head/cabinet vs. combo (pros and cons)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tym2cu_bass, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. quick question, wat are the pros and cons of using a head and a cabinet(s) vs. using a combo? :help:
  2. Having a head and a cabinet gives you more flexibility. You can bring a bigger cabinet (or a full stack) to larger gigs, or just take a 2x10 to the smaller ones. You also have more options when it comes to "choosing your sound." It can be cheaper in the long run too; if you want to get a louder sound, for instance, then you just replace your head. With a combo, you can't replace it's head. True, you can run a separate head's output through most modern combos, but still, you've spent the money on that integrated head...

    Of course, combos are more convenient; you've got just one piece of equipment to worry about when it comes to amperage, and that usually equates to a lighter load. And some of the benefits of having a separate head and cabinet carry over to combos. Most modern combos allow you to hook up additional cabinets and accept alternate line sources, etc.

    Personally, I like having a separate head and cabinet :D
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Having had both, combos and seperates over the past 25 years or so...I'd have to say that seperate heads/cabs is a better way to go.

    For combos, I've had a little GK combo and old Peavey combos way back when, and a Hartke Kickback, BAM210, Carvin RC210, Eden Metro.

    For amps/cabs the list is way too long to mention here...but with amp/cabs you can get all of the benefits of combos but more options to mix and match down the road. Depending on what you get for an amp and cab, you can get just as portable (if not moreso, as decent combos are still quite heavy).

    There is a thread out here about "small rigs" that will give you a lot of info about seperate heads/cabs that should point you in the right direction. Any of the combos I listed above are great little combos...with the BAM210 really being the cream of the crop...but heavy (though it does come with it's own wheels and cart-style handle).
  4. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    one is two trips to the van. the other is one
  5. JSCHRO7376

    JSCHRO7376 Commercial User

    Feb 23, 2004
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Owner, Schroeder Cabinets
    more flexibility with a head. Easy exchange of cabs for different venues. Of course, on the other hand, it's very easy to take out the amp of an EA combo. I think it comes down to what one prefers. Better, have one each ;)

  6. convenience vs. flexibility
  7. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I went with a head/cab over a combo for both flexibility and weight reasons. Sure it is more trips, but I never have to lug more than 50 pounds up and down the stairs :D And the up front costs are more ($head + $cab > $combo), but next time I want to change to a larger amp or a different cab, I already have half the setup. Also, you have way more choices. I was looking for a 1x12, which immediately limits my combo choices. Generally to get a reasonably powerful combo amp you have to get the 1x15 or 2x10.