The 5 Best Guitar Amps for Country Twang

BY LEARN GUITARS
Last Updated On:
October 11, 2022
The 5 Best Guitar Amps for Country Twang

6 Second Summary

To get a nice country twang feel, the sound starts in your ears and fingers — less so the amplifier. For example, Chet Atkins could surely play his Gretsch Country Gentleman unamplified, and still project beautiful bends and bassline runs like he had the sound of Nashville in the palm of his hands.

Once you’ve honed your skills at country & bluegrass guitar, the best amp for that country twang is an amp which has an excellent clean sound. Particularly with tubes, you’ll have that clean sound with the unmistakeable tube “juice” that pushes your twangs to the far corners of the rooms you play. With that being the case, you probably don’t need to re-invent the wheel — Vox and Fender amps will do the trick more often than not, and Peavey tube amps also provide an affordable, reliable alternative.

Overview

Whether you love country music or hate it, you can’t argue that it has a pretty interesting tone, and requires a bunch of unique playing techniques for it to sound on point.

But how exactly do you achieve that sound without spending loads of money on equipment?

In this article, we will go over the crucial specs and features that a good amp for country twang needs to have.

You will learn how to set up the amp for this kind of tone, as well as other things you can do to achieve that old-school western sound.

Top 5 Guitar Amps for That Real Country Sound

1. Vox V9106 Pathfinder Combo

2. Fender Champion 20

3. Vox MINI3G2CL

4. Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube

5. Peavey Classic30 112

What is Country Twang?

Generally speaking, country twang can mean a couple of things.

Think of someone with a country or southern US accent. You can almost translate exactly that into the world of guitar tone.

It’s that unique, thin, yet treble-rich tone that’s mostly used in country music.

Sure, you could play any genre of music with the same tone settings, but it would lack that vibe and feel the genre is known for.

The same thing applies to country music. It’s that twang and bright tone that give this genre that unique flavor and essence.

  • The Technique

Technique is as important as is your gear.

Like with any instrument and specific genre of music, the technique is as important, if not more important than the actual equipment you’re using.

People always say that a good musician can utilize even a bad sounding instrument and make it sound good.

So, in order to exploit the full potential of your guitar and amp, you first need to take into consideration a couple of things.

  • Practice With Your Guitar Unplugged

This way, you can focus more on the actual fingerwork than the sound. It’s important to get a good grip of your instrument before you start playing around with your tone.

  • A Heavier Pick May be More Comfortable

Considering the tonal characteristics of the genre in question, a slightly heavier and thicker pick should result in a more accurate sound.

  • Try 10’s for Your String Size

Same as the previous tip regarding the pick, this type of strings will make achieving that twang way easier.

  • Focus on the Picking Hand

As country can get pretty fast, focusing on your picking hand and working on your stamina will greatly improve your skill level.

What Kind of Amp Should You Look for?

Think about country music, listen to it, and focus on the guitar.

What can you tell about the tone?

Well, first of all, you need to look for an amp that has a good clean tone.

As most songs utilize this kind of tone more than an overdriven or distorted one, a natural sounding and clear clean tone is your priority.

On the other hand, some of the most popular country guitarists like to turn on the overdrive when playing solos.

So, basically, you’re looking for a great clean tone, with a good and powerful overdrive.

Tube amps are probably the best choice for country twang, but unfortunately, they tend to be pretty expensive.

Solid state amps will do the job just fine, especially considering the fact that you’re more or less a beginner.

In the review part of this article, you will have the chance to look at some of the best amps we’ve chosen, coming from different price ranges.

Dial in Your Sound – The Gain, EQ, and Effects

So, how do you actually achieve that country twang tone?

You’re looking for a thin sound, with a lot of treble.

A good starting position on your amp can look like this:

  • Set your volume at a level you normally would
  • Gain should be somewhere in the middle, with a slight boost for when you’re playing a solo
  • If you’re playing a Telecaster or a similar sounding guitar, dial in the bass at around 12 o clock
  • On the other hand, guitars with humbucker pickups sound better with slightly less bass
  • Play around with the highs – As we’ve said, it’s all about reaching that thin, treble- rich tone

As for the effects, it’s up to you and your personal preferences.

Country twang shouldn’t be too saturated with effects. A bit of reverb, or even a hint of delay. Experiment with the settings on your amp, or pedals if you use any.

By following these simple steps, you will have a good baseline, with which you can play around, and modify it to sound just the way you like it.

While there are certain boundaries and borders in music, at the end of the day it’s up to you to find that tone and dial in those settings that sound and feel the most comfortable!

Reviews of the Best Guitar Amps for Country Twang

1

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Fender Champion 20

Fender Champion 20
Check it out

When you think about country music and where it originated, it’s pretty obvious that going for a Fender amp is a good idea. Their Champion 20 model is a budget-friendly option that can deliver some mean tunes!

After just the first glance at the controls, you can see that the Champion 20 has a lot to offer.

Besides the regular gain, volume, bass, and treble knobs, there are a couple more that deserve attention.

The first one is called voice, and allows you to choose from 4 different sound styles, each with its own unique characteristics. These include tweed, Blackface, British, and metal, meaning you can truly experiment with the sound.

Personally, I find the Blackface voice type as the best for country twang, rocking that retro feel and providing everything that we’ve talked about in the intro.

Other controls include FX Level as well as the actual effects, ranging from reverb to tremolo, with chorus, flanger, delay, and the most commonly used ones in between.

As the name suggests, this version of the Champion offers 20W of power, with larger and more powerful, 40 and 100W variations being available as well.

Pro

  • Huge sound from a small body
  • Crisp and clear highs
  • Various amp voices
  • Good sounding effects
  • Affordable

Con

  • The effects could be better sounding


Conclusion

Overall performance is at beginner guitarist level


Conclusion! Which One Should You Buy?

Getting that unique country twang tone is easily done with high-end amps. It’s the budget and mid-priced ones that are hard to find.

As we’ve had the chance to see, different brands offer different ways of hitting just the right spot for this particular genre.

Personally, I would suggest getting the Fender Champion 20, as it offers multiple amp voices, a good range of different effects, and overall sounds pretty good.

Just keep in mind that you may want a new, better sounding amp once you’ve progressed after a couple of years.

As always, I truly hope that reading this article helped you with finding just the right amp for country twang and that you’ve learned something new.

Thank you very much for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one!

Steve

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