Is there a difference between an acoustic guitar amp and an amp for an electric guitar? You might think there isn’t. It is true you can use any amp designed for the electric guitar to amplify an acoustic guitar. But will it work and produce a good sound? So, is it even necessary to look for the Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers?
Yes, it is necessary because there is a difference. Amps made for the electric guitar take the signal and amplify it. They will give you lots of gain for distortion. And they will allow you to make big tonal changes. Why the tonal changes? Because the electric guitar hasn’t got much to offer in pure tone itself.
For the acoustic guitar, the amp is designed for a different job. It wants to amplify a clean sound, it doesn’t want to distort it, and it wants to highlight the natural tone of the guitar. It wants to give the guitar what they call more ‘headroom’.
In some ways, they are similar to PA amps because they produce a much flatter sound than an electric guitar amp. They do have tone options, and some have graphic equalizers, but nevertheless, the original sound of the instrument is prominent.
There are a number of excellent examples currently on the market, so let’s take a look at the Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers and find the perfect one for you…
Top 8 Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers Of 2021 You Should Buy Reviews
1 AER COMPACT 60/4 ACOUSTIC AMPLIFIER
AER is a well-known brand amongst some circles and recognized as producing quality amplification for acoustic instruments. They were founded in 1992 and have now developed a range of amps that will suit most environments. And they even produce bass amps. Their acoustic guitar amps are sized from performing at a coffee house to large venues.
This particular model, the 60/4, has been around a number of years. This is the latest reincarnation that has been given some added features.
Choice of inputs…
There are two channels, one of which is dedicated to instruments. The second can be used for an instrument or vocal. Each channel has its own equalizer options.
It is called compact, and that is a good description. It measures 16.75 x 14 x 13 inches and weighs just under twenty pounds, and is therefore easily transportable and not too heavy to carry around.
Despite its relatively small size, it can still pack a bit of a punch. It might only have one eight-inch speaker, but it will put out near 60 watts of sound. This is more than enough to fill a small to a small-medium sized venue.
However, it’s the sound that it produces that AER is all about. It hasn’t been designed to add anything to the guitar. It tries very hard to faithfully recreate the guitar’s natural tones.
The amp is designed especially to handle ceramic piezo pickups and offers a clear reproduction across all the dynamic range. There are some tonal options onboard. These can be used to offer a bit more top or possibly some low end where required. But these tonal choices do not change the essential sound of the guitar.
The new model also includes a switch for a DI out. You can, therefore, choose if you want to use the onboard digital effects. There is also an aux 3.5mm input that has its own level control.
A very good amp with some nice additional features, but really quite expensive.
- Very portable and easy to carry around.
- Produces a natural sound and has some tonal options.
- Some will find it expensive.
2 BOSS Amplifier Speaker (418011A28) – Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifier for Solo Gigs
In considering anything to do with music, sound, or effects, it won’t be long too before you find Boss. They were set up in Japan in 1973 and are part of the Roland Corporation.
They could easily be described as one of the most influential companies in the music scene full stop. And are well known for producing great products at affordable prices.
So, let’s have a look at this acoustic amp…
For some, there is a problem. You can get offered nice laid back gigs in smaller venues. But then there is the problem of carrying a stack of gear around with you. However, this Singer pro amp from Boss will solve that problem, and provides everything you will need in one compact box.
This is no ordinary little amp; this is a professional level amp with some great features. But it gives you something else as well. How about 120 watts of power!
We mentioned compact, and it is, measuring just 14.76 x 17.17 x 19.69 inches, although it does weigh 32 pounds. It has a strong custom-designed box that houses an eight-inch speaker plus a dome tweeter.
A mini PA…
There are two channels. One dedicated for the acoustic guitar and one for a mic. Each channel has its own set of tone controls. The guitar channel has a specifically structured acoustic resonance. This ensures that despite its amplification, you still hear most of the natural sound of the guitar.
For guitars with piezo pickups, this is a big advantage. The second channel set up for a mic has a phantom power option if you use a condenser mic. It also has an XLR input if required.
It wouldn’t be a Boss amp if there weren’t just a little taste of some of their excellent sound effects. Included are delay and echo on the mic channel and a chorus effect for the guitar channel. Independently of these, there are reverb controls for both channels.
To add some real pro sound to your gig, there is also a harmony function for the vocal. This operates through an analysis of the chords you are playing and creates a harmony line.
Quality comes at a cost…
An outstanding amp that must be considered as one of the Best Sounding Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers around. It isn’t cheap, but it is when you consider what is built-in and who makes it.
- Great amp with plenty of sound options and volume.
- Compact with great extra features.
- Some may find it expensive.
3 Yamaha THR5 Mini Acoustic Guitar Amplifier – Best Guitar Amplifier for Acoustic and Electric
Another name that means music to so many people. It is nowadays, the single most important and influential music company in the world. Not bad for an organization that only started manufacturing instruments seriously in the mid-60s for worldwide use.
They are ever creative in their approach and often tear up what they see as a boring rule book. They don’t follow what was devised by others, and therefore, come up with products like the THR5.
It is an impressive little amp…
Though we have to say this is a review of acoustic amps. It does seem more akin to an electric guitar than an acoustic. The THR5A is an amp designed for acoustic guitars. This model is the THR5. But let’s deal with it as an amp. It looks different, and it is packed with lots of good things in such a small frame.
The look to start with is not really ‘amp-like’. It is more like the radio we had long ago. Rule book in the bin. It can be battery powered so you can use it just about anywhere. Measuring 13.23 by 8.31 by 9.65 inches and weighing four and a half pounds, you could call it portable.
Take it just about anywhere…
It might be fair to say that this is not really an amp for live performance. It will give you 10 watts, but that is probably not enough even for the smallest venue. But for practice at home, it is great. It is also a perfect travel amp for a bit of practice if you have to be away from home. The speakers, as you can imagine, are quite small and handle the output almost to its max without a problem.
It has plenty of modeling effects built-in that apply more to the electric guitar than its acoustic cousin. And it utilizes Yamaha’s VCM technologies to create a range of natural tube amp-like sounds.
Seriously good at what it does and a nice little amp for an electric guitar. And it is set at a very competitive price for a practice amp. If you are an acoustic player, you might want to look at its acoustic cousin, the THR5A.
- Typical Yamaha quality with a nice range of effects at a competitive price.
- Compact and easy to travel with.
- Better suited to an electric guitar than an acoustic.
4 Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge 60-Watt Battery Powered Acoustic Combo Amp – Best Mid Priced Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
Some might be more used to thinking of Fishman as producing pickups and preamps on acoustic guitars. But of course, they also make the amps to drive them. Why not? They have a distinguished history of doing just that. And they know what an acoustic player needs. And the 60-watt Loudbox uses all that experience in its design.
It is a medium-sized amp power-wise with its 120 watts maximum power or 60 watts RMS. But in its size, it is a compact little unit measuring just 13 x 10 x 12 inches and weighing only 21 pounds.
Performance-wise it is an amp where a lot of design hours have gone into making it sound like an acoustic amp. It has a frequency range of 80Hz – 20kHz and an SPL of 108dB. The sound is delivered through a 6.5-inch woofer with a paper cone and a soft dome one-inch Tweeter.
It has two channels, one for the instrument and one for a mic for vocals. The guitar channel has a gain control as well as Low, Mid, and High tone controls. It also provides reverb and chorus. There is also a phase switch that helps to eliminate feedback, a very good addition for an acoustic instrument.
The vocal channel has an XLR input with controls for gain and low and high frequencies. It also has reverb control, as well as a master volume. However, this amp is for dynamic microphones only. Condenser mics are not suitable as there is no built-in phantom power.
It will run off its rechargeable battery. There is also a DI post EQ output that will send the sounds to a mixer. And, as an added extra, it has a 4.0 Bluetooth connectivity. That is going to help if you want to play along with your chosen material from playlists.
Style-wise, we think that it is trying to look a little like a Fender tweed amp in its coloring and design. Set at a mid-price point, it is a decent amp for an acoustic set.
- Plenty of sound options from two independent channels.
- Compact and easy to carry around.
- Dynamic mics only.
5 Orange Crush Acoustic 30 – Best Value for the Money Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
Quite suddenly, it gets serious as an Orange amp rides over the horizon. We remember the time well. Marshall and then HiWatt (Sound City) ruled the loud amp world. Fender had fallen by the wayside. If you wanted ‘that’ sound, you came to London.
But then one day, Cliff came knocking on the door from Hertfordshire with his Orange amps and cabinets. Marshall and HiWatt had to up their game, and they did. But Orange and Cliffs’ ear-shattering amps and cabinets had arrived, and we all wanted them.
Remarkably they still look identical today…
What is also the same is the power output. Others may vary and be a little enthusiastic about their claims for power. Orange doesn’t have to. It is just there to be heard. 30 watts Orange means it is loud enough. It is powered using the DC adapter that is supplied or by batteries that will give you up to eight hours of use.
It has two channels, one for voice and another for an instrument. Channel 1 for your guitar has a ¼” jack socket and a three-band EQ with -10dB pad. Channel 2 an XLR input for your mic and a two-band EQ. It also provides you with phantom power for your condenser mic. It carries chorus and reverb, which you can blend across channels.
Built for the road…
A strong cabinet is this one. It is made from Birchwood and measures 11 by 10 by 13 inches, but at less than 18 pounds is still light enough to carry around. Covered with that iconic vinyl in orange and its traditional woven grille is just says, “be careful, I bite!”
Inside the box is an eight-inch speaker. There is an FX loop for using pedals and an aux input to connect a phone or other device to play with a playlist.
Superb for playing just about anywhere…
Great for the stage, great for the street corner, brilliant inside a small venue Orange do it again.
An absolutely brilliant amp that must be considered as one of the Best All Round Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers you can buy. It is set at a price that makes it more than attractive – this is going to take some beating.
- Orange build, sound, and power.
- Has some great effects built-in at a great price point.
- Nothing at all.
6 Roland AC-33 Acoustic Chorus Battery-powered 30-Watt Guitar Amplifier – Best Sounding Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
The competition to be crowned the Best Acoustic Guitar amp is hotting up as Roland arrives on the scene. Remember, this is the Company that gave us the Jazz Chorus 120, DAC-150, and a few other world-beaters. They know what they are doing. Oh yes, and there is the little matter of the Cube series, they aren’t bad either.
This is another compact, easy to carry amp measuring 15 by 11 by 13 inches and weighing just 13 pounds. And as it runs on either battery power or AC, it is truly portable and goes wherever it is needed.
It has two channels one for a guitar the other for a mic. One channel takes XLR for a mic and the other a ¼” jack for a guitar. Reverb and Chorus effects are included as is a looper with forty seconds of time. It also has a built-in anti-Feedback function. There is also an aux input to connect up a device to play one of your playlists to jam to if you wish.
It has two five-inch speakers giving off 15 watts of power each. The sound it reproduces is typically Roland. Crisp and clear and very natural sounding. Designed to amplify the natural resonance and sound of the guitar. If you want to add extras from the effects, then you can. But one of the great things about this amp is the sound in its raw state.
Natural and beautiful…
It could be argued that the level of effects provided is a little on the light side. But Roland might counter that with one of our original arguments – this is an amp for an acoustic guitar. Therefore you don’t need to add effects. Just let the sound of the acoustic ring through.
This is a great little map for taking along to a small venue. Just sit down, plug it in and lean it back on its tilt-back stand and away you go. Let the AC33 do the rest. It is set at a very attractive mid-range price point.
- Fully portable with a good Roland build quality.
- Great sound with some nominal sound features.
- Some may want more features than it offers.
7 Fishman PRO-LBT-700 Loudbox Performer Bluetooth 180W Acoustic Guitar Amplifier – Most Powerful Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
This is an amp from Fishman designed for those that want to be heard. It has some very good features built-in to the sound reproduction, including a passive crossover for both tweeter and midrange. It has two channels with a phase switch and a notch filter for feedback control and a three-band EQ.
The controls and EQ are one of Fishman’s fortes. Designing pickups and preamps for acoustic guitars, which they excel at, is something they understand. To accent the low frequencies, there is a long-throw woofer in a three-way speaker design. The woofer is an eight-inch, and there are a five-inch midrange and a one-inch soft dome tweeter.
There are 3.5mm and ¼” stereo inputs that have their own level controls. Also built-in are mutes for both channels and a headphone output. Both channel inputs are a combination of XLR and ¼” sockets.
ECHO… ECho.. echo…
Plenty of effects are included in a dual system with levels for each independent channel. There are chorus, reverb, and flanger. Also echo, slap echo, and delay — quite an impressive selection and exactly what you need for your acoustic guitar.
The build is quite strong, and once again, there is that slight feeling of the Fender Tweed in its design. It has a useful kickstand that will give you a 50-degree tilt angle. It has been given phantom power so you can use your condenser mics.
This is Fishman’s most powerful amp though its exact purpose is a little confusing. With that much power, it seems like it is aimed at larger venues.
An extra added addition is Bluetooth connectivity. That will add a few options to your performance if you wish.
Not quite sure?
It is a decent amp and very powerful. It does seem though that it has an identity crisis. Is it for an acoustic guitar? Or maybe Fishman is trying to cover too many bases at once. It is not a cheap option.
- Has plenty of effects and sound options built-in if that is what you want.
- Powerful with a three-way speaker alignment.
- Quite expensive.
8 Marshall Acoustic Soloist – Best Portable Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
Well, if you are going to be reviewing any type of amplifier, is there a better place to finish? And with respect to most of the other manufacturers, Marshall is Marshall. That is all you need to say. The legend.
We say most manufacturers because there are only one or two others that can give them a run for their money. But in reality, what we listen to today started in Hanwell, west London in the early 60s, The Who used them first — followed very quickly by Hendrix.
Jimi used them at four shows in France, which was the first time ‘The Experience’ played together. That would have been around 1966. You still see them on every stage at every concert. Jim’s legacy lives on.
However, this amp though, is a different kettle of fish. This is an amp designed to work with acoustic guitars. For acoustic guitarists looking for a great portable amp for small to medium venues, this could be it. Of course, it will be included as one of the Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers. How could it not?
This compact 50-watt combo gives you two channels, one for an instrument and one for vocals. Controls for EQ help you to manage the sound, and an important inclusion is anti-feedback controls. Phantom power is also included so that your use of the mic channel is not limited to dynamic mics.
The tone controls on this amp are especially relevant as in its natural form, it runs a little bright. The EQ can then take the top of the sound and give it a much broader reach. To let you manage the sound a little further, chorus, delay, and reverb are also included. However, one thing that it doesn’t possess is a headphone socket for some silent practice.
Exactly what you need…
It is a good amp in Marshall traditions. Possibly it has more tone shaping than an acoustic amp needs. That then gives it other options as well. Fortunately, with this amp, Marshall hasn’t gone overboard with the effects as some have done. Just giving you a decent EQ and some basic effects for live performances. So, possibly on reflection, the tone-shaping is not extravagant.
If there is one thing that might be considered a downside, it is the weight. It measures 21.34 by 10.28 by 16.38 inches and weighs 35 pounds. A little heavier than most of the competition.
A very good amp at a decent price point.
- Quality Marshall amp with good sound.
- Some good features at an affordable price.
- Quite heavy for carrying around.
Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers Buyers Guide
What are you going to buy?
Probably the first thing you need to decide is what you will use this amp for.
If it is for playing live, and if so, where? In the street? Maybe small venues, or is it for larger clubs? This will determine the amount of power you will need. Maybe you need it just for practice at home. There are some options that will satisfy all requirements.
Number of channels
This is also important. If it is just for guitar work or possibly playing with someone else, then one channel will suffice. If you intend to use it for vocals and an instrument, you will need two.
Also, check the inputs carefully. Has your microphone got a standard jack or an XLR fitting? Another thing to be careful of is what sort of mic. If you use a condenser, then you will need phantom power. Not all amps carry this and are designed for dynamic mics only. Have a close look.
Do you want effects?
Having effects built-in will be important for some, but not for others. If you have a great acoustic, you will want to let it ring out and let the amp produce a natural sound. Therefore, you may not need too much in the way of guitar effects. Having said that, a little chorus or reverb may lift it nicely if needed.
Finally, if you are planning to busk in the street or carry it to venues, be aware of how much it weighs. You cannot always get easily to where you will play. A long walk with a heavy amp would not be for the best.
Looking for a superb acoustic guitar to plug into your new amp?
If so, take a look at our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars under 500 Dollars. Or, if you’re on a tighter budget, take a look at our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars under 300 Dollars or the Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars under 200 Dollars you can buy.
Our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids, the Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners, the Best 12 String Guitars, the Best Acoustic Travel Guitars, or the Best Guitars for Small Hands on the market may also be of interest.
And you’ll also need some spare strings, so check out our review of the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings currently available in 2021.
So, what are the Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers?
We don’t want a great number of effects or excessive volume — just a clear, bright, articulate acoustic sound. There are two main options in our book. But we are going to apologize to Jim for once for not choosing Marshall. Instead, we have gone for the…
A great little amp by a great company with everything that we would need for amplifying our acoustic.