Best Guitar Wall Hanger: 5 Trustworthy Guitar Wall Mounts

best guitar wall hanger

Welcome to our review of the Best Guitar Wall Hanger.

If you walk into any guitar store in the world, you’re sure to see many beautiful and expensive guitars hanging up on wall hangers (or wall mounts). This should tell you that it’s a very safe, secure way of caring for a guitar.

A lot of companies have now jumped onto the bandwagon of constructing basic guitar wall holders, as it’s a very simple task. But wait, if you’re going to hang your $5000 vintage Gold Top Gibson Les Paul from a hook, the last thing you want is a $5 gimmicky block of wood holding it up. The thought of this makes me nervous.

There are quality guitar mounts that are specifically manufactured to hold the neck and the weight of the guitar, without having to worry about it ever falling on a hard surface. Stay away from gimmicks people.

I’ve used a few of these wall mounts over the last 25 years. Without a doubt, my absolute favorite is the String Swing CC01K.

I put several brands of wall mounts to my safety test, and I found only 5 to be worthy of holding your prize possession. The good news is: You don’t need to part with much cash. I’ve found some super low-priced products for you that are extremely reliable.

Time to take the family pictures down, you’re gonna need some wall space for your new guitar collection.

best guitar wall hanger

Quick View-

  1. String Swing Guitar HangerBest Overall
  2. On-Stage GS7730Best No-Frills Option
  3. Ohuhu Guitar HangerBest 2 for 1
  4. Hercules GSP38WBBest Premium
  5. Gator FrameworksBest Budget

Pros And Cons To Buying A Wall Hanger

Pros

  • Need to quickly give your music room a facelift, get some guitar wall hangers
  • It’s a very safe place away from grubby toddler hands and crazy dogs
  • What guitarist doesn’t like showing off? Create an awesome display to impress your friends
  • Easy Access: Stand Up-Grab Guitar-Sit Down-Play Guitar
  • Some acoustic guitars are beautiful and add style to a house

Cons

  • Dust can affect guitar electronics
  • Some cheap rubber materials on hangers bond with guitar neck wood

The Best Guitar Wall Hanger: Full Review

1- String Swing Guitar Hanger – Holder for Electric Acoustic and Bass Guitars

Best Overall Guitar Wall Mount

  • Value For Money
  • Made In USA
  • Trusted By Over 10 Million Guitars Since 1983
  • Deep Adjustable Cradle Which Matches The Guitars Shape And Weight
  • Safe and Reliable

The String Swing series of wall mounts are hugely popular due to their friendly prices and trustworthy products. 

These two packs are convenient for home or studio use and seem to be the standard product on the market today. By far the best-looking wall mount in my review.

100% real American wood with a lifetime warranty. A dark shade of wood that doesn’t stick out as much as the pine color. The brownish tubing shade is a class above the bog-standard black version of its competitors. 

The yoke-style grip can be adjusted to fit your guitar type. Unlike some of its competitors, it can be slightly adjusted to hold a telecaster or mandolin. The rubber tubing ensures you don’t get any scratches however tightly the grip is on your guitar headstock. 

The String Swing guitar hanger also supports ukuleles. At first glance, the gap looks too wide. But with the adjustable neck cradle, you can re-position it to fit snuggly to your chosen instrument. 

Mounting the hanger to the wall is simple. There are two ways to do this: Screw straight into the wall stud, if you miss, unscrew them, screw in the drywall anchors that come with the product. Then screw the base back on. It’s so easy, you don’t have to be a DIY king to do this. (see video at the bottom for help)

It’s worth knowing this design has been the same for 20 years, so that tells you everything you need to know about the reliability of The String Swing. 

This is my choice for the best guitar wall hanger.

Product Info: Wall Mount Weight: 5.8 ounces/ Dimensions 7.5 x 5 x 2 inches/ Foam Padding

Need More Hangers?

2- Pack. Check Price On Amazon: Oak Cherry Hardwood

3 Pack. Check Price On Amazon:- Black Walnut

 


 

2- On-Stage GS7730 Mini Wood Wall Hanger

Best No Frills/Get The Job Done

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  • Big Seller
  • No Nonsense
  • Does The Job
  • Simplistic

If you’re looking for another low-cost option for hanging or displaying instruments, the On-Stage mini wood hanger is definitely a safe choice.  

Made from tough steel and a solid attractive-looking pinewood. With a yoke-style finish and standard EVA rubber foam tubing which gently caresses the headstock of your instruments.

Fits the ‘traditional’ size acoustic and standard electric-sized guitars, as well as regular-sized ukuleles.

A perfect low-priced wall hanger that promises durability and stability in your home, studio, or music room. 

A simplistic wall hanger that ‘does the job’. Easily set up with two screws. Saves room floor space in cluttered studios. Would suit someone with a lower budget looking for a guitar hanger. Despite its boring cheap-looking build, does actually work.

Larger necked guitars can be a bit of a tight fit, so you have to be careful when removing your instrument.

The rubber padding does a great job of keeping your guitar still and safe from swinging.  All in all, the On Stage is a safe bet.

Product Info: Intended Guitar Type: Guitar/Steel Guitar/Ukulele/ Base Color: Natural Pine/ Solid Hardwood Base / Yoke Color: Black/ Material: Pine, EVA Rubber/ Black velveteen rubber foam padding/ Steel and wood construction/ Black powder coat finish and Maple wood

Need More Hangers?

 


 

3- Ohuhu Guitar Hanger-2-Pack, For Bass-Electric Acoustic Guitar & Ukulele

Best 2 For Price Of 1 Guitar Wall Hangers

 

  • No.1 Best Deal Multiple Low Priced Guitar Hangers
  • Huge Seller
  • Easy To Install
  • Adjustable Stoppers

Thanks to the heavy-duty mounting anchors this Ohuhu guitar mount isn’t going anywhere. A huge 5-star product that gives you the opportunity and confidence to hang all your guitars up stress-free (even the expensive guitars). 

The rubberized neck cradle is firm and stops any wiggling or wobbling after you’ve put your guitar in the slot. The adjustable stoppers give you the option to hold all types and sizes of instruments safely. A versatile hanger that’s for sure.

Once again you are supplied with drywall anchors and screws for an easy and safe installation. The Ohuhu will hold a variety of guitars, even a bass guitar! Which, as you know weighs a lot more than a standard electric guitar

Durable and easy on the eye. The pinewood hardwood design mixes into the background perfectly with the classy dark soft padding. A neat and tidy way to declutter your room, keep your prized possessions on the wall for safe easy access.

A no-nonsense, wooden adjustable guitar hook for the home or studio. Two for the price of one is a major incentive here, in fact, the best deal on the market for value for money.

Product Info: Item Weight 12 ounces/ Guitar Holder Dimensions 4.33 x 6.3 x 3.35 inches/ Back Material Acrylic/ Body Material Metal/ Fretboard Material Carbon/ Guitar Pickup Configuration Custom-removable-pickups/ Top Material Acacia/ Neck Material Type Acacia/ Guitar Bridge System Adjustable

Every musicians dream
A neat looking Ohuhu Wall Mount set up

Need More Hangers?

 


 

4- Hercules GSP38WB-PLUS Auto-Swivel Yoke Hanger

Best Premium

  • Attractive Wood Base
  • Specially formulated foam (SFF)
  • Super Neck Adjustment Feature
  • Guitar Locking Mechanism

Hercules supplies us with some of, if not the best, most modern guitar stands. This upgraded auto swivel yoke hanger rotates automatically to accommodate the guitar and weight. No need to stand stretching trying to get your instrument straight. 

The Hercules GSP38WB features a natural attractive wood base design and black grip. This suits home and professional environments like a studio or guitar store. 

It has a built-in NINA (Narrow Instrument Neck Adjustment) so you don’t have to buy this and guess whether your ukulele, banjo, or mandolin will fit, they will!

The upgraded AGS (Auto Grip System) has specially formulated foam to ensure you’ll never get any dents or cuts. The AGS allows many angles of adjustment taking into consideration the weight distribution, whilst locking the guitar neck into place. 

It’s good to know Hercules has given us a minimum of 40 to 52mm to play with, so make sure you measure your neck. This accommodates classic guitars, asymmetric guitar necks and, includes special adapters for supporting banjos and mandolins from 28mm. 

A real pro guitar wall hanger from a company you can trust to keep your instrument safe. A step up in cost but with a very secure locking mechanism it may be worth the difference in price. Hercules also does wicked guitar racks.

Product Info: Guitar wall mount dimensions 17.78 x 10.16 x 6.35 cm; 249.48 Grams/ Arm Length: 105mm (4.1″)/ Load Capacity: 7kg (15.4lbs)

Need More Hangers? Hercules GSP38WB also comes in a 3 Pack

 


 

5- Gator Frameworks Wall Mounted Guitar Hanger

Best Budget Hangers

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  • Clean/Professional Look
  • Rubberized Swivel Yoke to Properly Cradle Guitar Neck
  • Fits Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, and Bass Guitars Only
  • Trustworthy Brand

Fans of the Gator Hardcase will know they’re a trustworthy manufacturer when it comes to guitar accessories. Gator makes superb products across the guitar market. So they’re a company that won’t be shipping you anything gimmicky or useless. 

The Gator Frameworks Wall Mounted hanger supports electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. The rubber swivel assists in properly cradling the instrument into a safe position. A sleek black standoff provides enough clearance for both straight and angled headstocks (like a Jackson!). 

Unlike the rest of the hangers in my review, the gator has a tidy black sleek finish that looks both professional and low-key. 

The rubber supports are basic but can support up to the weight of a bass guitar, without scratching or damaging the headstock.

I wouldn’t recommend laying a vintage or lacquer finish guitar into these types of rubber supports. You run the risk of losing some of the body paint, as vintage guitars have thinner finishes.

 

Gator offers an inexpensive no-frills way of storing your guitar for quick access. Comes complete with a foam wall pad to protect your walls from scratching or marring. Includes mounting screws and drywall anchors, allowing you to display your guitars within minutes.

Gator Guitar Hangers are available in five different colors; such as black, cherry, mahogany, satin chrome, and maple.

Product Info: Item Weight: 6.4 Ounces/ Guitar Hanger Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches

Need More Hangers? You got decor to consider? Other Flavors available:

Satin Chrome

Check Price At Sam Ash Music / Check Price At Amazon

Mahogany

Check Price At Sam Ash Music / Check Price At Amazon

Maple

Check Price At Sam Ash Music / Check Price At Amazon

Cherry

Check Price At Sam Ash Music / Check Price At Amazon

 


 

Does A Wall Mount Damage The Guitar?

The safest place for any guitar is in the case, that’s the bottom line. The second safest place is without a doubt on a wall mount/hanger.

A guitar stand is a safe option, but if you have a dog or young children there is a risk of the guitar getting knocked off. If a guitar hits a hard surface, you could be looking at broken hardware or worse, a broken neck. That’s going to cost you in repairs!

Getting your guitar up onto the wall defeats both the child and dog threat. It also unclutters the floor and is in plain view for you to see every day.

Today’s guitar hangers are padded and have gripping mechanisms, so they’ll be no movement whatsoever. Some reviewers have mentioned that wind could possibly move a guitar. This is nonsense. There is little chance of that happening in my opinion.

Does it harm the guitar as it’s hanging from its neck all day?

No! The downward exertion from the weight of the guitar is nowhere near the amount of pull you’re getting from the strings in the opposite direction. 

One thing you probably haven’t thought of is your wall. If you’re hanging a heavy bass on a wall mount for long periods, you may have to consider the humidity and temperature change in the house. This change in climate can affect the wall itself, depending on whether it’s brick or drywall.

Things To Look Out For When Hanging A Guitar

  • Keep your guitar hung away from direct sunlight
  • Keep away from every type of heat source in the house
  • Do not hook instruments above radiators
  • Keep guitars away from air conditioners blow
  • Hang at a height that’s comfortable to hook and unhook. Your back will thank you. 
  • Consider Humidity if you’re hanging acoustic guitars. 

Humidity

Generally speaking, our houses are kept between 70 degrees and 50% humidity. But how would we know this? 

The weather fluctuates with temperature and humidity. This can result in acoustic guitars cracking and splitting, if not kept to the correct climate. Especially in winter, we go from a cold house to a warm one, very quickly with one push of the central heating button.

Mounting a guitar in a humid environment will absorb the moisture into the guitar’s wood, thus swelling and making your guitar unusable. 

My advice, if you think your house has crazy spells of sudden temperature change. Get yourself a low-priced hygrometer and see how your house measures up. 

Authority Guitar Top Tip

  • It’s been known that the foam material on some hangers fork bonds with the guitar neck’s wood when warm. If you have a vintage guitar, or you just care very much for your guitar finish, simply lay some cotton fabric over the parts where your guitar touches the rubber.  

A Word About Dust 

Hanging your beloved guitar up for long spells is inevitably going to collect dust. The easy option would be to wipe it down with a cloth, or play the guitar so much dust cannot settle! Now that’s dedication! 

Some parts of your guitar cannot be reached with a cloth. The electronics can be harmed by dust. Dust holds moisture, sweat, and acidic crap. Over time this increases the oxidation of pots, tuning pegs, the bridge, etc. 

Strings are the worst hit as they’ve no protection from dust. Natural oils from your fingers corrode the string material and eventually create a mass of grimey build-up. This wears the strings out faster than if your guitar was in its case. The sensible option is to wipe your strings down every practice session (i do!). 

Dust in some cases can get into your guitars fretboard and play havoc over long periods.

If you’re going to purchase a wall hanger, my simple advice to avoid any dust, rust, oil, or moisture issues, would be to wipe your instrument down before and after every session. You’ll get into the habit after a few times. It’s a small price to pay if it means prolonging the longevity of your guitar. Get some cotton buds for the little nooks and crannies

See authority guitar The 10 Best ways to look after your guitar:

https://authorityguitar.com/10-essential-tips-for-guitar-care/

Wall Mount Construction/Installation Tips

Q. Are the wall anchors that come with the packs for drywalls or studs only?

For mounting into drywall= white wall anchors and screws would be used. For mounting into a wall stud=use the screws only.

Wall Mount Installation Tip

Use a drill bit that’s slightly smaller in diameter than the plastic wall anchor. Drill the hole at least the same length. Push the anchor in the hole, then gently tap with a hammer until the anchor is flush. 

Guitar Wall Mount Instruction Video

Bottom Line

You don’t have to spend a lot on a guitar wall mount to ensure your guitar is safe. They all do the same thing. In my opinion, if you have a really expensive model of guitar, and you’re concerned about it falling from a wall mount, keep it in the case.

With $15-$25, you can secure yourself a decent guitar wall mount. That’s enough to see through many years of practicing.

Just remember to check that the screws haven’t come a loose over the years.

Make sure you measure the width of the guitars headstock to ensure it’ll fit before buying anything.

Some products have an adjusting hook so it balances out the weight of the guitar, rather than having the weight pulling on one side. These are beneficial but not essential. I would only look at these types of wall mounts if I was are looking to hang a heavy electric guitar or bass

Check manufacturer details if you have an odd-shaped guitar, like a Jackson or Telecaster.

Looking For An Electric Guitar Starter Kit? The 5 Best Starter Packs For You-2021

best electric guitar starter kit

This is our review of the Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit

I began ‘playing’ guitar many years ago with a starter pack. In fact, the amp I used is in this review!

It’s very important to choose a reliable starter pack. Buying nasty cheap products will ultimately end up in the beginner guitarist quitting. Cheap guitars won’t stay in tune, they’re set up badly and some woods bend after a year or so.

…but that’s what I’m here for.

After reviewing many starter packs for the electric guitar, my recommendation for the best beginner guitarist starter pack is the Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack

I’ve made my decisions on the following criteria:

  1. Budget
  2. Quality
  3. Essential Extras
  4. Longevity
  5. Suitability 

Now there are hundreds of packs out there today, and 85% of them are garbage. I understand we all have different needs and budgets to think about. So, I’ve whittled my review down to 5 trustworthy starter packs that will see you on your way. 

Quick View-The Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit

  1. Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar PackBest Overall
  2. LyxPro Electric Guitar Starter PackBest Budget Deal
  3. Epiphone Les Paul Electric GuitarBest Sounding
  4. Ibanez IJRG220Z Electric Guitar PackageBest Midprice Pack
  5. Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul-PerformanceBest Premium

8 Tips To Consider For Beginner Buying

  1. Pay attention to the neck size and weight. Look out for the term ‘Slim Neck’. This is perfect for children and beginners. If the guitar is too heavy a child won’t be comfortable.
  2. Look out for poorly made guitars, you’ll end up buying twice. We’ve reviewed plenty of suitable guitars for your needs above. 
  3. You don’t need to spend a small fortune but set aside some money for essential extras like spare strings and a decent tuner
  4. Online Lessons vs Tutor? If you can’t stretch for a personal tutor then that’s the perfect option, but use all resources available. There are some good beginner guitar videos online at justinguitar.
  5. Have a place in mind for practice. A decent upright chair, with no arms. A quiet place away from distraction (if possible). If you’re starting out, give yourself the best chance to succeed.
  6. Get the best guitar for your budget. Don’t go any lower. Poorer quality instruments often don’t stay in tune and won’t last long. They may end up bending or becoming completely useless. 
  7. Stay away from the overly decorated guitars, the more paint, and rubbish they’ve splashed over it, it’s probably hiding the cheap nasty build. If it’s too good to be true, IT IS.
  8. Check for Warranty, in general, my recommendations have a safety net in case something happens. Click my links to check for the Warranty.

Let’s get on with the reviews:

1 – Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack 

Best Overall Electric Guitar Starter Kit

The Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit
  • Free 3 Month Fender Play
  • Rights to Use The Real Fender Strat Build Specifications
  • Comes with Awesome Fender Frontline Amp
  • Perfect For Rock, Blues, Country, Folk & Funk
  • Great Build Quality and Lastability

Beginners can now get their hands on the legendary electric guitar without having to spend big money on a ‘Fender’. 

There are lots of Stratocaster-shaped copies out there on the market, but none are in partnership with Fender. Squire is ‘true value for money’. 

Squire provides budget versions of Fender guitars. Squire has the rights to use the real Fender Strat specifications. So, although you won’t be getting the hardware and perks of the authentic Fender Strat. You’ll still be guaranteed the outstanding build quality and blueprint of a real Fender guitar. This in itself is why Squire is the most popular entry guitar in today’s market.

“If you’re looking to take the guitar seriously, then this Fender Squire guitar is hands down your best choice”

A major benefit for me is the inclusion of the Fender Frontman Amp. These are by far superior to any other ‘starter pack amp’. With the combination of the amp and the Squire, and this pack is within your budget. I would strongly recommend it. 

Authority Guitar have a more thorough review on the Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier here if you’re interested? See no. 7 in our 12 Best Low Priced Reliable Mini Amps.

With an added FREE 3 month Fender play lessons, you can’t go wrong. What a superb package to start your journey with. 

Pack Includes: 

Stratocaster Electric Guitar/ Squier Frontman 10G Amplifier/ Padded Gig Bag/ 10′ Instrument Cable/ Fender Guitar Strap/ Fender Guitar Picks/ Free 3-Month Fender Play Subscription

 


 

2- LyxPro Electric Guitar Starter Kit

Best Starter Guitar on a Lower Budget

  • Great For A Tight Budget
  • Lots Of Accessories
  • 20W Meaty Amp
  • Solid Wood Build
  • Comes In Black, Blue, Natural, Pink, Red & Sunburst

If you are looking for the ideal ‘straight outta the box’ gift for a budding guitarist, then the Lyx Pro guitar pack is an easy option. Six stunning colors in which to choose from, with a bag full of essential extras. All this for a very affordable price. 

As the body is produced from solid wood, it’s easily my no.1 choice of starter guitar around this price. Solid wood gives the player so much more depth in a tone that no other manufacturer can compete with.  

The tones of the amp are of good quality. The clean channel is crystal clear and carries pretty well. The drive switch allows you to get your heavy riffs out and act like the Rock God that we all want to be. 

A real nice gift for the beginner guitarist looking for a foot in the door. A very popular product in today’s market. It’s no-nonsense, straight out of the box, plugin, and play starter kit.  Fun value=10/10.

Note to any parents: The 20W amplifier is LOUD! 

Pack Includes: 

39 inch Electric Guitar/ Lyx AGL 20W Amp with Cable/ Tuner (Clip On)/ Instruction Book (Teaching how to tune)/A Pack of Strings/ x2 Picks- Shoulder Strap 

 


 

3-Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Pack

Best Sounding Guitar At Mid Range Price

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  • Free Online Lessons from eMedia
  • Epiphone Electar 10-watt amp with a 6” speaker
  • Suits: Rock, Blues Rock, Punk Players
  • Big Seller
  • Great Dual Humbucking Tones

This standard Les Paul Epiphone kit is among the most popular and almost came out as my favorite overall. 

A Beautiful looking sunburst guitar that also comes in ebony with a good array of extras.

You’ll get a 10W ‘Electar’ 62 speaker amp, which is more than enough to smash out those meaty rock riffs. A clean and overdrive button for different styles of playing when the household has had enough of your beefcake riffs. 

The guitar itself is an Epiphone Les Paul Special II and is famous for its monstrous tones thanks to the double humbuckers and its solid wood body build. 

It’s worth knowing the humbuckers are pretty damn good considering the cost of this overall package. The Epiphone Les Paul can cover a variety of styles and tones. It’s the workhorse of the Rock World.

You can see the classic Les Paul body which is one, if not the most popular guitar shape in guitar history. If you love rock music, Les Paul rock music, this is where you start.

Epiphone is a reliable and huge manufacturer in the starter to intermediate guitar world. Definitely my favorite sounding guitar in the review. 

Pack includes:

Epiphone Les Paul Special II LTD electric guitar/ Epiphone 10 watt Electar Guitar Amp/ Guitar Lessons downloadable from eMedia-Covering every style of guitar/ Easy to carry Gigbag/ 10 foot Guitar Cable/ Clip on guitar tuner/ Guitar Strap/ Medium Picks

 


 

4-Ibanez IJRG220Z Electric Guitar Package

Best Guitar Pack For: Punk Rock, Chugging, Heavy Metal & Rock 

  • Sweet 10W Ibanez IBZ1G amplifier
  • Value For Money
  • Trem Bridge & Whammy Bar
  • Great Looking Guitar
  • Jumbo Sized Frets

This is by far the best looking guitar in the review. An absolute slab of rock guitar in the form of this classy glossy black, well-built ideal starter kit for the heavy rock ax-wielding riffmeister.

As far as getting your money’s worth the Classic double-cutaway RG bodied style guitar comes with a 10 watt Ibanez IBZ1G Amp. Comes with a headphone jack so you can play as long as you like into the night without upsetting anyone. 

Unlike the guitars before, the Ibanez comes fitted with smoking humbuckers which are suited for the player who loves the lightning-quick power chords, overdriven riffs, and face-melting lead solos. 

Don’t forget the tremolo Bridge and whammy bar. This allows you to bend and create some pretty space-like guitar sounds. The Jumbo frets are ideal for complete beginners and will aid big-fingered players. 

The jump start package is more than a convincing starter package for the beginner who’s into punk rock and metal. 

Pack Includes: 

Electric Guitar10-Watt Amplifier/ Gig BagTuner/ Strap/ Cable/ Picks/ Accessories Pouch

 


 

 5-Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul Performance 

Best Premier Starter Guitar Pack

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  • Designed By Slash Himself!
  • Flamed Maple Veneer Finish
  • Upgraded Accessories 
  • Amp has a Mid Control
  • Built-In E Tuner

The Slash AFD (Appetite For Destruction) is inspired by the custom Les Paul (which is one of the Daddies of the Les Paul electric guitar). The stunning amber finish, maple veneer finish and single layer of ivory binding, and dark cherry back and side are the same as the original. 

The ceramic plus zebra coil humbuckers are modeled on the late 50s Les Paul and sought-after vintage models. Unlike any other guitar in this review,  the bridge pickup mounting ring has a built-in E tuner. This will certainly be a benefit for a starter player. You won’t be needing to unplug and get your handheld tuner out between every song.

Built-In Shadow E-Tuner 

The Epiphone AFD features premium all-metal hardware with the legendary tune o matic bridge and tailpiece. By far the best-made guitar in my article. But that reflects in the price of the little beaut. 

The amp is also not to be ignored. With the Custom designed ‘Snakepit’ logo, this 15watt, 8” speaker can deliver a cool midrange crunch, just like you get on many Guns N Roses tunes. It also supports some pretty chimey clear tones and the full-on ‘lets go mental’ classic over-driven sounds. 

A superbly made, tasty looking RIFF machine. Another big seller and reputable Epiphone guitar if you’re looking for that something a little more special.  

Pack includes:

Electric Guitar15-Watt Combo Guitar Amplifier/ Premium gig bag with Slash’s “Snakepit” logo3/ Dunlop Tortex Slash signature picks in three colors (white, black, and purple)/ Guitar strap/ Epiphone 1/4″ standard guitar cable/ Free online lessons from eMedia

 


 

Something To Remember

Are Starter Packs Worth The Money?

Yes!  they serve a purpose most definitely. 

These days the quality of build of starter kit equipment is improving all the time. A starter pack is an ideal way to get a beginner into making some noise and enjoying learning the guitar. 

Bear in mind, guitar starter packs are generally low in price. You shouldn’t be expecting amazing tones of equipment worthy of a more expensive model. But they’re certainly good enough for live shows and move you forwards in the correct manner.

Buying an expensive guitar doesn’t automatically mean you’ll succeed any quicker.

It’s like anything, you have to build your gear up as you go along. Buying a decent starter kit is the first step to succeeding.

Give yourself or a loved one the best possible chance of succeeding from the very start. 

How Do I Choose The Right One For Me?

Within the first few seconds, you’ll know if you like the guitar visually. You get that gut feeling.

What guitar do your heroes play? You can find a less expensive version of their guitar. Playing the guitar you really like the look of is very important. You always want to get to the stage where you can’t walk past it without picking it up. That’s how you get good at guitar.

What type of music do you like? If you want to sound like a certain genre or style, do some research and look at what brand of guitar is being played on that record. For instance, here are some basic examples of guitars that play certain genres best:

Blues: Stratocaster, Les Paul

Rock: Stratocaster, Les Paul, Ibanez,

Heavy Metal: Ibanez, Les Paul

Punk: Stratocaster, Ibanez

Don’t Overlook The Small Print

Pay attention to what people are saying about a certain guitar. Watch videos of ‘real people’ playing that guitar. Do you like the tone?

You’re looking to play this guitar every day in the beginning, so make sure you do your research before parting with your hard-earned cash (that’s what we’re here for!).

The Guitar is the most expensive part of the pack, so make sure that is the one you want. The extras aren’t generally great in starter packs but can be replaced for a small price at a later date. Don’t be swayed by the number of accessories in a kit.

Overall

Find a balance between what you can afford, what you like, and what you think suits your needs.

Go with your gut instinct, thats how ive always decided.

The Easy Way, But Not The Smart Way

The easy route would be to save up enough money to buy a well-known branded guitar, visit the local store and buy it. Surely this is the best way, as I’m paying for a quality branded instrument? Actually no! just because a manufacturer produces the best most popular (adult) guitar. That doesn’t automatically mean they build a good beginner or child’s guitar.

Is It Better To Buy The Guitar And Amp Separately? 

Buying a kit separately will cost more. I would recommend buying a ‘starter kit’ to see if the player is going to stick to the task of learning the guitar first.

There’s no harm in looking around and comparing amplifier prices. But this might become a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. 

Generally, the starter kits are ideal for you to plug in and play. Not having to worry about anything else. No hassles, just concentrate on learning and having fun.

 After 6 months if you fancy a tone upgrade, then look around for a better amp. I would safely say buying a starter pack is definitely going to be cheaper in the long run. 

The Best Mini Guitar Amp 2021: 12 Low Priced Reliable Options

best mini guitar amp header

This is my review of the Best Mini Guitar Amp 2021

I’ve played dozens of mini guitar amps over the years. The tiny belt buckle models right through to the ear-bleeding vibrating hissing units of death. 

After carefully trawling through the best of today’s alternatives, I’ve decided to find you the best mini guitar amps on the market today.

My clear winner is the VOX Mini3 G2

The Vox mini3 G2 delivers a range of pre-built amp tones for you to play with. Options include classic vintage, to a modern high-gain, and a rare boutique range of sounds. That’s not it, you also get four delay and reverb effects. There’s so much fun to be had here. 

Whether you’re a home player or busking in the high street, the vox mini is suited to all situations.

I’ve considered all skill levels, budgets, quality of amp in all practice scenarios. Read on to see which mini guitar amp i have for you:

Best Mini Guitar Amp

The 12 Mini Guitar Amps We Loved

  1. Fender MD20 Mini Deluxe Guitar Combo Amplifier
  2. VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier
  3. Marshall MS2 Battery-Powered Micro Guitar Amplifier
  4. Fender Mini 57 Twin-amp
  5. Blackstar FLY 3, 3-Watt Mini Guitar Combo Amplifier
  6. Orange Amplification Crush Mini 3-Watt Battery Powered
  7. Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
  8. Boss Katana Mini Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier
  9. Roland MICRO CUBE GX Guitar Amplifier
  10. Vox Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier SuperBeetle 25w
  11. Fishman Loudbox Mini Bluetooth 60-Watt Acoustic Guitar
  12. VOX Mini 3 G2 Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W,

Note: 

We do not recommend any of the following mini amps for rehearsals with a ‘band’. These are for recording, home use, guitar lessons or the acoustic/singer live. A drummer would most certainly be a great deal louder than any of these little fellas. Unless you’re brave enough to tell the drummer he’s too loud!

The 12 Best Mini Guitar Amps

1. Fender MD20 Mini Deluxe Guitar Combo Amplifier

Is Perfect For: A traveling companion or a student taking lessons

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Ah, that classic Fender Deluxe Reverb look. Fender makes some of (if not the) best mini amps on the market. The MD20 is possibly the smallest member of the family but still made with all the quality standards you’d expect from the manufacturing heavyweight Fender. 

The outstanding amount of versatility to be had from the MD20 is vast. You can literally play any genre of music with this bad boy. 

It features a ‘drive controller’ knob for that extra crunch or fuzzy breakup tones. Unlike a lot of mini practice amps, this beast will really give you some serious punch and sustain. A compact and hard as nails build.

A great option for the serious guitar player who appreciates tone and wants longevity. A real safe choice if your want to practice at quieter volumes, and don’t fancy getting arrested (again).

A big seller in the practice amp department. You can’t go wrong with a Fender

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Fender MD20 Features:

  • 1-watt output
  • Single 8 ohm 2″ speaker
  • 9v AC in
  • Headphone out
  • Authentic contemporary styling
  • Dedicated tone, volume, and gain controls
  • 1/4″ headphone jack and 9V adapter jack
  • Weight 7 ounces
  • Dimensions 11.42 x 7.48 x 3.54 inches

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2. VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier

Would Suit The: Travelling guitarist who doesn’t have the room to carry a practice amp. 

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Unfortunately, there are times where shredding some gnarly riffs at full blast may not be appropriate. Fortunately, Vox has produced a nifty little headphone amp!

These are great for players that just can’t put their instrument down when others within earshot might wish they could! 

Here’s the amazing bit:

The VOX AP2AC isn’t a dull amplified version of what’s coming out of your guitar. There is a Tone, Gain, and Volume switch. Which is amazing considering the size of this little fella. Simply plug it into your guitar and pop your headphones in. 

An Aux input is supplied if you want to go through a small amp. The effects onboard are outrageously good for the capacity of this ‘amp’! Chorus, Delay, and Reverb are the real deal. The best effect is the tremolo that layers on top of the other sounds. Truly an enjoyable gadget that fills a hole in the market perfectly. 

A real steal for the price and a great accessory for the guitarist or bass player.  A top seller and a super portable ‘guitar amp’. Simply chuck it in your pocket. This has to be the best pocket amp ever?

Vox Ampeg Features:

  • Weight 1.41 oz
  • Dimensions 3.39 x 3.15 x 1.22 inches (WxDxH)
  • Series amPlug 2
  • 3 Effects (Chorus, Delay, Reverb)
  • Guitar Types w/ Multi-Effect Functionality
  • Rhythm Function Added to the Bass Type
  • Foldable Plug Mechanism Rotates 180 degrees
  • Auto Power-Off Function
  • Small, Compact Design
  • 11 hr Battery Life FX Rhythm On, 17 hr Batter Life FX Rhythm Off
  • 2 x AAA Batteries Not Included

Available Models:

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  • AC30 – provides the AC30 top boost sound
  • Classic Rock – delivers the classic crunch of a UK-made 100W amp
  • Metal – gives you the extreme high-gain sound of a U.S.-made amp
  • Bass – designed specifically for low frequencies, offering a wide-range response
  • Clean – the ideal choice for fat, boutique inspired clean sounds
  • Blues – the authentic, crunchy blues tone of a cranked tweed amp

 


 

3. Marshall MS2 Battery-Powered Micro Guitar Amplifier

Would Suit The:  First time player looking for a foot in the door and have some fun.

For a more balanced review, we’ve decided to consider all types of ‘mini’ guitar amp. This tiny Marshall ms 2 mini amp deserves a mention as it serves a purpose as the most portable amp around. 

In basic terms, the marshall ms 2 is a ‘micro amp’, or a battery-powered amp. Although this little baby can be plugged into the mains.

This was the first-ever amp I owned. You can attach it to your belt strap and walk around your bedroom pretending to be Dave Grohl. I bet Dave Grohl does exactly that in his bedroom!

Take this Marshall MS2 for what it is. A low-cost, decent quality, portable amp for a guitar fan looking to make some noise at the start of their journey. The most important thing is to have fun in the beginning. 

It’s worth knowing these MS2s kick out a bit of a racket, but that’s what we’re buying it for, right?

The fun value: I give this 99/100 (it loses -1% for having to change the battery every so often). It serves a purpose to all those wanna-be rock gods. A perfect way to get any music fan interested in learning the electric guitar. 

Make some noise, have some fun, get yourself a Marshall ms 2. 

Marshall MS 2 Features:

  • 1 watt of output for truly portable practice
  • Channel switching
  • Volume and Tone controls
  • Headphone/Output jack
  • Headphone jack doubles as a preamp out
  • Small and lightweight – take it anywhere- best pocket amp
  • Weight: 0.34 kg / 1 lbs
  • Width: 110 mm / 4.3″
  • Height: 140 mm / 5.5″
  • Depth: 60 mm / 2.4″

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4. Fender Mini 57 Twin-amp

Perfect For: A Gift For The Fender Addict

At first glance, the Fender Mini Twin amp looks like something Keith Richards would play. It’s a real beauty to look at.

Fender has done a great job with the aesthetics on this tiny practice amp. A wooden made unit with a Tweed grill makes you wanna play some Delta Blues

The first real feature I should mention is the 2×2 speaker configuration. This gives the player more depth than any other amp around the same price tag.

So, the Mini 57 actually has two speakers, which is a fantastic benefit in such a small package. The quality of tone with an amp utilizing two speakers will always be superior to one. 

When boosting the gain volume you actually receive some dirty, gritty, spikey tones. A growl sweetly saturated crush. This will make the blues enthusiasts out there very happy. The clear tones are decent, in the style of its Dad, the Fender Blues Deluxe. 

A superb combination of features, performance, and price. This should be right up there in your thoughts if you have a smaller budget to play with, and you’re already a Fender fan. 

Fender Mini 57 Features:

  • Weight 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions 11.42 x 7.48 x 3.54 inches
  • Batteries 1x 9V batteries required.
  • Color Name: Tweed
  • Output Wattage 1

 


 

5. Blackstar FLY 3, 3-Watt Mini Guitar Combo Amplifier

Suited Best For: The Man Cave or bedroom guitarist

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When it comes to great tones at lower, more discrete volumes, the Blackstar Fly 3 mini is ideal.

The standout feature is the patent ‘Infinite Shape Feature’. It gives you the power to decide on matching other classic amp tones by dialing in and creating via the ISF. This gives you the scope to discover your own tones. This is controlled easily, with the EQ knob. 

You have two choices of channels. Clean and overdrive. The delay knob is also pretty lush and worth just adding a sprinkle to your playing. Slightly adjusting the delay level along with the EQ gives you many avenues of tones to discover. Unlike the standard mini amp where you’re kinda stuck in a sandbox of the manufacturer’s choice. 

With two stereo mini-jack inputs, you’re able to connect your laptop, smartphone etc to jam along with tracks. This is a huge benefit for beginners learning their trade. 

It’s worth noting, the Blackstar FLY takes 6 AA batteries. Blackstar claims at lower volumes you can receive 50 hours of playtime. Errr, I’m very much doubtful of that. Unless you’re literally playing at pin-drop volume. So at full blast, you only get 4 hours. That’s a massive gap.

My advice would be to get rechargeable batteries (see below). Oh, by the way, you can also plug this baby in if you’re at home. 

All in all, I love this amp. A truly versatile and silky smooth practice amp. Blackstar produces some cracking amps further up the scale, so you’re guaranteed some great little tones with the Blackstar FLY 3.

Blackstar Fly 3 Features:

  • Technology Type Analogue
  • Wattage 3
  • Inputs Guitar Input, MP3/Line Input
  • Channels 2 – Clean, Overdrive
  • Speaker Size 3
  • Weight 0.9KG
  • Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth) 170 x 126 x 102 (mm)

 


 

6. Orange Amplification Crush Mini 3-Watt Battery Powered

Best Suited For: The already Orange fanatic and the portable practice guitarist.

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The instantly recognizable orange vinyl and woven grille. Orange has many loyal followers up and down the amp chain. They provide players with the iconic Orange sounds of gentle crunch to full-on Guns N Roses destruction. 

A new addition to the Orange crush mini is the ‘shape’ feature. This allows you to dial in loads more tones and sounds. This alone will keep you interested for months. Essentially this is a mid-tone control or EQ. Some lead players love a lot of mids, so turning it all the way to left you’re given a whole lotta mids over a more rounded scoped tone. 

The crush comes with a very basic selection of EQ. The panel from left to right: Input jack, gain knob, shape feature, volume, and headphone jack. If all you’re looking to do is plug in and rehearse rock music, this is for you. 

You might notice there isn’t a power button! Don’t fret (sorry!), simply plug your guitar jack in and that completes the circuit adding power to the amp. 

Orange is a very popular beginner choice of amp. If you’ve experienced the classic Orange tones before, you’ll be all over this. At such a friendly price you can’t ignore a proven amp like the Orange Mini Crush.

Orange Mini Crush Features:

  • Built-In tuner
  • 3-watt battery-powered amp for Orange tone on the go!
  • Versatile, simple controls
  • Speaker output
  • Aux-in, headphone jack
  • Power supply not included
  • Weight 1.99 lbs.
  • Dimensions 5.9 x 5.7 x 3.26 inches (WxHxD)

 


 

7. Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

Suited To: The guitarist looking for a more superior sound at louder levels

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Buying anything Fender in my book generally means you won’t face the issue of it falling apart. 

The Fender Frontman is built for beginners who are looking for an affordable amp with ‘the Fender tone’

This sturdy combo amp is a powerful little unit. I had one of these whilst I was moving house about 5 years back. They are so much louder than I thought. Definitely good enough to blast out in the house, but also can be turned way down without sacrificing any tone loss. 

With the overdrive switch, you are invited to get some sticky crunch or aggressive gain. 

The main feature in my opinion is the authentic Fender clean tone. I’ve had 25 years of various Fender amps and the Frontman clean channel is exactly that. If you love the clean Fender sound, this is the lowest price amp where you’ll receive it. 

Once again you are supplied with an aux input to jam along with your phone or laptop. 

Unlike a lot of the mini amps around today, the Fender Frontman can maintain its quality tone at high volume. A lot of mini amps cannot deal with louder volumes and spew out a mass of distorted hiss and muddy awfulness. 

This amp would suit somebody who likes a bit more volume and appreciates the Fender tone.

Oh, did I mention it is really loud? 

Fender Frontman Features:

  • 10 Watts
  • 1-6″ Fender Special Design Speaker
  • Controls: Gain, Over-Drive Select Switch, Volume, Treble, Bass
  • Other Features: 1/4″ Instrument Input, 2-Band EQ, 1/8″ Auxiliary Input Jack for Jam-Along with Media Player or CD, 1/8″ Headphone Output Jack for Silent Practice, Closed-Back Design for Heavier Bass Response
  • Item Weight 8.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions 5.75 x 10.25 x 11 inches

 


 

8. Boss Katana-Mini Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier

Suited To: The Tonester, someone who cares about every inch of their tone

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Boss is a recognized manufacturer for quality builds with a superabundance of features. They’ve been supplying us with superb equipment since the 1970s. They gave us some of the best synthesizers, keyboards, and drum machines as well as amps and effects processors. 

The Boss Katana mini is 7 watts of power. You’re given an EQ display like a ‘standard sized’ amplifier. From left to right you have gain-volume-bass-middle-treble and a Delay time and level. Generally speaking, practice amps don’t give you the mid-range options, so this is a positive feature and will add so much to your overall tone. 

Having the opportunity to have 3 different types of gain is great. You have the option for ‘brown, crunch, or clean’. The delay is another top-notch feature. Playing with the delay time and level knobs enables you to go from a small amount of shimmer to full-on Edge from U2. Hours of fun to be had.

There’s an aux port for the player who wants to jam along with your favorite song or a backing track. 

It’s worth knowing, the power adapter has to be purchased separately but the amp comes with x4 AA batteries. Again, see my recommendation at the bottom of this article for trustworthy rechargeable batteries. 

All in all Boss Katana is one of the best battery powered guitar amp

The Boss Katana mini is one of the best mini amps you can buy from a ‘value for money’ aspect. Fantastic Tonal quality with endless amounts of sounds to be discovered. Very simple to use and from a trustworthy brand in today’s market.

Boss Katana Mini Features:

  • Rich, full sound that far exceeds other amps in its class
  • Authentic multi-stage analog gain circuit and three-band analog tone stack
  • Three versatile amp types: Brown, Crunch, and Clean
  • Built-in tape-style delay for warm ambience
  • Aux input for jamming with music from a smartphone
  • Phones/recording output with cabinet voicing
  • Runs on six AA-size batteries or optional AC adapter
  • Item Weight 3.3 pounds
  • Dimensions 4.21 x 2.68 x 3.66 inches

 


 

9. Roland MICRO CUBE GX Guitar Amplifier

Best For: Just about every practice scenario

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A big player in the small amp market for over 10 years now. Roland Micro Cube is possibly the most popular battery powered amp of all time. 

The GX is an updated version of the old classic. Although the Cube still retains its huge sound and tiny tank-like appearance just like the legendary prototype.

The updates include some impressive additions including the i-cube link, a chromatic tuner, a memory function for saving your favorite settings.

A heavy octave feature has been added to the onboard effects section for thick, ultra-low tones. I Cube Link opens many new opportunities for practice and recording, providing a built-in audio interface for working with music apps.

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The micro cube GX now has increased power supporting a 25 hour battery powered playing time. 8 superb Amp types to instantly dial into. A chorus, flanger, teremlo and mighty impressive heavy octave feature for big fat White Stripes riffs. Delay and reverb dials too. 

Wow, they just made the old classic even better. 

Roland Cube Features:

  • Comes in a fetching white & red
  • Power Output 3 W
  • Speaker 12 cm (5 inches) x 1
  • Power Supply AC adaptor
  • Alkaline battery: Approximately 20 hours
  • Dimensions 9-3/4 (W) x 6-13/16 (D) x 8-15/16 (H) inches
  • Weight 2.7 kg/6 lbs

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10. Vox Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier (VXMSB25)

Most suited to: The British Rock fan of the 60s

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Wait, this looks like a Vox stack! Just to clarify, it’s a two-foot-tall mini amp. But it’s more than loud enough for your rock requirements.

Vox’s beautifully traditional sparkle and chime in a small package. If you’re looking for that British 60s twang with a bit of bite, you’ll be amazed at how clear this two-foot tower sounds. 

There’s not much in the way of gain, mostly a gritty breakup tone. So if you’re looking to smash out some AC/DC riffs or some fresh metal chugging, I wouldn’t be purchasing this. 

The reverb is one of the best features on board. Reminds me of The Beatles during the Cavern days. It’s not overpowering so it won’t be intruding on the rest of your sound.

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The Tremolo is notably clear cut, it adds that something the competitors cannot compete with around this price. You’ll receive an all-new analog NuTube circuitry for authentic tube tone.

If you’re looking for the fresh shimmering British tone from the 60s, this superb practice amp is your next toy. 

Vox Superbeetle Features:

  • Amplifier Type Solid State
  • Wattage (Built-in/Handling Capacity) 25w
  • Speaker Size 10″
  • Weight 19.18 lbs
  • Dimensions 12.7 x 7.09 x 23.5 inches (WxDxH)
  • Iconic design inherited from the classic stacks of the British Invasion
  • Traditional VOX AC tones, powered by Nutube, with a maximum output of 50W (at 40)
  • An open-backed cabinet equipped with one 10-inch Celestion speaker
  • On-board digital reverb & NuTube driven tremolo
  • Built-in digital reverb that simulates a spring reverb
  • Speaker output for pairing with a variety of cabinets
  • Headphone/Line output for practice or recording
  • Serious sound that exceeds its appearance

 


 

11. Fishman Loudbox Mini Bluetooth 60-Watt Acoustic Guitar

Best suited to: Acoustic Performer or enthusiast searching for that something special

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As I’m trying to cover all bases of practice amp, I thought it’d be good to add a suitable acoustic guitar mini amp for the live performer.  

The Fishman combo amp is an outstanding choice for any level of acoustic guitar player.

The Layout is super silky and sophisticated. A unique brown and cream finish that will fit in perfectly with your home decor. I realize that’s a huge consideration these days for some people! It’s also the best portable guitar amp with mic input.

This Fishman 60 watt, two-channel Preamp and controls use Digital reverb-Two stage chorus and a Phase switch. The Phase switch is ideal for the live guitarist. It’s a process that inverts the electrical signal from your guitar. This really helps reduce the amplifier speakers feeding back to the guitar. 

The Fishman has a wireless Bluetooth option. This is perfect for a singer/guitarist, or if you require micing up another instrument. That’s a benefit you won’t find anywhere else on my mini amp round-up. 

To say the reverb and chorus effects are ‘good’ on this amp would be an understatement. A genuinely superb array of onboard effects to be had. This doesn’t by any means get in the way of the overall sound and quality. 

Ladies and Gentleman the superb Fishman Loudbox

Fishman Loudbox Features:

  • Amp Type Solid State
  • Channels 2
  • Watts 60
  • Speaker Configuration 1 x 6.5″ and 1″ Tweeter
  • Speaker(s) 6.5″ Woofer 1″ Soft Dome Tweeter
  • EQ Three-Band
  • Inputs 2 x Dual 1/4″ XLR Inputs, 1 x 1/4″ Aux Input, 1 x 1/8″ Aux Input
  • Outputs 1 x D.I. Output
  • Digital FX Yes
  • Line Out Yes
  • Reverb Yes
  • Weight 21.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions 12 x 13.7 x 9.7 inches (WxHxD)

 


 

Best Mini Guitar Amp Winner

12. VOX MINI3 G2 Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3 Watts of power, Classic (MINI3G2CL)

The Vox Mini 3 is a great resource for the busker. You can sound fantastic in public and it’s dynamic enough to reach your audience on the high street. 

With a simple layout, you’re given more tone options than you can shake a stick at. The control knob designs are spacious and clear. With classy bright creamy knobs, you won’t be straining your eyes and struggling to find the correct mode.

With 10, yes 10 choices of realistic amp models to choose from, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice (+1 Line channel=11 in total). 

From left to right you have a clean channel (BTQ), this is a practical mode to find your standard shiny electric guitar sound. Next, you have the option to dial straight into 10 sounds from classic vintage, modern high-gain, and rare boutique amps. 

The tone menu is as follows: Black 2×12, Tweed 4×10, AC15, AC30TB, UK 70s,80s & 90s, Cali Metal, and US Higain. The Line option is last. Line in is ideal for acoustic guitar, keyboards, drum machines, or even a vocal.

Your fun doesn’t end there. With more onboard effects available with the four delays and reverbs give you an outstanding range of possibilities. This includes a compressor as well as a chorus, flanger, and tremolo.

Best Mini Guitar Amp

The battery can apparently survive up to 10 hours, but I’m not so sure. If you’re playing in an outdoor environment where you need a bit of volume. I guess you’d be getting around 7 hours of battery life. The Mini3 does come with a power supply anyhow. 

Still, in comparison to the rest of the amps in the review, the Vox mini g3 is the best battery powered guitar amp

A superbly priced mini amp with multiple uses. The pre-set built-in amp effects are so much more superior in my eyes (ears!) than the Roland Cube. It was very close, especially considering the Cube is the crowd favorite.

A must-have for the street busker or someone who just wants a bit of fun. After all, that’s what it’s all about eh?

Extremely easy to use so the Vox mini should appeal to everybody of all skill levels. 

Vox Mini3 G2 Features

  • (W x D x H): 262 x 174 x 223mm/ 10.32″ x 6.85″ x 8.78″
  • Weight 6.61 lbs. (Excluding Batteries)
  • Eleven amp models range from high-gain to pristine clean types, supporting a variety of instruments
  • The proprietary VOX “Bassilator” circuit delivers a heavy sound with ultra-low frequencies
  • Enhanced quality effects such as: compressor, chorus, flanger, tremolo, delay and reverb
  • Dual power options; use the included AC adaptor, or six AA batteries for up to 10 hours enjoyment
  • AUX input jack – connect your MP3 player or other audio source and jam along

 


 

We’ve Also Reviewed The Best Headphones For The Mini Amp:

6 Best Headphones For Guitar Amp

 

Here’s A Few Of Our Helpful Guides

 

5 Must Have Guitar Books For All Levels

The Best Way To Learn Guitar, NYC Guitar School

 

11 Original Artists Who Defined The History Of Delta Blues Guitar

Delta Blues Guitar

Can you imagine the state of guitar music if we hadn’t been introduced to the Delta Blues Guitar style and Boogie from generations ago? 

They’d be no Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, SRV, Angus Young, Peter Green, and many many others. We have a lot to thank them for.

So let’s look at the original musicians, their style, and the guitars that paved the way for the modern guitar player. 

Our List Of Influential Musicians:

  1. Son House
  2. Robert Johnson
  3. Lightnin Hopkins
  4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  5. T-Bone Walker
  6. Muddy Waters
  7. Albert King
  8. B.B. King
  9. Chuck Berry
  10. Howlin Wolf
  11. John Lee Hooker

1. SON HOUSE: National 1930s Duolian

Edward James “Son” House Jr. (March 21, 1902– October 19, 1988)

Delta Blues Guitar

Son was known for his emotional style of vocals and Delta Slide Guitar Blues. 

Son’s unique style was down to his rhythmic punch, passionate vocals and emotional depth.

With a mix of string popping and trademark bottleneck slide, Son was in a league of his own and inspired generations of guitarists worldwide to recreate his style. 

He favored various open tunings like G,D and D minor but also used standard. 

Son was split between playing guitar for the righteous path of religion (as he was a preacher), but then becoming conflicted to play the ‘devil’s music’ The Blues! Son would often entertain the plantation workers with his armoury of songs.  

After quitting music altogether in the early 40s, Son was found by blues enthusiasts in Rochester New York in 1964. He was completely unaware of the 1960s blues revival and huge worldwide admiration for his early recordings.

After revitalizing his career Son House continued to tour and do what he was best at. This success lasted until 1974 where he retired again to ill health. 

Son House died in Detroit, Michigan in 1988. 

Guitars: 

There are plenty of photographs around of Son House holding a National 1930s Duolian, Triolian, or the Model ‘O’. He has been known to also play Stella early in the 1930’s recording sessions. Son also favored an early 20s Gibson L-1.

National 1930s Duolian

 


 

2. Robert Johnson: Kalamazoo KG-14

Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938)

“robert-johnson” by raymaclean is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Robert Johnson really hit the good times during the 1936-37 period with his trademark combination of singing, guitar skill and amazing songwriting talents. He was the first guitarist in history to incorporate boogie woogie from piano to his finger picking slide techniques. 

Johnson took that raw, rhythmic resemblance of the famous Delta Blues guitar sound. Mixed it up, absorbing all the influences that came before him. He created a perfect blend of innovative Country Blues.

He is very much one of the masters of the Delta Blues. Definitely one of the most influential musicians of his time. Jimmy Page was said to be a huge fan of Johnson.  

Apparently Robert Johnson learnt to play guitar in a graveyard at night, perching on tombstones. I suppose that’s one way to get away from hustle and bustle and learn your chords. 

Guitars: 

Robert Johnson was famous for using a small number of guitars.

The 1928 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-14 being one of which he looked to favor. It had 14 frets to the body, five dot markers, a single layer of binding inside the soundhole, and a black ebony nut. 

Other notable guitars Johson used were the Gibson L1 and possibly a Harmony Stella at some point. 

The 1928 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-14

 


 

3. Lightnin Hopkins: Guild Starfire IV

Samuel John “Lightnin'” Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982)

“Lightnin’ Hopkins in Berkley” by Nesster is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Lightnin Hopkins was a country blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who began recording in 1946. He also occasionally played piano. 

Hopkins’s style was to play unaccompanied with his own brand of fingerpicking, but with the help of a thumb pick. His superb technique and clever mid-tempo swinging blues in 12/8 were his unique characteristics. 

Strongly influenced by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Hopkins would learn guitar at a very early age. 

Hopkins would eventually end up playing with Jefferson at church gatherings. 

After a long career, mostly unaccompanied Lightin Hopkins could impressively switch between musical genres and acoustic or electric guitars. His vocal was a ‘talkin blues’ style, like the great John Lee Hooker. His ability to freewheel and play completely improvisational would confuse and inspire session musicians around him

To this day components of his style are clearly found in Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and SRV. 

Guitars: 

Hopkins guitar on the cover of ‘The Texas Bluesman’ looks to be a Guild Starfire IV. He was also known to favor a Kay K-24 Jumbo, Gibson J-45s & J-50, also a Washburn.

Guild Starfire IV

 


 

4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe: 1929 Gibson L-5

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973)

“reitzlp1317_001” by Jazz Archive at Duke University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sister Rosetta was a prominent force in the 30s and 40s. A superb mix of spiritual lyrics from gospel music, later being referred to as the ‘original soul sister and the ‘godmother of soul. 

She was the first to be recognized as a star from a gospel background and certainly the first to be recognized by the rhythm and blues and rock n roll audiences. A child prodigy, she would be performing at her local church by 6 years old! Here she developed her style cut from rural and urban elements. 

Her amazing style and unique ability were picked up later by none other than Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. That’s not a bad list!!

Unfortunately, Rosetta doesn’t get the accolades she deserves this is probably due to her devotion to religious material. Later in life, she was perceived as the single most distinguished gospel artist of America.  

Guitars

It’s difficult to find anything other than the guitar Rosetta used, other than the beautiful 1929 National Triolian, Gibson L-5.

1929 National Triolian, Gibson L-5.

 


 

5. T Bone Walker: Gibson ES-5 

Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975)

“T-Bone walker – T-Bone Blues” by comunicom.es is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

T-Bone Walker was a pioneer of the electric blues. He became the first musician to play the guitar as a solo instrument, a centerpiece of his dazzling live shows. 

He was one of the original guitarists to give the world ‘jump blues’ and the ‘electric blues sound’. Walker was a classy performer and a silky singer. 

His phrasing and melody set him aside from anybody else at the time. Walker would use attacking runs with powerful rhythmic fall back turning his guitar sound which revolutionized the instrument for years to come.

BB King cited hearing Walker’s Stormy Monday’ and drove him into buying an electric guitar. Jimi Hendrix played the guitar with his teeth, which was also a trait of T Bone Walker. Chuck Berry later said Walker was a huge influence on him.

T-Bone Walker is altogether one of the most important musicians to emerge from the latter part of the 29th century. 

The ‘Jump Blues’

Guitars:

T Bone Walker played most of his career with the truly breathtaking flame-top Gibson ES-5 Electric Guitar. He also was said to have played a Gibson ES-250 and once borrowed Chuck Berry’s famous ES-335 for a live show.

Flame-top Gibson ES-5 Electric Guitar

 


 

6. Muddy Waters: Guild S-200 Thunderbird 

McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983)

“Muddy Waters at Newport 1960” by Nesster is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Muddy Waters style of guitar was described as ‘raining down Delta beatitude’. He was a very important part of the post-war blues era. He was commonly known as the ‘father of modern Chicago blues’.

By the age of 13 Waters would play harmonica at gatherings. At 17 he’d saved enough money to buy his first guitar. 

He was completely self-taught and would copy the likes of Robert Johnson and Son House. He traveled around Clarksdale playing as a kid playing with anyone and everyone he could find. 

His first real electric band was with two exceptional musicians in harp player Little Walter Jacobs and guitarist Jimmy Rogers. 

Muddy’s excellent timing, phrasing, and dynamic command of pitch, his spectrum of vocal effects, from falsetto to pure grit put him in a league of his own. 

In 1958, he gained notoriety after he’d traveled to England, laying the foundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. 

A very important figure in the story of blues music overseas and a major influence on the popularity of the delta blues guitar. 

Guitars:

In 1968 Muddy was seen playing a Guild S-200 Thunderbird Electric Guitar at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. He also had a Harmony Monterey, Stella Acoustics and a Fender Telecaster in his arsenal. 

Guild S-200 Thunderbird Electric Guitar

 


 

7. Albert King: Gibson 1968 Flying V

Albert Nelson (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992)

“Albert King – 1969 R-169” by Winston J.Vargas is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The only lefty on the list. Back in those days, it wasn’t easy finding left-handed guitars. Albert King started out life playing a ‘diddley bow’ he’d built, then moved onto a cigar box guitar.

As he grew older and he learned to play the guitar flipped over (upside down). The left-handed Albert King was renowned for his deep and dramatic sound. This was later duplicated by both blues and rock guitarists.

Albert King was responsible for introducing his Memphis style into the blues. Some feat considering he appealed to both black and white audiences. 

His laid-back vocal style mixed up with his intense string bending technique would go far and wide across the globe influencing such later greats as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. 

King was once nicknamed “The Velvet Bulldozer” because of his smooth singing and large size. 

Guitars:

You’ll probably recall Albert King is the man behind the Flying V’s. He had a few but the Cherry Red Gibson 1968 Flying V seems to be his most well-known. He also played a Bolin pink (Lucy) and a natural color. 

Cherry Red Gibson 1968 Flying V

 


 

B.B King: Gibson L30

Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)

“BB King” by Daniele Dalledonne is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

B.B King is undoubtedly one of the most ‘important’ guitarists of all time. With his characteristic fluid string bending, beautiful glistening vibrato, and staccato picking. He has influenced many players and still, his style is prevalent in today’s music.  

One of the hardest working musicians of his time. King would appear on stage more than 200 times a year, even into his 70s! He managed to outlive a lot of his friends and fellow musicians who passed away much earlier.

In 1947 he hitchhiked to Memphis, Tennessee in an attempt to chase his childhood dreams. Let’s all be thankful he made that trip. 

After one of his shows in Arkansas, two men got into a brawl knocking over a gas stove. This then set the dance hall in a gulf of flames. B.B then realized he’d left his guitar inside and ran inside. The two men were still fighting over a woman called ‘Lucille’! B.B King then named his guitar after that woman. Reminding himself, never to fight over a woman. 

There’s a reason he was nicknamed ‘The King Of The Blues’. 

Guitars: 

BB King played variants of the Gibson ES-355. He had his own Autographed Gibson BB King L-30 with added electronics. The original of these models was the actual ‘Lucille’. King was also known to play a red Stella and a J-45. 

Autographed Gibson BB King L-30

 


 

9. Chuck Berry: Gibson ES-335 

Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017)

“Chuck Berry” by Missouri Historical Society is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Chuck Berry single-handedly developed the rhythm and blues. He was heavily influenced by the riffs and showmanship of T Bone Walker. He had such a huge catalog of great catchy songs. By the end of the 1950s, Chuck Berry was a worthwhile superstar.

His showmanship and memorable guitar solos have put Berry right up the top of the most influential players of all time. You’ve seen Angus Young’s Strutt right? That’s from Chuck Berry (and possibly T Bone Walker before that)

Berry was taking an already popular rhythm and blues style and re-inventing it. This in turn would change the face of Rock n Roll forever. He invented the sound, the format, and the style for many guitarists ever since. 

The guitar ‘solo’ would never be the same. Berry took that to a whole new level. 

Guitars: 

Chuck Berry’s memorable guitar was a Cherry Red Gibson ES335. In some footage, it seems he used chrome dogear P90s pickups, rather than the standard humbucker. 

Other guitars to be added to his collection were: 1956 Gibson ES-350TN, Gibson Flying V Electric Guitar,

Gibson ES-350T, Gretsch 6130 Roundup Electric Guitar, Kay Thin Twin K-161, and a Gibson Super 400. 

Cherry Red Gibson ES335

 


 

10. Howlin’ Wolf: Fender Coronado II 

Chester Arthur Burnett, (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976)

“Howlin’ Wolf – Howling in the Moonlight” by comunicom.es is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Although Howlin Wolf is not considered a legendary guitarist, he’s certainly worth his weight in gold when it comes to influencing the direction of the Chicago Blues sound.

With a gigantic booming voice and a very imposing physical presence, Wolf is the cornerstone of the urban blues from Chicago. Wolf was clever with the way he landed his accents around and on the beat. This skill was learned through thousands of hours of playing. This would free up rhythmic space for the other musicians to use wisely. This skill was unique to Howlin Wolf. Even though Hubery Sumlin and Wolf didn’t get along, they have a beautiful understanding when it comes to songwriting. 

He later joined forces with guitarist Hubert Sumlin playing great Willie Dixon songs. This was a combination that defined the Chicago Blues sound. SOngs like Moanin’ At Midnight had a massive influence on the course of Blues music. 

A Lot of artists at the time tried imitating his style but nobody had the trademark power when it came to his vocals. Thoughtful lyrics and earthy stage presence made Wolf like no other. 

Howlin Wolf learned his trade on the cutthroat Chicago blues scene during the 50s. That was no easy feat considering the amount of raw talent about in those days

Guitars:

Many photos over the years show the following guitars: Fender Coronado II Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar, Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar, Kay Thin Twin K-161 Kay Archtop, Guild G-212 12-string and a  Harmony Sovereign flat-top. Some real nice guitars in there. 

Fender Coronado II Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar

 


 

11. John Lee Hooker: Epiphone Zephyr 

John Lee Hooker (August 22  1917 – June 21, 2001)

“Boogie On, John Lee Hooker (1917-2001)” by Mikey G Ottawa is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

‘The King of Boogie’ created his own style from the Delta Blues. He integrated unique elements from ‘talking blues’. A style which is distinguished by ‘rhythmic speech’. The melody is in a free form, yet the rhythm stays strictly in line. 

JLH developed the boogie style into his own driving tempo, detached from the 1930s/40s piano-based boogie. Taking the Delta Blues guitar sound from the acoustics of old into a more electric guitar-based swagger.

Hookers’ guitar and vocal style was uniquely deep and headed straight for your soul. Stomping beats and countless great songs make John Lee Hooker an absolute legend.

His characteristic raw, riveting Mississippi blues required a lot of a listener. With much emotion and incomparable creative spark, John Lee Hooker Stands alone in his work. Imitated still to this day, but in no way equaled. 

He played and recorded on both acoustic and electric guitar in an open A tuning. Sometimes using a capo in that tuning to extend the keys. 

Guitars: 

Hooker was known to dabble with a number of Epiphone Sheratons, most notably a rare Epiphone Zephyr, a Kay Jumbo, a Goya acoustic, and a cherry red Gibson ES 330.

Epiphone Zephyr

More AuthorityGuitar, Guitar Based Articles For You:

Fender Guitar Sales Boom. The Strat is Back! Fender Stratocaster Buyers Guide: 10 Models Compared

The Guitars That Shaped The Best Selling Albums Of All Time

Acoustic Vs Electric Guitar: A Complete Beginners Guide

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Dreadnought Vs Concert: 8 Beautiful Guitars, But What Are The Differences?

Dreadnought Vs Concert Header

This is my comparison of The Dreadnought Vs Concert Guitars

There are some distinct differences and playing qualities you may be unaware of.  

To tell them apart, I’ve analyzed 8 truly beautiful acoustic guitars to give you the best idea of what to look out for before buying. 

I’ve been playing both types of guitar throughout my 25 years of strumming. They both have very different unique uses.

I’ve got some really stunning acoustic guitars for you to look at

Let’s get straight into it…

At A Glance

Let’s start off with the main differences in appearance. Here are two classic types of Dreadnought and Concert Guitar:

Dreadnought Vs Concert

Although you may not see much between the two models, there really is a lot to consider. 

Here are the different characteristics between the Dreadnought and Concert guitars:

The Dreadnought Guitar

Guitar Body Shapes

The Dreadnought is the more common style of guitar on the market. It’s larger in size and exhibits a boxy shape. 

This is a major factor when considering the tonal values of both types of guitars.

Tone

The Dreadnought shape gives the player a nice delicate midrange scoop. You get more depth and low end. The top-end mid-tones are notably much snappier than a Concert. 

There is a great deal of difference in clarity between the guitars. The Dreadnought has a far more transparent sound due to the straighter body shape. This results in a wider proportional EQ.

A Dreadnought Guitar is suited to:

The benefits of the midrange scoop on a dreadnought are ideal for singer-songwriters or acoustic guitarists in bands. This is exactly where the vocal frequencies sit in the mix. 

As a Dreadnought can project its volume more efficiently in comparison to the Concert models. This attribute makes it perfect for the chord strummer and live musician. 

The Concert Guitar

Guitar Body Shape

The main difference you’ll notice is the size. A Concert guitar is smaller than a Dreadnought. It has a more rounded shape and a much deeper waste taper. 

The dreadnought on the other hand has a wider waist and displays a straighter longer body style.  

Tone

The Concert sized guitar is suited to more complex chords and voicings. As it’s smaller in size, it has a more controlled bottom end.  

The Concert gives you a better mixture of mids and treble tone. It’s coherent and more expressive with chords, especially higher up the fretboard. 

A Concert Guitar is suited to:  

As a Concert guitar is lighter and shorter, it instantly appeals to smaller players. In a sitting position, it is considerably more comfortable than a dreadnought. Especially for children and beginners. 

Concert guitars are suited towards a finger playing style or the articulate chord guitarist. A perfect choice for the musician looking to play alone. 

Dreadnought Vs Concert Acoustic: Pros n Cons

Dreadnought GuitarConcert Guitar
Louder Lighter & Shorter
Far More TransparentGreat For Fingerpicking Style/ Articulate Chord Playing
Ideal For Singer/Guitarist or BandsMore Expressive with Chord Sounds
More Depth and Low EndPerfect For Children & Beginners
Top-End Mid-Tones Much SnappierGentle Bottom End
Better Suited For The Chord StrummerVery Comfortable

Getting your ‘Value For Money’ is Important when considering purchasing a guitar.

Dreadnought Vs Concert Cost Chart

Our Product Review: Dreadnought vs Concert Acoustic Guitar

The Best Dreadnought Guitars

Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Best Entry Level Dreadnought Guitar

This stunning all-mahogany easy-to-play Fender acoustic guitar is a very popular choice for beginners.

Its design combines a solid mahogany top with a laminated back and sides (also mahogany). The Fender ‘easy to play’ neck offers a fingerboard with rolled edges to aid the child or complete novice. Both the fingerboard and bridge are made of Rosewood.

Few other competitors at this price can compete with the Fender CD-60s strength, dynamic range, and tonal brightness.

It is an excellent start for virtually any playing style for acoustic guitar. Including heavy strumming, fast-paced flatpicking, and sensitive fingerpicking.

The CD-60S mahogany back and sides create a balanced tone with an abundance of volume and midrange.

The Fender CD60s comes in sunburst, natural, and black. They really a beautiful style of guitar, and a friendly price range that is great for any starter player.

Absolutely my no.1 choice of starter dreadnoughts in the market today.

Key Features

  • Ideal for chord playing for novices and experts alike.
  • Without any adjustment, this guitar plays well right out of the box.
  • Has a beautiful look and sound quality.
  • Fender is a massive player in acoustic and electric instruments
  • A very popular choice for a reason.

The Electro-Acoustic version of this popular guitar was also reviewed by us. Take a peek The Fender CD 60SCE.

Spec

Body WoodLaminated Mahogany
TopSolid Mahogany
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss
Neck TypeSet Neck
Neck WoodMahogany
Neck ShapeFender® ‘Easy-to-Play’
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
Scale Length25.5″
FingerboardRosewood
Fingerboard Radius12″
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1.69″
Bridge TypeRosewood
Nut & SaddleCrème Plastic Nut
Tuning MachinesChrome Die-Cast
ElectronicsNone

Guild USA D-20 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar (Vintage Sunburst)

Best Standard Dreadnought Guitar

The best bang for buck dreadnought guitar you’ll find around this price tag.

With Martin leading the way, it’s difficult to fit in any other brand of guitar. With the famous Martin D-15 coming in at a similar price point, why did I add the Guild USA D-20 in its place?

Sometimes brand reputation succeeds the quality. Not always, but in this case, the Guild D-20 has a hand-fitted dovetail neck joint, which is why I preferred it.

It’s in line with the traditional American building process. There’s so much more care that goes into a guitar that’s been hand-built. Amazingly, I don’t know how Guild managed to still keep the cost down.

Everything on this model is made from mahogany, bar the rosewood fretboard/bridge, and spruce bracing. This in itself is superior to the Martin D-15.

A beautiful light satin finish really adds to the magnificent look of this vintage classic acoustic guitar.

As the build is of high quality, you’ll get a huge tone and fuller bass resonance. This is a thoroughbred dreadnought. It packs substantial power in comparison to its close competitors.

An extremely playable instrument with has a rich history. What more can you need at this price?

Key Features

  • Built way better than its price tag suggests
  • Big dark tones
  • Versatile and practical
  • Loud and balanced
  • Vintage appearance

Warning! Press play at your own risk. Beautiful tones await.

Spec

Body WoodSolid Mahogany
TopSolid Mahogany
BracingScalloped X
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishSatin Varnish
Neck WoodMahogany
Neck ShapeC
Scale Length25-5/8″
FingerboardRosewood
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-11/16″
Bridge TypeRosewood
Nut & SaddleBone
Tuning MachinesVintage Style Open-Gear w/ 20:1 Ratio
ElectronicsNone
Other FeaturesMade in California

Martin D-28 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Best Pro Dreadnought Guitar

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Martin company acoustic guitars have been the crown jewels for over eight decades. It’s difficult to say otherwise with owners ranging from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Johhny Cash, Neil Young, just to name a few.

They’ve remained faithful to their stunning playability tone and versatility. This should give buyers confidence when considering parting with their hard-earned money. You’re assured of a well-built, traditional-sounding style acoustic guitar.

The Martin D-28 is an enhanced version of the old classics. They still seem to restore their innovation and heritage perfectly.

The new neck design comes after player demand called for it. A new slimmer oval design of neck. Wider nut width and string spacing. This makes for a much more pleasurable playing experience for the simple reason, players want more space.

You get the complete spectrum of a true Martin guitar tone. Crystal clear sustain, booming low end, high mids, and trebles that ring true.

This would make a great studio acoustic as you won’t get let down in any department of tone or projection.

Key Features

  • The classic historical acoustic guitar brand
  • Lightweight
  • Full-spectrum of sound
  • Clarity and Balance
  • Modified Low Oval Neck with High Performance Taper

Heres a helpful video, go on, you know you want to hear it!

Spec

Body Size/ShapeD-14 Fret (Dreadnought)
Body WoodSolid East Indian Rosewood
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BracingNon-Scalloped Forward Shifted X with 5/16″ Sitka Spruce Braces
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss with Aging Toner Top
Neck TypeDovetail Joint
Neck WoodSelect Hardwood
Neck ShapeModified Low Oval with High Performance Taper
Neck FinishSatin
Scale Length25.4″
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-11/16″
Bridge TypeEbony Modern Belly with Drop-In Saddle
Nut & SaddleBone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle
Tuning MachinesNickel Open-Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs

Martin D-41 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Best High End Dreadnought Guitar

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The Martin D-41 dreadnought is both elegant and traditional. Featuring breathtaking curves, using only the finest East Indian Rosewood and Sitka spruce top. Hand-carved scalloped deep bracings for guitarists who crave powerful and deep-bodied tones.

Martin dreadnought acoustics have become a standard tool for professional musicians. With players like Elvis Presley, Joni Mitchell, and Michael Hedges gracing these iconic guitars back in the day.

The neck gives the player ample room for accurate silky fingering with its 2-inch string spacing (saddle end).

This body style has sometimes been criticized for being too boomy, but not the D-41. The treble sparkles over the deep full bass. The first thing that grabs you is the richness and perfect balance in tone.

A real treat if your love is acoustic guitars. Nobody does it quite like Martin.

Key Features

  • Updated High Performance Neck Taper
  • Rich & powerful voice with exceptional clarity
  • exceptionally comfortable
  • High Build Quality

Just listen to that tone!

Spec

Body Size/ShapeD-14 Fret (Dreadnought)
Body WoodEast Indian Rosewood
TopSitka Spruce
BracingScalloped Forward Shifted X Bracing with 5/16″ Sitka Spruce Braces
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss with Aging Toner Top
Neck TypeDovetail Joint
Neck WoodGenuine Mahogany
Neck ShapeModified Low Oval with High Performance Taper
Neck FinishSatin
Scale Length25.4″
FingerboardEbony
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-3/4″
Bridge TypeEbony Modern Belly with Drop-In Saddle
Nut & SaddleBone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle
Tuning MachinesGold Open-Geared w/Butterbean Knobs
ElectronicsNone

The Best Concert Guitars

Yamaha AC1M Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best Entry Level Concert Acoustic

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Yamaha is a very well-known brand for manufacturing excellent affordable acoustic guitars.

The reliable Yamaha AC1M is a perfect guitar for someone looking for an entry route into playing.

A well-built, sturdy, user-friendly acoustic guitar. It boasts a warm, all-around tone that follows in the footsteps of the old school Yamaha tradition.

The neck is fashioned from African mahogany. This is a dense wood that gives off a warm superior sound. This feature alone surpasses any guitar within this price category for sure.

Rolled fingerboard edges on the tapered neck ensure total player comfort when moving up and down the fretboard.

The guitar top is made from Sitka spruce. This is the wood that’s selected on guitars on the higher end of the cost scale.

Built with the Yamaha custom-made scalloped bracing pattern. Giving the guitar a powerful yet expressive tone. Perfect for wanna-be fingerstyle players.

The Electrics consist of a three-band analog preamp. SRT Piezo pickups give you the studio-quality sound, great if you’re considering hitting the live stage.

Yamaha has a fantastic reputation for building easy-to-play friendly concert guitars. The AC1M is priced with the beginner or lower-budget guitarist in mind. A very popular choice that won’t be letting you down.

Key Features

  • Very Popular
  • Fantastic value
  • Sturdy
  • Great sounding Piezo Pickups
  • Powerful Sounding

Spec

Body Size/ShapeYamaha Concert (AC Type)
Body WoodMahogany
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BracingScalloped
CutawayYes
Top/Body FinishGloss
Neck Wood3-Ply African Mahogany
Neck ShapeHigh Comfort Profile
Neck FinishMatte (Satin)
Scale Length25-9/16″
FingerboardRosewood
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-11/16″
Bridge TypeRosewood
Nut & SaddleUrea
Tuning MachinesDie-Cast Chrome (TM29T)
ElectronicsSYSTEM72 + SRT Piezo Pickup

Yamaha FS Red Label FS5 Concert Acoustic Guitar

Best Standard Concert Guitar

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The eye-catching FS Red Label Concert acoustic guitar captures the true aspects of the Gakki Red Label guitars from the 60s.

It features the classic V-Shaped headstock and tuning fork logo. Built from solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and side gives the player a vibrant tone and excellent projection.

The silky and comforting Concert body style offers a newcomer or lower-budgeted player a reliable guitar. The Solid mahogany side accommodates you with noteworthy bass and powerful punch tones.

Yamaha boasts the Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (A.R.E.). This feature manages heat, humidity, and atmospheric pressure to speed up the aging of the wood. This procedure delivers a rich vintage quality tone as if you’ve been playing it for decades.

The dynamic Yamaha FS Red Label FS5 provides a home player or gigging guitarist a safe versatile option that can be relied on.

Growing up, I always remember there being a Yamaha acoustic around the house. They seem to last forever, as they’re built to such a high standard. This is a real quality feature I’ve always liked.

You’ll be getting your moneys worth with The FS Red Label Yamaha.

Key Features

  • Striking semi-gloss finish
  • V-Shaped headstock
  • bass and powerful punch tones.
  • Yamaha’s Acoustic Resonance Enhancement
  • vibrant tone and excellent projection

Spec

Body Size/ShapeConcert
Body WoodSolid Mahogany
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BracingScalloped
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishSemi-Gloss
Neck WoodAfrican Mahogany
Neck FinishMatte
Scale Length25″
FingerboardEbony
Fingerboard Radius15.75″
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width44mm
Bridge TypeEbony
Nut & SaddleBone
Tuning MachinesOpen Gear Chrome
ElectronicsNone

Martin 00-28 Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar

Best Pro Standard Concert Guitar

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The Martin 00-28 Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar is yet another accomplished masterpiece.

Once again, Martin shows off their legendary luthiery skill in a Concert sized guitar. A perfect combination of classic and modern manufacturing.

East Indian/Sitka spruce construction will have you dribbling at the mouth. The fretboard has a beautiful silky feel to it as you whizz up and down the neck.

An extremely comfortable small-sized concert guitar that doesn’t skip on the rich compact tones. This Martin model really characterizes the word ‘chime’.

I was surprised how this type of body shape can provide you with such rich deep lows which you should be getting from a dreadnought. If you close your eyes, you really start to question what guitar you’re playing.

The top-end shimmering tone is a joy to the ears. You cannot get this kind of attribute from any other guitar around this price. Scalloped bracing provides a nice resonance and superb projection.

The 00-28 Grand Concert is on another level. Beautifully built and sings like a bird. You wouldn’t expect anything less from the heavyweight manufacturer in acoustic guitars.

Is it time for you to shop for a Martin?

Key Features

  • East Indian/Sitka spruce construction
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Nice resonance and superb projection
  • Rich, deep lows that you should be getting from a dreadnought
  • The King of chime

Spec

Body Size/Shape00-14 Fret
Body WoodEast Indian Rosewood
TopSitka Spruce
BracingScalloped X Bracing with 1/4″ Sitka Spruce Braces
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss with Aging Toner Top
Neck TypeDovetail Joint
Neck WoodSelect Hardwood
Neck ShapeModified Low Oval with High Performance Taper
Neck FinishSatin
Scale Length24.9″
FingerboardEbony
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-3/4″
Bridge TypeEbony Modern Belly with Drop-In Saddle
Nut & SaddleBone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle
Tuning MachinesNickel Open-Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs
ElectronicsNone

Taylor Guitars Builder’s Edition 912ce Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best High End Concert Guitar

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Incomparable playability and master luthiery set this guitar apart from any other on the list.

The stunning ‘Taylor Builders Edition’ is Royalty of the Concert acoustic guitar world. For players with exquisite taste. A real treat for the guitarist looking for a first-class ride.

Crafted from top-notch rosewood and spruce. The frets are a shorter 24-7/8″ scale length. This gives you a smooth and slinky way of moving around the fretboard without having to try very hard.

Incredibly responsive to touch, while offering a surprising sustain and midrange warmth.

Handles like a true champion, exceptional and luxurious. The Taylor has a super-fast response which puts me in mind of playing an electric guitar.

An absolute joy to play due to the skill and mastery of Luthier Andy Powers.

The Taylor 912ce makes a great guitar in most genres, from rock to jazz to fingerstyle acoustic. The tonal response also translates into an easily shapeable amplified sound with the onboard ES2 electronics.

An absolute must if this beaut is in your budget range. You’ll never need another style of acoustic!

Key Features

  • Frets are a shorter
  • Incredibly responsive
  • Built from top-shelf materials
  • Exceptional and luxurious tone
  • Prime midrange warmth

Spec

Nut Width: 1 3/4”

Neck: Tropical mahogany

Fretboard: West African ebony, 24 7/8” scale

Frets: 20 (14 frets clear of body)

Tuners: Gotoh

Body: Grand Concert shape. Indian rosewood back and sides, Lutz spruce top

Bridge: West African ebony with micarta saddle

Electronics: Expression System 2

Controls: Volume, bass, treble

Weight 4.72 lbs.

Built In USA


Carefully Consider Build/Tonewood 

The quality of construction all depends on the cost of the guitar and the manufacturer behind the build. The tonewoods used in the assembly become better quality the more money you spend on the wood type.

Tonewoods all have their unique strengths and weaknesses. Authority Guitar has a helpful in-depth guide to all tonewoods here: The Ultimate Guide to Acoustic Tonewoods and How it Affects Your Tone

There are two types of wood construction that you may need to take note of:

Laminate

Laminated parts of a guitar are various layers of wood glued together. This type of construction is more affordable but doesn’t give the player the resonance and tone a solid wood body has to offer. 

A laminate build gives the guitar a tougher physique. But what you make up for in lastability, you lose in a higher caliber of sound.   

That’s not to say by any means laminate is not a good choice of soundboard material. It has the ability to stand up to various climates much better than a solid wood build. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about personal taste

Solid Wood

A ‘solid’ wood guitar is made with single cuts of wood. Some solid woods (spruce) will improve over time, giving you a better vintage tone. When the wood dries out, the resonance then becomes even better. 

In comparison, laminate wood does deteriorate over time (a long time!).

Solidly constructed guitars hold their price and may sound better. One thing to remember is; if you run into trouble and require a repair to the body. Luthiers may find solid wood harder to work with. This will obviously cost you more if it takes them longer to fix. 

If you’re going to put the money into a beautiful solid wood acoustic, it needs to be looked after with your life. 

Questions Answered

Is a Dreadnought too big?

It all depends on your arm length and hand size.

A dreadnought is the most popular size in the acoustic guitar world. My advice would be to go to your local music shop and sit with a dreadnought. See how you find the length of the fretboard and how the body sits into your middle position.

Children generally work their way up from 1/2 size. A dreadnought guitar is seen as a Full-Size guitar. Children from 10 years old start using full-sized guitars. Click our size guide here: ‘Find The Right Guitar For Kids’

Here is an approximation of Dreadnought guitar size:

Body Length: 20″

Body Depth: 4.8″

Standard Neck Size: 11/16″

Waist Width: 10-3/4″

Lower Bout Width: 15-5/8″

Are Dreadnought acoustic guitars good for beginners?

Absolutely! Dreadnoughts possess ultimate acoustic power and focus of tone due to their unique build.

If you’re looking to get into strumming chords, a dreadnought is a perfect guitar for you.

Dreadnoughts are used by singer/songwriters and live band musicians. As they carry their sound better than any other style of acoustic. The mid-range scoop is also where a vocal sits. So this fits nicely into the mix with solo artists who like to play and sing.

What does Dreadnought mean in guitars?

The Dreadnought body shape was initially presented in 1916 by Martin Guitars

The name dreadnought alludes to the shape and size of the acoustic guitar body style. A dreadnought guitar is one of the largest body shapes available.

It’s distinctive simply because it’s so popular, yet it has relatively indistinct features.

Other acoustic guitar shapes, like the grand auditorium and classical guitar, have additionally striking features, thanks to their narrow waist.

The upper and lower episodes of a dreadnought guitar are similar in size because the waist doesn’t get excessively meager

What is a Concert size guitar?

A concert guitar is slightly smaller than a dreadnought guitar. This gives the smaller hands musicians and children a chance to learn how to play the guitar without having to overstretch.

Here are some approximate concert guitar measurements:

Body length: 19.5″

Lower Bout Width: 15″

Upper Bout Width: 10″

Body Depth: 4.6″

The upper bout is the part of the guitar body that is nearest the neck.

The lower bout is the largest part of the guitar that is nearest to the string termination at the bridge.

What is the difference between a Dreadnought and Grand Auditorium body shape?

In general, a Grand Auditorium guitar has a similar body style to a dreadnought, yet the auditorium has a tighter waist.

Playability is very similar. In many ways, dreadnoughts are designed to be used with medium gauge strings and grand auditoriums, light gauge strings.

A Grand Auditorium can be ideal for a fingerstyle guitarist. If you’re looking to play lead or rhythm parts in a duo, again, the auditorium is suited better to you rather than a Dreadnought.

The dreadnought is the workhorse and backbone

Auditorium Size:

Body Length:19-3/8″

Body Depth: @ End Pin4-1/8″

Upper Bout Width: 11-1/4″

Waist Width: 9-3/16″

Lower Bout Width: 15″

 

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The 5 Best Guitar Books: Must Have Books For Every Skill Level 2021

Best Guitar Books

I’ve looked at 25 of the most popular books in today’s market and stripped it down to 5 of the very best guitar books in each skill area.

I spent the first 15 years learning guitar from books. Simply because there wasn’t a youtube back in the 90s. I didn’t have the money for a teacher, so books or listening were the only way to learn.

Learning by book is still a popular way for many. I see it as an ideal, non-stressful way of learning at your own pace. Regardless of the modern-day methods online.

I realize, we all have different tastes in music and various reasons for playing. So I’ve selected the 5 best guitar books that will safely see you through to where you need to be. Whatever your reason for studying may be.

Read on to begin your journey towards Rock God!

1. Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners

Best Guitar Book For:  The Complete Beginner to Intermediate Guitarist

I remembered back when I was first starting out. The book that helped me, was one that was clear, precise, and had diagrams with a clear route to the next stage.

So with this in mind, the ‘Teach Yourself to Play Guitar’ is exactly that.

Comes with big bright chord diagrams. A clear and easy set of instructions will aid the complete beginner.

A logical step-by-step guide into how to get started. Easy fingerboard diagrams-hand and finger placement-picking and playing position-posture, and tuning.

Moving onto open chords in major then the minor scale. Power chords, single-note patterns, riffs, and bar chords. Everything you need to know as a complete beginner.

With so many books out on the market, you really need to buy one that’s actually going to steer you in the right direction. This is it.

I highly recommend the Teach Yourself To Play Guitar by David Brewster.

  • Available In Paperback, Kindle, Spiral Bound & Sheet 
  • Clear And Easily Explained
  • Prepares The Beginner For The Next Stage


2. The Guitar Player Repair Guide

Best Guitar Book For: The Repair, Maintenance and Set Up Guitarist

A step-by-step guide for players of all skill levels. Essentially this knowledge is required by all musicians on how to look after your instrument.

Teaching you the basic fundamentals of maintaining your guitar. Repairing both electric and acoustic guitars. Gives you the tools and know-how to set up your own guitar, or copy specifications of leading players.

Check out Authority Guitar 10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care

Now with wider coverage of basic guitar electronics. Including pickup and wiring diagrams.

This is always very helpful if you want to upgrade your guitar or fix a bad connection. You can even charge your guitar-playing friends now that you can fix their guitar.

This is the best book on the market in comparison to the other similar versions I found. It includes interviews and historic facts about BB King and Buddy Guy. Details on how they liked their guitars set up and the tones they achieved. Which is great if you love that kinda music.

The complete manual for all aspects of guitar care.

Comes in Paperback Only. 

  • Features An Essential DVD For Tips And Tricks
  • Third, Revised Edition
  • Perfect For Small Projects


3. Creative Guitar 1: Cutting-Edge Techniques

Best Guitar Book For: A Guitarist Searching For Some Fresh Inspiration

A very popular book in the guitarist world. The ‘Creative Guitar Series’ offers you a new direction to explore.

Every player gets stuck in a rut sometimes. This book gives you some pretty awesome avenues to venture into with the accompanying CD.

The CD has some pretty unique pentatonic patterns, minor arpeggios, and some superb backing tracks to test them over. There wasn’t a section on ‘face-melting’ solos though. I was a little disappointed.

This isn’t just a book on lead guitar. It installs the basic fundamentals in a way that’s clear and practical to the reader.

It’s a bible for the guitarist who has many questions about theory and learning good practicing habits.

This would suit the guitarist who has a few gaps in their knowledge. Guitarists who need that fresh inspiration or another rabbit hole to disappear down. That’s basically all of us then!

Clear and easy to understand, i even enjoyed the humor! This book brings a logical and simplistic approach to harmony, fretboard know-how, and improvisation.

A must for every experienced player. Find yourself a new avenue!

  • Guaranteed To Spark A New Light
  • Great Backing Tracks
  • Leaves Out The Fluff of Similar Books

 

Table Of Contents


4. The Guitar Handbook: A Unique Source Book For The Guitar Player

Best Guitar Book For: The Enthusiast, The Songwriter, The Info Geek 

People are calling this the bible. I can see why.

There is no particular level of musical education required to understand this book. All it requires is the love of playing guitar.

You’re given a history lesson on certain artists’ playing styles. Their major influences, and types of guitars they used. I love stuff like this. You can start building your gear towards a certain guitarist you like.

The great thing about the Guitar Handbook is it gives you tips on how to improve your sound, and ideas of what to buy for your next guitar.

Beautiful images and diagrams explaining notes, chords, and their relationship. There’s also a really interesting section on electronics, effects, and amps. This again is great knowledge to have when considering buying new amps or effects.

With a huge dictionary of chords at the end, I really feel this book has it all. It’s a super enjoyable read with some compelling knowledge to whet your appetite.

Paperback Only

  • Comprehensively Useful
  • A Great Book To Get Lost In
  • Will Last You Forever


5. Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-Lick-Per-Day Workout Program

Best Guitar Book For: Development and Improvement of Technique

If you’ve come to the point where you need to sharpen your skills. Or really hit home with mastering guitar technique, then the very popular Guitar Aerobics is for you.

The great thing about this tutorial book, is you can play along from intermediate skill-right up to advanced guitarist. If you are a newer player, this is definitely a good place to start.

Using the correct mechanics of guitar technique is very important to becoming a more all-round musician. This book should be revisited as much as possible to maintain good solid execution.

The exercises become progressively more difficult. So you won’t be completing Guitar Aerobics anytime soon. There is no particular routine you need to plan for. You simply open the book, complete your current exercise, and only move on when its satisfactory.

You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this. Progress is meant to be achieved at a manageable pace. If you get into the book most days you be seeing improvement pretty quickly.

Guitar Aerobics is intended to be used quite a lot. So if you’re thinking of dipping in and out a few times a month, you’ll probably end up re-learning what you did the month before.

A superb book for mastering and developing techniques. Every guitarist should at some time throughout their journey own this book.

  • 52 Week, 1 lick per day workout plan.
  • Musical styles include rock, blues, jazz, metal, country, and funk
  • Available on Kindle and in Paperback


The Benefits Of Teaching Yourself From A Book

The obvious benefit to teaching yourself is It’s cost-effective. You may not have the option of hiring a guitar teacher or you might live in an area with a poor internet connection.

Youtube tutorials seem to be anybody and everybody these days. Just because somebody calls themselves a teacher and has a channel on youtube. It doesnt make their methods correct. In fact, some are dreadful!

There’s one thing about a guitar method book you can rely on, and that’s its a trustworthy source of information. A $15 guitar method book can be of use for life.

With a book, you can choose your own route in what you want to study.

Maybe Jazz is your thing, but your local guitar tutor doesn’t play Jazz. You can also choose when you want to study. There is no place you cannot take a book to read.

With this in mind, anybody can learn any style of guitar with the correct book.

Best Guitar Books

What a Suitable Guitar Book Should Be Teaching You:

  • Explain The Guitars Anatomy: You’ll need to know every part of a guitar and what that part does.

  • Musical Theory: Its best practice to know why a piece of music sounded a certain way. And how that sound can be recreated.

  • Clear & Easy To Understand: Everybody learns at different speeds. You need simplicity and clarity from a book at the beginning of your journey.

Guitar Books for Beginers Require

  • How to Hold the Guitar: It’s very important you learn what the proper technique is.

  • Starter Chords (3): Something to get you hooked and quickly

  • Clear & Simple Chord Diagrams: It’s not easy learning any instrument from scratch, so you need the pictures to be clear and easily understood.

  • How to Change Chords Properly: Correct technique is of paramount importance.

  • Simple Songs to Get You Going: This is the stage you’ll really enjoy and never look back.

  • Single String Melodies: 2,4 then 6. Some nice tunes you can learn within the first week to get you buzzing with excitement.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get to achieve a good standard of guitar, here’s a great chart to get an idea.

Can You Teach Yourself Guitar?

YES! Absolutely. I started off learning by myself for 2 years without any youtube videos or teachers. However, I’m not going to say it’s easy by any stretch of the imagination.

You have to be patient and learn at your own pace. It’s all worth it once you play your first song to your friends or family. You cannot beat that adrenalin rush. This feeling never leaves you.

Best Guitar Books

Trial And Error

Your entire journey of playing guitar will be based on ‘trial and error’.

If you can get through the first six months of learning from a book. You can then take on anything that comes your way. That’s something to be proud of for sure.

The interesting thing about the guitar is, you’ll never ever stop learning. Whether you’re playing it, fixing it, upgrading it, or learning about its history. You can find it all in very affordable music books that will last you forever.

Heres a few of our helpful guides

Fender Guitar Sales Boom. The Strat is Back! Fender Stratocaster Buyers Guide: 10 Models Compared

Fender Stratocaster

After Fender’s biggest boom ever in sales in 2020, guitars are back! A 17% rise in sales of the classic guitar as people look to learn guitar with Fender.

We’ve decided to compile an essential list of the most famous guitar in history, The Fender Stratocaster. What is the best Strat to buy?

Which Is The Best Fender Stratocaster To Buy? 

If you’re considering buying a Strat, you may be scratching your head over the number of variations there are. And there are a lot!

My name is Lee and I’ve played some form of Stratocaster for the last two decades. If I could (or if Fender would like to sponsor me?) I’d own one Strat from each evolution. I cannot get enough of them. I could literally sit here looking at them all day. I’m guessing you’re here because you feel the same?

There’s definitely something special about the Strat. But over the years it’s difficult to keep up to date with the number of models being released.

Let’s Look At 10 Best Models Of The Fender Stratocaster. 

*Although some of the following guitars aren’t in production any longer. They’re still in mass-circulation as second-hand instruments. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular Strats over time, as some have had such a positive effect on guitarists all over the globe.

Fender Stratocaster
  1. Squire Stratocaster
  2. Player Stratocaster
  3. Deluxe Stratocaster
  4. Classic Series ’60S Stratocaster
  5. American Standard Stratocaster
  6. American Special Stratocaster
  7. American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster
  8. American Professional Stratocaster
  9. American Elite Stratocaster
  10. Custom Shop 

1.Squire Stratocaster

Squire Affinity Strat HH FSR CGS GRN

Don’t underestimate a Squire. They are ideal for a first-time player, a child, or somebody with a lower budget. A perfect guitar as an introduction into the Stratocaster world.

Squire provides budget versions of Fender guitars. Squire has the rights to use the real Fender Strat specifications. So, although you won’t be getting the hardware and perks of the authentic fender strat. You’ll still be guaranteed the outstanding build quality and blueprint of a real Fender guitar. This in itself is why Squire is the most popular entry guitar in today’s market.

Beginners can now get their hands on the legendary electric guitar without having to spend big money on a Fender.

There are lots of Stratocaster-shaped copies out there on the market, but none are in partnership with Fender. True value for money.

This particular Squire I’ve chosen is a good starting point. The Affinity HSS Stratocaster is lightweight and possesses an incredible resonance. The ‘C’ neck profile is similar to the more expensive fender models. The beautiful Indian laurel fingerboard, race green poly finish, and medium jumbo frets really look the part.

You have two single-coil pickups in the neck and middle positions, so you can carve out some classic punchy strat tone. The humbucker at the bridge position gives you power and growl when you want to go a little heavier with riffs or face-melting solos.

I chose the Affinity series over the Bullet, as the hardware is of much better quality. With the added humbucker you have a much wider scope to enjoy classic strat tones and meaty solos.

*Did you know Kurt Cobain and Jack White were known to play a Squire now and again?

Notable Features: 

  • Body Material: Alder
  • Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
  • Color: Race Green
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Radius: 9.5″
  • Number of Frets: 21, Medium Jumbo
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Material:l Synthetic Bone
  • Bridge/Tailpiece: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
  • Tuners: Standard Die-cast

2.Fender Player Strat Series

Fender Player Stratocaster – Buttercream, Maple Fretboard

Many of the price tags beyond this strat are over the thousand dollar mark. So, Fender has given us a chance to play the legendary electric guitar at an affordable price. Whilst having the hallmarks of its more expensive cousins. Built with the same specifications as the ‘real thing’.

With a comfortable contoured shape of the alder body wood, this allows you ideal armrest whilst you get into learning the guitar. This series of strat provides the player with either a maple or a Pau Ferro fretboard.

The Player Series comes fitted out with three single-coil pickups, just like the vintage classics. This model features the Alnico Y pickups, they seem to be so much more powerful than the Alnico II and III. Especially on the bridge pickup, that’s where I found it to be most notable.

In the past budget guitars have suffered from tinny, thin, and shrill-sounding pickups. Not The Player Series. The Alnico V range pickups will give you that trademark Fender tone without sacrificing the butter smooth bass shading. The build quality, choice of fretboards, and superior pickups are a big leap up from the Squire.

If the ‘Player’ Stratocaster is a little more than your allotted budget, I’d strongly recommend trying to stretch that budget to a Player Series guitar. A worthwhile addition to the Strat family.

Notable Features:

  • Made in Mexico
  • Alder body, bolt-on maple modern C neck
  • Pau Ferro 9.5” radius fingerboard
  • 22 medium jumbo frets and synthetic bone nut
  • Standard cast/sealed tuners, two-point Synchronized vibrato bridge with bent steel saddles
  • 3x Player Series Alnico V Strat single-coil pickups, 
  •  Scale Length: 25.5”/648mm
  • Neck Width: 42mm at nut, 51.8mm at 12th fret
  • Neck Depth: 21.1mm at first fret, 22.3mm at 12th fret
  • Weight: 8.5lbs/3.8kg

3.Deluxe Stratocaster

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Maple Fingerboard Vintage Blonde

The beautiful Deluxe series are Mexican-made guitars. Truly wonderful looking instruments. It has all the bells and whistles an American elite strat possesses.
Whereas the more expensive American Strats have that classic sound on the old records. The Deluxe has more of a modern sound in comparison. Far away a better all-round sound to the lower-priced guitars. You get a comprehensive wider choice of tones and all at a great price.

Fresh mouthwatering looks, modern electronics, and a contemporary vibe set the deluxe apart from the rest. Giving you character and unique functionality you’d expect from an electric guitar with a higher price tag.

Special modern S-1 switching can unlock pickup combinations, for when you need that mule to kick your solo through the band Into the audience. This classy feature gives you the use of all three pickups at once, all just by pressing down on your volume knob. A benefit you won’t find on a ‘Standard Strat’. Vintage noiseless pickups put a stop to that unwanted hum or buzz from the amp. This is a godsend for some players..
I feel Fender produces these tiny tweaks over the years on purpose to appeal to players on all levels.

A very, very good guitar considering the price.

Notable Features:

  • Vintage Noiseless Strat pickups
  • Made in Mexico
  • 12″ Fingerboard Radius
  • Push/Push Mini-Switch
  • Two-Point Tremolo Bridge with Vintage-Style Bent Steel Saddles
  • Double cutaway electric guitar
  • Three Vintage Noiseless™ Strat pickups
  • Push/push mini-switch adds bridge pickup in positions four and five
  • Two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with bent steel saddles
  • 12”-radius fingerboard; contoured neck heel; locking tuning machines

4.Classic Series ’60S Stratocaster

Fender Classic Series 60’s Stratocaster (Lake Placid Blue)

The Classic 60s Series oozes class with its unmistakable authentic features and finishes. Every part of this guitar takes the player back to the creative and wild days of this era. Rock music arrived and flourished with the Strat being a huge part of that. The 60s Strat served psychedelic bands, surf, and rock music.

Guitars from the fifties and the sixties attract a massive level of interest from guitar buyers. The Classic 60s strat is a very desirable guitar and has all the hallmarks of that era. Collectors and vintage guitar lovers all should have this axe in their arsenal.

Fender Custom Shop has a number of master builders who put their skills and knowledge towards a selected number of ‘limited’ guitars. They also have a smaller team who continue the production of tribute models and one-offs. The vintage-style 60s strat is one of those.

The Classic 60s Strat has a bright and rather thin tone, matching those of the early 60s. A jangly bluesy rock sound. Straight out of a Tarantino movie is the best way to describe the tone of these beauties. A mix between The Shadows and trend-swamprock country!

Here’s your next guitar if you want to emulate the sounds of the sixties

Notable Features:

  • Vintage-Style Single-Coil Strat Pickups
  • 7.25″ Maple “C” Neck Profile With Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 21 Vintage-Style Frets
  • Aged Control Knobs
  • Vintage-Style Tuning Peg
  • Neck Material: Maple.
  • Neck Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer.
  • Neck Shape: “C” Shape.
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood.
  • Fingerboard Radius: 7.25″ (184.1 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21.
  • Fret Size: Vintage-Style

5.USA Standard Stratocaster

Black 1996 50th Anniversary USA Strat

This is my guitar! Photo by Freddie Bennett

-The USA Standard is the guitar where you start to take things seriously. An American-made Stratocaster is the most iconic of electric guitars. It’s as simple as that.

Fender launched an update in 1987, the ‘standard’. Notably having a flatter fingerboard, a thinner neck profile, and an improved tremolo system. This was tailored around the more modern player. Amazingly, this model has been continuously improved and remained in production until late 2016.

The ‘standard’ can be used by players all the way up and down the skill scale. A superb rich thick tone and at a value that other instruments around the same price cannot compete with. Value for money without a doubt. You’re getting the best of both worlds, quality build, and classic strat tones.

A tough sturdy and warm sound. A vintage tone that the newer version of this guitar just doesn’t seem to have.

Built with unmatched proficiency, backed up with Fender’s tradition of superb innovating instruments.

Fender released this Stratocaster with a 50th Anniversary coin on the back of the headstock. Three Vintage single-coil pickups (Custom Shop Fat 50s). Only 2,500 of these were produced.

The USA Standard is a one-man army. It can put its hand to any style of music, all thanks to its wide variety of classic and modern tones. It’s a beast!

Notable Features:

  • Released 1986/87
  • FretBoard Radius: 9.5.
  • Neck Shape: Slim C.
  • Number of Frets: 22.
  • Body: Alder.
  • Neck: Maple
  • Standard Single-Coil Strat Pickups Custom Shop Fat 50s
  • Modern “C” Neck (Available with Maple or Rosewood Fingerboard)
  • 21 Medium Jumbo Frets

6.American Special Stratocaster

Fender 2014 Stratocaster American Special-Tobacco Sunburst

The American Special is light and looks impeccable in its finish. The body shape is vintage and curvy.

A guitar that fits nicely between the Standard and the Highway One.

The Urethane finish requires a lot less labor than a nitro finish. Less sanding between coats results in the wood being sprayed a lot less, as not to stifle the wood grain. Unlike the thick syrupy type 70s coating polyester. This really is a step up in quality compared to the guitars lower on this list. Making it a more pleasurable experience for the player.

The ‘grease bucket’ tone circuitry gives you the option to roll off those highs without adding extra bass frequency. This is a classy touch. The guitar comes with Texas Special Pickups to give you a hotter SRV tone. You can break up a little earlier than the custom fat 50s.

This is for the guitarist who is looking for that timeless Fender Style and leading-edge features. The American Special delivers a modern tone and performance, bringing the player the full Stratocaster experience.

  • Texas Special Single-Coil Pickups
  • “Greasebucket” Tone Circuit
  • Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
  • Large, ’70s-Style Headstock
  • Jumbo Frets
  • US Made

7.American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster

Fender American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster-Sunburst

The American Vintage ‘65 replicates the tiniest details from Fender’s early history. Using re-tooled hardware you’re guaranteed to get that vintage look and the same feel if you were to buy it in 1965. That’s a pretty special feature by Fender. You can only applaud them for re-creating an already successful vintage range with this old classic.

Super thin Nitro lacquer ensures the body can breathe and age naturally, just like the originals did. If you are looking for the natural road-worn look in time, you’ll definitely get that with the 65.

The tone is meaty and full. I’ve not known a strat with as much depth as the 65 reissue. This is exactly what you get if you listen back to the late 60s Stratocaster-based music. If you’re looking to get close to anything from Hendrix, The Shadows, or Pink Floyd. This is your instrument.

The neck is the thick ‘C’ 60s style. The 65 single-coil pickups are wound exactly like the original spec. Fingerboard edges are rolled beautifully in comparison to the newer square edge style. Even the nut is a proper ‘bone nut’, this all adds up to an outstanding reissue. Fender has gone full whack into authenticating that Vintage 65 Stratocaster. A very desirable guitar if this era of music is your thing.

Notable Features:

  • American Vintage ’65 Gray-Button Single-Coil Pickups
  • 6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • “Mid-’60s C” Neck Profile
  • “Round-Lam” Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 21 Frets
  • Flash-Coat Lacquer Finish
  • 3-Ply Pickguard With Vintage Bevel
  • Bone Nut
  • Aged White Plastic Controls

8. American Professional Stratocaster II

Fender American Professional Stratocaster-Olympic White

The Fender Professional II is for the enthusiast or ‘strat addict’. If you’re looking for a durable guitar to see you through years of live shows and hours on end of home practicing. Then this is your next guitar.

It’s beautiful to look at. It’s evolved from the mark Pro 1.
The fretboard is now slightly rounded and it feels far more broken in (another great feature in my eyes). The neck becomes thinner as you get nearer the nut. The bridge is now constructed from a ‘cold rolled steel’. Fender quotes that this upgrade gives you a beefier tone due to the thicker metal.

I really like the tiny little tweaks Fender make over the years. Always trying to improve, yet keeping the classic shape and feel to the original Fender Strat. They always seem to be changing some aspects, but always to aid us, guitarists.

One very different feature comes in the pickups. The pickup poles are now made from different magnetic alloys. It’s now based on what’s considered to be optimal for each pickup position. This is essential as it gives you a balanced volume when playing the low and high E strings. It now has a more proportional all round tone. Outstanding!

Another impressive small perk fender has improved is the bridge pickup boost. When the furthest tone pot is pushed, it adds some tasty warm bassy tones into your sound.

(Adds neck pickup to positions 1,2 and 3). This is definitely my favorite ‘extra’ you get with the Pro II.

The American Professional II Stratocaster may be one of the most complete evolutions since 1954. It really is an outstanding upgrade and I would highly recommend it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEVgtHauqK0&feature=youtu.be

Notable Features:

  • Body wood: Alder
  • Body finish: Gloss Urethane
  • Neck shape: C
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Neck finish: Satin Urethane
  • Material: Rolled-edge Maple
  • Radius: 9.5″
  • Fret size: Narrow-Tall
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Nut width/material: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm) Bone
  • Configuration: SSS
  • Special electronics: Tone bypass
  • Bridge type: Tremolo/Vibrato
  • Bridge design: 2-point Fulcrum tremolo Individual saddle
  • Tuning machines: Sealed High-ratio
  • Color: Nickel

9. American Elite Stratocater

Fender American Elite Stratocaster (3 Colors Sunburst)

At first glance, you may be thinking ‘yet another strat’. It may look like all the others, but you’d be wrong to think it’s anywhere near the same. Underneath that classic strat-shaped body, you’re given over a dozen new and interesting extras for the modern-day guitarist.

As soon as you plug-in and play, you know you’re playing something special. Exceptional tones and a beautifully built modern strat. It’s kind of a (super) rejuvenated version of the older Strats. Lots of updates. At this point, it’s safe to say the vintage Fender purists fans among us won’t like this. I feel Fender are always trying to improve their range and appeal to everybody. Well done to them.

Ok, the updated perks:

The pickups are the Fourth Generation Noiseless Pickups. These are a fantastic addition.

The volume pot can be pushed in, giving you further tones to play with (S-1 Switch). This fancy inclusion enables the player to achieve more scope and become more dynamic in their playing. The S-1 switch adds subtle colors to your playing. In the bridge pickup positions, the difference in tone is very noticeable. Middle positions are less prominent but darker in tone. The Middle and neck are warm and snappy. The neck pickup is creamy, fat, and bassy. With a quick tap of the volume switch your back to that classic crisp sound.

I can only imagine how suitable the Elite is for the gigging guitarist. The push-button option to cut in and out with lush tones is far quicker and a lot less hassle than using a pedal. I love the S-1 switch!

The Double-Action Truss Rod Adjustment Wheel is now at the bridge end of the neck, rather than behind the nut. It actually makes so much more sense positioned at the bottom of the fretboard. When you’re adjusting the truss rod, you’ll have the guitar in the ‘playing’ position. This feature makes it so much easier, rather than reaching up to the headstock for every small tweak.

If you don’t mind spending top dollar and you want all the new features and trimmings Fender has to offer. The American Elite is for you. The ultimate live guitarist Stratocaster.

 

Notable Features:

  • 4th Generation Noiseless Pickups
  • S-1 Switch — Offers five additional pickup configurations
  • 9.5″-to-14″ Compound-Radius Neck
  • 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo With Pop-In Arm
  • Double-Action Truss Rod Adjustment Wheel
  • Locking Tuning Pegs
  • Soft-Touch Controls

10. Custom Shop Stratocaster

Fender Custom Shop Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Stratocaster 

‘Number One’

The Fender Custom Shop produces special order guitars. Creating a limited edition high-quality guitar. If you love the road-worn relic look, the Custom Shop assembles some real mouth-watering pieces.

In 1987 the Custom Shop was born. The initial master builders were John Page and Michael Stevens. Since then the team has expanded and produced some of the most sought-after guitars ever made. Their passion and first-class approach towards reproducing guitars is unparalleled.

Stevie’s ‘Number One’ Stratocaster was, according to him, ‘his first wife’. Stevie also dated the guitar as a 1959 model, as the pickups had this date on them.

The neck has an Oval C shape 60s profile. A two-piece select alder ’63-style body and hand-wound Custom Shop pickups. Just like the storied original. This guitar bears an American Vintage left-handed synchronized tremolo bridge for Hendrix-style access.

Other features include a 10”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard, 21 #6100 frets, a five-way pickup switch, custom wiring, 3-ply Black pickguard, vintage-style chrome tuning machines, bone nut, and wing string tree.

With Texas Special single-coil pickups, you get scorching tone. Overwound for that unique SRV sound. They offer a dynamic response and a focused mid-range. If you’re looking to get anywhere near that famous SRV tone, go get yourself some gauge 13 strings or some thick galvanized steel! How anyone plays 13s as Stevie did is beyond me!

Ladies and Gentleman, The Holy Grail of guitars.

Here’s the man himself. Just listen to that tone!!!

Notable Features:

  • Select Alder Finish
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Rift Sawn Maple Neck with a Special SRV Oval “C” Shape and 12” (305 mm) Radius
  • Frets: 21, Jumbo Hardware Closet Classic,
  • Gold Bridge 6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • Pickups: Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas SpecialTM Single-Coil Strat® (Bridge, Middle, Neck)
  • Wiring: Vintage Controls Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Middle Pickup)
  • Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Neck Material: Maple Rift Sawn
  • Neck Shape: ’60s “C”
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Fingerboard Radius: 10″ (254 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: 6100 Jumbo
  • String Nut: Bone
  • Nut Width: 1.650″ (42 mm)
  • Neck Plate: 4-Bolt
  • Neck Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Fingerboard: AAA Rosewood
  • Position Inlays: Micarta White

Features You Need To Consider Before Buying A Strat:

Fingerboard Radius

  • The Smaller radius fingerboards are more curved. In general, players perceive this better for playing chords.
  • A Larger radius is seen as a better option for playing lead and bending, as the radius is larger.  

Fret Size

  • Deluxe and the American Professional feature narrow tall frets—currently very popular with players
  • Classic Series ’60s Stratocaster and the American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster feature vintage-style frets (smaller and narrower in size compared to Jumbo frets)
  • Standard and Elite models feature medium jumbo frets
  • American Special Strat features jumbo frets

Neck Shape

Most of the guitars covered in this article follow these basic neck shapes. Check Notable Features. 

Bodies

Alder

Alderwood gives the guitar a higher resonance. The upper mid-range pushes through nicely, giving you that extra sustain for attack. Red Alder is used by Fender as it is fast-growing and readily available. Bodies made from Red Alder are constructed from two to four pieces glued together. They feature a tighter more consistent grain than that of ash.

Ash

Ashwood can give you a more rounded and slightly mellower tone. The highs of Ashwood are not too bright in comparison. Ash has a more inconsistent but straight and visible grain that looks great with natural and transparent finishes.

Maple Or Rosewood Fretboard

The Standard Strat, American Professional, and American Elite models are available with maple fingerboards or, for a small additional cost, rosewood.

The Deluxe, Classic Series ’60s and the American Vintage ’65 models are only available with rosewood fingerboards.

The American Special Strat is available with both maple and rosewood for the 2-Color Sunburst model, maple-only for the Olympic White model, and rosewood-only for the Sonic Blue.

Apart from the difference in color between the whole piece of maple makes up the neck as well as the fretboard. Rosewood on the other hand is normally glued to another piece of wood to make up the fretboard.

When it comes to tone, some people claim there is a big difference. Rosewood is known for being more mellower and has a spongier feel to the fingerboard. Whereas a maple neck is harder in tone but feels very smooth under your fingertips. I’ll be honest, I’ve got both two guitars with both types of neck. There isn’t much in it at all. It’s all down to the player. It’s best to try it out for yourself.

25 Legends Who’ve Graced The Stratocaster

  1. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. Nile Rodgers
  3. Hank Marvin
  4. Yngwie Malmsteen
  5. Mark Knopfler
  6. Ronnie Wood
  7. Eddie Van Halen 
  8. Pete Townshend 
  9. Bonnie Raitt
  10. Hank Marvin
  11. Buddy Guy
  12. John Frusciante
  13. Dick Dale
  14. Ry Cooder
  15. Joe Bonamassa 
  16. Kurt Cobain
  17. Robert Cray 
  18. Jeff Beck
  19. Ritchie Blackmore
  20. Eric Clapton
  21. Rory Gallagher
  22. David Gilmour
  23. George Harrison
  24. Buddy Holly

…….Oh, and Jimi Hendrix

Did You Know?

Fender sold more guitars in 2020 than any other year in its history

 

Conclusion

I hoped you’ve liked our review on the evolution of the Stratocaster. It gives you a much better understanding of what to look for when buying the classic guitar.

If you want to see which Strats made the ‘Best Selling Albums of All Time’ click here

 

 

The Best Guitar Tuners of 2021: A Complete Guide

Best Guitar Tuners

How To Choose The Best Guitar Tuners.

After shopping for a guitar, buying a tuner seems very un-glamorous, but it’s essential.  With our in-depth guide, we can narrow down the choice. What is best for you, and what type of guitar tuners are best in certain environments.

Best Guitar Tuner

Types of Guitar Tuner Explained

Non Chromatic:  Designed to tune a guitar in the conventional EADGBE. Costs less than the others for this reason.

Chromatic:  Will show tuning accuracy relative to the nearest semitone. This allows you to tune to alternative guitar tunings.  It’s good for players who like to explore other avenues. You can also tune instruments other than a guitar. Some guitar tuners have a built-in metronome, this is great for improving your timing in various styles of music.

Clip On Tuners:  Clip on guitar tuners have a built-in microphone. Once you’ve clipped the tuner on the guitar headstock you can start to tune. It detects the pitch from each individual string from the vibration. Measures the pitch and has an onboard strobe dial. Great for acoustic guitar players giving quick and easy use. Can be used on electric guitars too.

Pedal Tuners:  Generally powered by a 9v power supply and plugged into your guitar with a jack. The pitch is measured via the signal coming through the cable. For gigging guitarists and sound engineers. Most accurate. Again, the needle is a strobe type with lovely flashing colors.

Polyphonic:  These allow you to tune all 6 strings at once rather than the conventional, one string at a time. Comes in Pedal Tuner and Clip form. Visual strobe needle. This is a fairly new technology. Impressive.

Best Guitar Tuner

Quick Glace Best Guitar Tuners 

Our 7 Best Guitar Tuners Review

KLIQ UberTuner – Professional Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments (Best Clip On Guitar Tuner)

Best Guitar Tuner

  • Pros: Large Clear Bright Display, ‘In Tune’ Circle, Tunes Additional Instruments, Quick Visual Note Indicator. Large Strong Clip.
  • Cons: Tiny Buttons. Not Very Robust.

The Kliq Uber guitar tuner looks like just about every other clip on the market, but it’s not. The large LED screen responds quickly with the string being plucked.

It has a simple ‘In Tune’ feature on the screen when you reach the correct pitch. Great for beginners. The large screen can be positioned in any direction you like and visible in dark gig scenarios (so no more squinting). 

Since the tuner detects the pitches directly from your instruments’ vibrations, ambient room noise will never get in the way.

The Kliq Uber Tuner has five different tuning types for chromatic, guitar, bass, violin, and uke, and adjustable pitch calibration from 430-450 Hz.

Uses the flat 3v CR2032 instead of the bulky standard 1.5 v batteries. The Grip is stronger than the competitors in this market yet has rubber pads to protect the headstock of your guitar. A super little clip on chromatic tuner. 

Perfect for: Beginners, The Home Guitarist, Children, In The Studio, and Tutors. Also comes in a fetching silvery-white and an ‘Eco’ model which includes rechargeable batteries.

I just love the name of this tuner…Uber!

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Snark ST-2 Multi-Instrument Chromatic Tuner (Best Budget)

Best Guitar Tuner

  • Pros: Child Friendly, Simple To Use, Tunes Additional Instruments. Easy Clip-On. Accurate.
  • Cons: Questionable Plastic Casing. Short life span

Snark ST 2 is extremely popular and affordable. My ‘budget’ clip-on winner. 

High definition color display. Is able to tune guitar, bass, ukulele, and violin. Lightweight construction, easy to maneuver the display around 360 degrees.

I like that the Snark ST had soft controls and a clear, bright display gives children the ability to use it. The body is made of plastic but the design is nice and doesn’t feel cheap.

As the clip has foam pads attached I would avoid using them on vintage or nitrocellulose guitars. Fully Chromatic takes a CR2 flat battery. Tunes accurately, great budget all-rounder.

The Snark ST comes in 5 Styles which are slightly different depending on what instrument you need to tune.

Sure there are more accurate tuners available, but this is a great starter product that will do the job with no big issues. 

Perfect for: Beginners, Children, Home Players. 

>>Check Price On Amazon<<  

>>Check Price At Sam Ash Music<<

 

BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox (TU3) (Best Pedal)

Best Guitar Tuner

  • Pros: Fast Accurate Tuning. Popular Industry Standard. Mutes all other sounds in 1 click. Clearly visible in dark rooms and outside usage. Rugged build.
  • Cons: High Battery Usage. 

Rumors have it the material was taken from Tanks to make The Boss TU 3  Stompbox. Just joking, but history has proved these bad boys are very difficult to wreck. 

The Boss Chromatic Tuner has been in the market since 1983 but the compact, hard-shelled version since 1998. There is a reason why they are still selling all these years later.  They are the best guitar tuners for electric guitar. 

This is a guitar and bass tuner with a unique high brightness mode perfect for outdoor gigging. 21-Segment LED Metre is clear and extremely precise.

Supports easy drop tuning and has a guitar and bass mode. Provides you with a visual verification when tuned correctly to pitch and arrows to show you if you’re sharp or flat.

Also, this is your go-to pedal if you have a 7 string guitar or a 5 string bass. With one click with the foot, the sound is muted so you can tune in complete silence. It’s difficult to find any flaws. 

Comes in 2 more models: The ‘Compact’ and the top of the range ‘Waza Craft’ Tuner. Takes a 9V power supply. 

Perfect for: The Home Guitarist, The Acoustic Live Guitarist, The Band Guitarist, Studio Guitarist, The Bassist, The Sound Engineer and people with heavy feet!

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar Tuner Pedal (Best Budget Pedal)

  • Pros: Easy to Use, Accurate, Quick Tune, Compact, Great Value. 
  • Cons: No Means To Use A Battery To Power. Longevity Varies. Cannot Use With Acoustic Guitars

Donner DT-1 is a compact durable chromatic tuner pedal. It’s perfect if your board is getting cluttered. It’s a lot more subtle in color than the Boss TU 3 Tuner.

The LED screen is easily read and shows up nicely in sunlight and dark gigging scenarios.

Offers true bypass and mutes the signal chain, just like The Boss TU-3. The controls are very basic. Once you activate the tuner, the amp cuts to silence.

If you’re out of tune, the display will present a red-colored note, on reaching the correct reference pitch, the display turns green. It’s that simple! Tuning range: a0(27.5Hz)~c8(4186hz) Tuning method: auto

I wouldn’t recommend this for alternative tuning and the longevity of this product is questionable.

All in all, it’s an amazing product for the cost, the best in the budget pedal category by a mile.

Perfect for: Beginners, Home Players, Acoustic Live Guitarist, The Band Guitarist. Bassist

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner Pedal (Best Poly Pedal)

Best Guitar Tuner

  • Pro: 3 Tuning Modes Available. Tunes All 6 Strings Simultaneously. Super Accurate. Visible LED Lights In Outdoor Conditions. Buffer Option. Easy To Use
  • Cons: Can Use A 9v Battery To Power, But Only Lasts A Matter Of Days. 

The TC Electronic Polytune 3 was introduced in 2010, the original Polytune forever revolutionized the way musicians tune their instruments.

Polyphonic, chromatic, strobe, and a variety of altered tunings; adding an onboard bonafide buffer to preserve your tone over long cable runs and pedal board signal paths.

This is the next level when it comes to guitar tuners. Being able to tune all 6 strings at once is so much quicker for the live guitarist.

The Display comes with 100 ultra-bright LEDs that provide clear visibility even in broad daylight. The onboard ambient light sensor dims its display on dark stage floors so you don’t scorch your retinas every time you look down at your pedalboard. Unlike some brands that have gone way over the top with brightness.

With Super accurate tuning (within accuracy 0.1 cents)  you really are paying for something special. The TC Electronic Polytune 3 is the future of the guitar pedal.

Perfect for: Home Guitarist, Acoustic Live Performer, Live Band Guitarist, Studio Guitarist, Bassist, and Sound engineer/Guitar techs. Takes a 9v power supply. 

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

TC Electronic PolyTune Clip (Best Poly Clip On Guitar Tuner)

  • Pros: High-Quality Stainless Steel Clip, Tunes All 6 Strings Simultaneously, Super Accurate. Ease Of Use. Slick looking
  • Cons: Uses A Lot Of Battery, Shallow Buttons Difficult To Access

The TC Electronic Polytune Clip has the most elegant design I’ve ever seen on a clip-on tuner. That being said, it’s well built and reliable. Just like its pedal model, the Polytune Clip is ultra-bright and easy to read on the display screen.

It tunes all 6 strings simultaneously and is super accurate like the pedal version. Chromatic ( +/- 0.5 Cent) and extra accurate strobe tuner ( +/- 0.02 Cent). Literally instant tuning at your fingertips. A real top-notch quality performer.

Perfect for: Beginners, Home Guitarist, Acoustic Live Performer, Band Guitarist, Bassist, Guitar Tutor, Studio Guitarist. Studio Guitarist and Sound Engineer.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

KLIQ MetroPitch – Metronome Tuner for stringed instruments (Best All Rounder)

  • Pros: Includes Tuning Frequencies Between 410-480 Hz. Tap Tempo Metronome. Tunes A Wider Range Of Instruments. Small and Compact.  Slick Build And Range Of Colors. Impressive Range Of Tuning Modes
  • Cons: Lots Of Programmable Features. Battery life short.

Another Kliq model, but this proves they know what they’re doing when it comes to guitar tuners. The Kliq MetroPitch is very accurate and is surprisingly quick.

I like the fact that you can tune to the 432 frequency. The Boss TU-3 can’t do this (only goes down to 436).

One special benefit of the Kliq Metropitch is you can check if pre-recorded music, chimes, and other musical instruments claiming to be precision tuned to 432 are actually tuned to that frequency. (The 432 music frequency has soothing and healing benefits that music tuned to 440 doesn’t have.)

It’s a 3 in 1 device: Combines a Tuner, a Metronome, and a Tone Generator, all housed in a pocket-sized device.

It also boasts a wide range of A0-C8, various tuning modes, transposition settings, and pitch calibration. So whichever instrument you play, it’s got you covered!

The Tap Tempo Metronome has a broad range of 30-250 Beats Per Minute and various beats and rhythm patterns, this metronome will improve your timing in a rich variety of musical styles.

This can be used when performing live but personally, I wouldn’t, as it doesn’t stay still when plugged in, it kinda slides on flat surfaces. If you were to pull it off an amp and break it you may be in big trouble. 

It’s definitely, my favorite outsider as it can do so much. If you play many instruments, this is your next tuner.

Perfect for: The Multi Musician, Home Guitarist, 12 String Guitars, Bassist, Guitar Tutor, Studio Guitarist, Sound Engineer. 

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

 

What Type Of Tuner Do I Need?

Home Guitarist

The Clip On’ Microphone tuner or Metronome based guitar tuners are perfect for the home player. Quiet surroundings, easily clipped on and off. A metronome can help beginners and intermediate players.

Acoustic Guitar, Live Guitarist

Pedal Tuner’ for silent interval song tuning. Built like a tank, and you won’t need to keep plugging the clip on and off, unlike the home guitarist.

Band Scenario/Gigging Guitarist

Pedal Tuner’. Quick, accurate tuning between songs with just one click with your foot. Tunes in complete silence. Pedal Tuners can take a beating and still function for years. If your gear is in and out of a van this little unit will outlast everything else. Strobe light visual in dark situations and outdoor gigs.

Bassist

Clip On Tuners’ for home use, with strobe tuner for accuracy. ‘Pedal Tuners’ for live use. Same as Guitarist.

In The Studio

High-end quality strobe or pedal type guitar tuners (tc electronic polytune 3). You don’t want to be out of tune on record! Buy a quality tuner, it’ll be worth it.

Sound Engineer/Guitar Tech

Strobe based guitar tuners for spot-on tuning accuracy. Need the best gear if you’re getting paid.

Guitar Tutor

Clip On Tuners’. Can be shared with students. Can also use the visual strobe effect as a learning tool. It goes without saying it’s best guitar practice to learn how a tuner works. With a visual strobe mode, it’s very easy to understand. 

 

What Are The Advantages/Benefits?  

Considering how often you’re going to use a guitar tuner, it makes sense to invest in a good sturdy accurate one.

If you’re playing to an audience or a group of friends, you only get one chance to tune-up. If you start playing and you’re out of tune, it may throw you off course.

Stopping and re-tuning can look unprofessional and may wreck your confidence. The old saying is “you buy cheap, you buy twice”.

Being correctly in-tune is a very important element before playing an instrument.

What About Smartphone App Tuners?

Phones can literally do everything these days. I’ll be completely honest, I’m not a fan of the phone guitar tuner app.

Why would you use a phone to tune a guitar? It’s like using your shoe to knock a nail into wood. It might work, but not very well.

Phones aren’t designed to tune your guitar. The microphone on a smartphone is optimized for speech, not music. Although some tuners use a microphone to pick up the pitch of a string, they’re designed to cut out ambient noise.

On the other hand, tuning apps do work to a certain extent. If you’re starting out on guitar, learning to tune properly is essential.

Where Does The Pedal Tuner Go On My Board?

First! To receive the strongest signal from the guitar, your pedal needs to go first in the chain of pedals on the board. This gives you the most accurate tuning. Putting other pedals before the Pedal Tuner weakens the signal.

Keep your pedal clean, especially the jack inputs/outputs as they can get dirty and scratchy.

 

Best Guitar Tuners: Winners

 

Depending on your guitar situation and budget, I would strongly recommend buying a tuner of some quality. In my experience, they last longer than the lower-end tuners. You’ll end up getting your money’s worth. There is no ‘best guitar tuner for beginners’ as they all do a very similar job. 

What is the most accurate guitar tuner? Here is the very best, for 3 different tuning situations:

Best Guitar Tuner Pedal

 

BOSS TU 3

Our recommendation is the: BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox (TU3). The basic version of this pedal has been around for so long. There’s no match for a product that’s proven to be outstanding and lasted the test of time. Built like a tank, The Boss tuner is an essential pedal for the gigging guitarist. My vote for the best guitar tuner pedal.

Best Guitar Clip On Tuner

 

TC PolyTune Clip

If you’re in need of a clip-on for home playing or acoustic performance, then the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip is a fantastic piece of modern equipment. It is streets ahead of the competition. Being able to tune all 6 strings quickly, and at the same time is outstanding. This technology is very smart and worth stretching your budget for.

Best All Round Instrument Tuner

 

KLIQ MetroPitch

The KLIQ MetroPitch tunes a wide range of instruments so efficiently it’s difficult to ignore. With a built-in metronome to help you stay in time. This is great for kids, intermediate players, and professionals. At such a good price from such a solid company, it cannot be overlooked. This fulfills the needs of the multi musician.

 

I hope you’ve gained some useful knowledge with our review of the best guitar tuner. If you stick with one of the three winners above, you’ll be absolutely in tune all of the time. 

Best Bass Pre Amp 2021: An Expert Opinion

Best Bass Pre Amp

Here is our review for the 5 Best Bass Pre Amps for the Bass Enthusiast!

We at Authority Guitar like to get our hands on the best gear or use ‘real people’ when giving you the best possible reviews and feedback. 

So we’ve invited experienced bassist Steve ‘Stag’ Jones to find out what his thoughts are on pre-amp pedals in today’s market.

Steve found the Ampeg SCRDI Bass DI Preamp is the best overall Pre Amp for bass players. 

Steves also included his favorite pre-amp options for all your bass playing scenarios.

– Now, let’s get going!

1.Best Overall: Ampeg SCRDI Bass DI Preamp

The SCR-DI does an incredible job of emulating that classic sound you get from a big old school Ampeg SVT rig. With its tuned 3 band EQ, it’s less focussed on the Mid sound – it’s all about low and top-end here.

2. Best Value For Money: Jim Dunlop MXR M81 

This is possibly still the best clean preamp pedal on the market for the price. The MXR M81 is an absolute must for those looking to shape their tone before hitting any other effects. 

 

3. Best For Versatility: Tech 21 SansAmp  

The much-heralded Tech 21 SansAmp. You don’t need to be a French-language expert to work out that this was designed to be more than just a pre-amp. This was supposed to replace your need for an amp completely!

4. Best For Overdrive: Aguilar Tone Hammer 

The Aguilar Tone Hammer is a clever piece of kit. A pedal that can run as an overdrive and active EQ whilst having the capabilities to perform as a pre amp. Impressive D.I. gives complete confidence for the studio or the stage.

5. Best Premium Pre Amp: Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra

This pedal is really suited to the master bass enthusiast. If there’s a particular tone you want from your bass, it’s pretty safe to say you‘ll be getting very close with the options you have onboard

Full Review

1. Ampeg SCR-DI 

Who would love this? Home users, gigging bassists who love the big Ampeg sound, players who want a serious treble scoop to their tone

This is one of the newer kids on the block compared to the MXR and SansAmp, having only been released in 2015. 

This is an interesting piece of kit, as it comes from one of the most prestigious traditional amp manufacturers in the world.  The good folks at Ampeg, whose ‘endorsed artist list’ reads like a who’s-who of influential players. 

In true Ampeg style, it’s a heavy unit and somewhat bigger than a lot of other pedals. A heavy sound is exactly what you’ll be receiving. 

The SCR-DI does an incredible job of emulating that classic sound you get from a big old school Ampeg SVT rig. With its tuned 3 band EQ, it’s less focussed on the Mid sound – it’s all about low and top-end here.

I got an extreme amount of top-end tone as well as a *massive* low-end sound by using the Ultra High/Lo shift switches.

In addition to providing that classic tone (which I really love) are a number of other killer features. Firstly, you can plug an external audio device into it and play along with that, or even plug a mic into it! This is a gamechanger for anyone wanting to rehearse at home. The SCR-DI also provides a standard 3.5mm headphone jack out, hearing everything from your iPod and your bass in perfect harmony. 

The final cherry on this Ampeg-flavoured cake is the ‘Scrambler’ circuit. This feature gives the player an overdrive pedal in the same box. The ‘Scrambler’ is available as a separate pedal.  So think of it as an almost-free addition to the package.

A big plus is that the Scrambler is footswitch operable. So unlike a lot of other pre-amp pedals, you don’t have to physically bend over and turn your drive dial back if you want to drop the drive tone! 

It’s a competent overdrive. My testing of it showed that it performed best by adding a little bit of fuzzy breakup to your sound. Think of that slightly overdriven 60’s sound – rather than a Muse-esque full fat filtered OD. 

I really love this pedal, and can’t live without it now because of the sheer amount of options it provides to the player. Particularly the ability to practice at home without annoying the neighbors or your partner!

My one gripe would be that the power supply connection at the back seems a little loose. Maybe that was just my review unit – it’s probably simple to open the back and secure it a little better inside the case.

Dimensions: 4.3 x 7.6 x 2 inches

Pros

  • The Aux-in feature combined with a headphones output is fantastic for practicing at home
  • Separate switch-operated Scrambler overdrive section
  • Replicates the classic “big Ampeg sound” like no other pedal

Cons

  • Wobbly 9V input
  • Quite large

2. Jim Dunlop MXR Bass Pre-Amp 

Who would love this? – Bassists looking for a second tone to use alongside an amp, using as a boost, or a simple way to DI their signal to a PA system

This is the cheapest of the options we tried out, but don’t let the cheapness make you presume this is a “budget” pre. It’s made by MXR (aka Jim Dunlop of wah-wah pedal fame) who make very robust pedals – this isn’t going to break, ever! 

Dimensionally this is a small piece of kit, so won’t take up much real estate on your pedalboard, which some may find a positive. 

It is lacking some of the features seen on the other pedals. But the fact they’ve still managed to push an excellent 3 band rotary EQ into such a small package, probably means they didn’t have a lot of space for other stuff! 

Generally, I found this pedal to be quite “middle-y” in the sound department. There’s even a mid sweep control so you can really dial in a precise middle frequency. So if you are after that kind of all-round full sound, then this is a good option.

I was also impressed with the balanced XLR out which provided a clear signal to an external desk.

The MX M81 offers a sweet sparkle and a warmth that no other pedal can around this price category. 

If you’re looking for grit or an aggressive tone to add to your sound then this isn’t for you. This is possibly still the best clean preamp pedal on the market for the price. The MXR M81 is an absolute must for those looking to shape their tone before hitting any other effects. 

These MXR guys really nailed it with this little beauty. There’s a reason why it’s still selling well after 10 years +

Go get yourself one, you won’t be disappointed. 

Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches

Pros

  • Price
  • Studio-quality Direct Out
  • Middle Frequency Options
  • Sturdy Build
  • Lasted The Test of Time

Cons

  • Limited feature set
  • Lacks Snap

3. Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver 

Who would love this? – Bassists considering going “ampless” completely, anyone looking for an all-round great mid tone

Ah, the much-heralded Tech 21 SansAmp. You don’t need to be a French-language expert to work out that this was designed to be more than just a pre-amp. This was supposed to replace your need for an amp completely! 

Presented in a solid built black box this unit does all you could possibly want from a pre-amp. You have the same 3-band EQ that we saw on the MXR, but this time you’ve got some extra features to play with, and they all work superbly to augment your sound. 

Tech 21 has included a tube emulation circuit to work as an overdrive channel. So, if you’re a player who likes to get his fuzz on, you can’t go wrong with this. 

The more seasoned user will find the various pad options extremely useful. Especially when working with basses with “hot” signals to ensure a clean signal to an amp or FOH setup. 

I also was a big fan of the Shift controls on this unit. It gives you the ability to really give your sound a massive low boost, and a sizable mid boost – or both!

The other trick up its sleeve I really liked, was the addition of phantom power. This means you can power the unit from a desk without a power supply or battery. A nice option to have if you intend on truly going “sans-amp”! 

I especially liked the added feature of bright yellow markings on the unit. Makes it easy to find dials and buttons in a low light gig situation. 

The one thing I’d add would be a treble shift as well for the full set. 

We can confidently recommend the Tech 21 SansAmp to any player in any style – Geddy Lee is a known fan of Tech 21 preamps, and that man knows how to get a tone!

Dimensions: 1.97 x 4.72 x 3.74 inches

Pros

  • Impressive fuzz tone
  • Shift controls capture the low B string of a 5/6 string bass perfectly
  • Phantom power

Cons

  • Mid and Low shifts but no treble shift (?)

4. Aguilar Tone Hammer Bass EQ Effect Pedal

Who would love this? The Riffmeister. The gain controls on the Tone Hammer left me begging for buttermilk. Boutique Beauty. 

The Aguilar Tone Hammer is a clever piece of kit. The thing that struck me initially was it runs as overdrive and active EQ whilst having the capabilities to perform as a pre amp. Impressive D.I. gives complete confidence for the studio or the stage.

The amount of depth and clarity is apparent when you first get a taste of this beast. The tone-shaping abilities are right up there with the best.

The AGS (Adaptive Gain Shaping circuitry) feature gives the user a number of possibilities to create some gritty aggressive driven tones. 

I’m not overstruck by the look of the box, the controls are thrown into the middle of the board. For the price I would have expected more, but who cares what it looks like. It’s as strong as an Ox and had me gnashing my teeth when I sampled the chunky fat gain tone. For this reason, I want one just to get unnecessarily aggressive on my P-Bass!

If you’re like me, you want silky riffs, get yourself A Tone Hammer!

Dimensions: 5.37 x 4.5 x 2.62 inches

Powered by 2x 9v batteries

Pros

  • AGS Circuitry
  • Unbalanced output can drive a power amp
  • Can happily do mild fuzz to aggressive fuzz tones without losing clarity or bottom end

Cons

  • Cannot switch between clean and distorted sounds
  • 2x 9V batteries or an 18V PSU is not ideal when the standard is 9V

5.Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra V2 Bass Preamp Pedal w/Aux In

Who would love this? The Connoisseur. A Bassist with the time and patience to master the superb onboard ‘Virtual Cabinet’.

Dark Glass Electronic have again improved their popular range of professional standard Pre amp pedals.

First, we loved the B3K Bass overdrive, then came the B7K with its impressive 4-band EQ. Now they’ve gone a step further and produced the outstanding B7K ULTRA.

The ‘Ultra’ now has a second footswitch that gives you the power to whack the drive and pre amp circuits in and out individually.

This is a big feature upgrade giving the player even more flexibility than ever before. You are now presented with the option to finely tune your Low to Mid and Low to High EQ.

With 8 Knobs and 4 toggle switches in total, this pedal is really suited to the master bass enthusiast. If there’s a particular tone you want from your bass, it’s pretty safe to say you‘ll be getting very close with the options you have onboard.

The 2 Toggle switches between the MID bands represent different frequencies (Low Mids: 250 Hz, 500 Hz, and 1 kHz and High Mids: 750 Hz, 1.5 kHz, and 3 kHz). The other 2 toggles deal with the drive options. If you’ve been lucky enough to own the earlier models you’ll be fully aware of the quality of these options.

The ATTACK toggle deals mainly with the high-end signal, the 3 options are Flat/Boost or Cut.

The GRUNT Toggle to the right is the same in essence but deals with your low end of the overdrive signal. These are very nice options to have!

From left to right the main EQ knobs are pretty self-explanatory, yet give you furthermore tones and hours of play to enjoy. Output: Master/Blend (Top) Bass/Low Mids (Bottom). Input: Level/Drive (Top) High Mids/Treble (Bottom). The two-foot switches are Distortion and Bypass. When they are both engaged, you’ll get EQ and Distortion. Nice!

I would recommend this pedal to anyone wanting to really get into the art of dialing in. If you’re looking for specific tones and wanting to get as close as possible to that tube drive sound.

Dimensions: 5.47 x 4.96 x 3.23 inches

Pros

  • Versatility
  • ‘Virtual Cabinet’ through The Darkglass Suite
  • Upgraded Microtubes B7K ‘Ultra’ features
  • Built-in DI w/ Ground Lift
  • Sturdy build

Cons

  • Cost may deter some buyers. 

Don’t Forget Your Essential Bass Extras:

Heres more helpful related reviews:

Best Bass Practice Amps: 5 Quality Bass Amps For Home/Garage & Small Venue

Best Short Scale Bass: Essential Guide To 6 Of The Best

 

Your Questions Answered

I’m A Bassist – Why Would I Want A Pre-Amp?

A pre-amp can play many roles for a bassist and is always a handy thing to have in your arsenal. You’ll generally find a use for it in most situations!

The name gives it away – a ‘Pre Amp’ lets you sculpt the sound you want *before* your amp pushes it out of your speakers. That includes before your amp EQ gets hold of the signal if you are using yours with a standalone amplifier. 

Generally, most players use one to dial in the sound of a particular amp or to replace a standard amp and go directly into a FOH (“Front Of House” or “PA”) system. But they have many functions other than this.

The thing is pre-amps, just like standard amps can vary drastically in regards to the number of features and price. So that’s why we’re here to help you find the pre-amp that’s best for you and your bass sound!

What’s The Difference Between a ‘Bass Preamp Pedal’ And An ‘Onboard Bass Preamp?’

A bass pre-amp pedal is exactly that – it’s a pre-amp in a pedal not in an amp. 

They are generally quite small and portable. When we talk about onboard preamps, this refers to amplifiers. Amplifiers also contain an onboard pre-amp. So you can modify the sound of the signal you’re sending *before it gets to the main amplifier stage. 

This in essence gives you a lot more scope to change the sound to whatever you want. Leaving the power stage of the amplifier to just make it nice and loud for you.

In many cases, you can turn off the pre-amp (or at least set it to a neutral sound curve) and simply use the controls from your main amp if you so choose. 

Some amplifiers have the pre-amp set aside completely as a separate circuit to play with. Such as an overdrive channel. Sometimes including actual tubes inside to pre-amplify the signal. These can be very advantageous to a player who uses fuzz regularly in their songs. You can mix the two in together, but also drop the pre-amp section completely when you need to go clean.

Best Bass Pre Amp

 

Pic by “Walter Kohn (Bass player of Sixtyfive Cadillac)” by Oliviero Di Lauro is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How To Choose The Ideal Pedal

There is no magic answer to this. Consider your bass playing situation and tailor your scenario to our pedals above. Within the five pedals we’ve chosen, we’ve factored in:

  • Brand
  • Versatility
  • Controls
  • Ease Of Use
  • Lastability
  • Value For Money
  • Lower Budget
  • Reliability

Conclusion: Our Verdict

After many years of using pre amps in many different bass playing scenarios, Steve ‘Stag’ Jones No.1 pick is The Ampeg SCR-DI!

This offering from Ampeg gives you the best bang for the buck in regards to value, general sound quality, and extra features. However ALL of these pedals are not going to let you down – check out pros and cons to make sure you get the pedal that suits you the best.

Reviewer’s Bio :

Best Bass Pre Amp

Steve “Stag” Jones is a semi-professional bass player currently living in Norwich, England, UK. He has played countless live gigs over his 25-year career providing ‘low end love’ to the best local bands and has extensive experience writing and recording bass lines for various artists in the recording studio. Steve holds a National Diploma in Jazz, Popular, and Commercial Music and is a big fan of Rickenbacker bass guitars, paired with TC Electronic and Ampeg amplification.

Fact: Steve was the only human in history to be born with a Rickenbacker bass in hand.

 

Best Bass Practice Amp: 5 Quality Bass Amps For Home/Garage & Small Venue

Best Bass Practice Amp

This is our review for the Best Bass Practice Amp for the home/garage/small venue bass player. 

After reviewing many top bass amps from all backgrounds, our No.1 recommendation is: The Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

As we’ve all got different rehearsal circumstances, We’ve included the best bass amp for all your ‘practice’ scenarios.

 

Let’s get going!

The 5 Best Bass Practice Amps We Loved 

1.Best Overall: The Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Fender is always a safe bet in my book. With its classic shiny silver front mesh and ivory buttons, it’s enough to get the Fender enthusiast excited.

 

2. Best Budget Amp: Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier

Blackstar gives you the choice to become totally portable with their tiny 3 Watt 3 inch speaker. It is a remarkable achievement to provide a ‘bass amp’ which is so compact and versatile.

3. Best For Added Effects: Fender Rumble LT-25

Simplicity is the key with the Fender Rumble LT-25. A supreme collection of the ‘greatest hits’ of Fender Tones. A high-quality selection of 20 onboard effects, including distortion, overdrive, compression, EQ, touch wah, modulation, reverb, delay, and octave.

4. Best Bedroom Amp :Hartke HD25 Bass Combo

The Hartke’s main attribute is its astonishing tone. That’s the first thing that jumps out and bites you. At 25 Watt you can get a nice rich and punchy sound unlike anything around this price range.

5. Best Tone :Ampeg BA-108v2

Ampeg provides you with everything you would need as a practicing musician. The Ampeg 8″ Custom speaker gives you plenty of high end without sacrificing any of the lows.

Best Bass Practice Amp Header

Full Review

Fender Rumble 15 Watt V3 Bass Combo

  • 15Watt
  • 8-inch Speaker
  • 3-Band EQ
  • Push-Button Contour And Overdrive Functions
  • Weight 5kg

Fender is always a safe bet in my book. With its classic shiny silver front mesh and ivory buttons, it’s enough to get the fender enthusiast excited.

The 15watt rumble is strictly for practice reasons only. If you’re going to be playing with a drummer, you’ll need to look at the 40W or 100W.

The cabinet is actually larger than I thought it would be at 4.96 inches wide, 14.96 inches tall, and 8 inches deep. The weight is light, 16 pounds. So this would be easy to take to a tutor on a regular occasion or stash under your bed after use.

With a rich, full-sounding bouncy tone this is ideal for the beginner. Fender builds their equipment with a high standard, so it’ll last you for decades to come. There isn’t an amp in the market for around this price with the tone the Fender gives you.

After all the extras and special effects added with other amps. I find the Fender Rumble a clear winner when it comes to basic sound and versatility. Value For Money!

The EQ is pretty basic, but what you’re guaranteed are the legendary fender clear tones and a lovely deep low end.

For such a low price the rest of the market cannot compete. Like I said before, Fenders are a safe bet that’ll last you a lifetime. So grab yourself the perfect practice amp.

 

Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier, Black (FLY3BASS)

  • 3Watt
  • 3″ speaker
  • Battery Powered (power supply included too)
  • On-board Compressor; Patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature)
  • Clean and Overdrive channels
  • Weight 0.9Kg

Blackstar gives you the choice to become totally portable with their tiny 3 Watt 3 inch speaker. It is a remarkable achievement to provide a ‘bass amp’ which is so compact and versatile.

A tasty little extra is the switchable gain control. This adjusts the level of preamp giving you some pretty beasty overdrive. The effects don’t stop there. You also get EQ control, a built-in compressor, sub-control (bass warmth). MP3/Line Input (handy if you want to play along to backing tracks etc).

Well built and a reputable seller, Blackstar produces great amps for guitar and bass all the way up the scale. Experienced players can also appreciate the satisfying tones and portability of this little gem.

This would suit the on the go bassist and complete beginner. If you’re heading out to see your tutor once a week, this is definitely worth thinking about. If you’ve got a low budget again this is for you. Perfect for the player who needs to practice quietly.

As far as playing with other people, I recommend it for home rehearsal and jam sessions with acoustic guitarists only.

Powered by 6 AA batteries, but my advice would be to get some rechargeable batts

 

Fender Rumble LT-25

  • 25Watt
  • Single 8” Bass Speaker
  • 1.8” Color Display
  • Stereo Headphone Output For Silent Practice
  • 10.4Kg

Simplicity is the key with the Fender Rumble LT-25. A supreme collection of the ‘greatest hits’ of Fender Tones. A high-quality selection of 20 onboard effects, including distortion, overdrive, compression, EQ, touch wah, modulation, reverb, delay, and octave.

50 Presets to enjoy at the touch of a button (20 hidden). So get creating and store them as you wish. You can cover all genres of music with this superb built-in feature. It doesn’t stop there, you also get 15 different amp type settings from vintage, all the way through to modern bass and preamp tones.

A super 5-star seller and a guaranteed robust quality build from one of the biggest players in the market. Surprisingly lightweight but robust enough to travel with.

For home use, i don’t think you’d ever need another amp. It’s also a good replacement for your music speakers. A very pro sound considering the price.

 

Hartke HD25 Bass Combo

  • 25Watt
  • 8-inch hybrid cone driver with a ceramic magnet
  • Built-in limiter
  • 11Kg

The Hartke’s main attribute is its astonishing tone. That’s the first thing that jumps out and bites you. At 25 Watt you can get a nice rich and punchy sound unlike anything around this price range.

The Hartke is also a great amp for anyone playing keys. Due to its superb midrange capabilities and clarity it has its multi uses. With 25 watts you’ll receive a sweeter crisper tone that can be pushed further than the 15Watt amps. Due to the speaker size being 8″ you’ll get an added low bass frequencies which all of us love right?

Hartke amps have always been built to last, the combo selection is no different. This isn’t to say they skip on design or sound. That’s not what they do.

The HD25 has a simple layout and enough guts to play small church performances or smaller room gigs. If I were torn between the 15 Watt and 25W, id definitely be going for the 25 as you’ve got so many more options when it comes to live shows. Just having that extra 10watts in the headroom is a major plus for me.

 

Ampeg BA-108v2 20-watt

  • 20W
  • 8″ Ampeg Custom8 speaker
  • 3-band EQ
  • 15dB pad on the input for use with active or high output sources
  • 60 Degree Monitor Angle
  • Weight: 10.6Kg

Ampeg provides you with everything you would need as a practicing musician. The Ampeg 8″ Custom speaker gives you plenty of high end without sacrificing any of the lows.

Shaped like a monitor, a 60-degree angle is a great design. Even though the amp is small you won’t need to place it on a table when rehearsing with others. Just place it on the floor pointing up at you. No other amp gives you this little but unique extra.

Aux level controls the input source level, so you can boost that backing track or play along with your fav song. That’s a nice touch to assist the beginner bassist.

The handy 15db switch is a quick convenience if you’re looking to not upset the neighbors. Unlike the rest of the market, the Eq is very responsive, just like the higher valued Ampeg bass amps. The controls are very basic but that’s not a bad thing if you want to plug in and just play.

Ampeg is a safe trustworthy brand. The BA-108v2 is a perfect companion for home practicing. Sturdy and built with quality in mind.

You’ll find it hard to find too many negative reviews about an Ampeg.

 

Your Questions Answered

Why Can’t I Buy A Cheap Bass Amp For Home Practicing?

Well, you can, but you’ll be missing out on a huge difference in tone, durability, and quality of the hardware. Cheap amps are in my opinion a bit of a waste of time if you want to take playing an instrument seriously.

More expensive practice amps are produced with home playing in mind and in some cases lighter and will last you a lifetime. The amps you get with a pack aren’t any good. It’s worth the difference in price buying yourself a decent one.

The old saying is, if you buy cheap, you buy twice.

What Watt Do I Require?

That all depends on ‘where’ you’re planning on rehearsing. Let’s look at the following factors:

5-15W

If you’re a ‘home player’, you possibly need to consider the size of the amp. Amplifiers that give you 5-15 watts are perfect for home use as you can turn them up (a little). They are light and small and can be tucked away after use.

15-30W

Again can be ok at home. You can gig with this size amp at smaller venues depending on what music you play. Amps this size can be turned down and still sound fantastic. They start to become a lot heavier around this size too.

30 Watts +

Live gigs, studio use, or busker. 20+ watts is probably best for you. To get a decent sound and volume out of a 30W amp is probably too much for a home setting. It’s not to say it’s not an ideal choice for home but it all depends on your practice area.

My choice would definitely be a 15-30W amp as you’ll be getting a nice warm bass tone at acceptable volumes.

Do I Need A Solid State or Tube Amp?

Both very good choices yet a decent tube amp will set you back more in cost. Solid State Amps are more than good enough for the practicing bass player. In fact, you’ll find a huge number of gigging bassists swear by Solid States.

It’s all a matter of personal taste really

How To Choose The Ideal Bass Amp For Practice 

Budget (Stretch It A Little!)

Go for the best amp your budget allows, if there is a better model $50-$100 more, try and stretch to that. It’ll be worth it in the long run. You get what you pay for in this industry.

Alternatively, do not go too much lower than your budget. There is a reason why some amps are cheap and have mediocre reviews. Why pay a pretty penny for a brand new Rickenbacker 4003 and plug it into a crap amp. Please don’t do that! 😉

Speaker

An 8-inch speaker is ideal for a quieter home environment. 10-15 inch speakers for larger practice areas and some smaller gigs. If you need to cut through a band mix, go for 15”.  

Tone Controls

Most amps out there will have the standard gain control, volume, and 3 band EQ. With this, you can find your basic sound to suit your music. As you go up the cost scale you’ll get added extras which are nice but not essential. 

Amp Drive, compression, sub and enhance are extras that you may ‘need’ when playing in a band situation. Ie. A metal band you may want some drive or in a funk outfit, you may fancy compression when spanking those strings. 

Weight/Ease Of Use

Consider whether you’re going to be moving your amp. Are you going to be playing shows? Then get yourself a bass stack. If you’re only going to be playing from home then it doesn’t matter how heavy your combo is. (..and they are heavy!)

Warranty

It kinda goes without saying. Warranty from amplifiers usually covers from around 1 year to 5 years. The last thing you want is faulty wires or circuit boards rattling when you’re trying to play. Keep your eye out for a decent amount of warranty. After all electrical products need to be safe. So cover yourself for as long as possible. 

Don’t Forget Your Essential Extras:

 

Combo Vs Stack

Best Bass Practice Amp
Combo Bass Amp

Combo Amp

  • You’re getting a speaker and amplifier all in one, which works out cheaper than buying them separately (as you would a Bass Stack). This is definitely a major plus when considering getting ‘Value for Money’. 
  • Designed to stay in one place. Generally the best choice for home use. 
  • Ease of use: Plugin and play! No getting the head out and plugging cables around the back every time you want to rehearse. 
  • They’re heavy! Although you can gig with the combo after around 5 shows you may be sick of carrying it. Combos are big wide and bulky units. Lugging this to every show and home is not great if you value your spine. 
If you really don’t like your neighbours, heres a Bass Stack!

Bass Stack 

  • Are more for the regular gigging bassist. The head and cab can be carried separately saving a lot of effort. 
  • You can swop your cabinet over depending on the size of your live show or a certain tone you like. You can’t do this as much with a combo. 
  • Smaller and Lighter
  • Costs more, but they do more

Conclusion: Our Verdict

There isn’t an individual solution. Everybody requires different equipment. So spending a bit of time researching and discovering what suits you is best practice. Look at your playing scenario, your budget, and your musical tastes. 

Read through the information above and go with what is best for you. If you choose to go with a bass stack, you have the flexibility to choose and swap out the head and cabinet to your liking. This is great when trying to achieve a variety of different tones or you’re about to play a big venue. 

Alternatively, a combo amp is more convenient and possibly suits the home/garage bassist. The only downside maybe is a lack of versatility if you’re not loving a certain tone or lack of volume. 

Our clear winner is The Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier. Simply because it’s so versatile and reliable.