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Shootout: Head and 1X12 vs 1x12 combo

Messages
11,395
What are your thoughts here?
I currently have three combos and this go-around I've been considering the head/cab route. I like the thought of switching to a 2x12 for bigger/outdoor stuff but I do drive a Mustang so space is a concern (which is why I've stuck with combos in the first place).

Give me the pros and cons. Fight to the death! Hurt someone's feelings!:dude
 

Jess 1971

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,030
A lot of the places I play have backline cabs, so having your own smaller head to bring to gigs is a lot nicer than lugging a heavy combo amp.

As far as tone goes...I mean, that's a big question that depends a lot on which amps you want to compare. In general though, having just a head, as opposed to a combo, makes it easier to try different speaker combinations.
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,087
I've owned heads but always go back to combos, for convenience.

The nice thing about a head/cab is that you can have a larger cab (sounds better) without having the whole shebang weigh 60 pounds or more. Big combos are too heavy. The 1974x-size combo is a great compromise.
 

Heady Jam Fan

Member
Messages
9,009
I want to practice at home and at band practice with the same rig I gig with - I want to be used to the gear I'm using so I can focus on playing. This means I'm interested in the most portable rig possible: guitar, combo, pedalboard. I want the lightest amp possible. This also works with the tone I like: tight bass, so I don't want a big, heavy Output Transformer anyway.

My Silverface Deluxe Reverb weights about 40 pounds.
My Badcat Unleash is installed inside the cab and adds about 4 pounds.
I use either a 100w 8ohm speaker or 180w 4ohm speaker (which is probably about 4db louder).
So for <45 pounds, I can pump out 180w of Vintage Fender tone.
Why would I want to lug a 412?
 

tapeup

Butterscotch Supt. Member
Messages
2,013
I'm confused. How does your Silverface Deluxe Reverb pump out 180 watts of vintage Fender tone?
 

TylerRex790

Member
Messages
444
Head & Cab = compensating

Combo = winning



On a serious note, I've found heads/cabs fill more space, while combos cut better. That's just my experience with my BF Bassman and 212 cab vs. a BF Twin Reverb. Though the smaller the combo, the better it seems to cut to me. My Princeton Reverbs cut like a knife through butter.
 

IM4Tone

Member
Messages
3,769
Combos...better for grab-n-go to jams, etc.
Head/Cab...greater flexibility for speaker variation (both in number and in brand/type). The total weight can be more, but by making multiple trips it's not as tough on your back. Virtually eliminates 'Tube Rattle'.
Probably more +/-'s, but that's what popped into my head immediately.
 

ifailedshapes

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,546
For me, combo all the way. People seem to forget that having a combo does not mean you are obligated to use the provided speaker. It is easily unplugged in order to use any cabinet that could be used with a head. So it's the same versatility, plus additional versatility due to not being forced to haul an additional cab every time.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,705
Biggest dif for me is the lack of "tube torture chamber" and versatility of being able to pick and choose with a head/cab setup, closed back/open back/different speakers. Both those are very real yet these days all my amps are combos, but then I'm 54, don't play out and just play at home to entertain myself.
 

aynirar27

Double
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
32,572
what kind of music do you play?
anything remotely ballsy will sound better through head/cab
if it's more strummy or weedly blooz, a combo will suffice.
 

jpage

Senior Member
Messages
9,226
To me, a head is the only form factor I will consider. Combos are heavier, tougher to transport, impossible to sell, tougher to service/change tubes/speakers, less versatile, extremely hard on tubes, etc, etc, etc. I might be biased because I have 6 guitar cabs that I love and that sound killer--speakers are such a huge part of a rig I can't wrap my head around throwing something (usually something cheap and light) in a little half open box and being cool with it because you don't want to have to carry a cab in your other hand...
 

TylerRex790

Member
Messages
444
what kind of music do you play?
anything remotely ballsy will sound better through head/cab
if it's more strummy or weedly blooz, a combo will suffice.
^^^ this guy is funny ^^^

Unfortunately, he has no real info to provide. Plenty of ballsy music has been played and sounded fantastic through a combo. Ted Nugent had way better tone in the 70s playing through a wall of Twin Reverbs than he does now with 6505 full stacks. Steve Jones' most raw and ballsy tone came from a silverface Twin Reverb that he used on Nevermind the Bollocks as opposed to the JCM800 he later switched to. Brian May, Keith Richards, Neil Young, and all walks of rock musicians used combo amps exclusively. This is not to say that one cannot get good tones from a head and cab, as head and cab users have certainly shown that a head and cab with pump out some amazing stuff as well, but to claim that a combo cannot be ballsy is beyond ignorant. The kind of ignorance that props up empty cabs on stage to look cool. Plenty of lame people play with heads and cabs too, you know. Usually just rich the lame people.
 

aynirar27

Double
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
32,572
I'd say you got me with the Nuge, but the other mentions, while are good tones, they aren't what i'd call very ballsy or tough. there is an inherent thud that you just can't get from a combo.
 

Ugh

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
865
I'd say 122 watts, since the Deluxe is 22w, and the Unleash adds 100w?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That's not how it works. With the unleash, your amp's output is completely dissipated by the unleash's internal load, then re-amplified. It produces 100 watts a at 8 ohms, 180 watts at 4 ohms.
 

Evo5150

Senior Member
Messages
1,102
That's not how it works. With the unleash, your amp's output is completely dissipated by the unleash's internal load, then re-amplified. It produces 100 watts a at 8 ohms, 180 watts at 4 ohms.

Ah, gotcha. Didn't know, I don't have one. Great concept though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 




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