What Are the Pros And Cons Of Combo Electric Guitar Amplifiers?

17 minutes read

Combo electric guitar amplifiers are popular among musicians for their convenience and portability. They combine the amplifier and speaker in one unit, making them easy to transport and set up for performances or practice sessions.


One of the main advantages of combo amplifiers is that they are generally more affordable than buying an amp head and separate speaker cabinet. They also come in a variety of sizes and power levels, making it easier to find one that suits your playing needs.


Another pro of combo electric guitar amplifiers is that they are simple to use and set up. With all the components contained in one unit, there is less hassle involved in connecting different pieces of equipment.


However, one potential downside of combo amplifiers is that they may not offer as much flexibility as separate amp heads and speaker cabinets. This can limit your ability to experiment with different sound combinations and configurations.


Additionally, combo amplifiers are often heavier and bulkier than amp heads alone, which can be a drawback for musicians who need to transport their equipment frequently.


In summary, combo electric guitar amplifiers offer convenience and affordability, but they may lack the flexibility and customization options of separate amp heads and speaker cabinets. Ultimately, the choice between a combo amp and separate components will depend on your individual preferences and needs as a musician.

Best Electric Guitar Amplifiers of May 2024

1
Fender Mustang LT25 Guitar Amp, 25-Watt Combo Amp, with 2-Year Warranty, 30 Preset Effects with USB Audio Interface for Recording

Rating is 5 out of 5

Fender Mustang LT25 Guitar Amp, 25-Watt Combo Amp, with 2-Year Warranty, 30 Preset Effects with USB Audio Interface for Recording

  • The Fender Mustang LT25 Guitar Amplifier features 25 watts, 12.75Hx14.5Wx8.25D inches
  • This amp comes with an 8 inch Fender special design guitar speaker for the tried-and-true Fender quality sound
  • The simple user interface with 1.8 inch color display makes this amp an excellent choice for beginners
  • Bring out the eclectic in you with 30 preloaded presets covering a wide range of music
2
Fender Frontman 10G Guitar Combo Amplifier - Black Bundle with Instrument Cable and Picks

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Fender Frontman 10G Guitar Combo Amplifier - Black Bundle with Instrument Cable and Picks

  • 10 watts
  • 6" Fender Special Design speaker
  • Gain, volume, treble and bass controls; overdrive switch
  • 1/8" auxiliary input and headphone output jacks
  • Closed-back construction
3
Fender Frontman 10G Guitar Amp, 10 Watts, with 2-Year Warranty, 6 Inch Fender Special Design Speaker, 5.75Dx10.25Wx11H Inches

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Fender Frontman 10G Guitar Amp, 10 Watts, with 2-Year Warranty, 6 Inch Fender Special Design Speaker, 5.75Dx10.25Wx11H Inches

  • The Fender Frontman 10G Guitar Amplifier features 10 watts, 7.5Hx11.5Wx13.7D inches, 11.7 pounds
  • The 6 inch Fender Special Design speaker delivers quality tones and variety of sounds from blues to metal
  • Enjoy a breadth of controls, including gain, over-drive select switch, volume, treble, and bass
  • The closed-back design packs a heavier bass response
4
Rockville G-AMP 20 Watt Guitar Amplifier Dual Input Combo Amp Bluetooth/Delay

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Rockville G-AMP 20 Watt Guitar Amplifier Dual Input Combo Amp Bluetooth/Delay

  • Rockville G-AMP 20 Watt Guitar Amplifier with Dual Guitar Inputs and Bluetooth and Delay Effect.
  • 6.5” speaker with 20 Watts RMS power. Controls: Master volume, treble, mid, bass. Delay effect .
  • 2 channel Clean/Overdrive. Dual ¼” guitar inputs so you can jam together with your friends.
5
Donner Mini Guitar Amp Small Electric Guitar Amplifier 5W Portable for Desktop Practice with a Retro British Tone DA-10

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Donner Mini Guitar Amp Small Electric Guitar Amplifier 5W Portable for Desktop Practice with a Retro British Tone DA-10

  • 🎸POWERFUL SOUND & RELIABLE ENDURANCE:Enough volume for room and living room practice, with built-in rechargeable battery, 4 hours playtime on a single charge, package included USB charging cable.
  • 🎸UNPARALLELED DERAILS:1/8" Auxiliary Input Jack for Jam-Along with Media Player or CD, 1/8" Headphone Output Jack for Silent Practice, package included 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable.
  • 🎸STRONG&STURDY:The edge is surrounded by hard material, protecting the amplifier from damage and a pad of rubber makes it stand safe and stable.
6
Leo Jaymz 20W Electric Guitar Amplifier - Clean and Distortion Channel - 3 Band Equalization and CD Line Input - Recording Studio, Practice Room, Small Courtyard (6.5", Black)

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Leo Jaymz 20W Electric Guitar Amplifier - Clean and Distortion Channel - 3 Band Equalization and CD Line Input - Recording Studio, Practice Room, Small Courtyard (6.5", Black)

  • 20W electric guitar amplifier with crunch and clean channel.
  • Very soft but solid fixing and comfortable handle, leather surface.
  • 3 Band Equalization and CD audio line and AUX 6.5mm input jack.
  • Input voltage: 110-130V, 50/60Hz
7
Fender Champion 100 - 100-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier, with 2-Year Warranty

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Fender Champion 100 - 100-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier, with 2-Year Warranty

  • When ‘burying’ your drummer in volume is important, the 100 watts thrown out of 2 – 12” Fender special designed speakers will get your point across.
  • Toggle between 100 Watts of clean or mean from the 2 channels with the kick of a footswitch during a stage or studio performance.
8
Fender Champion 40 Guitar Amplifier, with 2-Year Warranty

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Fender Champion 40 Guitar Amplifier, with 2-Year Warranty

  • All the tonal versatility you can handle in a small package with clean and overdriven tones, British and modern amp voicings and various effects including reverb, delay and more.
  • Straight forward controls such as "Voice" and "FX Select" allow you to dial in your sound with the ease of just turning a knob.
  • Store extra cables or other small accessories with the open back cabinet. Total impedance is 8 ohms
9
Ktaxon 40Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier, Portable Electric Guitar Amp with 8" Speaker, Headphone Jack & Aux Input Bass, Volume, Treble, and Gain Controls for Beginner, Advance Practice

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Ktaxon 40Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier, Portable Electric Guitar Amp with 8" Speaker, Headphone Jack & Aux Input Bass, Volume, Treble, and Gain Controls for Beginner, Advance Practice

  • 【Powerful Sound】Experience rich and vibrant sound with the 40W black electric guitar amplifier featuring an 8" speaker. Perfect for practicing, jamming, or performing on stage. Dimensions: 14"L x 7.3"W x 13.4"H
  • 【Versatile Connectivity】The amplifier offers double channels, allowing you to connect and switch between different audio sources. It also includes a 1/8-inch headphone output and an auxiliary input (MP3) for enhanced versatility.
  • 【Customizable Tone Control】Fine-tune your sound with the control panel that includes Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume, and Driver options. Adjust these settings to achieve the perfect tone for your playing style and musical preferences.


What is the best way to test a combo electric guitar amplifier before purchasing?

  1. Bring your own guitar: If possible, bring your own guitar to test the amplifier. This will give you a better idea of how the amplifier sounds with your specific instrument.
  2. Play different genres: Test the amplifier with different genres of music to see how versatile it is. Play some clean tones, distorted tones, and any other effects you might use regularly.
  3. Adjust the settings: Spend some time tweaking the settings on the amplifier to see how different configurations affect the sound. Pay attention to how responsive the controls are and whether they are easy to use.
  4. Check for noise: Listen for any unwanted noise or hum coming from the amplifier, especially when the volume is turned up. This could indicate a problem with the amplifier that may need to be fixed.
  5. Test the effects: If the amplifier has built-in effects, such as reverb, delay, or chorus, make sure to test these out as well. Pay attention to how these effects sound and how easy they are to adjust.
  6. Look for portability: If you plan on gigging or moving the amplifier around frequently, consider the size and weight of the amplifier to make sure it is easily transportable.
  7. Research online reviews: Before purchasing, make sure to do some research and read online reviews of the amplifier to see what others have to say about it. This can give you additional insight into the amplifier's performance and reliability.


Overall, testing a combo electric guitar amplifier before purchasing is important to ensure that it meets your needs and sounds good with your instrument. Take your time and consider all factors before making a decision.


How to maintain a combo electric guitar amplifier for longevity?

To maintain a combo electric guitar amplifier for longevity, you should follow these tips:

  1. Keep it clean: Dust and debris can build up inside the amplifier, leading to overheating and potential damage. Regularly clean the exterior of the amplifier with a soft cloth and use compressed air to remove dust from the vents and controls.
  2. Avoid moisture: Keep the amplifier in a dry environment to prevent rust and corrosion. If the amplifier gets wet, always unplug it and allow it to dry completely before using it again.
  3. Use a surge protector: Protect your amplifier from power surges and fluctuations by using a surge protector. This can help prevent damage to the internal components of the amplifier.
  4. Store properly: When not in use, store the amplifier in a safe and dry place where it won't get bumped or knocked over. Use a cover to protect it from dust and debris.
  5. Service regularly: Have your amplifier serviced by a professional technician on a regular basis to check for any potential issues and ensure it is functioning properly. This can help prevent major problems and extend the life of the amplifier.
  6. Avoid overloading: Do not push the amplifier beyond its recommended volume or power limits, as this can cause damage to the internal components. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for proper usage.


By following these tips, you can help maintain your combo electric guitar amplifier for longevity and enjoy years of great performance.


How to connect pedals to a combo electric guitar amplifier?

To connect pedals to a combo electric guitar amplifier, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have the necessary cables to connect your pedals to the amplifier. You will need instrument cables to connect the pedals to each other and a patch cable to connect the last pedal in the chain to the amplifier.
  2. Place your pedals on a pedalboard or on the floor in the order you want them to be in the signal chain. The general rule of thumb is to have your tuner pedal first, followed by your overdrive/distortion pedals, modulation pedals (such as chorus or phaser), time-based effects (such as delay or reverb), and finally any additional effects like a volume pedal or EQ pedal.
  3. Use instrument cables to connect the output of your guitar to the input of the first pedal in your signal chain. Then use patch cables to connect the output of each pedal to the input of the next pedal in the chain.
  4. Once you have connected all your pedals, use another instrument cable to connect the output of the last pedal in the chain to the input of your amplifier.
  5. Make sure all your pedals are powered on and set to the desired settings. Test your setup by playing your guitar and listening to how the pedals affect your tone. Make any adjustments to the settings on your pedals or amplifier as needed.
  6. Experiment with different pedal combinations and settings to find the sound that you like best. Don't be afraid to try different pedal orders or effects to create unique sounds for your playing style.


What is the resale value of combo electric guitar amplifiers?

The resale value of combo electric guitar amplifiers can vary depending on factors such as brand, model, age, condition, and market demand. In general, higher-end and popular brands/models tend to retain their value better than less-known or lower-quality options. On average, you can expect to sell a combo electric guitar amplifier for around 50-85% of its original retail price, depending on the above-mentioned factors. It's always a good idea to research recent sales of similar amplifiers to get an accurate estimate of their resale value.


What is the difference between tube and solid-state combo electric guitar amplifiers?

The main difference between tube and solid-state combo electric guitar amplifiers lies in the type of circuitry used to amplify the signal.


Tube amplifiers (also known as valve amplifiers) use vacuum tubes to amplify the signal from the guitar. These tubes produce a warm and natural tone that is often preferred by many guitarists. Tube amplifiers tend to have a more dynamic and responsive sound, with a natural compression that adds warmth and character to the tone. However, tube amplifiers can be more expensive, heavier, and require more maintenance than solid-state amplifiers.


Solid-state amplifiers, on the other hand, use transistors to amplify the signal from the guitar. These amplifiers tend to have a cleaner and more consistent sound compared to tube amplifiers. They are generally more affordable, lightweight, and require less maintenance. However, some guitarists find that solid-state amplifiers lack the warmth and character of tube amplifiers.


Ultimately, the choice between tube and solid-state combo electric guitar amplifiers comes down to personal preference and the specific sound and features that you are looking for in an amplifier.

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