Pedalboard Amps 101: The Basics of Choosing the Right Amplifier for Your Effects

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When it comes to amplifying your setup on stage, choosing the right pedalboard amps can make all the difference. With a seemingly endless selection of amps available, it’s often difficult to know which amplifier best suits your sound-producing needs.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the basics regarding selecting pedalboard amps — from size requirements and wattage capabilities; to power output options, controls for effects and tone shaping, and much more! Read ahead for the beginner’s guide on understanding how to choose an amplifier that will properly fit and function with your existing gear setup.

Consider the Power Output

When it comes to choosing the right amp for your pedalboard, you’ll want to consider the power output. Wattage capabilities vary depending on size and type of amp — most amps range from 5 watts to 300 watts or more. Typically, a bigger wattage means more volume; thus, a more powerful amp is recommended if you plan on playing at large venues. For smaller gigs or practice spaces, lower wattage amps will suffice.

Additionally, you’ll want to look into the power output options provided by the amplifier model. Many amps offer both solid-state and tube configurations, each offering its own distinct sound characteristics.

Investigate the Types of Amps Available

It’s essential to investigate the types of amps available. Tube amps and solid-state amps are the two most used amp types for pedalboards. Warm, organic tone and dynamic responsiveness are hallmarks of tube amplifiers. They’re favoured by guitarists who want an organic sound that responds well to different picking styles and subtle nuances in their playing.

Contrarily, solid-state amps are famous for their purity and unadulterated sound. They’re often chosen by musicians who require a consistent tone that won’t fluctuate with different playing styles or venues. Furthermore, many solid-state amps come equipped with built-in effects like chorus, delay, and reverb that can further shape your pedalboard’s tone.

Think About Your Power Needs

It’s important to consider your power needs in order to choose the right amplifier for you. Think about the venues you plan to play and what type of sound you’re looking to achieve — different-sized amps have different wattage capabilities and will provide better performance for certain applications. Consider whether an amp with built-in effects is necessary or if you would prefer an amp that can be paired with external effects pedals.

Look at the Features Offered

Some key features to consider include the type and number of channels, wattage, effects loop, and speaker compatibility. Channels determine the number of distinct sounds you can achieve, and different wattage options are ideal for different settings, such as small venues or large stages. An effects loop is also necessary for incorporating pedals into your rig, and speaker compatibility can affect your sound’s overall tone and clarity.

By carefully considering the features offered in different amplifier models, you can make an informed decision that best suits your specific needs and preferences.

Consider Tone and Quality

When selecting a pedalboard amp, tone and quality must be considered. Don’t just settle for price alone; make sure the sound produced by the unit meets your setup requirements. While expensive may not always be better, be sure to invest in something that provides you with sound you’ll be satisfied with.


Finding the ideal amplifier for your needs and preferences can be daunting, but it is essential. Consider what type of music you plan to play, research different amp types available, consider power requirements, features offered, and tone and quality expectations – these will all help ensure you find an ideal amplifier to complement your pedalboard setup.