When learning to play the guitar it is always helpful to use the best quality equipment that you can afford. Having a good quality guitar played through a poor quality amplifier will not sound very good. On the other hand, having a poor quality guitar played through a good quality amp will sound a whole lot better.Each type of amplifier has it's own strengths and its own weaknesses. There are basically 4 different types of amps tube,solid state,hybrid and modeling amplifiers.
Tube Amplifiers are the first of these and have been in use the longest. All the other types have been modeled after the tube amp. Glass vacuum tubes in its power and pre-amp sections gives these amps a warm natural tone and has a great deal of sustain and power. One of the problems with this type is that over time the tubes wear out and the sound quality may change. The tubes also retain a lot of voltage and may need a technician to change and dispose of the tubes.
Solid state amplifiers do not have parts that will wear out as easily as tube amps and therefore will sound the same each time they are turned on. Transistors as opposed to tubes in the pre-amp section are what power a solid state amp. The use of transistors make this type more reliable, however you may lose some of the tone. It is generally a little grittier and a bit more sterile on the lead and overdrive tones. Solid state amps tend to be less expensive than tube amps.
In order to replicate the tone of the tube amp a Hybrid was developed that uses a tube pre-amp section combined with a solid state power section. The hybrid amplifiers cost a little more than a solid state amp but are generally less expensive than a good quality tube amp.
The fourth type is the Modelling amp. With a built-in digital processor these amps can replicate the many sound set ups of different amps, cabinets, mic placements and even the sound of different rooms. They come with a large amount of guitar effects built-in as well as a digital tuner and a direct line for recording purposes. Using a foot control, you can switch from one effect to another very easily. Although they don't quite have the same sound as a tube amp, they are getting closer and closer with each new development.
That's the 4 types of amps and each has it's pluses and minuses. Whether it be cost or quality of tone there is definitely one that is right for any guitar player.
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