Can You Use an Acoustic Amp with an Electric Guitar?

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As much as an amp is crucial for the performance of an electric guitar, does it mean that you can use any amplifier for the task?

That’s a common question among guitarists, and getting the answer right is vital.

After all, the amp you choose determines your guitar’s sound, especially if you are using the electric one.

That said, can you use an acoustic amp with an electric guitar?

Yes, you can use an acoustic amp with an electric guitar since none of them will be damaged due to the combination.

Unfortunately, don’t expect the combination to produce high-quality sound output since an acoustic amp will amplify the sound but won’t add the color the electric guitar signals need to sound melodic and amazing.

Consequently, the sound of an acoustic amp and an electric guitar is boring, so you are discouraged from using the two despite being possible.

Here’s more to this intriguing duet.

Is There a Difference Between Acoustic and Electric Guitar Amps?

Whereas they are both amplifiers, there is a huge difference between acoustic and electric guitar amps.

After all, the two types of guitars work differently and need amplifiers for slightly different purposes.

For instance, acoustic guitars are simple, whereas their electric counterparts are complex, with amplifiers and transducers, among other components.

Equally important, the role of an acoustic amp is to enhance the guitar’s signals, especially their transparency and clarity.

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Therefore, the sounds remain as natural as possible, but an electric guitar amp will alter the signals passing through it.

It adds various effects, including loudness and gain.

Here is a detailed discussion on the differences between an acoustic guitar amp and its electric counterpart and why you shouldn’t use one for the other unless it is the only option.

Controls

An acoustic guitar amp is simple with an easy job and hence lacks controls on electric guitar amplifiers.

Excellent examples of such include the gain and overdrive controls.

After all, acoustic guitar amplifiers strictly work with clean sound.

On the other hand, an electric guitar amplifier has separate channels for distortion and clean sound hence control to shift from one channel to another.

The nature depends on the amp model and manufacturer; hence the controls could be switches or buttons.

Speakers Frequency Ranges

Acoustic guitar amplifiers and PA speakers have something in common: the relatively full frequency range.

On the other hand, the electric guitar amps’ speakers have low-frequency ranges.

Such speakers are designed to produce low-frequency sounds will less noise, and that’s the ideal way of producing great sound with an electric guitar.

So, can you imagine what happens upon introducing an acoustic guitar amp to an electric guitar?

It produces a harsh sound since it operates with high-frequency tones and cannot filter the sounds.

Do you see why the acoustic amp and an electric guitar are a bad combo?

Tone Output

Getting the right tone from an acoustic guitar amplifier while using an electric guitar can be challenging.

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After all, the tone output of an acoustic amp is bright and clean, with minor changes to the original sound.

On the other hand, the electric guitar’s sound is neither natural nor clean.

The electric guitar amp has to alter the guitar’s signal with various effects, including distortion, for high-quality sound output.

That’s why getting an accurate tone on an electric guitar using an acoustic amp is hard.

Inputs

Typical acoustic amps have not less than two inputs with individual channels.

Consequently, you can connect another device, such as the microphone and the guitar.

Alternatively, you can connect two guitars to this amp simultaneously.

Interestingly, every channel and input had their separate EQ and volume controls.

On the other hand, most electric guitar amps may have two inputs, but you can only use one at a go.

That’s because each input serves a different purpose, one for a low- and another for a high-impedance instrument.

Do You Need an Acoustic Amp for an Acoustic-electric Guitar?

An acoustic-electric guitar needs an amplifier to work excellently.

Choose an amp designed specifically for acoustic guitars to guarantee excellent sound output.

Whereas amps for electric guitars are useable, it is ideal to choose one for this type of guitar for obvious reasons.

Do Electric Guitars Sound Better with an Amp?

When playing an electric guitar, one of the roles of the amp is to give its sound an acoustic resonance.

It ensures that the electric guitar produces a sound full of energy.

Therefore, in its absence, the sound turns out dull and flat.

That’s why one can say without fear of contradiction that electric guitars sound better with an amp.

Only an amp can allow you to play full-range sounds at a high volume using an electric guitar.

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Why Do I Need an Acoustic Guitar Amp?

You need an amp if you use your acoustic guitar to perform for audiences.

It ensures that the acoustic guitar is loud enough for everyone listening to you perform.

So, the next time you perform live in a café, pub or band, among other large arenas, ensure you have one.

Besides stages, an acoustic guitar also comes in handy thanks to their lush soundscapes.

It is easy to create such by combinate the acoustic sound with various effects, including chorus, reverb and delay.

What Kind of Amplifier Do I Need for an Electric Guitar?

The ideal amp when using an electric guitar mostly depends on the occasion.

The larger the audience, the bigger the electric guitar amplifier and vice versa.

So, consider a small amplifier if you will be performing to a small crowd in a small venue.

The same applies to your band rehearsals, and a medium-sized one characterized by 12-inch speakers and a wattage of 50 watts fits the bill.

On the other hand, you will need relatively large amps to be loud enough for large audiences and huge venues.

In this case, the speakers should be larger than 12 inches and have a wattage of 100 watts.

The bottom line is choosing your amplifier based on the crowd size, venue and occasion.

References

https://www.gear4music.com/blog/acoustic-vs-electric-guitar-amps/

https://rangeofsounds.com/blog/can-you-use-an-acoustic-amp-with-an-electric-guitar/

https://sixstringacoustic.com/can-i-use-an-acoustic-guitar-with-an-electric-guitar-amp

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