How to Choose the Right Amplification Setup for You

Amplification Essentials Cover

by Doug Young

SYSTEM SIZE. A solo guitarist playing in a small coffeehouse probably only needs a small combo amp with one or two inputs, while a four-piece band in which everyone sings probably needs a PA system. With multiple performers, especially in louder settings, you’ll often need some type of monitors to allow everyone to hear themselves and each other.

AMPLIFYING A BAND. A low-volume all-acoustic act consisting of a pair of acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, and percussionist might be able to share a small PA system, while a louder band with full drums, keyboards, and electric guitars often requires individual amplifiers for instruments as well as a PA system for vocals and perhaps for augmenting the instrument amplifiers.

VOLUME. Feedback is always a concern with an amplified acoustic guitar, and if you play fairly loud, you will need to consider your pickup choice, how you can place amplifiers or PA systems to minimize feedback, and extra gear like notch filters and EQ.

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar Amplification Essentials

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