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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Combos vs Stacks?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Doctor Intrepid, May 12, 2018.

  1. Combo

  2. Stack

  3. Mere preference

  4. Carrots

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Power tubes and certain long plate preamp & rectifier tubes are sensitive to vibrations and can go microphonic. Just maybe if the first generations of amps where SS. Heads may not have become common before the rack trend of the 80s. Heads in wooden cabinets may have never become common Having the amp in a separate box has definate advantage with tubes.
    If it's all transistors; in my mind we're down to convienance/portability, versatility, ascetic and the options available from manufacturers. I typically buy stacks because this stuff is expensive. If I can buy a piece at a time i will. I'm not wealthy and avoid using credit for non emergencies. Same strategy buying a sectional couch one piece at a time.
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  2. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    2 amps - medium and large.
    3 cabs - small, medium, and large.

    300W acoustic coffeeshop gig to 1200W outdoor. 6 mix-n-match combinations.
    I'm happy if combos work for some, but I want the versatility.
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  3. Good advice on the credit stuff. Wealthy people tend to use the same strategy.

    But buying a sectional, one section at a time, runs the risk of the other sections becoming NLA before you complete the set. Then you end up with mixed sections which gets you a lot of butthurt from the mixed sectional nazis over on Talkcouch. :roflmao:
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I like my combo... one less thing to carry. But my combo is flexible. I can remove the amp and use it by itself. And you can use the cab by itself, although you would need an adapter (which I have).

    That said, in the 13 years I have owned the combo I have never removed the amp.
    Doctor Intrepid and Christine like this.
  5. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    Stacks on stacks on stacks
    oldskoolskatedad likes this.
  6. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Have one of both. A nice stack and amp for most of what you do, and an old beater 1x15 kick butt combo that you can thrash on the back of a trailer in the dirt, dust etc.

    I have an old Fender 1x15 combo for beater gigs in the dirt and it rocks. Simple, loud, just works. Way better than messing around with a nice stack set up. It doesn't sound as good, but more than good enough.
  7. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    “D@mm/) I’m a sectional not a sofa, Jim!”
    We are safe over here. Less hurt butts than over on Talkcouch.
    The flaming on the Naugahyde thread was intense!
    Strato vs Barcolounger thread was one to avoid.
    They were getting banned for talking about power conditioners for the massager option.
    ....and Lazyboys? Whew. Don’t even go there.
    Is a hideabed a “fliptop?”
    Think wood matters? The low end support believers are just stringing everyone along with their placebo effect myths. Dampening effect? Cushioning?
    Buncha armchair experts Monday morning quarterbacking.
  8. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I’ve always used a stack, and i’ve never been happier with my tone.

    Buuuut, if I had to start over, I’d pick up a Fender Rumble 500 combo. 37lbs.
    Then get the extension 2x10 for whenever I might need it.
    Done and done.
    Linnin, Doctor Intrepid and G-Dog like this.
  9. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    "Typically" perhaps but not universally. "Many combos" but not all combos. I'm glad this thread is far better than most threads on the combo vs. stack topic but, commonly, the crux of posters' arguments is, "I like this and everything else is wrong."

    I came up playing in the sixties when bass combos were either low powered or nonexistent. That situation is long in the past. There are a lot of excellent, giggable combo choices today and even more stack choices. When someone badmouths combos I frequently learn that they're playing (or pretending that they play) gigs where combos without FOH support are not a good fit. A pro chooses his tools to suit the job. Aren't we aspiring to be pro's?
    derrico1 and Doctor Intrepid like this.
  10. Deak

    Deak Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2016
    Stacks, always stacks.

    Edit for the GK combo stacks. They get a pass cuz more power.

    spatchthepunk likes this.
  11. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I know we combo users are in the minority but I for one, have only ever owned, and will only ever own combo amps.

    True a catastrophic failure of the amp renders amp, and cab useless. However as with separates for the most part they are repairable by competent shops, no harm no foul... Setup and schlepping is a simpler affair, and, well to be blunt, it's what I am used to.

    Now to further complicate matters, I run what can best be called a combo stack. I have a Fender Rumble V3 500 combo and the added 210 cabinet to set up as a vertical 410 stack. It does what I want it to, how I want it to.

    Like with everything else, YMMV depending on driving conditions vehicle condition and individual driving habits.
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  12. timo4001


    Oct 8, 2008
    I cheat. I use 2 combo amps stacked. Both Fender Bassman 250's. 1x15 on the bottom and 2x10 on the top. i can contour the round fat bottom and push a Sansamp bass DI driver through the top.
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  13. Matt R

    Matt R Supporting Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Newbury Park, Ca.
    The Demeter 800D Flip Top changed everything for me. It has amazing sound quality, its loud and convenient. Have owned it for almost two years, it's all I use anymore.

    Attached Files:

    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  14. i like old tube heads and 15s. i bring one 15 to small gigs and two to bigger ones. we always have pa support. i don’t care how much things weigh with this configuration- i can lift but i’m not dealing with 10s
  15. I've always had component rigs, beginning with my initial Silvertone twin twelve and Fender Bassman. I used to have an Acoustic combo for touring, but mostly because I didn't want to invest in two Anvil cases for it and it was mainly intended for on-stage monitoring anyway. I also had a Roland single 12 for a practice amp and small trio work. Other than that all of my amps have been two and three piece: an SVT, a Crown/CL&S custom rack rig and my longtime workhorse: a Guild-Hartke 4-10 driven by a 300-watt Walter Woods head. The only downside to it was the 90 pounds of that G-H cabinet.

    My most recent acquisition is a Markbass combo 2-10. For NYC club work it's the perfect amp for me: small, powerful, lightweight and great sounding. If I'd had it forty years ago I could have saved myself a helluva lot of money, chiropractor and amp cartage bills.

    What matters most is the sound and real world practicality. "Impractical" was hauling my SVT to socials in Boston where the friggin' fans in the head were louder than what we were playing. Or taking my little Roland to a club gig where it was clearly outmatched by the other rigs. Or hauling that G-H up four flights of stairs and back again.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  16. jmitch


    Jan 29, 2009
    For me, it's all about tone. FIRST. I have both an Ampeg Rocket combo and a GK 1001/Mark Bass 4x10, and play a Precision and a Jazz bass and can get the sound I want out of either rig.
    Decisions? The venue. Large stage? Outdoor stage? Small club? House sound w/DI or the band's portable PA? All his goes into what rig I use. On occasions, I have hauled both to a job, especially if it's a new place I haven't played.

    Back in the day, I ran through a Sunn Coliseum stack with an 18 cab and a 4x12 cab. Talk about monster tone, but I ain't hauling that around 35 years later!
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  17. Depends on the situation. I use a combo with a 15" in it for smaller gigs. For bigger ones, I just use the uncoupled 15" on the bottom with 2-10's on top and a bigger separate head. For really big gigs I break out the 2 4-10's cabs.
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  18. LowBstring


    Feb 12, 2011
    1. Combo gonna be cheaper because one cabinet instead of two. Also, double sale (amp + cab) is guaranteed, too.
    2. Cheap combos aren't good though because they suck.
    3. My PJB BG400 "suitcase" is a monster the size of two shoeboxes and I recommend it to anyone who likes to accurately reproduce the tone your bass makes.
    pellomoco14 and Doctor Intrepid like this.
  19. I have a Fender Rumble 500 combo, which can be “stacked” on a Fender Rumble 115 cab if I need more volume (which is rare because my family and friends prefer me using the headphones). I am a relative newby (5 years) and do not play professionally, so this is adequate. This setup does lack flexibility but makes up for that with simplicity. If my lows get booming or my highs thin the onboard equalizer more than compensates.
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  20. Plus using the uncoupled combo on the bottom gives me a backup amp if something goes wrong with the separate head.

Share This Page