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

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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

Check Price On Amazon


 

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″

Check Price On Amazon


 

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:

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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, Dreadnought vs Concert

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 Guitar: 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 Acoustic 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 Acoustic 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 Guitar

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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″

 

We can also help you with:

 

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

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.

 

 

10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care: The Best Ways To Maintain Your Guitar:

Guitar Care Header

If you’re worth your salt as a guitarist. You should be on the ball when it comes to guitar care.

Guitars are made from the finest premium woods and materials. They are set up with patience and a high level of skilled precision.

If you look after your guitar, it will look after you.

I’ve been playing guitars for over 25 years, here are 10 Essential Tips to use to look after your prized possession. 

10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care :

1. Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes

Sudden changes to a guitar’s temperature can play havoc with it. Wood expands and contracts, this could lead to neck warping or worse, permanent damage. 

A gradual change in climate is the answer, as wood can adapt to the temperature slowly. 

Storing a guitar at room temperature is a safe bet. Keep guitars out of the sun and very cold conditions. It goes without saying. 

2. Care For Your Fingerboard

Unlike the rest of the guitar, rosewood fretboards do not require sealing. This is because the wood’s oils and hardness naturally withstand wear and decay.  Most other fretboards are sealed but dry out after a while. They’re susceptible to getting absolutely filthy and showing signs of age. Although you may think this is a cool effect, it won’t be a cool sound!

It’s best practice to get yourself a conditioning product (which is specific to your model of guitar). The better conditioners will also help to clean the dirt away and hydrate your fretboard. 

Tip: Slide your hand up and down the side of your fretboard, are your frets sharp? They shouldn’t be. Sharp frets break strings! Enough said. 

3. Pay A Professional To Set Up Your Guitar

Fixing your guitar by yourself is the most popular way to cause a bigger problem. The Importance of maintaining the correct action is crucial to the life of a guitar.  

Guitar wood is organic. It changes shape and density as it grows; with age. It bends and changes in very small ways. A good guitar doctor will be aware of this and put it right for a very low price. 

Every single guitar I’ve ever purchased, new or used, I’ve taken straight to a guitar tech to set up. It’s worth every penny. 

Tip: New guitars don’t come set up properly from a store (unless a tech has done it as part of the sale). 

I needed an excuse to show off the Gibson ES. Immaculate!

4. Keep An Eye On Your Nut

Creaky strings and string snapping are a sure-fire way to tell you your nut needs replacing. Unwound strings can dig and cut deep into the nut slot. This causes open strings to buzz and your guitar to sound slightly out of tune. That’s not a good sound! 

Nuts cost next to nothing but generally, it’ll last for years. Just keep an eye out with a close inspection. 

Unless you’ve been taught by a guitar technician, any alteration to a nut or nut replacement is a job for a pro

5. Buy A Hard Case (your guitar deserves it)

Soft cases don’t do anything apart from keeping dust off. Why buy a lovely new guitar with your hard-earned savings, then protect it with a soft material case? 

A good strong hard case will protect your instrument at all costs. It’s great for home storage, the live guitarist on the road, or a traveling musician by plane or train. When you buy your first good hard case, you won’t ever need another one. 

Tip: Losen your strings before air travel. The pressure in the cabin and temperature change can cause all sorts of trouble for your guitar. A broken guitar neck is worse than a broken heart! Fact. 

6. Replace Your Strings

When do I change my strings?  This would depend on what type of player you are. 

As a rule of thumb If you play nearly every day, I would say renew them every 6-8 weeks. As a gigging guitarist, I would change my strings after 3 shows and 3 rehearsals. This all depends on what strings you use too. The longer-lasting strings these days are awesome. I now play at home every so often, so I get new strings every 3 months. 

It’s really all down to your scenario. You can always tell when your strings have had enough. They sound so lifeless and dull. 

Changing strings is a no brainer, it gives you a chance to clean your guitar and revitalize your sound. Keeping it fresh and interesting. This also helps beginners. Wanting to play a nice sounding guitar will make you want to practice more regularly. 

Tip: A luthier once told me, every time you change your strings, you should draw with a pencil between the nut slots. Pencil lead contains graphite and is great for a dry lubricant and helps clean within the slots. 

7. Keep It Clean

After a session playing low down and dirty funk, your guitar will require cleaning (your soul too).

Although cleaning isn’t a science, you still need to use the correct products. Here are some quick dos and dont’s :

  • Dust and Polish: Don’t spray directly onto the guitar, straight onto the cloth
  • No Moisture: Do not use water. Specialized oils, sprays, and conditioners only
  • Pick Up Clean: Pick Ups need a clean because they can get bunged up with all sorts of rubbish
  • Wipe your strings after every session. This helps prolong the life of your strings
  • Check your guitar finish before spraying anything on the body

8. Use The Correct Tools

This is overlooked, but very important. Not only can you damage screws, your guitars finish, or the fretboard. You could scar your axe for life by using the wrong tools. Get yourself the proper rag, Allen keys, spray, and oils. Spend a little while researching what’s best for your guitar and its finish. 

You can build up a handy little collection of guitar tools over time, and if they’re any good, they’ll last you forever. 

It’s the same in any walk of life, use the correct equipment for the job. 

As you move forward caring for your guitar, you’ll become more and more confident. You may then want to start learning about how to make slight adjustments to the neck, nut, and bridge.

To do this, here are the basics for any guitarists tool kit:

Remember: The following tools may vary depending on your guitar make and model (sprays etc). Check your manufacturer’s manual. 

BASIC TOOL KIT

  • A (decent) Tuner!
  • Truss Rod Allen Keys/Hex Keys/Philips Screwdriver
  • A Luthiers Metal Ruler With The Correct Increments (64ths, 32nds)
  • String Winder
  • Cutters
  • Nut File Set (Check Your String Size)
  • Rags (Microfibre, Lint Free)
  • Guitar Body Cleaner (Depending On Your Finish)
  • Contact Cleaner
  • Toothbrush For Fret Cleaning (Soft)
  • Sand Paper For ‘Minor’ Repairs (Grit; 220, 400, 600, 1000) 
  • FretBoard Oil and Conditioner (Lemon Oil is great)
  • A Manual, For Your Make And Model Guitar. Download it!

Handy Extras

  • Digital Hygrometer
  • De-Humidifier
  • Humidifier
  • Soldiering Station With A Magnifying Glass

Basic Guitar Tool Kit’ picture by TT ZOP

9. Do Not Learn Your Guitar Against A Wall

The number of times I’ve seen guitars left balanced against a wall! It horrifies me. Although a lot of guitarists don’t think it’s an issue, it really is. 

Leaning your guitar against a wall puts stress and tension on the neck and strings. This inevitably results in a minor neck bend or worse, a warped neck.

The most dangerous factor is the guitar isn’t being supported. It can easily tip or slip over, resulting in an expensive visit to the guitar tech.

Get Yourself A Guitar Stand

A decent guitar stand costs $15! It will save your $3000 vintage guitar from snapping on the hard floor. Crazy I know!

Check out Authority Guitar ‘Best Guitar Stand 2021: The Essential Buyers Guide’

10. Give Your Guitar The ‘Once Over’

A lot of the time your fret buzz could actually be something ridiculously easy to fix.

I had a buzz recently on my electric guitar and I couldn’t find it. It was so irritating. In the end, it was a loose screw in my scratchplate! 

Imagine paying a guitar technician $50 and he hands it back telling you it was a loose screw!!

Years ago I had an acoustic, the b string kept going out of tune. There is nothing more frustrating than tuning 10 times a day. After spending weeks thinking I had a warped neck, I later discovered one of the tuning pegs to be very slightly loose. This is enough to cause tuning havoc. 

Every time you change your strings, work your way around all the hardware and give it a gentle prod or wiggle. There are hundreds of factors that go into making a guitar sound great. Give yourself 5 minutes and have a quick look around to see if everything is as it should be. 

Tip: A luthier once taught me to hold a guitar to eye level and slowly turn it 360 degrees, checking every little nook and cranny. Check the hardware, look down the neck from the base (bridge end) of the guitar. Is the neck straight? 

Simple, but effective ways to check your guitar over. Try to give it the ‘once over’ every time you change strings.

Conclusion

I hope you found my ‘Essential Tips For Guitar Care’ helpful. It’s an easy way to start looking after your instrument. If you still feel you have an issue with the guitar, it’s always a very good idea to hand it over to a professional.

Happy Playing

Guitar Maintenance

The Fender CD 60SCE Electro/Acoustic Guitar Review

This is our review of the very popular Fender CD 60SCE Electro/Acoustic Guitar.

I’m a guitarist of twenty-five years, I’ve played hundreds of guitars. Good and Bad! I’ve done all the hard work to assist you in finding an excellent guitar to start your journey.

I’m taking an in-depth look at the big seller: The Fender CD 60SCE Acoustic Guitar. An excellent and affordable acoustic made by a huge, trustworthy leader in the industry.   

I’ve taken into consideration the cost and player requirements when starting out. What makes this acoustic guitar so popular? What makes the CD 60SCE better than its competition?

fender-cd-60s

Although you may think Fender is better known for their classic range of electric guitars. The Fender CD 60S series also goes quietly about its business as a huge seller for Fender. The Fender CD60 is basically the same as the CD60SCE, only the SCE can be amplified with a built-in pre-amp. I chose the electric/acoustic over the standard acoustic as it has a built-in tuner, a preamp for the possibility of playing through an amp or P.A. As the difference in price wasn’t a lot I personally felt the CD60SCE was a better all-round guitar with these extra features.

A perfect entry guitar for those wanting to learn quickly, plus with a price tag that’s affordable. 

The CD 60 Acoustic series gives you, the player, a comfortable route forward into learning without the hassle of cheap and nasty alternatives. 

The lightweight dreadnought style sits comfortably in your lap. The ‘Vintage Style Frets’ is great for a beginner, as they’re wide and spacious. With a soft touch mahogany fretboard, this really does give the player a strong element of comfort. 

No other manufacturer can compete with the build quality and spec at this price. In fact, you would end up paying a lot more for a guitar made as well as the Fender CD 60S series. It’s also an electro-acoustic which is another huge bonus at this price.

There is a reason why this series of acoustic guitar is so popular. 

First Impressions: The Action 

When I got to play a CD 60SCE, my initial feeling was: the action has been set up properly to play!

The action is the distance between the fretboard and the string, which determines how easy or difficult it is to put pressure on the strings and make a sound. 

Although my comments may sound ridiculous at first, not all guitars come ready to play. In fact, hardly any suit me at all. 

Some guitars take a lot of tweaking and tightening up in various places in order for you to start playing. Even a visit to the local guitar tech for set up is in order. Not so The Fender CD 60SCE. It comes ready to strum. I was quietly surprised by this. Well done Fender!

At this point, it’s fair to say The Action is a very, very important factor.

The Feel

It’s irrelevant if you’ve just paid $3500 for a lovely new acoustic. If it’s not been set up properly, you won’t be able to play it. If the setup doesn’t suit your playing style or finger strength, then you’ll be trying twice as hard to make a guitar sound like you want it to.   

My first thoughts were: It was soft on the fingertips, the ‘C’ shape neck and low action make it comfortable, and built with ease of use in mind. 

Now, comfort is a major factor you should take into consideration. If you’re just starting out, the last thing you need is a guitar that’s hard to play as the set up is a mess. 

If the action is too high, your fingers and wrist will take a lot of punishment pressing down harder than if the guitar was set up properly. In the early stages of learning, you require your instrument to be ready every time you pick it up.

Build

Some lower-end acoustics around this price doesn’t always give you the build quality, like a Fender. Hence why they’re probably the most famous guitar manufacturer in history. 

As the build specifications are taken from the real Fender classic acoustics, you’re getting the professionalism and workmanship of the more expensive Fender models. 

In my opinion, my first thought was that I really liked the setup and all-round comfort value of the CD 60SCE. 

Our Top Tip: Get yourself a decent set of strings when you purchase your new guitar. Here’s an ideal set we’ve found work for us:

Tone

As the CD60SE is a dreadnought style acoustic, it gives you a nice midrange scoop. This is why this particular model is very popular with vocalists. The vocals also sit in the midrange. 

The fat, bold low end is ideal for powerful bar chords and riffs. It’s not overpowering and ‘boomy’ like its cousin the Jumbo style acoustic. When using a pick you can really get some snappy clarity. 

Dreadnoughts are generally quite a big boxy shape, which, in my opinion, is more comfortable than a jumbo or baritone acoustic. They give the player a larger resonant sound, compared to a classical or parlor guitar. A superb choice if you love strumming big open chords. 

The large dreadnought shape sits back into your body giving you somewhere to lean whilst playing. After all, comfort is key when playing any instrument. 

Value For Money?

There is no acoustic guitar that compares within this price range, and the amount of quality on show. Although I wouldn’t be expecting a top of the range beautiful, crisp sounding acoustic to record an album with or perform at your local football stadium. You’re simply guaranteed a well made excellent guitar to begin your musical journey with.  

The Fender CD60SCE is a perfect entry guitar or a great option for an experienced player with a lower budget. 

The CD60SCE comes in a plain Natural color and black (also full mahogany but costs a lot more). Nothing strikingly beautiful here but still good enough to show off in front of your friends and family. 

The Dreadnought is also the most versatile of shapes when it comes to the different styles of playing. It suits the flatpicker, strummer, chord master or the lead guitarist. It’s the all-round workhorse. 

Our Top Tip: If you are considering this guitar for a child, we have a very helpful article to assist you in purchasing the correct size guitar for your child. There’s more to it than you may think. 

Check out our guide here: https://authorityguitar.com/best-kids-guitar-find-the-right-guitar/

Complete Build Specifications

Fender CD-60SCE

Body

Top Material:Spruce Wood
Body:Spruce, Mahogany
Body Finish:Gloss
Back & Sides:Mahogany Wood
Shape:Dreadnought
Body Binding Multiple:(Laminate)
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”

Neck

Neck:Mahogany
Fretboard:Mahogany
Fretboard Edges:Easy to Play ‘Fender’ Rolled Fret Edges
Fingerboard Radius:12 Inches (305mm)
Fingerboard Material:Walnut
Scale Length:25.3 Inches (643mm)
Strings:6
Neck Finish:Gloss Urethane
Nut Width:1.69 Inches (43mm)
Nut Material:Plastic
Number Of Frets:20

Hardware and Electronics

Bridge:Walnut
Bridge Pins:White with Black Dot
Hardware Finish:Chrome
Tuning Machines:Chrome Die-Cast
Pickguard:1 Ply Black
Special Electronics:Fishman® CD Preamp

Anatomy Of An Acoustic Guitar

Note: This Guitar is not the Fender CD-60S

Alternatives

If you’re looking for an acoustic with similar attributes to the Fender CD-60 series of acoustics, we have reviewed some for you. Take a look:

Ibanez AW54 Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic/Electric Guitar – Open Pore Natural

Ibanez produces good acoustics. They’ve been at it a very long time too.

Nowadays they are one of the leaders in the market for entry-level guitars. They have a huge range of electric and acoustic. 

The AW54 Dreadnought is beautiful and will fulfill your needs if you steer away from the Fender option. 

Washburn Harvest Series Acoustic Guitar, Matte Cherry Burst

Once again, Washburn makes some pretty tasty guitars, especially higher up the budget scale. 

Some guitar techs swear by Washburn as they’re built very very well. Definitely value for money here. You won’t be disappointed.

Great sounding and sturdy acoustics. 

If you have a little more budget to play with, we strongly recommend:

Takamine GF30CE-BSB FXC Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Sunburst

Takamine guitars are both beautiful to look at and rich in sound. If you can stretch your budget to the GF30CE, they are an instrument that can take you from beginner to a serious guitarist.

They have the power and elegance to perform live but you are paying a bit more for that privilege. 

I had a Takamine for 11 years, a real reliable guitar brand. 

Best Guitar Stand 2021: The Essential Buyers Guide

Best Guitar Stand Buyers Guide Heading

It’s important to know what is the Best Guitar Stand for you and your situation. They have multi-uses and they come in many shapes, sizes, and prices.

It might be something you overlook as a guitarist but don’t. They keep your guitar safe.

Look no further, we’ve done all the research for you. Read on to see our suggestions for buying the correct guitar stand for your instrument.

At A Glance: Best 6 Guitar Stands

Types Of Guitar Stand

A-Frame

The A-Frame is probably the most popular stand. Very good for all stringed instruments. Great for the everyday musician. Safe and very low priced.

Tripod/Tubular Stand

The Tubular stand is a very safe way to keep your guitar. Your guitar won’t tip in one of these. It also has a locking bar that goes in front of your fretboard. This stops your guitar from popping out.

Multi-Guitar Stands

Perfect for live musicians or home players who play various guitars a lot. This Multi-Stand design hangs the guitars similar to a wall hanger.

Once again there are locking bars to ensure the instruments stay in the hanging position safely. Some of the Multi-Stands twist around so you can choose your weapon without having to walk around the stand every time.

Guitar Rack

Guitar Racks are great for studio, live use, and home use. Very sturdy and if built to a high standard should not move at all.

This design obviously takes up more room but can hold up to seven-stringed instruments.

Walk-Up Stand

Walk Up stands are used mainly on stage or tutorial videos on youtube etc.

Tutors or performers attach the guitar at a certain angle that is comfortable for them, then set up the camera to record. This way the guitar never moves. So no knee sliding when the guitar is attached to this stand!

Premium Stands

Top of the range guitar stands are longer-lasting, foldable, and made of better materials. The overall cost is a little more than your standard guitar stand, but worth it if you’re hoping to keep a 60-year-old guitar safe on it.

 

But Do I Need A Guitar Stand?

You may be thinking it’s an extra cost and do I really need one? In a word ‘Yes’, you do.

There are various types of guitar stand. A-Frame, Rack, Multi-Stand, Tripod, Walk-Up, and Premium Stands.  They all serve different purposes, which we will get to further into the article.

For now, let’s look at the main factors why you need a Guitar Stand:

1. Protection

The most important reason. 

You should never leave your guitar lying down, whether it’s in its case or not. If a guitar case is stepped on, you still run the risk of snapping it. It’ll never be the same after that. I know this because I’ve done it ………/:

After practicing, the guitar should be left in an upright position or on the bottom edge of the guitar. 

You should never lean your guitar up against a wall for long periods. The neck will bend and the guitar will end up unplayable.

Having a sturdy guitar stand keeps the guitar safe and in view. This is also handy for gigging conditions. Most live guitarists have a secondary guitar in case they break a string. They sometimes use another guitar for alternative tuning. 

Any good guitar stand will hold your guitar tightly upright. A decent guitar stand will have quality padding to preserve the finish on your guitar. 

2. Creative Environment

The more energy it takes you to turn the TV off, find a pick, the less likely you are to do it. Keep your guitar on a stand next to the TV or in a place you can see it. This will always keep the guitar within sight and within mind. I still use this tactic to this day. It’s a healthy daily reminder to pick your guitar up and play it. This is the number one way to learn your instrument. 

We’ve written a really helpful article on this how to create good habits, take a read: 

https://authorityguitar.com/fascinating-benefits-of-playing-guitar/

3. Display

Who doesn’t like showing off their beautiful shiny electric guitar? Some acoustics are absolutely stunning and add a decorative element to your home. Just remember to keep the guitars away from direct sunlight. We don’t want any melting or bending. Unless its ‘face-melting solos’ or massive ‘Hendrix style string bending’

Best Guitar Stand
Acoustic Vs Electric, What are you choosing?
Check our article on the debate that’ll never end

What Suits You Best: Our Essential Buying Advice

As guitar stands come in several shapes and sizes, we need to whittle down what you need the stand for. Read on to see which situations suit you the best.

Will You Be Gigging Or Frequently Taking Your Guitar Out To Lessons?

If you’re going to be on the road, you’re going to need to fold it away. The stand needs to be sturdy. Purchasing a cheap stand would only fall to bits in a very short time.

Having your guitar slip off the stand onto your bedroom carpet is one thing, but on a hard stage floor or concrete could be fatal. 

Most music shops stand their guitars on A-Frame and hanging stands. This is because they ensure a high level of safety and preserve the guitar’s finish. There are various types of stand to consider for both guitar, bass, and acoustic guitar. 

Are You Buying For An Electric Guitar, Acoustic or Bass?

A lot of today’s stands cover both acoustic and electric categories. The Bass guitar has a slightly different design also. 

Generally ‘most’ guitar stands are universal.  But, if I had an expensive guitar, I’d definitely be looking into the correct stand that fits my instrument like a glove. 

Safeguard your guitar from falling at all costs. It goes without saying.

When Is A Good Time to Buy a Rack?

A rack would suit the gigging musician or band scenario. Some home guitarists like to display their guitars on a rack at home. This is sometimes great when you have various guitars in different tunings. If you’re working in a studio or record at home, it may be useful to have all your instruments out and ready on a rack.

Authority Guitar Top Tip

It doesn’t cost a lot for a ‘good’ solid guitar stand. It’s worth every penny.  Buying cheap normally results in buying twice! (or paying a technician to fix your broken guitar)

Conclusion: The Best Guitar Stand

I hope you’ve found our 6 best guitar stands of some use. We’ve covered every scenario and given you our favorites. At the end of the day, each stand does exactly the same thing. But it all comes down to how much you really want to protect your instrument.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping