1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Combo vs Cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by spalatalatan, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. spalatalatan


    Jan 10, 2009
    So I've been playing only about a year or so, I played guitar for three years prior, but I've really felt more in touch with bass, so I'd much rather continue with bass. But I play in a band, mostly just for fun, my first band, I'm 16. And I will be coming into some money this summer ~$3000 and I am debating between getting a half stack or just a combo. Since I'm not really in dire need of a half stack, do you think it would be a good investment? I'm serious about continuing playing, but I'm a bit apprehensive about really investing that kind of money in myself, I'm just looking for opinions. And if you think I should go with the half stack, what size (1x15,2x10etc.)?

    BTW, the half stack isn't needed volume wise as of now, but I have on good authority the two guitarists will soon upgrade to something bigger. :D
  2. VisualShock


    Feb 19, 2008
    North Wales
    I'd recomend getting a fairly big head (by which i mean somewhere around 300 watts, 4 ohms) that way you can run 2 8 ohm cabs, whatever you may choose. there are so many to pick from at 8 ohms! to be honest, i'd go for the traditional 4x10 and 1x15. If you get a 4x10 first, you can decide whether or not to get the 15 at a later date! however, if you're unhappy being outgunned, there's an Ashdown 8x10 at 8 ohms (meaning 2= 4ohms) which would destroy guitarists in thier tracks ;)

    but by all means stick around to hear other people's opinions, there's a million and one ways to look at your situation, like any.
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    As a guitar player (soon to be playing bass again) I must inform you that your guitarists' upgrade to better amplification capabilities does not neccesarily mean or equal an upgrade in their tonal quality.

    FWIW: I am 'upgrading' my bass amp from a Hartke HA4000 to a Hartke LH 1000 and getting a 15' cab to complement a 2x10 cab. The '4000' is only a 400 watt amp whereas the LH1000 is more than double that and should provide more headroom.

    I read some positive posts here on TB regarding the LH1000 so I am diving on in.

    I relation to; you're 'investing' in yourself comment. I guess you have to like your role in the current band and possible future musical endeavours & determine if the 'investment' of time, effort & funds is worth it to you.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Most combos out there are not going to cut it in the band stituation. I take it you are doing rock music in your band? I think a 410 is a great investment. With a combo, you may be alright for now, but as soon as your guitarists upgrade to that dreaded 412, that little 210 or 15 is not going to cut it volume wise. That combo would become your practice amp and you WOULD HAVE TO UPGRADE to keep up with your bandmates.

    300 watts is minimum, even more would be better. If we were talking Jazz or something less crazy than rock orientated music, then a 210 would be great. I personally feel 410's can cover nearly any style/tone out there without an issue.

    Go for a separate head and cab, it's a better investment in the long and short run of things. You can always add or subtract from it.
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    I played and gigged with combos for years, and after switching to amp/cab set-ups, I can honestly say I've bought my last combo - unless it's dirt cheap, and even then it wouldn't get used much at all...

    In your situation, I'd buy a used Genz-Benz GBE 750, and a new neo 212 of theirs, and be good to go... It'll be plenty loud enough for any reasonable gig or rehearsal, sound great, be reliable - and easy to move... Also, you can still get such a rig for under $2k... The reason for a used amp/new cab is that those amps are pretty much bullet-proof, and you'd have a fresh new cab that someone else hasn't beaten on - with a warranty by a company with the best customer service in the business... You could probably save $300-$400 by going used with the amp, without risking anything...

    - georgestrings
  6. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    You guys are playing the wrong combos.We play pretty damn loud and my Mesa combo never makes it past 3 on the master with the gain at noon.
  7. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    +1 on head+cab in favor of the combo, modular arrangement is more flexibility, in both tone shaping and transportation.

    I would look for an amp head rate at least 250watt@8ohm, and can get down to 2ohm if required. Then look for a 8ohm cab that gives you enough volume for now.

    This way you have lots of room to run additional cab(s) and thus give you great flexibility in the your future volume and tonal needs.
  8. Am I getting old, or does '~$3000' + 'just for fun' + 'I'm 16' + 'first band' seems a crazy combination. I've been playing bass for years and never spent that kind of cash on an amp.

    Maybe I'm just jealous ;)
  9. amp and cab if you plan on playing in rooms of any size......big power can always be turned down but underpowered is not so easily remedied
  10. Lunchbox4u_6


    Dec 1, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    I can't believe about to say the words...I'm beginning to feel old, so here it goes

    WHEN I WAS 16 (ouch!) I went through the same debate. I ultimately settled on an Ampeg 4x10 and a Hartke 3500...it was a bit expensive for me at the time, but 13 years later i still have the 4x10 in my collection and the head made it a solid 10 years before it died on me. I was never sorry that i purchased that setup and it served me really well in all kinds of situations. I have since purchased other things, but it was a good purchase and i was able to add things to it later on.
  11. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
  12. Would'e?


    Mar 27, 2007
    I play a 350 watt 210 combo and in my experience (which includes playing in a loud heavy metal band with two guitarists each pushing 120 watts) it was more than sufficient. I never had the amp up past five and even then the band would complain that all they could hear was my bass. I don't get this "a 210 combo won't cut it" stuff. Granted, my combo cost $1,200 new, so maybe it depends on the individual amp.
  13. Lunchbox4u_6


    Dec 1, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Combos will cut it, you just have to get the right ones. You could always get the best of both worlds, get a couple of 12's from LDS and have him build one of the cabs with a slot for your fave head, kinda like the Mesa Walkabout design...then you have 2 12's and mad portability.
  14. spalatalatan


    Jan 10, 2009
    i knew as soon as i said that i shouldnt have, i dont mean im spending it all on an amp, i just meant im gonna have money so it doesnt mean i need to be on a tight budget or anythiung
  15. Fairy Snuff
  16. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I apologize for my combos don't cut it comment. I have not used any of the good combos you guys have mentioned. Most of the cheap combos I have tried had speakers in them that were completely inferior to separate cabinets of those particular brands.

    LDS makes some particulary good cabs that cut it well in a band situation.
  17. Lunchbox4u_6


    Dec 1, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    I had talked to Don at LDS about doing this very thing and the pricing was going to be very reasonable, the only reason i didn't move forward was because a couple of Aguilar DB112's and a Thunderfunk head became available.

    To the OP: You should set a budget, then the people of the forums will be more able to help you.
  18. lorenk


    Apr 8, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    I bought a combo when I was in your position, and now, 7 years later, I'm kickin my self for not buying a head/cab. Better sound, more power, better resale value, looks cooler (yeah I'm shallow); all are good reasons to go with a cab/head :)
    good luck in your search! :)
  19. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Gain structure has nothing to do with how loud an amp can get. 3 on the master with the gain at noon might very well be as loud as it gets.

    You're 16, this is your first (for fun) band, don't go splurging on a 1000$ rig. This is really unecessary and counterproductive since you don't know yet what you like and dislike.

    Check out the used market around where you live and find a suitable head (200 watt @ 4 ohm+) and cab. I personally hate combos, especially in a rock situation. They are either too quiet, too heavy or too pricey. Some are all three at once.
  20. mkrtu9


    Mar 2, 2006
    There are several combos that would work for you and pretty much anyone here, however portability is my top priority. I've found that I keep a 4x10 at my gig place and a 1x10 cab at home then simply transport my little GB shuttle 6.0 back and forth. If I were going to gig in several different places I'd buy two little 1x12 cabs and push them with the same head. There are too many options out there to say "this is what you need". Also some people buy "half stacks" cause they think it looks cool. Just buy what you need and nothing more, nothing less. Maybe get a good head and if you ever need to upgrade just buy more cabs.

    This is a "too each their own" topic

    good luck

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.