An Amplifier for both Acoustic and electric

First time posting on these communities so apologies if I breach protocol.

I have picked up the guitar again after 45 years so I am an absolute beginner ( I wasn’t that good when I was a teenager). I have two acoustic guitars a 6 string and a 12 string both electro and I am looking to build an electric guitar. I don’t have an amp at this stage.

From the various YT vids and forums there is lots of advice and reviews of amps that are dedicated to either acoustic or electric but I haven’t found anything that gives a review of an amp that is ideal/best for both. I don’t want to fill my house with multiple amps and I have no ambition for public performance. I am sure my circumstance is not unique and so somebody out there must have a recommendation for an amp that will adequately cover both acoustic and electric and I would really like to read you opinions. I would like to add bass to the mix but lets not overcomplicate things at this stage.

Spark Mini
Boss Katana


In this case, why do you need an amp for your acoustic at all?

Because I will be building an electric as my next project plus I may want to try a looper etc at some point, maybe trying to emulate Ed, in my dreams.

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Hello Derek & Welcome to the Community!

I have 2 amps:

Fender Acoustic 100 which is a 2-channel amp which accepts guitar or microphone on either channel & individually selectable effects available for each channel. Good for acoustic & singing but not too great with an electric guitar.

Boss Katana 50 MKII which is super versatile with lots of effects built in & the Boss Tone Studio available online. It has an acoustic setting that sounds pretty good. Justin has several videos of his experiences with the Katana & using the Tone Studio. Several others on YouTube use & praise Boss amps (Marty is one). The Katana Gen 3 looks to have even more capabilities & is a really nice amp.

If I were to buy my first amp today, I’d purchase the Katana 100 gen 3. So much “bang for the buck”… IMO, the best amp for the money!!!

Good luck with building your electric guitar!!!

If you start a topic on your progress with your project, you’ll get a lot of interest/feedback from others who are curious and/or have completed their builds!


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Hi again Derek,
You were posting your latest while I was typing!!!:speech_balloon: Ed’s loopers look pretty cool but I have the Boss RC-1… pretty basic but it allows me to play a loop, add to the loop & then (mangle) a solo over the loop!
Loads of fun even if at my level it doesn’t sound too great!!! :+1:t2:


PS A short bio & your musical taste/gear is always welcome here (+ pics… we love pics of guitars😁)!

Hi Derek,

First of all - Welcome to the community!

Your question is a common one. you’ll get plenty of activity here, but do a bit of searching on the forum here and you’ll find lots to things for your research. This goes for both the amp and the build! I won’t get into specific amp choices as other people have better suggestions because of direct experience.

My personal preference is generally a larger speaker, 10-12 inches diameter. I tend to like the bass response much better than smaller ( under 5 inches) speakers.
I went with a modeler and external speaker so I could fiddle with models. I like having that at my disposal, but I also find that I generally stick with mostly 3 setups for 90% of what I do, so the modeler is overkill until I feel like fiddling.

Thanks Tod, I have been drawn to the Boss for price and quality but I only want to buy one so I want to be sure I get the right one. my pension wont stretch to buying lots of different kit and I prefer to spend my money on the instruments although I appreciate that for electric the amp is probably more important. The guitar build topic is a good idea, I thing the first one will be a kit. I am a competent woodworker but I think a kit will give me more of an insight into the structure of the instruments. I also want to build a bass, which will further complicate the amp situation. I used to play bass as a teenager through a 16w head and cab and I certainly didn’t need a fuzz pedal:-)



If you’re planning to add Bass in the future & at the same time limit the amount of gear you need to buy, probably better to buy a bass amp. The lower frequencies generated by the bass can damage the speaker(s) in a guitar combo amp. Not sure if bass amps are a good fit for acoustic though. Maybe @Majik Keith could shed some light on this one… he’s pretty knowledgeable about gear.
Also depends on your goals in addition to your budget… a guitar amp + a small bass amp would be fairly budget friendly if you don’t have plans to gig or otherwise publicly perform…
Lots of choices out there!!!


It’s a good point but, IMO, it’s been a bit overstated. I’ve seen demos where bass frequencies have been pushed through a guitar amp and speaker for long periods of time and with the volume cranked, and it has damaged the speaker.

But I think this is an artificial test. I think if you did that with a lot of bass guitar amps you would get the same result.

Also, consider that Fender have used the same model of speakers in some of their guitar amps as their bass amps (e.g the Jenson PR10R which is used on both the Bassman and the Tweed)

Furthermore, I think modern modelling amps like the Katana are set up to handle a wider range of frequencies than traditional guitar amps, especially as it has an octaver built in which can easily result in frequencies similar to that of a bass guitar.

The one thing I would say about the Katana is that it doesn’t have bass-specific models. I don’t think that’s a major problem for general home use: I’ve connected a bass to mine in the past and it sounds fine on clean. It may not be the best if you are trying to duplicate a specific bass tone though.

One could always add a bass-specific pedal, such as the GT-1B, in the future. These are inexpensive and could connect into the Power Amp Input on the newer models.

I wouldn’t, personally, use it for gigging or band rehearsals. But for a starting point for home bass use, I think it should be fine.



Not sure how new it is but there’s a Boss Katana-110 Bass amp available. It’s gotten generally good reviews on Sweetwater’s website, and relatively inexpensive - although maybe not cheap as a “second” amp - @$370.
Also, my coworker uses the Boss Cube (not a Katana) Bass amp - but I don’t think either looks really good for guitar.


Oh the Katana Bass looks great and, I would definitely recommend it to someone if they wanted a bass amp and it could afford it.

There’s a lot of the newer practice amps that have a bass setting, such as the Blackstar BEAM and the Spark series.

I’ve tried a few and, IMO, they weren’t significantly better than using something like the Katana. I used the Spark 40 with bass quite a bit and, frankly, it wasn’t great (although it was good for recording via USB). I also had a cheap Redwood 25W bass amp at one point, which was quite good for home practice but, again, I’m not sure it was significantly better than using the Katana.

I think the advantage of having a separate bass amp, like the Katana Bass, is if you want to practice loudly, such as with a band. Very few, if any, of these multi-purpose practice amps will keep up with a drummer. If you need to rehearse with a band, then you really need something with some grunt.

Note that bass amps tend to require a lot more power than guitar amps. So, with a guitar amp, 50W is usually very loud. For a bass amp, 50W is quite quiet. Personally, I’m using a Mark Bass 250W amp which makes the walls rattle.

(I should point out here that the wattage reading of an amp doesn’t, strictly, align with how loud it gets; there are some 20W amps that are louder than amps which are rated at 40W. But it’s a reasonable guideline).

But a Katana 100 (for guitar) and a decent bass amp (Katana 110, Fender Rumble 100, etc.) will probably be all most people would need for home use and even small gigs.

My personally recommended approach would be to start with something like the Katana 50/100 and use it for home bass practice until something more is needed. Then check the second-hand market as there can be bargains out there.

There’s probably some decent bargains on older model Katana 50/100s on the second-hand market too.



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Thanks Tod. Yes I fully expect to have a separate bass amp, but I have seen so many comments about the need for better frequency response for acoustic amps, so my immediate need is for something to cover acoustic and electric 6/12 string. i don’t want to spend more on kit than my talent would be able to exploit, so about £2.50 as it stands.

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Cheers Keith, sound advice, sorry about the pun. I may play with other guitarist that live close by but I don’t know any drummers, if one did turn up we could always put him/her outside. The worst thing here is the pipers (Highlands)


This is funny!

2.5 Pounds??? My “PlayGrade” is probably under 2.50 but in $$$Dollars$$$… My lovely wife understands that I have an obsession but doesn’t UNDERSTAND my obsession, especially when listening to my latest attempt at a new song!!! :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Good luck with whatever you decide!!!


You might want to consider a modeler instead of different amplifiers. I recently bought a Valeton GP 200; it’s an amp/cab/pedal modeler. Purchased it mainly for electric guitar but I plugged my acoustic into it and a few of the presets sound fantastic with it. It also has presets for bass.

I’ve amplified it with a Vox DA5 and a Blues Junior but really, I just set the amp to be as absolutely clean as I can and ,let the modeler add all the color.

If I was starting out today I think I may just go with a good modeler and a PA system.

Nobody hears me play, I wait until my wife is out and triple gazing make sure I am not heard by anyone passing by. As for singing I even prefer wearing ear plugs.


Thanks Mark, I had thought that might be an option, there seems so much available these days it is more than a little confusing.

I like my fender Mustang gtx-100 does both well.

Katana isn’t a bad option either

Hi Derek,

+1 here for the Boss Katana. I have a Katana 50 MkII and use it for both electric and acoustic, probably more at the moment for acoustic. There are plenty of youtubes on them and plenty of guys here with good info but it has been great for me. You can access the Tone Studio via computer with the Katana plugged in via USB and fiddle and adjust to your hearts content with different settings and pathes, (be warned tho’ it can definately be a rabbit hole :rabbit2: :rofl:)

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