Combo amps vs Stacks?
Posted on Dec 24, 2006 12:26 pm
Member Since: Jul 04, 2002
What are your guys opinions on how combos stand up agaisnt stacks. Im talking about like nice top line tube combo amps vs heads and cabs. Any big differnce in tone? drive? My band is looking for new amps adn we can afford full stacks, so im checking out combos since their basically heads with speakers built on. Were gonna use them for practice as well as gigging in small veneuws mostly, sometimes outdoor. How are the mesa/boogie combos, since my guitarist really likes the drive off their rectifier units. Any experiencse and info would be great
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Dec 24, 2006 12:37 pm Stacks look cooler and sometimes sound fuller due to more speakers and whatnot, but on the whole you can get great sounding stacks and great sounding combos, as well as crappy versions of each.
When it comes to gigging, give me a combo any day of the week...or, a roadie...preferably a hot one...with few morals.
Dec 24, 2006 03:32 pm I'm a fan of combos over stacks. I just like the smaller unit (which is easier to store and transport) and the fact that I can have several combos in a room at once. Also in my experiance stacks only sound good when turned up LOUD, which my neighbors would not like. In the end though it's just about what tone you like.
Since: Apr 07, 2002
TadpuiI am not a crook's headMember
Dec 25, 2006 12:05 am Combos tend to shake themselves apart, especially high-wattage combos. All of the vibrations get transferred from the speakers and chassis into the guts of the amp. Combos are generally pretty rattly.
Since: Mar 14, 2003
A head/cabinet setup decouples the chassis from the electronics and you'll tend to get less long-term damage from prolonged high-power playing. So you'll get fewer rattles and odd noises. And if any of your tubes become slightly microphonic, less of the vibrations from the cabinet get picked up.
A big bonus for head/cabinet setups is that you can seperate the two. Like you can put your head right next to you and put the cabinet in a live room, isolation box, or at a distance. This can be a big bonus if you play/record loud.
I have an 80-watt tube combo and it seems at times like its going to self-destruct. It's rattly and the thing takes a beating from its own vibrations.
My next guitar amp will definitely be a head/cabinet if I can find a space-efficient setup. The THD Univalve and matching 2x12 cabinet are at the top of that list :D
Dec 25, 2006 03:31 am A combo with an extension speaker socket is handy cos you can use it at practice/small gigs then use it with a different cab with its own speaker off or on and also mike up.Another bonus is the band can hear each other better and fit the gear into a smaller van or use the extra space for PA.Having said all this I still dont use one on gigs, but I should.
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Dec 26, 2006 05:15 pm I personally like combo's as well. But Tad makes and excelant point. I would go the route of the Mesa head with a 2 x 12 cab. Still not to huge to cart around and gives you the durability factor as well.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
TadpuiI am not a crook's headMember
Dec 26, 2006 06:41 pm Oh and as far as tone, I hear people say that a 4x12 has a certain "chunk" or something to the low end that they just can't get otherwise...I don't hear it but these people are adamant that there's something special about using 4 12s in a cabinet.
Since: Mar 14, 2003
I think its in the type of music they play...mostly metal-heads that play high-gain, aggressive styles. I play with more classic kinds of guitar tones and a 2 x 12 sounds plenty punchy to me. I'd bet that even a 2x10, 1x12 or even a 1x10 would still suit me pretty well. 12s have a little more low end to them, and 10s are a little tighter in general.
But the preamp and power sections of amps aren't any different if they're in a head or a combo so most of the tone difference would come from the actual enclosure and number of/size of the speakers.
Dec 28, 2006 04:04 am I had a tiny Fender pro which was brill, but on gigs the sound wasn't big enough,although it sounded good through the pa.(a pity someone talked me into selling it) Im going to try again with a little 15 watt valve which has a line out so I can plug it into a powered monitor. Will let you know.Now I use a JTM 45(reissue)with a 2x12 or a 4x12. I put the 2x12 on a box and there's not much difference between them except for a better lower end sound with the 4x12.
Dec 28, 2006 08:36 am Stacks LOOK the mutts nutts. Very cool and obviously, very loud by default.
However, very impractical unless your doing stadium gigs!! Half stack at best in pubs and clubs methinks.
I also own a Marshall combo (I have used a half stack) and the reality is, a good valve combo (or indeed, any good combo) can be just as good as any stack...in essence, its just the box the insides come in!
Ye gotta try em all tho. ALL that said, a WALL of Marshall stacks is my first purchase if I ever win th elottery ;-) !! Yeehawwww........
Jan 16, 2007 12:41 am It really depends on the genre/setting of the music you're going to be playing. If you're playing classical or jazz in a small club/coffee house/living room, you'll get much better tone at lower volumes (in general) with a nice combo amp. However, if you're playing metal in a 400+ capacity club that's packed to the rafters and the sound guy doesn't know wtf he's doing monitor-wise, you'll thank your *** you bought a half-stack! I'll swear by my Mesa 1/2 stack any day. Plus, if your cab or head ever start f*****g with you, you can always borrow somebody else's. AND, if you have a trailer for your gear, you can always put the heads in the back of the van whilst your cab takes the abuse! :)
Just a little advice from someone who's seen his fair share of gigs :P
TallChapAnswer:On a good day, lipstick.Member
Jan 16, 2007 03:28 pm Fender Twin Reverb on "11" is the best guitar sound I've ever heard!
Since: Jun 24, 2004
Jan 16, 2007 03:30 pm There's no denying the twin man, my buddy's got a 50's twin and it still sounds ridiculously clean/full/amazing. Not so great for metal distortion, but the cleans!!!!
Jan 16, 2007 04:55 pm I played on a Mesa Lone-Star special recently, and I was....impressed.
It's only a 1x12 combo, but you'd never know it. It also has variable power. 5,15,or 30 watts, a really cool feature, and great for in-home recording.
I never would have believed 30 watts could be so loud, either....
I played a Fender Supersonic combo I liked a lot, too. Great tone. And 60 watts is more than enough to push a 4x12 if you want to chain.
Jan 16, 2007 04:56 pm Oh, and I'm a big fan of Fender Twins, too!!
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