Amplifier stands are typically used with guitar amplifiers and are designed with specific weight limits. The basic types are table, elevated, angled, and prop. Most can accommodate a variety of amplifiers styles and brands. The stands are used to raise or tilt amplifiers, improving the projection of the sound. Elevated stands also put the amplifier at a more convenient height for the musician.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a powerful amplifier was large and heavy and required a speaker with a wide diameter. As technology improved, the size and weight of amplifiers diminished, although the sound quality and power increased. Even the most powerful amplifier doesn't project well if it is only 24 inches (60 cm) tall and sitting on the ground. Therefore, the amplifier stand became a popular method for elevating the amplifier and getting a better projection of the sound.
The typical stand is designed as a collapsible and lightweight frame. These features appeal to musicians who spend much of their time playing outside of their home or studio and who must transport their equipment as efficiently as possible. It is not uncommon for musicians to use a chair, stool, or stack of books as a makeshift stand if they find themselves without one.
Amplifier stands are typically constructed out of metal and have adjustable legs and supports. Most are either angled or flat. Angled stands are designed with two L-shaped supports and sit at an angle that may or may not be adjustable. Flat amplifier stands can be designed to resemble a table or similar to the angled amplifier but with the L-shaped supports perpendicular to the floor.
Most stands are built with two or four legs, but at least one design uses a pedestal. This design is popular because it is more aesthetically pleasing and has a small footprint, meaning it takes up very little space. Although not technically a stand, it has supports that are designed to allow larger amplifiers to rest on the floor and tilt back for better projection. These supports are either a leg, which supports the amplifier from behind, or a wedge that supports the amplifier from underneath.
Not all amplifier stands are store-bought. Do-it-yourself amplifier stands are often made of wood, plastic, or metal piping. The advantage of a homemade amplifier stand is that its angle and height can be customized to fit individual needs.
Compared to amplifiers and instruments, amplifier stands are not expensive. Even so, the more expensive amplifier stands can cost ten times the amount of the budget friendly stands. The price difference typically depends on the construction, weight limit, and the designer or brand.