If you have the choice, combo or head+cab

d2_racing

Member
Messages
96
Hi everyone, I plan to buy my next amp in a near future.

I plan to buy the Tone King Royalist 15w model.

I can buy the combo version of the head + cab 1x12 version.

What is the advantage of buying the head +cab version beside having the possibility to plug an another head in the cab and basically adding some versatility to my small rig ?

I play only in my little studio, so the portability is not an issue.

Thanks :p
 

rummy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,567
It depends on the overall weight. I thought having a combo would make my life easier. Grab and go, right? Nope. Not unless your combo weighs 80lbs.

I ended up getting a head cab, and split the combo into two. I'd much rather make two trips carrying 40lb boxes, than trying to carry 80lb, awkwardly shaped, off balanced box in one trip. And, you have the flexibility of mix and matching cabs.

But for a smaller sized amp, I'd get a combo.
 

jeff_lebowski

Member
Messages
1,346
I like combos because they are their own entity. Its all there in one package, thats what I need.



I hear a lot of people complaining about heavy combos but they must have zero body strength. Trouble lifting 100 pounds? I would be embarrassed.
 

CharlyG

Play It Forward
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,757
I don't like the sound of one speaker.....and 2x12 combos are too heavy at 63. Not that I move my stuff much.
 

gwr

Member
Messages
542
I use head/cab because not only less weight but also affords you the opportunity to use different combinations of cabs,I have a 2x10,1x12 and plan on 2x12 in the future to match the size of the clubs we play in,also having the head separated from the speakers makes it easier on the tubes.
 

gitapik

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
863
Nice choice of amp. Tone King makes great stuff.

The weight factor (if it is a factor) flies out the window on this one. 20lbs for the Royalist combo is about the weight of my Port City Pearl head. Very transportable. So it's a matter of sound.

I take a few things into consideration when it comes to combo vs head/cab:

1) Most combos come with an open back. This will create a wide sound because the sound that the speaker produces comes out the back, as well (not as much…but it's there). When you perform with a combo and want a tighter sound, you can place it very close to a wall to keep that sound contained. If you're into the wider sound, you place it further from the wall to allow the sound to escape. If it's mainly for your studio use, you'll be able to take advantage of this option. You can also put a blanket over the back of the amp. Although this will definitely tighten the sound up, it's still not going to be as effective as a fully enclosed, wooden cab. A performance advantage to a combo thats not mic'ed is that the sound is less directional. As a result, your bandmates can hear you better, as can the people who are sitting in the sides of the space.

2) Although you can get cabs which are either open or "convertible" (option of taking off one or more pieces to expose more of the innards), many people tend to opt for a closed back cab because it's a tighter sound. Especially the bass. A plus to the head/cab is that you can buy different cabs for different sounds and interchange them. I have a Port City Wave OS 1x12 cab which has a baffling system. It directs the sound that's normally trapped in the back of the closed cab out towards the bottom front. From there it's pushed out and upward from the bottom where there's a baffle and opening. I love this cab. It combines the tightness and the wider sound really nicely.

3) There's a slight edge to spring reverb in a combo, as the springs are further away from the amplifier area. That's not an issue with the Royalist, though, 'cuz thar ain't no reverb!

I had a Boogie Mark IIB combo for decades. It was pretty heavy for such a small unit, but manageable. I also had a Thiele cab that I'd connect it to for a tighter sound. Now I've got a Blues Jr, fully modded by BillM, and a Port City Pearl 50w head going through the Wave OS I was talking about. They're both really cool.

What style(s) of music are you playing? I checked out a YouTube of the Royalist combo and was really impressed, but you have to be careful with demos of mic'd cabs, as you're not really hearing the sound that it will create in a room setting, unless most of what you're doing is sitting or standing right next to the speaker (which is a nice thing to do).
 
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majorminor

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,555
Everything logical says head and cab - less tube stress, cab rattle, scale up or down with speaker cab flexibility etc. But for me it's a 1x12 or 2x10 combo preferred all the way. The right ones sound as good as anything to me and I like having to deal with nothing more than a slip cover, a handle and an on switch.
 

wookiefoot

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
653
Head & Cab has some merits for sure. Flexibility and less issues with cab / tube stress.

How about a nice combo + cab. Can't we have both our cake and eat it too?
 

geetarplayer

Member
Messages
1,131
Head and cab. More flexibility, easier to carry, more pleasing to the eye, and I can put my cab backstage in an ISO box and keep my head beside me.
 

d2_racing

Member
Messages
96
Hi, can someone explain to me what is the tube stress ?

I don't want to write something dumb....
 

Xfigio

Member
Messages
110
I guess someone has to differ. As someone who plays out two to three times a month, I appreciate having a combo, and only making one trip to the car. My wife's bass rig is not a combo, and is a nuisance having to make two trips when loading and unloading.
 
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gitapik

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
863
I guess someone has to differ. As someone who plays out two to three times a month, I appreciate having a combo, and only making one trip to the car. My wife's bass rig is a combo, and is a nuisance having to make two trips when loading and unloading.
Big plus. I gigged with a Boogie Mark IIB combo for decades.
 

Jescar

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
234
I like combos because they are their own entity. Its all there in one package, thats what I need.



I hear a lot of people complaining about heavy combos but they must have zero body strength. Trouble lifting 100 pounds? I would be embarrassed.
No, you would be without back issues.
But 5 of my amps are combos...for the good days and small gigs.
And some of my 100 watt head are heavier than the combos.
Take the right tool for the mission. Then take two aspirins:)
 






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