Do I really need a guitar amp?


Every guitarist is asked at some point why there are certain amplifiers for acoustic guitars.  Why not just connect an acoustic guitar to an electric guitar amplifier and vice versa?  Is it just mambo jumbo marketing to get you to spend more money?  What if you have an electric guitar amplifier and want to play an acoustic guitar through it?  Let’s dig a little deeper and try to understand the difference and discover your options.

Is it just mambo jumbo marketing to get you to spend more money?

Many professional musicians would agree that to get the best amplified sound from an acoustic guitar, you need to buy a PA… is a standard broadband speaker.  The reason for this is that you want to enhance the exact sound of the guitar without colouring it with the characteristics of the amplifier.  While the sound of the amp is so important for an electric guitar, the sound for an acoustic guitar comes from the guitar itself, which is a large wooden box with carefully selected wood tones.

However, the speakers have features and specifications that offer the player more than just sound.  Things like multiple channels for different needs like microphones and piezo microphones, but also built-in effects like choir, reverb and delay.  Acoustic amplifiers also tend to be more portable and stand-alone than sound amplifiers. You can browse through this list to get an idea of the available options.

What’s the difference?

An electric guitar amplifier will color the sound…

So what is the difference between theelectrical and acoustic amplifier and the real ?  What you usually hear at shops are things like an amplifier used for an electric guitar or… a loudspeaker in an amplifier is at full throttle.  In many ways it’s true.  An electric guitar amp will color the sound, it’s the most you’ll hear.  The idea with an acoustic amplifier is to amplify the full range of the guitar, just like with a sound system.  Many speaker amplifiers will also include a tweeter for a more complete power range.  The most important difference is that an acoustic amplifier is not allowed to change the sound of the guitar, while an electric guitar amplifier does.


What if I can’t afford a new acoustic amplifier?

So you need an acoustic amplifier?

Not everyone can afford more than one amplifier. What if you already have an electric guitar amp, but you can’t afford an acoustic amp?  You can use your electric amplifier, it won’t break.  This may sound bad, but who knows, with a certain EQ setting you might be able to strike a reasonable tone for the workout.

Can I use an electric guitar in an amplifier?

What if you have an amplifier and you buy an electric guitar?  Can an electric guitar be used in an amplifier?  Again, the answer is yes, and the good news is that in this scenario you are likely to get more reasonable results.  It depends on your guitar and amp, but the fact is that if you can’t afford a new amp, you can try it out with your existing equipment and see what you’re thinking.


So you need an acoustic amplifier?  The answer isn’t quite… but if you can afford it, or if you want the best amplification, then a specific amplifier or sound system for your acoustic guitar gives the best results.

What do you think?  Do you have experience using electric guitars in your speakers or vice versa?  Leave your comments and you can help others to learn.

Which acoustic amplifier?

If you decide to buy an acoustic guitar amp, and you’re wondering which one you want to buy, you can check out this list of acoustic guitar amps. You can also read our reviews.

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