Combos Versus Cab&Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mrodrigues, May 30, 2008.

  1. mrodrigues

    mrodrigues Member

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    If you had the option, would you have a really nice cab and then have just the amp heads? Or would you stick with combos?

    What are the advantages ?? Which do you think is the easier option in terms of gigging etc?

    I did a search but couldn't find anything, if you'd like to just point me to an old thread that's cool!
     
  2. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't gig anymore (might start again when the kids get a bit older) and I do a lot of home recording. I just can't trust combo's anymore. Every single booteek combo that I have bought is hindered by tube rattle and/or cabinet buzz, even at low to moderate volume levels. When testing these with "gig levels" I would consider some unuseable.
    Come to think of it I think there is a correlation between the size of the speaker/cab and format. The valvetech 2x12 with thinner, bigger cab was perfect with no issues. Everything else, not so much. That includes 5 watters cranked up.
    From now on, heads only.
     
  3. major

    major Member

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    I think what possibilities you get with a head/cab combination plus the ease of portability get higher marks than most tube combos. I change between 2 cabinets with different speaker setups with the same head. Besides, I prefer a closed back system for more warmth and punch when desired, show me a single 12 combo that can do that. If I was gigging regularly, the head/cab would be my setup-which I can get into my car's trunk easily.
     
  4. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    I love my Victoria Regal II but I'd love to have it made into a head/cab with different cabinet and speaker options.
     
  5. Last Nerve

    Last Nerve Supporting Member

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    I gotta say head/cab as well. The last four or five combos I had, displayed some tube rattle. Just can't KNOWINGLY go back down that path again. YMMV.
     
  6. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    Head and cab. No rattles. Easy to try different speaker cabs.
     
  7. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    i like the look and convenience of a combo, but i like the ability to mix and match with a head cab setup, plus you could put all the heads in a rack and then use one cab.
     
  8. mrodrigues

    mrodrigues Member

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    hmmm! yeah, thanks.

    I feel the same way about it as most of you guys do here.

    I've never had the experience of gigging that way.
    So, do you guys really find it easier to carry a 2x12 and a head than a single combo (I'd say the size of a Fender Hot Rod Del)?

    At the moment, my interest is more in having a few heads and being able to switch them around for different applications with one really good cab, rather than having a single head with various cab combinations.
     
  9. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    Well thats an unfair comparison. A better one would be a 2x12" combo vs a 2x12" cab and separate head.

    You have to make two trips with the separate pieces, but I find that easier than lugging one huge thing.

    Plus most cabs have nice side handles that help you keep your back straight when you carry.

    Most combos have an awkward suitcase style handle on the top.

    I did a gig with a 2x12" combo, and had to park down the block. WOW that was no fun carrying the combo, pulling at my back the whole way. And I am a big dude with a healthy back. Gotta go head/cab from now on.

    dk
     
  10. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    i agree with the hassle of carrying the head and cab, but the advantages out weigh that point for me.

    and all cabs ive used have two handles. not the one suitcase handle.
     
  11. mrodrigues

    mrodrigues Member

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    hmm. I was looking at getting the THD 2x12 cab... as it is quite light and seems to be quite compact. not to mention is sounds ridiculous (I think at least!)

    but I've just seen it also has the handle at the top. anyone have any good/bad experiences with this?
     
  12. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    I would vote head and cab as well. No rattles (generally) splits up the weight, and easy to try out different speakers.
    The THD is a very good cab, the handle on top makes it real easy to transport.
     
  13. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I find it easiest to carry a head and two 1x12 cabs. Often the second one isn't even needed.

    I like the isolation advantages of head/cab, as well as (typically) better speaker acoustics of an actual cab.
     
  14. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    I prefer head/cab usually but my Badger 30 combo has no rattles and plenty of low end, it's heavy but it's also self contained.
     
  15. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Head/cab has so many obvious advantages, but I end up preferring a combo. More for the convenience than anything else. One less thing to carry. Most often I'm playing a relatively portable 15" speaker combo, one with no rattles, so it all works out. 2x12s are heavier. If I used them more, and gigged more, the head/combo option would get way more attractive.
     
  16. Copper_Head

    Copper_Head Supporting Member

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    The advantage of a combo is in it's simplicity, but at mid to high volumes, my experience is that they use tubes way faster because of the vibrations of the speaker cab portion. I gigged weekends for over 10 years with a 5150 combo and it is a 12AX7 tube eating monster. Fully checked out at Peavey, everthing is healthy and fine.
    I now use a head and cab and am experiencing far better tube life. I think having the head isolated from the cab helps a bunch.
     
  17. mvd18969

    mvd18969 Member

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    Depends on what you're doing and what sort of venues you are playing. All of my amp purchases over the past year have been combos.....
    I like the grab & go appeal of a combo. I grab the amp and a guitar and I'm out the door. Makes teardown at the end of the night much easier too.
    Having done the whole "bigger is better" during the 80s (2 full stacks in stereo), I embrace the simplicity of grab & go!! If it's a larger room, let the PA do the work.
     
  18. CAJUN

    CAJUN Member

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    I pretty much sold off all of my heads for the ease of a grab and go combo amp. I prefer the way a head and cabinet sounds over a combo, but at this point in my gigging life the less the better.
     
  19. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    I'm using a Spider Valve head/Avatar 212 cab right now, but I'm going to pick up one of the 112 combos for a back up. The Avatar on it's side is actually narrower than the SV112, but sometimes it is easier to just carry a 112 if you have to park a fair walk away.
     
  20. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    +1, it's a trade off. but think of everything else you need, like a cable, footswitch, effects, cables for the effects, cover or covers, and it adds up. now i have a head and cab with another cable? PITA i say. a small combo with an ext cab for bigger gigs, is what i use. as for the tubes, well, fender combos have been ok with that setup for years. and as for the tone well, many a great tune was played with a deluxe, or princeton, or twin.
     

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