Working Of Guitar Amplifiers

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Guitar amplifiers magnify the sound fed into it from the guitar and drive the guitar speaker. The acoustic waves produced by the guitar strings are transformed into minute electrical signal with the help of the guitar get then fed into the guitar amplifier (or just guitar amp) Depending on whether the input of the guitar amp can deal with the minute signal originating from the guitar, the guitar player may have to feed the guitar signal initially into a pre-amplifier and after that take the output from the pre-amplifier to feed the guitar amp.

The working of a guitar amp typically has 4 phases – input, signal modulation, signal amplification then lastly the output stage.

Input Stage

The input phase of the guitar amp accepts the input signal either from the guitar pre-amp or straight from the guitar itself. Normally, there are input female jacks installed onto the amplifier where you connect the input signal cable. If the guitar signal is too weak to be fed into the guitar amp, the signal must first travel through a guitar pre-amp. It is extremely important that there is proper impedance matching in between the available input signal impedance and specified guitar amplifier’s input signal impedance. Generally, signal impedance mismatch is the cause of degeneration of the final guitar noise on the loudspeaker.

Nowadays, there are lots of guitar amps, which have a pre-amplification phase integrated into them. For such amps, you do not need to pass the guitar signal into a separate pre-amp. You can directly feed the signal into the amp itself.

Signal Modulation Phase

Plain in and plain out is not exactly the method normal electric guitar player likes it. He wants the guitar sound to be jazzed up, twangy, funky, greatly distorted etc. and so on. For such sounds, the input signal has to under go modulation prior to they can be amplified. State suppose the guitar player wants a heavy distortion akin to heavy metal rock noise. To get this kind of noise, the input signal is fed into the signal modulation stage where the signal goes through the required (but controlled) distortion. The exact same applies to other sound effects like wah-wah noise, reverb etc. Numerous guitar amps have equalizers and other tone control knobs, which also come under the signal modulation phase.

Signal Amplification Phase

The signal amplification stage is the ‘business’ stage of any guitar amp. It is here where the guitar sound is really enhanced. Excellent guitar amps will consistently magnify the signal originating from the Signal Modulation Stage, i.e. the incoming signal will be the exact reproduction of this stage’s outgoing signal, only that it will be of much higher amplitude. It is the ‘organisation’ of any amplifier (be it voice or guitar amp) to consistently magnify the inbound signal.

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