So you’ve bought yourself an amp and you need to know what amplifier accessories you might need to get the best out of your kit. Do you need an amp stand or more amp cables? We’ve got you covered in our essential guide.
When you get yourself a new guitar amp, there is a selection of amplifier accessories that will make your musical life a lot easier!
Things like an amp stand, guitar amp cable and latching pedals help you get the most out of your amp whilst amplifier accessories like amp covers and valve testing kits allow you to maintain your guitar amplifier and get the best use out of them for many years.
So today, we’re going to look at a few extra options you should seriously consider purchasing after you’ve bought yourself a guitar amp.
Here’s our essential guitar amplifier accessories you’re going to need.
1. Amplifier Footswitches
If you’ve bought an amplifier with switchable channels, usually a distortion/gain and a clean channel you’ll need a footswitch to activate or ‘switch’ between each one. You’ll also need one if your amplifier comes preloaded with switchable effects like reverb and tremolo. This way you don’t have to walk over to your amplifier and manually change the settings or press the gain channel button by hand.
Most Fender and Orange amplifiers have separate Gain and Clean channels, so it makes sense that you should get yourself an amp footswitch as they’re some of the most essential amplifier accessories.
There is a vast range of different options out there that are from some of your favourite brands like Orange, Boss and Fender.
You can choose whatever pedals you want as they’re almost always universal. However, if you want a safe bet that’ll work on pretty much every amp, then the Boss FS-5L Latching Footswitch Pedal is an industry-standard.
If you’re a gigging or rehearsing musician then a guitar amp stand is easily one of the most essential tools and best guitar amplifier accessories we can get hold of. Placing your amplifier on the floor facing you isn’t always ideal as the sound is firing directly at your knees. Last I checked you can’t hear through your knees. So, it makes sense to angle your amplifier towards your face. An amp stand allows you to effectively, and safely angle your amplifier towards you so you can hear it clearly which will help you play better as you can actually hear everything that’s going on and means you don’t have to crank your amp to ear-splitting levels to hear it.
It’s also a safer option than balancing it against the wall or against a box.
Guitar cables, or guitar amp cables as they’re sometimes known are actually the most essential amplifier accessories as they allow you to connect your guitar or bass to your amplifier. If you’re using a guitar directly into an amplifier then you just need the one cable. However, if you’re using a pedal, you’ll need an extra cable to go from your pedal to your amp. If you’re using multiple pedals, then you need some patch leads. We’ve covered everything you need to know about putting together a pedalboard here, but for now, you’ll just need either one or two guitar amp cables.
We recommend the likes of the Tourtech guitar cables as well as the Fender guitar cables. There are plenty of different options out there, and the only major difference is the quality of materials used and the angle of the jack lead. However, we don’t stock low-quality stuff here at PMT so whatever you buy will be reliable.
If you planning on running two amps together, which most professional guitarists do, you’ll need an amp switcher. These are essential amplifier accessories for pro-level players on bigger stages as they allow you to run two amps at the same time or turn one off at a time. These are great as they allow you to blend the sounds of two different amps, and can give you that extra boost in sound by allowing you to activate a separate amp when you need that extra volume and attack.
They go by many different names, like ABY Boxes, Amp Switchers and Line Selectors, so if someone mentions any of those names, you’ll know what they mean.
If you’re going to be carrying your amplifier from place to place or even storing it away for extended periods of time an amplifier cover is a great way to keep your amp clean and also protect your amp from any damage. They also stop people from fiddling with the settings too!
You can get specifically branded guitar amp covers from most brands. We stock a range available here but we highly recommend looking into getting one if you’re serious about caring for your amplifiers!
If you’re a tube amp user, and you have a bunch of old tube amps lying around (like me) then chances are you’ll love the Orange DIVO VT1000 Valve Tester. It’s really difficult for us to hear (by ear alone) the subtle differences in tubes/valves that are starting to become worn out. This nifty piece of kit takes all the guesswork out of it and allows us to plug our valves in and check they’re still in good working order, starting to wear down or need replacing immediately.
Although it’s a little pricey, it’s worth every penny as valves can be expensive and getting a technician to take your amp apart and check the valves may start to become costly if you’re doing it regularly.
A great piece of kit that all pro-level guitarists, technicians and valve amp users should have at home.
7. Expression Pedals/Volume Pedals
Technically an expression pedal is a guitar accessory, but we’re throwing this in as they’re a great way to manipulate effects and the volume of your amplifier without having to use your hands.
If you’re shredding on your guitar or getting really into some rhythm parts, the last thing you need to be doing is taking your hand away from the strings and turning the volume pot down. A volume pedal takes all the effort out of lowering or pushing the volume as you can just angle the pedal to your liking. A great addition and a fantastic amplifier accessory that most guitarists have in their kit.
Next, we have the humble, but very important guitar amp speaker cable. If you have an amplifier capable of connecting to an extension/speaker cabinet, you’ll need an amp speaker cable to do so. These are an absolute necessity as you cannot use guitar cables as you risk damaging your amp and the cable if you do so. This is because speaker cables are capable of handling the high signal level required to transfer a signal from your amp to a cabinet. Guitars cables are not.
If you want to expand your sound and get a lot louder, then an extension cabinet is the way to go. Be sure to check that your amplifier can actually allow an extension cabinet to be connected. This information is usually found on the back of your amplifier labelled “Extension” or “Speaker Out” so make sure you check before you purchase a new speaker cab!
Good quality speaker cabinets expand your sound and can actually make your little practice amp sound even better as you might opt for improved speakers than the ones installed in your amplifier.
And that’s just a short selection of what we feel are some of the most essential guitar amplifier accessories. Shop a full range over at PMT Online today or call into your local PMT store to speak to our experts and pick up everything from guitar amp cables to guitar amp stands and anything else you might need.