Tube amplifiers get their name because they use glass vacuum tubes to amplify your guitar signal. Solid state amps, on the other hand, use transistors and other semiconductors to amplify your guitar signal. One type isnít necessarily better than the other. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type.
Advantages of Tube amplifiers
Tube amps are generally said to have a warmer sound
Distortion from a tube amp is much smoother
Tube amplifiers are generally easier to fix
amplifiers Solid State
Solid state amps are less expensive
Solid state amps are usually much lighter in weight
You never have to replace tubes in a solid state amp
Wattage is a measurement of how much power an amplifier has. It is not really a measurement of how loud an amplifier is. There is a common misconception that a 20 watt amp is twice as loud as a 10 watt amp. Thatís simply not true. All other things equal, you would have to multiply an amplifiers wattage by ten to double the volume. That would mean to have twice the volume of a 10 watt amplifier you would need a 100 watt amplifier.
To make things even more confusing, tube amplifiers are usually louder than solid state amplifiers of the same wattage. Another variable is the number and type of speakers used. Some speakers will make an amp seem much louder than others. Increasing the number of speakers used will also affect the volume.
Acoustic and bass amplifiers are designed for entirely different applications than electric guitar amplifiers. For instance, in a bass amp the speakers, equalization controls, and the rest of the circuitry are made to emphasize lower frequencies than a guitar amplifier. Acoustic guitar amps often have multiple speakers to handle a wider frequency range than an electric guitar amp would. Another difference is electric guitar amplifiers often have effects like distortion or overdrive, while other types of amps usually do not.
Guitar amplifiers often feature multiple channels so a variety of sounds can be achieved easily. Many amplifiers have two channels, one for a clean sound and the other for distortion or overdrive.
When referring to a guitar amplifier, reverb is an echoing effect often used to enhance the sound of a guitar.