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Quick question about running two combo amps.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SmokinJoe992, Oct 11, 2018 at 1:18 PM.

  1. I just got a Fender Rumble 500 combo amp. I like the amp and I am thinking about getting the 210 extension cab for it. I also have an oppurtunity to purchase a second used Fender Rumble 500 combo for not much more than the new 210 extension cab would be.
    My question is , If I ran two Fender Rumble 500 combo amps together using the effects send/return to ‘slave’ one of the combos, would this give me more volume than adding the 210 extension cab to one combo would?
    In theory the two combo’s would push 350 watts each into 2 10” speakers giving you a total of 700 watts into 4 10’s. Using the extension cab would give you 500 watts into 4 10’s.
  2. nope
    Bodeanly likes this.
  3. Last I checked 700 was more than 500. Probably way less hassle just to run with the extension cab.
    HolmeBass and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    IMHO, with the single combo, you already have enough power to fart out the built-in speakers. Ergo, adding more wattage (with speakers) is not likely to help. You need more ability to turn watts into sound, i.e., speakers.

    It will be less weight, more volume, perhaps cheaper, and in the long run more flexible to get the extension speaker. Again, all IMHO.
    Joedog, bwildt, Wasnex and 1 other person like this.
  5. 4 10's... 700 watts vs 500 watts...
    So essentially the same cab arrangement with 200 watts more power.

    Look at it this way.
    If you need more than 500 watts with four 10's, going to 700 watts won't get you -that- much louder.
    All else being equal, (assuming your speakers could take 5000 watts, yes, 5kW of power, it would take about that much to sound about twice as loud as 500 watts.
    Yes. You heard me correctly. Our ears do not hear loudness in a linear manner. It takes A LOT MORE POWER to create a noticeable increase in loudness.

    I say you will get a little louder but not much.
    If you get into speaker fart-out before your amps max out, then there isn't much point.

    With 500 watts and four 10s, your speakers are not working as hard as running 350 watts and two 10s.
    Speaker headroom is a wonderful thing.

    If you are gigging and one amp dies in the second set, you can still keep going on the single amp.
    Having a backup is a wonderful thing.

    If you are handy with tools and good with a soldering iron you could do this... (something I'd do if I scored another Rumble 200 Combo)
    Add some jacks to the back of the combo so that you could disconnect the head of both combos from their internal speakers and use all four speakers with the amp in either combo. You can also arrange this so that the amp of either combo can still plug in to it's own speakers. Operationally you have the functionality of two separate cabs and two separate heads and and all the backup redundancy and still do the effects loops to join the two amps. One head can run two cabs, 500 watts 4x10, each head can run it's own cab, 350 watts 2x10, or two heads joined by effects loops 700 watts 4x10.

    But again, I think 500 watts 4x10 and 700 watts 4x10 aren't going to be different enough to blow your socks off. Having the other options, flexibility and redundancy would however, make it worth while for me.
    MCF, MattZilla, dBChad and 3 others like this.
  6. Thanks for all the responses. I guess the consensus is that there would not be much, if any, volume increase by running two combo amps.
    The only advantage I can see would be in having a backup amp on hand.
    Would there be any other advantages or disadvantages?
  7. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    The biggest advantage is that you can get another 2x 210 extensión cabinets, hook them up to the combos, slave one and give yourself 1000w into an 810 that can be stacked vertically (if you can reach to plug your bass in ;) )
    MCF, MattZilla, Joedog and 4 others like this.
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    The advantage of the ext. speaker choice is that it gets you halfway out of the combo trap. If you decide you want to go modular, all you need is a head.

    Yes, having a second combo is a backup, but having a couple of micro heads and a couple of cabinets is way more flexible, IMHO.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 9:56 AM
  9. That is an interesting advantage I hadn’t thought of.
  10. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    One interest you might have running two combos is the ability to eq them a bit differently, adding effects on one, not the other, etc.
  11. Internal EQ is totally irrelevant if you're running into the Return jack as it bypasses the preamp.
    However, you could add effects or an EQ externally between Amp A & B.
    Jim Carr and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  12. perch


    Aug 8, 2018
    You could have the exact amp in your practice space that you use live. Plus what the others said, backup amp on hand, ability to set separate EQs... that last one alone would be enough to convince me to get the second amp.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 6:37 PM
    ObsessiveArcher and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  13. Definitely the way to go if starting from scratch rather than adding to a combo you already have.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  14. diegom


    Jun 18, 2008
    This reminds me of a guitarist friend of mine. He gigs with a Marshall head connected to the speakers (2x12) of a Marshall combo. Instant backup amp!!! Now, if the speakers blow.... He's out of luck! ;)
  15. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    The main advantage I see in buying the 2nd combo instead of the extension cab is that the combo is already used. Assuming you'd pick it up for not much more than $350-400, you should be able to sell it without losing much. IOW, it might cost you nothing to own it. OTOH, as your gear needs change, I'd expect you'd lose about $100 on the cab—and more the longer you hang onto it.

    Having two combos also gives you the flexibility to leave one at a rehearsal space, etc.

    And since these are not the boat-anchor combos of yore, it's not as if the rig would be much more portable if you added only the extension cab (instead of the full combo). The Rumble's amp weighs hardly anything,
    HolmeBass and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  16. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Jumping off of JG's comment … Another option would be to use something like this:


    … split the signal into each amp separately, that way you can use the pre-amp portion (EQ) of each, as well as have a true back-up option should one go down …

    .. with that said, it is again more expense … but if you were set on using two combo's, a legit option to consider …

    JMHO .. as always ;)
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 4:23 PM
  17. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    I've never understood the mindset of resale value. If resale value is high on the list of desirable attributes I believe that amp isn't what you really want; you're just trying it out.
    MCF, SmokinJoe992 and JimChjones like this.
  18. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Yep. My philosophy is money spent on music gear is gone forever. If you can sell off any old kit then that's free money. I just got a free neo driver for my cab by clearing the junk out of the loft and I'm happy.
    MCF and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  19. the extra cab might give him more wattage but not another combo of the same type.
  20. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Two amps are definitely going to be louder than one. And you can use one as an ext cab, without its amp, by just going ext speaker to ext speaker. Saving the other head for a backup. Also having two separate amps can come in handy.

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