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Classical Guitar Guide
Follow our buying guide to find the right nylon-string
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The sound of an unplugged electric guitar can only carry so far. It is, after all, only one half of the rock 'n' roll equation. Without a killer guitar amp to reinforce your guitar's signal into that beautiful music you've practiced so tirelessly, you're not going to get too far. To complete your rig and give your guitar the voice it deserves, you've got to choose the right amplifier for the job.

For a convenient, all-in-one solution, a combo amp is a wise choice. These standalone units give you every component needed for the full amplifier experience, with a preamp, power amp and speaker (or multiple speakers) all housed within the same enclosure. Having everything in one place makes setting up and tearing down a breeze, which is why many gigging guitarists turn to this popular platform. Generally, combo amps are smaller in size and lower in volume than other amplifier styles, making them a great choice for the studio and smaller venues. Fender and Vox are among the most popular manufacturers of top-quality combo amps.

If you want something that packs a bit more punch and versatility than a combo amp, you may want to consider stacking up an amplifier head with a speaker cabinet. The head and cab are essentially the components of a combo amp broken out into two units. Your amplifier head houses just the preamp and power amp section, and needs to be plugged into an external speaker cabinet. Speaker cabinets come in many configurations, but the most popular choices for guitarists are 4x12", 2x12" and 1x12". Different combinations of amplifier heads and speaker cabinets can produce wildly different tones -- and that versatility is why many guitarists prefer stacks over combo amps. Marshall and Orange are popular amp head and speaker cabinet manufacturers, known for their iconic half stack and full stack rigs.

The components inside your amplifier head or combo can greatly affect your overall tone. If you're seeking a warm, rich, vintage sound, a tube amp is the way to go. Vaccum tubes help to power the preamp and power amp sections of tube amps, giving off a natural overdrive often referred to as "tube breakup." While tube amps provide a very desirable tone, they also require a fair amount of upkeep, as tubes can be fragile and need to be periodically replaced. On the other side of the spectrum, a solid-state amplifier can be a great choice for guitarists looking for a crisp, clear sound and rugged reliability. With fewer fragile parts and a semiconductor circuit rather than vaccum tubes, solid-state amps rarely require maintenance and are generally more affordable than tube amps.