What's more important, the amp or the cab?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Shlogo, Jan 14, 2013.


  1. Shlogo

    Shlogo

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    Maybe this is a bad title, as both the amp and cab play a massive role in your overall tone.
    But I was wondering, if you were in my situation, which one would be top on your list.
    So what's my situation?
    I am unable to mix and match all possible amp/cab combinations (or at least a good portion) that I would like to try out before putting hundreds of dollars into it.

    I was wondering if it would be smart to invest in a high quality cab and then bring that around with me to test out different amps (a smaller cab of course).
    Or if I should do the same but with an amp.

    Anyone else do this?
    Any tips if i go this route?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    The interaction between the two are so important. If you feel strongly about one of the other get that piece first.

    If size and transport are top concerns, I would start there first. Personally, I would start with the amp/preamp because the most common situation for me is using the DI. I seldom mic a cab in live situations.

    If I'm using my rig to fill the room, cab is important, but power and EQ still win out for me.

    YMMV
  3. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Grand Rapids Michigan
    The cab makes up at least 51% of your total sound. In other words it is the most important piece of equipment you buy.

    I would start with two matching 8 Ohm 115's.
  4. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    both are equally important
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  6. JoeVictim

    JoeVictim

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Different cabs can react differently to the same amp.

    I would find an amp with the features/watts you need, then take the amp around to find your cab. There's noting like trying xyz cab with brand x amp, and buying the cab based on how good it sounds, then getting a different amp and having different results with the cab you used to love. :meh:

    Welcome to the world of GAS.
  7. YuppyPunk

    YuppyPunk

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    When it comes to tone and volume the cab is more important. A great head through a cheap cab will sound lousy. Conversely, a cheap head will sound decent through a good cab.

    True story. I run a GK Backline 600 which is concidered to be a decent low-end head. I was running it through a matching 410 and I always thought that I had a replace everything as I couldn't get a good tone or as much volume as I expected. A few months back I bought an Ashdown VS212 from a fellow TB'er and suddenly I had a nice sounding rig.
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    NE US/CAN line
    Cab is the most important link in the chain IMO.
  9. tdub0199

    tdub0199

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga.
    The Cab....
  10. nysbob

    nysbob

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    It's easier to make a mediocre head sound acceptable through a good cab than vice versa, FWIW.
  11. mystic38

    mystic38

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Mystic CT
    no, its not smart to lug a cab (or two) around for a month...lol

    i pick your option b) get a decent amp within your budget with the features you need... eq, DI ins /outs etc..then lug THAT around to try cabs..

  12. sokolasty

    sokolasty

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Poland
    In my opinion cabinet is more important. In general, according to my experience, amps are more or less transparent, and cabinets are very different one from another.
  13. bassboysam

    bassboysam

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
  14. blindrabbit

    blindrabbit

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    The greatest amp in the world will sound like junk through a terrible cab - no matter what head you have, it will always sound bad. OTOH, while a terrible amp will sound bad through a great cab, the better the amp gets, the better it will sound.

    Ergo, get a great cab and work your way up from there.
  15. Shlogo

    Shlogo

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    Seems like the majority is leaning toward a cab, which is what I was thinking.
    Thanks for the input!

    I was contemplating getting a avatar cab (if I had to buy blind) as they dont seem to get negative reviews...and the price is a plus.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Average bass + average amp + great cab = great

    Great bass + great amp + average cab = average
  17. PWV

    PWV Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Based on my experience - the cab.
  18. dhsierra1

    dhsierra1

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Central CA Coast
    another vote for cab(s) first.
  19. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    NE US/CAN line
    Hath the Netherworld frozen over? Are swine now airborn? A concensus in a TB thread! Happy New Year ;-)
  20. fkh006

    fkh006

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Apache Junction Az
    The OP is in Chicago, or so his profile states.
    There is absolutely no reason he cannot go hear whatever amp and cabinet he wants to before buying.
    That town has pretty much anything you want all easily accessible to audition.

    Get off the computer and go look and compare.
    We cannot do this for you.
  21. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I personally believe the Cab. Some others will say your bass...some might say your chord, I think some might say your power chord, others your strings and others the humidity in the air that night....

    I would go with the cab you like and then ask for recomendations on a decent head to drive it.

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