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Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide Which guitar amp is right for you?

Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide:

Find the perfect guitar amp setup and start playing!

Your electric guitar is hardly electric until you plug it into an amplifier and flip the switch. Whether you're an experienced pro working to create the next killer tone or a newbie just looking to upgrade your current rig, knowledge is power when it comes to amplifier selection.

This comprehensive Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide is here to help you find the perfect tone. Check out our guides for amp stacks, combo amps, amp heads, speaker cabinets or acoustic guitar amps, and you'll find our top picks broken down by the factors that matter to musicians. This guide gives players of all levels the knowledge needed to pick out the best gear to match their exact needs.

Guitar Amplifier Stacks »

Powerful sound, iconic looks -- nothing on Earth is quite like an amplifier stack. Back before PA systems could accurately reproduce their sound, amps were the only source of guitar sound at a concert. As pop and rock and roll became more popular in the early '60s, audiences grew massive and combo amps simply could not keep up to produce the volume to satisfy artists and their fans. Higher-wattage amps were created, but at the time, most available speakers couldn't handle more than 15-20 watts, necessitating multiple-speaker setups. Unfortunately the excessive weight made it impractical to have more than 4 speakers in a combo amp.

The solution? Put the amp in its own box and the speakers in another for the perfect combination of volume and portability. If you have some big stages to play, get the exact volume and tone you are looking for from our selection of half and full stacks.
Check out our Guitar Amp Stacks Buying Guide »

Guitar Combo Amplifiers »

For portability and sonic power, the combo can't be beat. Combining a speaker cabinet and an amplifier head means more room on stage or in the studio, as well as in the van or trailer and less hassle loading in and out of shows.

Many of the huge tones you've heard on your favorite records have come from diminutive, unassuming combo amps. Since many of the smaller tube-amp combos are lower wattage, you can crank them up for that coveted power tube overdrive at reasonable volumes -- perfect for studio sessions or smaller club gigs. Due to the ever-increasing capabilities of modern PA systems, combo amps are a mainstay on the biggest concert and festival stages as well. You don't have to be a pro to enjoy these amps, however, since their smaller size makes them perfect for beginning guitarists or those who just want to jam in the comfort of their own home.
Check out our Guitar Combo Amps Buying Guide »

Guitar Amplifier Heads »

Amplifier heads are the engine behind your tonal fury. Originally developed for high-power situations like huge concerts, amp heads also came with pro-level price tags. Today, however, they can be found at all wattage levels and serve as great alternatives to combo amps at costs that won't break the bank.

Today, you have the choice of anything from 1-watt heads that pack a surprisingly mighty punch, to the full-on brutal power of 100+ watt heads, necessary for the most demanding -- and incredibly loud -- stadium shows. Compact, but large enough to demand attention, an amplifier head is what powers your sound while offering a number of different controls and options to refine and define your guitar tone.
Check out our Guitar Amp Head Buying Guide »

Guitar Amplifier Speaker Cabinets »

Looking to really control your volume and the ability to distort your sound? Consider the role your speaker cabinet plays. Often overlooked as the least important part of your guitar rig, speakers play a vital role in finally delivering your personal definition of perfect tone.

Available in multiple configurations -- from single speaker cabs to the iconic 4x12 monsters that usually come to mind when the subject of amp stacks comes up -- there is a cab out there for all tastes and needs. Depending on the size and materials of the cabinet, its power rating, the number of speakers and their configuration, a cabinet can help create nearly limitless variations on an amplifier's sound.
Check out our Guitar Amp Speaker Cabinets Buying Guide »

Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers »

Get a little more oomph out of your acoustic guitar with an amp made especially for the instrument. Essentially mini-PA systems, these amps provide a ton of clean headroom, preventing the distortion many players consider undesirable for acoustic amplification. Many of the amps are also have multiple channels, featuring XLR inputs for microphones so you can be heard loud and clear in any situation, and on-board effects to make you sound like a professional.

Projecting an acoustic instrument's natural, unplugged sound without adding any coloration has challenged amp makers for decades. No longer! These outstanding acoustic amplifiers give solo and group players unmatched flexibility in projecting and crafting their live sound.
Check out our Acoustic Guitar Amp Buying Guide »

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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference. price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses. shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you. return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission. customer service »
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