Amp basics?


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09-30-2002, 05:53 PM
I am thinking of buying a cabinet amplifier for my guitar, but i do not know how to connect my guitar to it to make noise, do i need to attach to something or what?

09-30-2002, 06:14 PM
You need to buy an amp head and connect it to the cabinet and then plug your guitar into the amp head.

09-30-2002, 06:41 PM
...but i am dead serious. If you dont know this you shouldn't get it. Get a combo amp such as the great Line6 Spider Series...a lot of tones for a cheap price...but still good quality...I know...i have one

09-30-2002, 07:44 PM
ok thanks, but would i be able to perform somewhere with this?

09-30-2002, 07:46 PM
It depends. How big of a gig would you be performing at?

09-30-2002, 08:41 PM
how about 250-500 people

09-30-2002, 08:45 PM
um, this may sound kinda stupid but, how do i get to the prices on the website you gave me? i can't find them:confused:

09-30-2002, 09:03 PM
You would probably need the Line 6 Spider 212. Check for prices at
Hope this helps.

10-01-2002, 11:16 AM
*takes deep breath*

Okay... some of this you probably already know but I want to explain the details in greath length so hopefully this post can be used to answer this same question that keeps comming up.

There are 3 parts to your amplifier: The preamp, the power amp and the loud speaker.

1. The Preamp

The preamp is the very first stage of amplification. It does all of the necessary "handling" of the guitar singal. This includes EQ, distortion etc. There's no real amplification of the sound wave going on here. Just modification, clipping etc...

2. The Power Amp

The power amp is what's in charge of the actual amplification of the sound. It amplifies and sends the signal to the loud speaker.

3. The Loud Speaker

This should be obvious. A cabinet is a few loud speakers (usually 4 but you can get 2 or 1 speaker cabinets as well) put into a cabinet.

All 3 components have a drastic effect on your tone. The only component that really has an effect on your amplification and "power" is your power amp. However, you have to have a loud speaker that can handle what your power amp feeds it.

An "amp head" usuaully implies a preamp and a power amp as one unit that sits on one or more cabinets. When you have an amp head sitting on two 4x12 cabinets this is referred to as a "stack". When you have only one cabinet it's called a "half stack"

A combo is simply all 3 components put together into one. Most high end combos (such as those made by Fender and Marshall) are originally manufactured as amp heads and then later made into combos at a cheaper price.

Combos are just as powerful and as loud but not as versatile and they usually only have 2 loud speakers.

As for playing live, a 50W amp is good enough for just about any club regardless of wether it's a combo or a stack. If you need anything more than that the place should have a PA to go through and you'll mic your amp.

The only time you should get a 100W instead of a 50W is when the price different is very marginal. This usually isn't the case. For my amp it would have costed me $150 more to get a 100W. Forget it. I bought a distortion pedal instead. And the 50W is very loud mind you.

I hope this helps in your amp buying process. I've got a few links to give you that will help you research amps to give you better insight as to how to go about shopping for one:


10-01-2002, 03:26 PM
thank you!!

10-01-2002, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by stuzrol
Hey Garret thanx for answering ma question bout heads and cabs be4 i asked it, but 1 thing i need to know, when ya were ona bout 4x12 cabs, how do we know when they're 4x12 or summn else?? Is 4x12 a mesaurement of summit or what....:confused:

4x12 means 4 12" speakers. In other words 4 speakers that are each 12"x12" inside of one cabinet.

I hope that clears things up.