Checklist – What to Look for in a Guitar Amp

The guitar amp is the most important piece of equipment for any guitarist. It not only amplifies your sound, but it also shapes the tone that you get from your instrument. A lot goes into choosing a guitar amp, and this article will give you some tips on what to look for in order to find the best one for your needs!

checklist what to look for in a guitar amp

What To Look For In A Guitar Amp

  1. Does the amp match the style of music you play?
  2. How many watts does the amp have?
  3. How many channels does the amp have?
  4. What features does the amp have?
  5. The size and weight of the amp

Does The Amp Match The Style Of Music You Play?

The first step is to consider what style of music you play. A metal player probably doesn’t want a Fender amp, and an indie rocker might not enjoy being stuck with just one guitar tone from their amplifier. A country and western guitarist definitely will not want a Marshall half stack. Match the amp to your music!

How Many Watts Does The Amp Have?

The wattage of the amp is important because it tells you how loud the amp can get. If you’re playing a small gig in a coffee house, then you don’t need an amp with 1000 watts. But if you’re playing at a large venue, then you’ll want an amp that has more power. The majority of amps that you’ll find will range anywhere from 15 to 500 watts.

My recommendation is that you stay above 25 watts if you are playing live. For a small venue or church that seats 100 people a 25-50 watt amp will suffice. If you are playing in a medium-sized venue that will hold 100-500 people then you should have at least 100 watts. If the venue is larger than that, then I honestly would mic the amp or send the signal through the line-out to the PA system and let the PA system do the heavy lifting.

How Many Channels Does The Amp Have?

The number of channels an amp has is important because it tells you how many sounds the amp can create. Most amps will have a clean and distorted channel, but some amps offer more than that. If you’re looking for an amp with a lot of versatility, then you’ll want one with multiple channels.

What Features Does The Amp Have?

Some amps come with built-in effects, such as delay and reverb. If you’re looking for an amp that can do it all, then you’ll want one with a lot of features. But if you don’t need all those bells and whistles, then you can find an amp that’s more basic.

Tone Controls

The EQ controls are important when you consider how much control they give you over your sound. A lot of amps will let you adjust the low, mid, and high frequencies so that each note sounds just right in relation to all the others.

Some amps even have tone controls with knobs instead of simple buttons! More expensive amps usually come equipped with better EQs because more money means higher quality components can be used during manufacturing.


Reverb is an effect that simulates the sound of being in a room with reflective surfaces. It’s usually used to make the guitar sound bigger and more open. If you’re looking for an amp with built-in reverb, then you’ll want to look for one with a Reverb knob or button.


Delay is an effect that repeats the sound of your guitar after a certain amount of time has passed. It can be used to create interesting sounds or to make your solos longer. If you’re looking for an amp with a built-in delay, then you’ll want to look for one with a Delay knob or button.


Tremolo is an effect that rapidly changes the volume of your guitar. It’s usually used to create a more intense sound. If you’re looking for an amp with a built-in tremolo, then you’ll want to look for one with a Tremolo knob or button.

Effects Loop

An effects loop is an input and output jack on the back of your amp that lets you connect external pedals to your amplifier. This is a great feature to have if you want to add more effects to your sound.

Headphone Jack

The headphone jack is an output on the back of your amp where you can plug in a set of headphones for late-night practicing. This feature lets you practice without getting any noise complaints from your neighbors!


Gain is the amount of distortion that you want to add to your amplifier. If it doesn’t have a gain knob or button, then look for an amp with high “gain” channels.


The presence knob or button adjusts the high frequencies in your sound. This is a great control to have if you want to make your guitar tone brighter or darker.

Master Volume

The master volume knob or button controls the overall volume of your amp. This is an important control to have so that you can adjust the level of your sound without having to change any other settings on the amp.

The Size And Weight Of The Amp

Another thing you’ll want to consider when choosing an amp is its size and weight. If you’re going to be carrying your amp around a lot, then you’ll want one that’s lightweight and small.

But if you are going to be playing in the same place or venue all the time, then you can find ones that are larger in size.

Conclusion – What to Look for in a Guitar Amp

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a guitar amplifier. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to find the one that’s best for you.

Finally, I want to remind you to make sure you use an amp that is complementary to the style of music you play. If you play heavy metal, then look for an amp with more distortion. If you play jazz or blues, find one that has a warmer tone.

Thank you for reading our article on What to Look for in a Guitar Amp!

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