Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Make it loud here.
User avatar
Tafarel
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:46 am
Location: Omaha
Contact:

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by Tafarel » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:43 am

I recently gave up a Vox AC15 HW combo and traded it for a Goodsell 17 head and Morgan 1x12 cab with a Celestion Gold (added a few simoleons to the deal). The amp itself is ridiculously light -- under 25 lbs, easily. The cab is listed at 38 lbs on the Morgan Amps website. However, it is nowhere near that. I compared it to a Supro Dual Tone at 31 lbs. and it was much lighter than it. It is a nice and lightly balanced load to carry into clubs I was having to make two trips anyway, because if I carried my Vox AC15 I would have to bear hug it and then return to the car to grab my guitar and pedalboard.

On top of that, tho, this amp and cab combo is brilliant. Mostly Vox in character, but with a little Marshall (very little) and Fender clean (even less) in the mix. The cab was expensive, but the depth and the open back make this setup sound absolutely enormous.

So, in a round-about way, that's my response: head and cab all the way... for now.
"I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now. I can't go to the bar because I've already looked back on it in my memory, and I didn't have a good time."

User avatar
SAVEStheDAY
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by SAVEStheDAY » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:06 pm

Is there really even a benefit to the combo amp besides, potentially, the price? Using a head through cabs gives you almost unlimited options. I don't understand the appeal of combo amps at all.

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4084
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:39 pm

SAVEStheDAY wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:06 pm
Is there really even a benefit to the combo amp besides, potentially, the price? Using a head through cabs gives you almost unlimited options. I don't understand the appeal of combo amps at all.
I think it’s an easier thing to market to people, and as a manufacturer you can control all the variables. A nice head through a shitty sounding cab sounds shitty.

Lighter and smaller combos are more convenient, but once you get past a certain point they become unwieldy.

User avatar
Plumerai
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:25 pm
Location: Ridgewood NY

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by Plumerai » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:21 pm

My brother uses one of those EH magnum power amp pedals & a 1x12 cab. Less crap to carry. guitar in one hand, cab in the other & pedals in a backpack.

User avatar
stevejamsecono
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3808
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Contact:

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by stevejamsecono » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:46 am

This has been something I've actively experimented with a fair amount since selling my car and moving to Brooklyn in 2012. Part of it comes from practicality and part of it initially came from a similar predilection for the problem-solving aspect of it. Currently I'm doing the small head route but I don't necessarily think it's any easier or less convenient than having a combo. It can be at some clubs where I know for a fact there's a cab there, but when there isn't I have to hire a car to lug my 2x12 or borrow someone else's amp which totally defeats the purpose.

After a point I think it just comes down to what you need to play a good show. If you sound confident and good on your AC15 then I'd just get a handtruck (if you don't already have one) to make it easier to lug around. I know by this point that I get frazzled using backlines and prefer my own stuff.
And you find out life isn't like that
It's so hard to understand
Why the world is your oyster but your future's a clam

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by somanytoys » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:24 pm

There are a lot of factors involved, at least with playing out. Amp weight and shape, room availability in the the transportation, amount of trips needed to bring all the equipment in & out. Also, the weight distribution is usually clunky with combos.

I have both combos and heads/cabs, for bass and guitar. Typically I’ll use a furniture dolly or a rolling rack platform to stack & roll the cabs. Depending on the surface you have to roll it on and how far, this isn’t good for tube heads & combos. Maybe with a nice pad under the amp to absorb the shock, it would be okay.

For guitar, I have an AC15 with a 12” and a Laney VC30 with 2 10”s, and they’re both beasts to move. My other amps are heads & 1x12 cabs, which are much easier to move around. I have different speakers in all of the cabs, and it’s very true that an amp sounds totally different with different cabs, even different speakers in the exact same cabs.

For practice, having the dual cabs & just transporting a head back & forth is a great way to go. Playing out, you may still need to bring a cab to some places as well. Less of a big deal with a 1x12 than a 4x10, even with casters or dollies. But using a venue’s backline equipment is rarely going to sound very good.

All that to say that probably the head/cab is better in many situations.

Or you could go to the dark side.
There have been rumors of cookies there, but Siths are known to be lying fuckers. They just use the cookie ploy to lure you in, only to trap you & make you listen to their spiels about buying into their condo pyramid schemes for hours on end. Going digital is okay, just don’t fall for the cookie bullshit. It’s a trap.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
Larsongs
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by Larsongs » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:05 pm

The attraction of a Combo Amp to me.

I can carry my lighter, smaller, easy to travel with, Modded Vox AC10C1 in one hand, my Guitar in the other & in one trip from my Car to the Gig & I'm ready to play... Same when I'm done. One trip... In & Out. Easy & convenient way to take care of Business.

I store my wireless X Vives, Strap, Picks, Slide & Tuner in the Guitar Case... My modded AC10C1 sounds as good as my AC15CC1X with Alnico Blue but is smaller, lighter & much more travel friendly..

I burned out long ago hauling tons of Equipment.. I'm a Musician, not a Roadie!

Larson
Last edited by Larsongs on Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jvin248
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: Cabs vs Combos, practically speaking....

Post by jvin248 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:39 am

.

Johan Sageborn shows an extreme of what you are considering. So anywhere between what he has here and what you have is the way to go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9dVMHvnm4Q

Buy two single 1x12 speakers and build a plywood cabinet box to mount each in with a jack. Keep one in each space and get a head to cart back and forth easier.

.

Post Reply