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Would you ever choose a combo over a head+cab?

Random Hero

Member
Messages
3,367
I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I'm looking at picking up a Marshall JVM but I'm unsure whether to go for a head and 2x12 cab or the 2x12 combo. I'm aware of the tonal differences between open and closed back and I would go for the same speakers in the 2x12 cab that are in the combo.

Thoughts?
 
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speedemon

Member
Messages
2,623
Hmm, sounds like you are a metal guy, and need a closed back cab. I love the convenience of a combo, so I put a swinging door on the back of mine, works great.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
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11,851
In my experience 212 combos are bricks. So I would go with the head and 212 cab myself. If it was between a 112 combo and head/212 cab it would be a tougher choice.

For more modern amps in my experience have preferred closed back cabs. For vintage amps, I prefer opened back cabs. I think to get the max versatility out of the JVM, the head + 212 closed back cab would probably be the ticket....
 

vibrostrat43

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,265
Yeah, I really love combos, but that's mostly because I think they look cooler than heads and cabs (unless we're talking halfstack). They generally are much heavier than I would prefer to carry though, and also rattle tubes more than a head/cab will.

For practicality the head/cab would be better, but combos generally cost less and look cooler :)

As a side note to builders. Why do you waste your money on putting handles on top of a combo? Put some of those side handles that you generally see in bass amps in and combos would be much easier to transport!
 

JPF

Member
Messages
8,797
A 2x12 combo gets heavier as the years pass and old sports injuries take their toll. If you're thinking long-term, I'd go with the head and cab that's what I'll be doing from now on.
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,871
Modern Marshall? No, I would not get the combo. To prone to rattles. Especially those big side indented handles. Even though they put a rubber gromet on them, sometimes they do rattle. Besides it'll be lighter to carry if it's two pieces.
 

vibrostrat43

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,265
Modern Marshall? No, I would not get the combo. To prone to rattles. Especially those big side indented handles. Even though they put a rubber gromet on them, sometimes they do rattle. Besides it'll be lighter to carry if it's two pieces.
Is that why builders don't use those side handles generally? I always wondered why they didn't lol. Well I guess it's a good thing they don't then.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,851
I forgot to mention too that my experience with marshall combos and heat has not been the greatest. Both the Marshall DSL401 and 6101LE 112 combos I used to own were known for heat issues. I thankful did not have any heat issues, but read plenty of posts and reviews where people did on those two models. The JVM combo may be different, but I was would wary....
 

speedemon

Member
Messages
2,623
Yes,

it occurs to me from other posts there is a lot of situational bias in stating a preference. Doing metal/club gigs in L.A. with 5 min. to setup because the band before you took forever to tear down and 5min. to get off because stage crew is grabbing stuff carelessly (or the arrogant headliner is gonna put beers on your gear while you are trying to move), the fewer things to plug and unplug, the better! If you are the Big Fish in a backwater town (yes, that is a joke!) and have all day to set up your stuff, pay $500 a month to rent a 4 bedroom house to store it, a half stack with Anvil cases is best!

good luck!
 

jpage

Senior Member
Messages
9,226
I can't understand why anyone would ever prefer a combo over a head/cab. Combos are a PITA to carry (have you EVER lugged a 2x12 combo up 3 flights of stairs????), a PITA to pack into a small space, a PITA to service (and you'll need to because amps don't like to be vibrated constantly) and a PITA to resell (ever shipped a 2x12 combo across country LOL) because of the above. Not to mention the flexibilty a head/multiple cab rig provides. No thanks.

the fewer things to plug and unplug, the better!
LOL--really? a speaker cable?
 

The Kid

Member
Messages
5,423
I can't understand why anyone would ever prefer a combo over a head/cab. Combos are a PITA to carry (have you EVER lugged a 2x12 combo up 3 flights of stairs????), a PITA to pack into a small space, a PITA to service (and you'll need to because amps don't like to be vibrated constantly) and a PITA to resell (ever shipped a 2x12 combo across country LOL) because of the above. Not to mention the flexibilty a head/multiple cab rig provides. No thanks.



LOL--really? a speaker cable?
indeed.

/thread. imo.
 

EADGBE

Senior Member
Messages
12,338
I think cabs sound better. It's also easier to carry a head into the shop for the eventual new tubes and re-biasing. But combos can sound pretty good too.
 

MartinCliffe

Member
Messages
1,967
I'd never choose a 2x12 combo over anything. I'd rather move a 4x12 cab. I can certainly see the appeal of a 1x12 combo, but head & cab is just so much more flexible. Plus, for me, I have ISO boxes for recording with my cabs - definitely wouldn't want to put a combo in there as it'd get much too hot and I'd have to open it all up every time I wanted to adjust a control.
 






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