An acoustic guitar does not generally require to be plugged in due to its acoustic resonator, but what happens when you need it to sound louder?
If you play electric guitar too you may have an amp at home.
You may wonder if using that equipment is a good idea or not.
Should you get an acoustic guitar amp or can you use the one from your electric guitar?
Well, let me help with this overwhelming situation.
You can plug an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar amp with no problem. Of course, the tone won’t be the purest but you won’t experience any major inconvenience.
Many doubts might come to your mind but don’t worry, we are going to help you. If you are not fond of this topic
I will try to guide you through this article and in the end, you will know everything you need about plugging an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar amp.
Is it ok using an electric guitar amp for acoustic?
If you find yourself in a situation in which your acoustic guitar needs to sound louder, you can plug it in the same amp you use your electric guitar.
People do that all the time, you can do it for sure.
This is a possible solution because both instruments share exactly the same frequency range.
Furthermore, feel free to use your electric guitar amp to amplify your acoustic guitar.
Hey, you can throw in some effect pedals into the mix too if you feel in the mood!
Just be wary of distortion and overdrive, acoustics are very prone to feedback.
Are electric and acoustic guitar amps the same?
Although you can use the amp in which you use your Stratocaster, you must know that electric and acoustic amps are different.
Acoustic guitar amps are similar to full-range flat-response speakers or PA systems.
That means that acoustic amps are designed to amplify a clean, pure, transparent signal.
This kind of gear provides a high amount of headroom which is great to have a better clean tone intended for acoustic pieces.
The main difference with electric amps resides in the tone.
Acoustic amplifiers provide a flatter and high-end tone due to the tweeters found in them.
In contrast, electric guitar amps amplify the signal providing more gain, volume, and effects that influence the overall tone.
Since the features recently mentioned, this type of gear has a particular voicing, focused on the mid-range tones, that is unique to it, and that helps to create that classic electric guitar sound we all love.
Can you damage an electric guitar amp if you use it with an acoustic?
As electric and acoustic guitars feature the same input, you will be able to plug an acoustic into an electric guitar amp.
You may think that would be harmful to the equipment but this is not the case.
Electric guitar amplifiers are fine with acoustic guitars signal so it is very unlikely to damage them.
Perhaps if the preamp in the acoustic guitar sends an excessive bass signal and the gear is at high volume, it may produce rattling or even affect the speaker.
However, that situation is quite unlikely to occur.
Remember that as we previously stated, both sorts of guitars, acoustic and electric, share the same frequency range so, although electric guitar amps are supposed to be for electric guitars, you can use an acoustic one without any danger.
Can you damage an acoustic guitar by plugging it into an electric guitar amp?
Since the acoustic guitar is the one that outputs a signal, it will be impossible to damage it by plugging it in an electric guitar amp.
This means that the signal runs from the guitar to the equipment and nothing comes back to it, so there won’t be any danger, either.
Will an acoustic guitar sound ok with an electric guitar amp?
As we mentioned before, the most noticeable aspect of amps is the tone they provide.
Thus, if you plug an acoustic guitar in an electric guitar amp it will sound pretty different from the natural sound expected in an acoustic piece.
In addition, as the guitar’s body works like a big resonator, you will be dealing with vibrations coming out of the amplifier.
Those vibrations could result in certain frequencies to cause feedback.
Every amp is different so depending on the equipment you may get some decent tones but your guitar may sound very thin or small with a poor mid-range tone.
What you can do to avoid this is add a soundhole cover to your guitar.
Can you use an electric guitar amp’s distortion on an acoustic guitar?
In the world of music, there are no rules so nobody can tell you what you can or cannot do.
If you want to use an electric guitar amp’s distortion on an acoustic guitar you can definitely do it but let me tell you that you need to know some relevant issues.
Remember that the body is a resonator so distortion in acoustic guitar will be really noisy and prone to awful feedback.
Having said that, another aspect to bear in mind is the variations that solid-state and tube amps provide.
Solid-state amps may work better with acoustic pieces due to this kind of instrument needing to sound as clean as possible.
By using these amplifiers you can have better control of the tone because of the headroom they provide.
Contrarily, tube amps might ruin your tone because they tend to add a crispy sound when cranking them up.
In this case, the added crunch will be higher than the one presented in solid-state amps and may produce problems in your tone.
Needless to say, try both options and come up with your own conclusions.
Some players state that they prefer the tone of tube amps itself or even combined with a distortion pedal.
Are there any other drawbacks of using an electric guitar amp for acoustic?
Apart from the unnatural mid-range tone, the low end could be also affected.
The low range could provide an excessive amount of feedback harmful to your tone.
One major disadvantage is that if you are looking for the purest acoustic sound, you won’t get it by using an electric guitar amplifier.
As we already discussed, acoustic amps are intended to give that required extra oomph, something unreachable with its counterpart.
Another problem that could come up is regarding eq’s setting.
Adjusting the equalizer might give you a clean, consistent tone but you do need to know how to do it, in another way, you can get an unwanted distorted sound.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.