Photo of author

Can Acoustic Guitars Be Plugged into Amps

Yes, acoustic guitars can be plugged into amps for amplification and sound reinforcement purposes. Acoustic guitars are versatile instruments that can produce sound without amplification, but sometimes a louder volume is needed.

By connecting an acoustic guitar to an amplifier, it enables the player to boost the sound and project it to a larger audience. Amplifiers designed specifically for acoustic guitars typically have built-in features like equalizers and effects to enhance the guitar’s tone.

This allows musicians to adjust and shape the sound to their preference. Additionally, plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp can be useful in recording studios, where it allows for greater control over the captured sound. Overall, amplifying acoustic guitars expands their potential for performance and recording.

Why Plug An Acoustic Guitar Into An Amp?

Acoustic guitars have a beautiful and natural sound, which is one of the reasons musicians love playing them. However, there are times when plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp can be advantageous. Whether you are looking to enhance the sound, increase volume for live performances, or add effects and versatility to your playing style, plugging your acoustic guitar into an amp can take your musical experience to the next level.

Enhancing the sound of an acoustic guitar

Plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp can help enhance its sound in several ways. The amp’s built-in equalizer allows you to fine-tune the guitar’s tonal balance, making it sound richer and more well-rounded. Additionally, amplifying the guitar’s sound can bring out the subtle nuances and details that might be missed when playing acoustically.

Increasing volume for live performances

One of the main reasons musicians plug their acoustic guitars into amps is to increase the volume for live performances. While acoustic guitars are great for smaller and intimate settings, they can struggle to cut through the mix in larger venues or when playing with a band. By plugging into an amp, you can ensure that your guitar’s sound reaches every corner of the venue, allowing you to captivate the audience with your music.

Adding effects and versatility to playing style

Plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp opens up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to effects and versatility. With the help of pedals and effects processors, you can add reverb, delay, chorus, or even distortion to your guitar’s sound. This allows you to experiment with different genres and styles, giving your playing a unique and dynamic edge.

Moreover, amps that offer multiple channels or inputs allow you to blend your acoustic guitar’s sound with other instruments or vocals, enabling you to create layered and textured performances that stand out from the crowd.

In conclusion, plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp can greatly enhance your playing experience. Whether you are looking to improve the sound quality, increase volume for live performances, or explore new effects and playing styles, an amp can be a valuable tool for any acoustic guitarist. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and unleash the full potential of your instrument by plugging it into an amp.

Can Acoustic Guitars Be Plugged into Amps


Understanding The Different Types Of Acoustic Guitar Pickups

Understanding the Different Types of Acoustic Guitar Pickups

The ability to plug an acoustic guitar into an amplifier opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of sound projection and control. Acoustic guitar pickups are the essential tools that make this connection possible. There are several types of pickups available for acoustic guitars, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. In this article, we will explore the three main types of acoustic guitar pickups: soundhole pickups, under-saddle pickups, and soundboard transducer pickups.

Soundhole Pickups

Soundhole pickups, as the name suggests, are installed in the soundhole of the guitar. They are the most common type of pickup found in acoustic guitars and are known for their simple installation process.

Using a magnetic pickup system, soundhole pickups work by sensing the vibrations of the strings and translating them into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to an amplifier or PA system, allowing for amplification and shaping of the sound.

Pros: One of the main advantages of soundhole pickups is their versatility. They can be easily installed or removed, making them a great option for musicians who need to switch between acoustic and amplified playing. Soundhole pickups also offer a warm and balanced tone, capturing the natural characteristics of the guitar.

Cons: On the downside, soundhole pickups may pick up unwanted noises such as handling noise or other instruments. They also require a separate preamp to adjust the volume and tone, adding an extra component to your setup.

Under-saddle Pickups

Under-saddle pickups, as the name implies, are placed directly under the saddle of the guitar. They provide a clear and balanced sound reproduction, making them a popular choice among professional musicians.

These pickups utilize piezo-electric technology, where pressure from the vibrating strings creates electrical signals. The signals are then sent to an amplifier or preamp for processing and amplification.

Pros: Under-saddle pickups offer excellent sound clarity and dynamics. They reproduce a natural acoustic tone with minimal interference from external sources. Additionally, under-saddle pickups can often be controlled directly on the guitar, allowing for on-the-fly adjustments.

Cons: One drawback of under-saddle pickups is that they can be more difficult to install than soundhole pickups. They require precise placement under the saddle, and any adjustments may require the services of a professional luthier. Furthermore, under-saddle pickups may not capture the full resonance and nuances of the guitar as effectively as other pickup types.

Soundboard Transducer Pickups

Soundboard transducer pickups are installed directly on or under the guitar’s soundboard, capturing the vibrations of the entire instrument rather than just the strings. This unique placement allows for a more natural and resonant sound reproduction.

These pickups use a small microphone or sensor to capture the vibrations, which are then converted into electrical signals. The signals can be sent directly to an amplifier or preamp for amplification and tonal control.

Pros: Soundboard transducer pickups provide a rich and detailed representation of the guitar’s sound. They excel at capturing the nuances and complexity of fingerpicking and intricate playing styles. These pickups also eliminate the potential handling noise associated with other pickup types.

Cons: Despite their exceptional sound quality, soundboard transducer pickups can be prone to feedback, especially at high volumes. They also require careful placement and adjustment to optimize the sound and minimize interference.

Choosing the right pickup for your acoustic guitar ultimately depends on your playing style, desired sound, and practical considerations. Each type of pickup we’ve discussed has its own strengths and limitations. Experimenting with different pickup types can help you find the perfect match for your musical needs and preferences.

Essential Gear For Plugging An Acoustic Guitar Into An Amp

When it comes to performing with an acoustic guitar, a common question that arises is whether acoustic guitars can be plugged into amps. The answer is yes! With the right gear, you can easily amplify the sound of your acoustic guitar and take your performance to the next level. In this article, we will explore the essential gear needed for plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp.

Acoustic Guitar with Built-in Pickups

An acoustic guitar with built-in pickups is a crucial piece of gear when it comes to plugging your acoustic guitar into an amp. These pickups are designed to capture the natural sound of your guitar and convert it into an electrical signal. They are typically located inside the guitar’s body and can be either piezo or magnetic pickups.

Preamps and Equalizers

Preamps and equalizers play a vital role in shaping the tone and enhancing the sound of your plugged-in acoustic guitar. Preamps are responsible for boosting the weak signal from the pickup and preparing it for amplification. They also allow you to adjust the volume, tone, and gain of your guitar. Equalizers, on the other hand, help you balance the frequencies and adjust the overall tonal characteristics of your guitar.

Audio Cables and Connectors

To connect your acoustic guitar to an amp, you will need the right audio cables and connectors. One of the most commonly used cables is the 1/4-inch guitar cable. This cable connects your guitar’s output jack to the input of the preamp or amplifier. It is important to choose a high-quality cable to ensure minimal signal loss and interference.

Additionally, some acoustic guitars may require adapters or converters to match their specific output jacks with the input connectors of the amp. It is essential to check the type of connectors needed for your specific acoustic guitar and amp setup.

Amplifiers and PA Systems

Amplifiers and PA systems are the final pieces of gear needed to complete your setup. Amplifiers are designed to amplify the signal from your guitar and project it through speakers. They come in various sizes and power ratings, allowing you to choose one that suits your performance needs. PA systems, on the other hand, are more extensive setups that include multiple speakers, mixers, and other audio components. They are commonly used for live performances in larger venues.

When choosing an amplifier or PA system, consider factors such as power output, portability, and the number of inputs and outputs available. It is also important to ensure compatibility between your acoustic guitar’s output and the amp or PA system you plan to use.

In conclusion, plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp is possible with the right gear. Acoustic guitars with built-in pickups, preamps and equalizers, audio cables and connectors, as well as amplifiers and PA systems, are all essential components needed to achieve a great plugged-in acoustic guitar sound. Invest in high-quality gear, experiment with different settings, and unleash the full potential of your acoustic guitar.

Steps To Plug An Acoustic Guitar Into An Amp

Plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp can enhance the sound and amplify it for performances or recording. However, it’s important to follow a few steps to ensure a proper connection and avoid any issues. In this section, we will guide you through the necessary steps to plug your acoustic guitar into an amp or PA system.

Choosing the Right Cable and Connectors

The first step in plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp is to select the right cable and connectors. It is recommended to use a balanced cable, such as an XLR or TRS cable, for a noise-free and clear signal. These cables typically have three pins or connectors, providing a balanced connection between the guitar and the audio device. Make sure the connectors are compatible with your guitar and amp, and ensure they are in good condition to avoid any audio interruptions.

Setting up the Preamp and Equalizer

Once you have chosen the appropriate cable and connectors, the next step is to set up the preamp and equalizer. Many acoustic-electric guitars come with built-in preamps and equalizers, which allow you to shape the tone and adjust the levels. Locate the preamp and equalizer knobs on your guitar and familiarize yourself with their functions. Experiment with the settings to find the desired tone and volume levels that suit your playing style and performance space.

Connecting the Guitar to the Amp or PA System

After setting up the preamp and equalizer, it’s time to connect your acoustic guitar to the amp or PA system. Locate the input jack on your guitar, usually found on the side or bottom of the instrument. Insert one end of the cable into the input jack and the other end into the input of your amp or PA system. Ensure the connections are secure to prevent any signal loss or unwanted noise. If using a PA system, make sure to connect to the correct input channel.

Adjusting the Volume and Tone Controls

Once the guitar is connected to the amp or PA system, fine-tuning the volume and tone controls is the next step. Start by setting the volume to a low level to avoid sudden loud noises. Gradually increase the volume until it reaches the desired level while monitoring for any distortion or feedback. Adjust the tone controls to shape the sound further, emphasizing or reducing specific frequencies. Experiment with different settings to find the best combination that complements your playing style and the sound you’re aiming for.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

In some cases, you may encounter common issues when plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp. If you experience no sound or a weak signal, check the cable connections and ensure they are secure. Make sure the volume controls on the guitar, amp, and PA system are turned up appropriately. If there are any unwanted noises or feedback, try adjusting the equalizer settings or repositioning the guitar in relation to the speakers. If issues persist, consult the user manual of your guitar, amp, or PA system for specific troubleshooting guidance.

Tips For Getting The Best Sound From An Acoustic Guitar And Amp

When it comes to playing an acoustic guitar through an amp, it’s important to know how to achieve the best sound. While acoustic guitars are traditionally used unplugged, they can indeed be plugged into amps to enhance their volume and projection. In this section, we will explore some valuable tips for maximizing the sound quality of your acoustic guitar when using it with an amp.

Experimenting with EQ Settings

One of the first things you should do when connecting your acoustic guitar to an amp is to experiment with the EQ settings. EQ, short for equalization, refers to the adjustment of frequencies to achieve the desired tone. Most amps come with a basic EQ section that allows you to control bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. By tweaking these settings, you can personalize the sound to your liking. For instance, if you want a brighter sound, you can increase the treble, while reducing the bass can help reduce muddiness.

Using Effects Wisely

Effects can be a great way to add depth and character to your acoustic guitar when played through an amp. However, it’s important to use them wisely to avoid overwhelming the natural sound of the guitar. Some popular effects for acoustic guitars include reverb, delay, and chorus. Experiment with different effects and find the ones that complement the acoustic nature of your guitar without overpowering it.

Balancing Volume and Feedback

When played at high volumes through an amp, acoustic guitars are prone to feedback. Feedback occurs when the sound from the amp gets picked up by the guitar’s pickups and creates a loop of sound. To avoid feedback, it’s crucial to find the right balance between volume and positioning. Start by keeping the amp at a moderate volume level and experiment with angling the guitar towards or away from the amp. This can help minimize feedback while still maintaining a pleasing volume.

Appreciating the Acoustic Nature of the Guitar

While using an amp can enhance the sound of an acoustic guitar, it’s important not to lose sight of the guitar’s inherent acoustic qualities. Acoustic guitars are cherished for their warm and natural sound, so it’s essential to appreciate and preserve that. Avoid excessive processing or effects that take away from the organic character of the instrument. Embrace the natural tone of your acoustic guitar and use the amp as a tool to amplify and refine its beauty.

Regular Maintenance and Care

To ensure that your acoustic guitar delivers the best sound when connected to an amp, regular maintenance and care are crucial. Keep your guitar clean and properly humidified to prevent any damage or changes in tone. Additionally, it’s important to regularly check and replace strings, as old strings can affect your guitar’s sound quality. By providing proper maintenance and care, you can ensure that your acoustic guitar and amp combination always sounds its best.

Can Plugging An Acoustic Guitar Into An Amp Damage The Instrument?

Many guitar players wonder whether it is safe to plug an acoustic guitar into an amplifier. While it is true that electric guitars are typically the ones used with amps, acoustic guitars can also be plugged in for various reasons. However, it is important to understand the risks and take precautions to ensure the integrity of the instrument is not compromised. Let’s explore the potential risks, precautions to consider, and how to maintain the instrument’s body while amplifying an acoustic guitar.

Risks and Precautions to Consider

Plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp introduces certain risks that can negatively impact the instrument. Here are some key considerations to bear in mind:

  • Feedback: Acoustic guitars are prone to feedback when plugged into an amplifier, especially at high volumes.
  • Overloading the pickup: The pickup on an acoustic guitar may not be designed to handle the power output of an amp, which can cause distortion or even damage.
  • Tonal changes: Amplifying an acoustic guitar can alter its natural tone and resonance. This may not be desirable for those seeking the pure and unamplified sound.

Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take to minimize these risks and preserve the quality of your acoustic guitar.

Protecting the Guitar from Excessive Volume Levels

Excessive volume levels can not only damage the internal components of your acoustic guitar but also lead to undesirable feedback. To protect your instrument, follow these precautions:

  • Start with low volume levels and gradually increase as needed, testing for any signs of feedback or distortion.
  • Use a feedback buster, which is a device designed to reduce feedback caused by amplified sound.
  • Consider using an acoustic guitar amp specifically designed for amplifying acoustic instruments. These amps often have built-in feedback control and equalization features.

Maintaining the Integrity of the Instrument’s Body

An acoustic guitar’s body is a vital component that contributes to its sound and resonance. When plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp, it is crucial to take steps to preserve the guitar’s body integrity:

  • Use a high-quality, shielded cable to connect the guitar to the amp. This will minimize any interference that could affect the tone and signal quality.
  • Avoid placing the guitar too close to the amp to prevent vibrations from affecting the body of the instrument.
  • Regularly inspect and clean the guitar’s pickup, ensuring it is in good condition and free from any debris that could affect its performance.

By taking these precautions, you can minimize the potential risks and enjoy the amplified sound of your acoustic guitar without compromising its integrity.

It is worth noting that while plugging an acoustic guitar into an amp can provide additional sound projection and amplification, there are limitations to the quality and authenticity of the amplified sound compared to the natural, unamplified tone of an acoustic guitar. Understanding these limitations will help you make informed decisions about when and how to amplify your acoustic guitar for optimal results.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Can Acoustic Guitars Be Plugged Into Amps

Can I Play My Acoustic Guitar Through An Electric Amp?

Yes, you can play your acoustic guitar through an electric amp as long as you use a compatible pickup or soundhole microphone. The amp may alter the sound, so adjust the settings to achieve the desired tone. It’s a great way to experiment with your acoustic sound.

Can You Put An Acoustic Guitar On An Amp?

Yes, you can put an acoustic guitar on an amp. It allows the guitar to be amplified and heard more clearly.

Do You Need A Special Amp For Acoustic Guitars?

No, you don’t need a special amp for acoustic guitars. Any standard guitar amp should work fine.

Can You Plug Acoustic Electric Into Any Amp?

Yes, you can plug an acoustic-electric guitar into any amp.


Acoustic guitars can indeed be plugged into amps, allowing for amplified sound and the ability to perform in larger venues. By using an acoustic-electric guitar or adding a pickup to a traditional acoustic, musicians can enjoy the versatility of amplification without sacrificing the natural sound and feel of their instrument.

Whether you’re a gigging musician or simply seeking more volume, plugging in your acoustic guitar opens up a whole new world of possibilities. So go ahead, explore the amplified side of acoustic guitar and let your music be heard.

Leave a Comment