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If you find yourself playing a lot of gigs with an acoustic instrument, you’ll probably want to look into acoustic amps. An acoustic amp is a guitar amplifier that was designed and built with the needs of acoustic instruments in mind. An acoustic amp will give you extensive control over your sound, whether that’s a bedroom, a coffee shop, the studio, or a concert hall.

Below, we'll address some common questions you might be facing when looking for an acoustic amplifier.

What Is the Difference Between An Acoustic Amp and a Regular Amp?

The main difference between an acoustic amp and an electric amp is that the acoustic amp was built for acoustic instruments, while the electric amp was built for electric instruments. This leads to differences in construction.

Ultimately, the goal of an acoustic amplifier is to accentuate the natural sounds of your acoustic instrument. They also often offer additional features that appeal to acoustic players, such as different channels for different pickup types (such as microphone or piezo), onboard effects like reverb, microphone inputs, and even line-in inputs so you can play along to tracks from your phone or computer.

Can I use an electric guitar amp for acoustic instruments?

Yes, you can use an electric guitar amp for acoustic instruments. It won’t damage your guitar or your electric amp, but it probably won’t sound great either.

With an acoustic instrument, your ultimate goal of amplification is to amplify your instrument's natural tone. Acoustic amps are made with this need in mind. They’re built to accentuate low- and high-frequency sounds that are produced naturally by acoustic instruments.

What are the advantages of using an acoustic guitar amplifier vs. a powered speaker or small PA system?

While many venues and performers already have powered speakers or PA systems, these don’t always play well with acoustic instruments. The biggest issue is tone. Acoustic amps will have equalizers (including a “notch filter”) that are made to make your instrument sound its best. It might also have some built-in effects like reverb that will give your guitar the sound you want.

Feedback is also an issue with powered speakers or a smaller PA system. This is because these tools don’t have the same equalizers that an acoustic amp will have. Without that EQ, any significant volume will cause feedback. You can beat feedback with various EQ tools or a soundhole cover, but these solutions likely won’t sound as good as an acoustic amp.

What are the best acoustic amps?

The best acoustic amp will be an acoustic amplifier that is within your budget, is a manageable weight, has the features that matter most to you, has the right amount of wattage, is robust, and, most importantly, sounds good with your acoustic instrument.

Popular Acoustic Amp Brands on Reverb

Some of the most popular brands for acoustic guitar amps include Fender, Fishman, Blackstar, Roland, Marshall, Peavey, Orange, Rivera, and more.