How to Buy Good Value Integrated Amplifiers Online

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How to Buy Good Value Integrated Amplifiers Online

Amplifiers are used by guitar players and other musicians to increase the volume of their instrument by transmitting the sound through speakers. What amp to purchase is an important decision to make because it determines the sound quality and volume of the music. Amplifiers all have different tones so they should be chosen based on how the player wants his music to sound. For example, a larger amp with big speakers focus more on the low frequencies, while smaller speakers focus on the higher ones. How the amp is built also affects the sound quality, as well as the components used, so there are many things to take into consideration before selecting one.

Integrated amplifiers, also called combo amps, make life easier on musicians because they combine the amp and the speakers into one unit. This gives players fewer items to carry around and eliminates some of the setting up process. Saving storage space can also be a big deal, because all of the equipment a musician needs can add up quickly.

There are many decisions to make when shopping for a quality amplifier that is also affordable. The following sections help buyers get through the process of selecting a combo amp by educating them on their different choices and showing them what ways they can cut costs.

History of Amplifiers

The first amplifiers were not built for guitars. Instead, they were designed in the 1930s to amplify electricity and assist with power supply. It was not until the 1940s that amplifiers were invented for guitars. They were instantly popular but unfortunately produced low quality sound. Their low amperage and inadequate loudspeakers gave off poor treble and bass output. The first 100 watt amplifier was introduced in the 1960 that was capable of producing clearer tones. With the 1960s came the ability to use distortion techniques to alter the sounds that the amps produced. Since then it has become possible to create nearly any sound that the guitarist wishes.

Finding the Best Integrated Amplifier Deals

When bargain shopping, the first step is to figure out exactly what to get, down to the last detail. This prevents shoppers from ending up with something they are not fully satisfied just because the price was right. Once shoppers know what they want, it is easier to locate as many of them as possible and then compare the prices, rather than just comparing price tags on multiple items that have different features.

Select The Type of Integrated Amplifier

Integrated amps come in four different versions: Solid-state, tube, modelling, and hybrids. They differ in the type of sounds they produce so it is important to choose the one that is closest to the type of music that the player wants to produce.

Type of Integrated Amplifier


Hybrid Amps

Hybrid amps combine each type of amp into one to create the best overall sound. They have transistors that provide the power yet they have a tube-driven preamp. These have a better tone than the solid-state amps do at a lower cost

Modelling Amps

Modelling amps are purely digital and use software to obtain the old-fashioned sound of the tube amps. Since they are digital, they can be programmed to achieve many different sounds including various sound effects. These are higher priced

Solid-State Amps

Solid-state amps use transistors instead of the old vacuum tubes for their preamps. They are considered to have a clean sound and are reliable. Their sound quality is not as good as the tube amps, but they are more affordable because vacuum tubes are scared and expensive

Tube Amps

These amplifiers have a more pure, organic sound. They can generally be louder on less wattage than other amps. Unfortunately, vacuum tubes are expensive and they do deteriorate over time

With each of these amplifiers, look at the number of watts it can produce. This helps determine maximum sustained output and how loud the amp can get. For example, a solid-state amp can produce over 500 watts per channel.

Choose the Size of the Integrated Amplifier

Combo amplifiers are easy to use because of their single unit configuration. However, like other amp speakers, they also come in different sizes and have specific capabilities.

Integrated Amplifier Size



Small, portable, and only use 1 to 10 watts of power

Ideal for areas where only low volumes are needed, such as in the home

Practice Amps

Use 10 to 30 watts and are the loudest devices that are still portable

The sound does not carry far and an extra speaker is required for those who want a larger audience to hear them

Full Size Amps

One 12-inch speaker and deliver up to 50 watts

These are the smallest amps that are still capable of delivering good performances with professional quality

Double Full Size Amp

Consist of two 12-inch speakers

Extra speakers make a big difference in the levels of sound output and makes it ideal for larger performances

They are large and heavy to transport

Some performers find that it is easiest to have two different sizes. This way they can practice in their room with a microamp and use the large one for performances since they are difficult to carry around.

The Size of the Integrated Amplifier Speakers

In answer to the question that many people automatically have, the size of the speakers do make a difference. Smaller speakers such as the 10 inch ones deliver higher frequencies while the larger ones deliver the bass tones better. Those who need high volume but the sound of the small speakers have to get a 4 x 10 amp which has four 10 inch speakers.

Consider the Construction of the Integrated Amplifier

The materials that the cabinet is made with makes a difference in the sound that the speakers produce. The thin materials that often come on less expensive amps vibrate from the speakers and distort the sound. The casing should be at least 1.27 cm to eliminate the vibration. Also consider whether or not the amp is closed-back or open backed. The closed amps tend to offer the best bass.

Where to Shop for Integrated Amplifiers

After choosing what kind of amplifier to shop for, buyers then have to figure out where to look. This is the part that is easier said than done in most cases. There are so many varieties of amps that shops cannot possibly stock them all. It also becomes increasingly difficult going from shop to shop just to compare their prices. In addition to this, only speciality music shops have the amplifiers and they usually mark up the prices in order to keep their doors open.

The best way to avoid this hassle is to go to websites like eBay and search for the specific amplifier. There are hundreds of amps to compare prices on and it can all be done in a matter of a few minutes. The only downfall to purchasing amps online is that the postage may be expensive due to their heavy weight. However, these days a lot of sellers offer free shipping to sweeten the deal.

Find Integrated Amplifiers on eBay

Rather than wasting your time trying to haggle the prices down at the music shop, head over to the eBay website and see what deals they have available. The amps are listed by different sellers who are all competing for your business, unlike the music shop that knows you have no other choice but to buy from them. Now that you have figured out what amp you want to get, just type the name into the eBay search bar to get started. For example, enter something along the lines of "Combo Microamp", "Combo Hybrid Amp", or "Tube Amp".

Now you can begin looking through the listings. As you find ones that you are interested in, add them to your Watch List. Once you have added all the ones you like, you can go to your My eBay page where you can begin to compare them against each other without having to continuously sort through the products that you do not want.


Music is a part of culture that the audience and the performers all enjoy. It has become such part of daily life that it is often times taken for granted how much work and dedication goes into performing and creating the music. Players go through a lot just to select all the right equipment that delivers the perfect sound they are looking for, and the money investment is substantial as well. Instruments and amplifiers are not cheap, there there are many other purchases to be made as well. The purpose of this guide was to help performers spend a little less when they go to purchase their amplifier. By figuring out exactly what they want in their integrated amp beforehand, they can more easily compare prices and find the best deals, while still getting what's best for them and not settling on something less, or ending up with features that they do not need.

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