Head Or Combo?

Torren61

Member
Messages
2,032
For the longest time, I've been only buying amp heads. I DO have a 2X12 and a 1X10 combo but only because they were really good deals, good amps and had nostalgic value.

I currently have three heads but I've moved five or six other heads over the last few years.

I have a 1x10 cab, 1X15 cab, 1X12 cab, 2X12 cab, 4X10 cab, 4X12 cab and an ISO cab on the way.

I can mix and match the heads and cabs for a whole lot of different sounds. The heads are lighter than what the combos would be. The cabs are lighter than what the combos would be. I can keep the heads off the cabs so they don't vibrate. The heads inherently have an output that a combo may or may not have.

What would be the advantages of a combo compared to what I'm doing?
 

Jim234

Member
Messages
1,583
I tend to move from head/ cab to combo and back during my gigging year. Some of the tricky setup locations require a grab n go approach that only a combo can give me. Given that you have a 1x12 cab then sound wise you can get down to the level of a combo anyway. If you only had a 4x12 then yes a combo would be useful. For me it comes down to tools for the job but I prefer head cab overall.
 
Last edited:

BlueRiff

Senior Member
Messages
7,745
I'm coming from the other direction - always a combo player and recently started using head + cab. There is something to be said about lifting ONE piece of amp gear and walking into the gig. But I finally decided to go the other way because I wanted the variety of the different cabs - which is quite significant (e.g. the attack and speed of a 10" speaker vs. the "flex" and low mid richness of a 15" speaker) - its a blast to have this sonic palette to work with. Still - for a quick rehearsal or jam at someone's house - I grab the combo. For the gig - I bring the head and cab of choice for the situation. No to me its tradeoff - convenience vs. versatility.
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,013
I was a head player forever and a couple months ago an amp came up in combo form I wanted so I thought what the heck. Flash forward two months and I just got done converting it to a head! For me Combo's weigh too much and are harder to transport than a cab/head.
 

Torren61

Member
Messages
2,032
@BlueRiff

That's a good point. The ONLY thing I could argue is that you only have to make one extra trip to and from the car but the load is lighter. :)
 

MattC

Member
Messages
1,681
Somewhat against the grain here, I've learned that I prefer the sound of a 1x12 combo for most of what I do. That said, if I want 2 or more speakers for a given setup for whatever reason, head/cab is the only way to go. 2x12 and 4x10 combos are generally ridiculously heavy. Never again.
 

Rumble5

Member
Messages
1,677
I've got both a head (JMP 1987) and several combos. I never take the JMP out, always the combos. While the head is lighter than a combo and the cab is lighter than a combo, both combined are heavier and each requires one hand.

With a combo, I can carry my guitar in one hand, my combo in the other (35 lb Supro or 50 lb Pro Reverb), and my cables, mics, etc. in a backpack. One trip.

Plus, I like the sound of a combo. I like to play roots rock with the diffused, almost sloppy sound of a distorted open-back amp spilling sound in all directions (think Neil Young's 5E3 sounding like it's about to blow up).
 

stratovarius

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,708
A head is almost always the better choice, but some amps just seem like they want to be combos. This is especially true when the choice of speakers is obvious. I have had both Z Wreck configurations and prefer the combo. Everything seems to ring together somehow.
 

70 Mach 1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,911
I was looking to downsize due to weight and room issues. After months on CL and the likes I couldn't give my
JCM 900 4- 12s away. Decided to just keep them and get a few 1 12s and mix match bottoms as mentioned
 

Darl

Member
Messages
1,958
I'm in a city and either take a cab or a train to gigs. It's a lot easier to transport a combo. Guitar goes on the shoulders, (small) combo in one hand, (small) pedalboard in other hand. Making the amp into 2 pieces is just harder for my environment
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom