Many guitarists choose to plug their acoustic guitar into a small preamp to shape their tone before going direct into the soundboard. Other acoustic guitarists will plug directly into a D/I box, then into the soundboard, and rely on their onboard pickup controls (and the live sound engineer) to do all the tone shaping.
As an alternative, acoustic guitar amps will provide a handy solution for guitarists who want to play coffee shops and other small gigs…where no P.A. system is available. Some acoustic guitar amplifiers even come with microphone inputs, allowing for vocals to be passed through the amplifier as well. This offers incredible independence, and a great solution for a wide range of acoustic guitarists,. We’ve curated some of the best acoustic amps in the world to help you find the best solution for your needs.
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Acoustic Image is one of the better known manufacturers of acoustic amps. Their amps are suitable for many different acoustic instruments types, including: acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, keyboard, violin, woodwind instruments or even brass horns. Their combo amps feature ample tone shaping controls and are lighter and take up less space than most acoustic amplifiers. The sound is rather transparent so a good option for keeping your tone natural.
Crate Amplification is run by guitar players to make amps for guitar players. Their acoustic amps ar affordable and offer great tone. Their models include the CA10 (10 watts and 3-band EQ), CA15 (12 watts, 2 inputs and 3-band EQ), CA30DG (30 watts, 2 inputs and 3-band EQ), CA6110DG (w/ Reverb and effects, XL output to go direct to the mixing console), CA120DG (120 watts, tweeter control, effects loop, reverb, chorus and other onboard effects, XLR line out) and the CA125DG (independent 50-watt amps with woofers and tweeters, XLR out, effects loop, reverb, chorus and other effects).
Daedalus makes acoustic amps built to audiophile standards, and has been in business since the early 1990s. Their acoustic guitar amps are considered some of the best acoustic amps on the market, and are used across the world by guitarists, luthiers and high-end back line companies. Their electronics and speaker combos are highly usable for acoustic guitar, mandolin, cello, violin, double bass…or any other acoustic instrument with a pickup. The tone is natural and as a transparent as an acoustic amplifier can possibly be.
Fender is better known for their legendary electric guitar amplifiers, but their Acoustasonic combos are one of the industry standard line of acoustic amp models found in guitar shops around the world. Coming in 15, 100 and 150 watt configurations, these acoustic amp combos are reasonably priced well under $1,000. This is a common starting point for most acoustic guitarists.
Fishman is not only known for their high quality acoustic guitar pickup systems, but they are also known to produce some of the finer acoustic amps on the market. The SA220 has taken the market by storm, offering incredible sound dispersion through a unique array of woofers and tweeter in vertical alignments. All of their amps offer a variety of options such as multiple inputs, reverb, and direct outputs.
The Genz Benz Shenandoah Stereo Delux 200 is one of the most controllable and toneful acoustic guitar amps on the market. This acoustic amp helps retain the organic warmth and harmonic overtones of acoustic guitars, even when cranked up to maximum volume for large outdoor stage situations. Definitely check out this acoustic guitar amplifer.
Trace Elliot has a long history in building versatile acoustic amplification products that retain the light and airy nature of acoustic guitars. They use sophisticated, modern techniques to construct what is considered one of the industry standards in acoustic guitar amplification. They are not only used by acoustic guitarists, however. Fiddle players, violin players and banjo players also gravitate to Trace Elliot for superb acoustic tone…amplified!
Pendulum Audio makes one of the best acoustic guitar preamps on the market…the SPS-1. This stereo acoustic preamp features parametric equalization, and high-end mic preamps that can take pickup or internal/external microphone signals with ease and offer the full flexibility you’d expect from a high end acoustic preamplifier. Send the signal direct to the mixing console, and you’re ready to play. They’ve been in business since the late 1980s and are used by guitarists such as Leo Kottke, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and more.
Pritchard Amps offer a retro appearance that offer 3-dimensional tones that are warm, wide-ranged and simply sound like the harmonics are bouncing around the room. They offer unique amps like the Voice Knob which allows guitarists to go from acoustic bliss to heavy metal without having to switch amps. Check them out if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
StubbyFex makes a tube-based acoustic guitar amp that is hand-wired with point-to-point wiring techniques…just like boutique electric guitar amps. It features a volume control and 3 tone controls along with an effects loop and multiple ohm-rating speaker outputs. The amp uses an ultra-linear circuit in push-pull, Class-A output design and registeres in at 25 watts. It also includes an input specially designed for piezo pickups, if your acoustic guitar happens to be equipped with one. It might be difficult to find on their website, so contact them for more information.
UltraSound Amps has become a modern standard in acoustic amplification. These are sold throughout the country in major guitar stores due to their affordable price tag and wonderful, transparent acoustic tone. They’ve become popular for use by not just acoustic guitarists, but also fiddle, violin, banjo and other stringed instrument players. Some jazz guitarists even use these acoustic amps for their crisp and clean tone.