are important and have different features that make each one of them special in service and in performance.

If you plan to get yourself an electric guitar amp, look at these choices we have made for you above. Find out more about the features and make a wise decision.

Watch this video about the Different types of Guitar Amps

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Paul Mbaluka

My name is Paul, a born again, self motivated person. I love to transform people's lives in whatever through empowering and training them. Music is in my blood systems and therefore anything pertaining music is a key to my heart.


  1. I’m a singer in a metal band (We’re called Discovery of an Afterlife) and I can confirm that those tube amps are super heavy haha. Our guitarists love them for their amazing quality of sound but hauling them to shows can be very draining!

    As a singer I don’t know too much about guitar amps so this article was great for learning a little more about them. I think I would personally go with a digital-modeling amp if I were to buy one. Do you have a preference between the four of them?

    • It’s so nice to hear that you are a singer and that you have a band. Indeed I would love to hear some of your hits. Yes, as you say, Tube Amps are bulky and heavy to lift and am sure many guitarists wouldn’t love them for their weight however, they have a good performance.

      I agree that not many singers know much about guitar amps, they only see them in operation. Among the four recommendations I’ve posted here, I would suggest that you go for Vox Guitar Amp. This Amp is one of the digital modelling amp and as the name suggests, it uses the latest technology software.

  2. Having played through various amps over the years I have thought that the size and wattage of the amp should best reflect where you play the most, eg. If your a bedroom player a really low wattage tube amp would make a good choice, vs a huge stack, also the pc modelling software can be pretty versatile and the tones these days are pretty good but thats a whole different topic!

    • Absolutely true! Before one thinks of which amp to buy, should evaluate about their need. As you say if you like playing music in private, it’s advisable to buy low wattage amp and vice-versa is true. Modelling Software? Well, that one depends on the brand and make.

      There are other important factors to consider like budget,brand, size, wattage and the quality of sound you want. Sometimes people don’t keep this in mind until they have purchased the Amp which is unfortunately too late.

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