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A big amp or a head and cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Harps, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Harps


    Feb 22, 2006
    Im lookin to buy my second amp, should i buy a normal big amp or a seperate head and cab?
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    by a normal big amp i think you mean a combo.

    well, no one can tell you what to do. But, i will say that buying a seperate head and cab(s) can be much more flexible for a variety of reasons. In the FAQ sticky at the top of amps is a link to a thread regarding combo amps. It gets a bit heated, and opinions aboud, but there is a lot of good pro and con viewpoints within.
  3. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I started out with two combos and now i have a head/cab setup.

    Each has their pros and cons:

    Pros: one unit to carry around, tend to be a little cheaper than buying the same head and cab seperately. Small and powerful combos are great for taking to a band practice or jam with your friends.

    Cons: bigger combos can be HEAVY. They typically aren't as powerful as head/cab setups but there are powerful combos out there such as the Eden Metros, GK 1001 or 700 RB-II combos, some mesa stuff etc etc. Biger combos take up a lot of space in your car. i.e. aren't as portable. Combos aren't modular, so you can't just change the head/cab if you want something new; you have to change the whole combo.

    Pros: Modular design allows easy changing of head or cab. power ranges from bedroom practice level to blow your ears in a full size stadium level. They are more portable because the head and cab can be split, i.e. put the cab in the trunk and the amp in the passenger's seat.

    Cons: Can be very expensive compared to a similiar powered combo. That's all the cons i have found with my setup so far.

    You have to decide on what you feel is the best solution for you.
  4. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Why do you want to upgrade?
  5. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I'd go the head/cab route much more flexability later on, but can cost more $$$ initially.
  6. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    What do you have now?

    Are you keeping it?

    Is this going to be an upgrade or something similar in power, features and speaker configuration?

    How important is portability?

    Anyway, there are lots of factors that should be taken into account but with knowing absolutely nothing of your situation/needs I will say get a seperate head and cab. Not only that, your head should be a pre/power setup.

    Hey, you asked.


  7. Harps


    Feb 22, 2006
    Ahh, thanks for that, if i go with the head/cab does that mean i can upgrade more when i have more money.
    The amp i have now is a 20W practice amp by the way
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm a huge fan of combos. They offer such great convenience! Many times combos have a jack for external speaker, allowing you to run the combo and an external cabinet down the road. I used to run an Eden Nemesis 210 combo with my Eden D210T cabinet, it was a great combination.

    That said, I now have only the Eden 210 cab and two different heads that I can switch out depending on what kind of sound I'm after.

    If you get a combo with an external speaker out you can do that, also.

    If you're looking for great bang-for-the-buck, look in the calssifieds here and on ebay for something used. In my experience you can't go wrong with Peavey. If you have a local Peavey dealer, head on down and see what they have to offer.
  9. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Philbiker offered some great points in terms of the good of a combo amp. I really wasn't happy with my combos. I loved the idea of carrying one giant box around and thats it, but I wasn't too happy with what it had to offer. (Then again I had an SWR LA15 which is a nice amp, but compared to my rig it's not so good) It all depends on what you do.In my very humble opinion; if you are just jamming or playing smaller venues. I would try and still with a large combo. Therefore it should take up less room, and will 90% of the time be less expensive. If you have a larger size gig every once in a while then also buy a cabinet to hook the combo into just to get you by. Which will ultimately be better for you because if you decide you want a full rig, then all you need is the head and you're done!
    All in all we cannot tell you what to buy we are all just giving you our opinions. Take a full day and take your bass to your local music shop. Try out all the combos that you like and then try out all the head/cabs that you like. Only you know what sound you are looking for.
  10. SubMonkey


    May 3, 2004
    Denver, CO
    perhaps you might consider splitting the difference and going with one of the "airhead" type units available. You gain the versatility of a rack type head system and the portability of a combo.... just thinkin out loud here....