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combo vs cheap head/cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bradders, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. i am currently trying to upgrade from practise amp to something more chunky. My original thoughts were to go for a high powered combo (been mainly looking at 200 watt range e.g Yorkville XM200) and looking at spending just over $1000 AUS dollar. But i have seen some lower quality second-hand stuff (e.g. hartke 350 watt head and mercury 4x10" cab) around the same price.

    So i was wondering for those with experience with this type of equipment,

    Is it worth going for some second-hand gear just to have a bit more power over a nice combo???

    I'm looking for a long term amp (i.e. wont be buying again soon) and i know it will mainly depend on the quality of the second-hand gear but what are your thoughts?

    Thanks heaps
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    As long as you put it through a good test, used gear is fine.

    The Hartke 3500 is a good amp, no idea on the Mercury cab. The Hartke cab should have no problem pushing the 410 though.

  3. davemon


    Jan 12, 2005
    I just bought a used Hartke 2000, only 200 watts vs the 3500's 350 watts but has the same sound and tube preamp, etc. You can get them new for $219:


    Paired this up with an Avatar SB112 and it sounds great, even with the low B on the six string! The Avatar's only $199 plus shipping brand new. That's close to the price of a combo I'd think, for both pieces.
  4. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    +1 on this advice!
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Just to confuse you I'll tell you that I just sold a Hartke 2000. My experience for whatever reason was a little different than the above mentioned. I had a 4X10 transporter bottom and the thing distorted at just about the volume I needed to put up with the drums in my band. It had very little headroom, I was disappointed and went back to 130 watt Peavey combo that seems to be the only amp I may ever need.

    My Peavey is real old and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it, but people are always amazed at the sound and volume it kicks out. I've played probably 1000 gigs at this point in my life, and it's been perfect for every single one, including a handful of outdoor shows.

    The downside for me to owning a head an bottom is that it's a pain in the butt to lug around. The upside is that if a club already has a bottom (and this is sometimes the case) ya only gotta bring your head. YOu can also buy new bottoms whenever you want to change your sound.

    The upside to a combo is it's a lot easier to lug around. Downside is a lot of em don't crank out much volume without the amp rumbling. I've yet to see a 2X10 combo that can comfortably handle the volume of my band. And some of them have a pretty hefty price.

    I'm a Peavey fan cuz I think they give the best bang for the buck. They don't sound as great as some of the others at low volumes, but for loud stuff I don't believe they can be beat. If you look into Peavey be sure however to get ones only with black widow speakers, or whatever their top of the line speaker is these days.
  6. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    If you decide to get a new 3500, you can save about $50 US at www.bestpriceguitar.com over sweetwater. They didn't have a 2000 head listed on their site, but contact them to see if they will beat that price above. They seem to be pretty willing to cut their margin in my past experience.

    I am not a big fan of peavey, but I will admit that their black widow speakers are pretty good stuff.
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    it all depends. don't tell anyone i said this, but combos have come a long way and there are some really good ones out there now. :bag:

    i'm still a die-hard seperates fan though. it's hard to get too much more portable than a bag end 1x15 (or similar sized speaker) and a 2 space head. i'm planning to get either a ruxxac or cart-a-bag collapsable hand truck which will make the two actually more portable than a combo (although using one of those with a combo would make it just as manuverable). The one advantage small seperates still have over combos (IMO) is they can fit into much smaller spaces/vehicles as they are modular. My 1x15 fits into most trunks (a lot of combos can't clear the trunk opening) oh sorry, for you aussies that's "boot" :p .