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At what point should you stop buying combos?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tupac, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    In other words, when is it appropriate to start buying separate heads and cabs? Is there a general price point where you get more value by buying separately, or perhaps a certain skill level?
  2. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    It should have nothing to do with skill level. How about when your gigs require it?
  3. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    personally, i would never buy one in the first place, unless it's fliptop, and i don't really consider a fliptop a combo since they have a seperate head/cab.
    plus with today's lightweight heads and cabs, portability is no longer an issue and that's the only benefit that i can see in a combo.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    There is no difference of quality or power between head/cab and combo.
    It's not a matter of price, just use and personal preference.
    I prefer to carry my stuff in one trip, which is why I prefer combos.
  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    When 1 isn't enough anymore?

    Really, with extension cab capabilities, the higher performance neo drivers we have now, and 5lb. micro amps, I think the combo is a feasible gigging machine. I still like the Ibanez Promethian system of being able to remove the amp and use it with other stuff though. That makes it the ultimate in modularity, seeing as everything's all about convenience and having gear that weighs less than your bass nowdays.:rollno:
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Used to be, combo speaker cabs were shrunk in the interest of convenience and ended up not being well suited to the driver. With higher performing speakers and tiny amps, you longer have to do that, you cwn keep the cab designed good and still end up with a small, light package. Although, knowing some of these companies, they'll shrink the box again and deal with lesser tone to make them even smaller.
  7. I have a Line 6 LD300. Tuner, amp emulation, effects, 4 presets i can set to my liking, compressor, DI out and some. Currently my only amp.

    I too like to one trip load in and out and set up is cake... my combo on a dolly and my gig bag on my back.

    It's all about personal perspective and what you want. This covers all of my needs for gigs and practice so far. Thinking about this i realize I should probably buy a seperate DI in the event the combo fails. Perfect reason to purchase one of the smaller practice combos ... i could use the di on that :D.
  8. Yep about personal preferences. But those practice combo amps people purchase assuming they could be used for band work, uh huh...
  9. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I guess the real question is what you are trying to accomplish. I prefer components, but have had some combo amps that I like for different reasons. One of the reasons I tend to prefer components is the size/weight issue and also having gigs of varying size, I can bring just what I need to the gig. Below are the combos I own or have owned in recent years and why

    1. TC Electronic BG500- needed an amp at church that wasn't moving and sounds good. Great value with all the features I need... tuner, compressor and adequate power for what I need. It's heavy, but not moving.

    2. SWR SuperRedhead- Greatest combo IMO. Sounds good and can be used for just about any gig. With the option to add more speaker cabinets, makes it very attractive. It is a great sounding combo designed for the working professional.

    3. Line 6 Lowdown 110- ideal small amp. Great volume for 75 watts and a handy DI. Great for it's weight.

    One of the reasons many want separates is you usually like your amp, but the speaker will be the thing most likely to change because of venue
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    +1 to personal choice, the OP might be the only one who really can answer his own question. Myself, I've waffled back and forth over and over again about whether or not to put an airhead on a speaker I was building, almost did several times but in the end never did. In my own situation, it just works better without. I almost always carry other stuff anyway to the point I'll rarely, if ever, have a "one-trip in" situation. It lets me grab a different amp without getting the screwgun if I feel like playing something different that day or if one has something particular about it's eq that works better in some goofy room we're going to or whatever.

    What works best for somebody else might be the complete opposite....it's why there's different stuff.
  11. I have played for 30 years and I still buy combo's.

    It's about what you like more then anything.
  12. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    I went the cab/head route out of price necessity at first. A friend gave me an old head, so I went out and got a cheap cabinet. Now, it's more of a convenience factor for me. Rather than having a combo for small stuff, and a larger head/cab rig for larger gigs, I use the same head, and interchange the cabinets. Over the years I've acquired a 115, 215, 410HE, 410HLF and an 810, so what ever my needs are, I can use the same head. This gives me a piece of mind in that I know exactly how to manage the amp settings, regardless of the gig.
  13. BackstagePlus


    Jan 20, 2012
    In My House
    Stop buying combos when you don't want combos anymore.
  14. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Nov 3, 2011
    If you look at my other thread, the Eden E410C weighs only 68 pounds and it has four 10's and tweeter and is a combo amp. It is sort of the in between the regular combo and separate head and cabinet. With four 10's it should have all the fullness you get out of a cab and head combo. But with the lighter weight than most 4 10's, it should be easier to move around. Only question is with the lighter weight, what (if any) are you sacrifice in tone?
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Tone isn't a function of weight, but it can be a function of size, as in the size of the speaker enclosure portion. See my earlier post about shrinking combo's for convenience's sake.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    On second thought, tone could be a function of weight, as in leaving out critical cabinet bracing to save a couple pounds but heavy doesn't equal good and light doesn't equal bad, it's the quality/effectiveness of the design that matters.
  17. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I've never owned a bass combo. I've always needed more volume than that.
  18. skidrawk


    Jan 21, 2007
    Space City, TX
    Listen with your ears, not with your eyes. I can do any professional gig with my Peavey Bam 210 combo.
  19. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    I consider the gigs I do to be professional, as I bring home money after each one. However, there's no way I could get by with a 210 for all purposes. But for full disclosure, I will scratch the whole rig if there is sufficient PA support (i.e. powered subs, etc) and just bring a DI.

    If a combo works, then rock the heck out of it! If not, then rock the heck out of something else :bassist:
  20. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Nov 3, 2011
    Also speakers with heavier magnets would also affect the tone as well.

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