Flat Response Amps vs. Conventional Guitar Amps

Many guitar players are discovering the advantages of the FRFR (Full Range, Flat Response) guitar amp compared to conventional amps. This isn’t to diss the traditional guitar amp; it’s great, and has its uses. But the FRFR option has some compelling advantages.

A guitar amp does more than make soft signals loud. The cabinet is basically a filter; open-back cabinets reduce bass, closed-back types give more bass, and the high-frequency response starts rolling off at around 5kHz. Also, the preamp and power amp affect the sound dramatically—or Spinal Tap would never have praised the virtues of turning up an amp to eleven.

Guitar amps are wonderful not because they’re precision devices like studio monitors, but because they’re about character. Adding a pedalboard and some cool effects creates a setup that has served us well for decades.

However, conventional guitar amps are generally limited to a particular “signature” sound. Plugging your guitar into a different amp or direct into a PA mixer gives a different sound. Tube amps have their own magic, but also, some drawbacks: Tubes get “soft” over time, wear out, and can become microphonic.

An FRFR amplification system is like a PA or studio monitoring system—clean and accurate. You get your “sound” before it hits the FRFR amp, either through a quality multieffects with amp/cab simulation, or a laptop running amp sim software. This means you’ll get the same sound whether you plug into an FRFR system, PA, or recording setup because your tone isn’t dependent on the specific way an amp colors your sound.

Read the full article by Craig Anderton