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How Much Power Does a Guitar Amp Need?


Here at Fryette Amplification, we are proud to sell great sounding amplifiers online. Whether you are a budding instrument player or a seasoned musician, we have got something for you. For all the newer shoppers out there, you may feel a little bit in the dark as to what equipment you exactly need. That is perfectly normal, and expected; everybody has to start somewhere! We are glad to help our customers pick out an online guitar amplifier that best suits their needs. Feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for new equipment. In the meantime, we'd like to go over amp power.

How much amp power do you need?

You may know that amp power (watts) is a factor in determining your amp's sound. But what you may not realize, is that, practically, more amp power may not mean more sound. That is because you have to completely double an amp's output power before it will increase by just three decibels, the smallest unit of sound the human ear can pick up. The amount of amp power you would need to double your decibel level is huge: about ten times.

So, if you don't just up the amps to up the sound, what are they for? Well, the more amps you have the more clean headroom you will have, which is essentially the ability to turn up the sound without any loss in audio.

So how do you figure out how much amp power you need? Here are some simple steps.

  • What style of music do you play? This will heavily determine how much amp power you need, but not in the way you might think. Jamming with your AC/DC cover band? Then you can actually do without a lot of amp power, and just ride the distortion through your epic solos. Performing at folk/country night? Then you will have to have more clean headroom to keep up at higher volumes, which may require more amp power.
  • How are you getting distortion? If you are using your amp for distortion, you may need more clean headroom. However, if you are using pedals for distortion, then your amp can be used for cleans, and you may need overall less amp power.
  • What venues will you play? Once you know this, you will really have all the information you need regarding amp power requirements. The larger the venue, the more clean headroom you will need.

If you are looking for guitar amplifiers online, or other guitar accessories, we have a great selection for you to choose from, and at affordable prices. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us today. We'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.