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Combo vs Head + Cabinet

jzgtrguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,672
Your opinion needed.

I've been on the hunt for a new amp. I narrowed my search down to a Port City Pearl. I've read a lot about how great the amp is and also how nice Port City cabinets are. It's basically a great amp in and of itself but it's also a great pedal platform.

So one day I'm checking out Ebay and I see a Pearl 100 head and I buy it. Now I find that the 100 watts limits my speaker choices.

My goals are to simplify things a single channel amp and a few pedals. Simple is the goal. I also do not want to be schlepping around a lot of heavy gear.

If it were you would you go for a head + cabinet or a combo?

I bought the head because I've read such great things about the cabinets that I felt I would be giving something up to get the combo. Is my thinking straight there?

While I'm at it would you go 50 watts or 100?
 
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jb70

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,737
if you want to get a port city pearl but want to minimize the amount of gear that you're lugging around then i would get a port city pearl combo. 50 watts should be plenty loud and the 50 watt combo is only 36 lbs. i'm guessing that the 100 watt version would be about 5-8 lbs heavier if you want to go that route. you can also shave off a few pounds by adding a neo speaker (the jensen jet tornado is a good sounding speaker). you should call and talk to daniel. he's super cool and will point you in the right direction
 

Bubba_Leon

Member
Messages
262
From what you've stated the combo definitely seems to suit your need to simplify things.
If it has an external speaker jack, you get the best of both worlds.
I use a 50 watt Orange Rockerverb head, and I run it through an Electric Amp 2x12 loaded with Eminence Wizards. It's louder than GOD!
 

jzgtrguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,672
Thanks! I've had an email exchange with Daniel and Harris. They've both been great!. I'll have to call as you suggest. It was Daniel who had originally recommended 100 watts in a combo.

If I keep the 100 watt head I either have to get a 212 or spend more on a speaker up grade.

I was trying to save some $$$ when the water pump went out on my wife's car. Needs tires too. Ugh!

if you want to get a port city pearl but want to minimize the amount of gear that you're lugging around then i would get a port city pearl combo. 50 watts should be plenty loud and the 50 watt combo is only 36 lbs. i'm guessing that the 100 watt version would be about 5-8 lbs heavier if you want to go that route. you can also shave off a few pounds by adding a neo speaker (the jensen jet tornado is a good sounding speaker). you should call and talk to daniel. he's super cool and will point you in the right direction
 

jb70

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,737
i'm not sure you would need a 100 watt combo unless you're playing with a drummer who is brutally loud. the 50 watt pearl should be plenty loud but if you have the extra $$$ and don't mind the extra weight then i would get the 100 watt combo
 

jzgtrguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,672
From what you've stated the combo definitely seems to suit your need to simplify things.
If it has an external speaker jack, you get the best of both worlds.
I use a 50 watt Orange Rockerverb head, and I run it through an Electric Amp 2x12 loaded with Eminence Wizards. It's louder than GOD!
I used to have a Rivera Quiana Studio 112. It was louder than hell. I used an attenuator which I didn't really like. I sold it to get an Axe-FX Ultra. Now I've sold the Ultra for another simple amp and a few pedals.

i'm not sure you would need a 100 watt combo unless you're playing with a drummer who is brutally loud. the 50 watt pearl should be plenty loud but if you have the extra $$$ and don't mind the extra weight then i would get the 100 watt combo
That's what I'm thinking. The Pearl is designed not to break up. It is clean, clean, clean all the way up. Normally I'd get the extra wattage for the clean head room. I think I'll give them a call today.
 

jzgtrguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,672
I just got off the phone with Daniel at Port City Amps. He patiently answered all my questions. Great service!

Suggestion 1) Pull two power tubes and run the amp at 50 Watts and get a 112 OS cab with a Warehouse ET65...Duh why didn't I think of that?

Suggestion 2) 212 with Warehouse ET65's He is totally high on these speakers. This way I can run the amp at 100 watts if I want to.

Suggestion 3) Eminence Red White and Blues in a 112 OS also rated at 100 watts.

Time to make up my mind and make a decision....
 

geetarplayer

Member
Messages
1,131
All things being equal (and they may not be) I prefer a head/cab over a combo. Mostly because of the ease of transport (my head weighs 12 lbs) but also because of the flexibility. In jam sessions in the basement, I can put the cab anywhere. And if you need to isolate the cab for loud recording or stage noise reduction, you can put the cab inside a box that requires no ventilation, and still have all the controls at your fingertips. But you may not have those requirements. If you're just going to always set the head on top of the cab, then these considerations don't matter to you.
 

gixxerrock

Member
Messages
3,954
These days I prefer head/cab. I have a few heads I really like, and a nice sounding 2x12. I put a hotplate in line to tame some heads. If you find the perfect combo that covers all your playing needs, then a combo could be a better choice.

I don't play very loud, but would never go smaller than 50W. There are a few times where I have appreciated in feel of 100W big cleans (still not that loud).
 

jzgtrguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,672
Thanks for your thoughts.

I'm going to keep the head and try using it at 100 Watts. It's supposed to be quite manageable even at this power. If it's too loud I'll pull two power tubes.

I'm still torn between 212 or 112...
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,389
I prefer a head/cab for two reasons - dispersion of weight to save my back and the ability to put a cab offstage to mic it up.
 

BigKD

Member
Messages
1,404
Head + 212 cabinet. I have a port city 212OS driven by an 85ish watt mesa boogie mark III. Sounds massive.
 






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