Simple question are we moving back to combo amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rtslinger, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Julian G

    Julian G

    Mar 16, 2017
    I very nearly bought a Fender Rumble but ended up getting a Markbass Traveller 121 to connect to my TC Electronic BH550 to replace my old cabs and the one combo I had the Amepg BA115 (2005 model). The amp and cab are light, easy to carry and the cab can handle up to 400 watts. If I'm in a venue that needs more than (very rare) then they will have me go direct anyway.
  2. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    So my main rig these days is this GK combo rig pictured below. It an MB115 mkII on top and a powered MBP115 on bottom. I like that GK gives the option to chain up to seven components together. I could literally build a wall of these things - and with the power section housed in each cab, I could potentially even do the unthinkable and mix driver sizes without fear of damage to speakers. I know GK isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for me their amps largely recreate the sound that's been in my head from 40 years of listening to the music recorded over the last 70 years or so. I like that I can set the eq essentially flat and tweak to taste and it's pretty much good to go. I bought this rig new for less than a grand (but I think the prices of these components has increased over the last few years). They are light enough that I can carry each one in one hand. And they are incredibly loud. I feel confident that I could play any gig in town with these. As it stands, I use this setup in my weekly p&w gig. They fill the large room with ease with the gain on 10 oclock and the master on 9 oclock. In fact, I keep the bass eq knob down to about 10 oclock as well to keep the room from getting overwhelmed with low end (i also use an HPF) - and still they are thunderous. I still have cabs and amps at home that I wish could get more stage time, but really these days, this setup gets me where I need to be. ymmv.

    M0ses and BlueTalon like this.
  3. burgerdj


    Dec 4, 2006
    I’ve been a combo guy for years, relying my Mesa Walkabout Scout for practice and gigs. I love the thing, but it’s a bit heavy and the schlep can be a pain. I’d love for Mesa to build a line of combos around the new amps. Until then, the offerings from GK look pretty amazing.
    donhank and BlueTalon like this.
  4. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I use a combo most of the time because it is the right tool for the job. One trip in—- one trip out with a hand truck is a plus.

    I have other options if necessary.
    BlueTalon likes this.
  5. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    As I don't gig so often, i'm not yet fed up with moving gear. So My main rig is a GK700RB head with a GK NEO 2x12; when my backup rig is an old GK700RB115 combo that I've splitted in GK700RB head + 1x15 cab. My backup rig is also my rehearsal one; as the pianist basement is our local and I can let it there.
    So no, i wouldn't go for a combo. As i've still the same rig available if my main head goes wrong.
  6. After using a 4x10 and bass head or power amp for many years, about five years ago I went to a small 1x12 cabinet and GK MB200, but about two years ago I got a Rumble 100 because I line out our PA and just needed something for the stage and we were doing 12 to 13 shows a month. Just did 14 shows in the past four weeks. So at 66, I just want to get in and play and have fun and pack up and go home, without hauling a lot of stuff.
    JettBlaq and Rilence like this.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    JRA likes this.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I see it going the other way. Heads and cabs are the norm. I went from a combo (with extension cab) to a head a cab. I can't remember the last time I saw a combo at a gig around here. Small heads and cabs are all I see.

    Advantages to separate components
    1) I can choose the cab, or cabs, for the gig and still have my favorite head.
    2) My head has an aux in and headphone jack. I can take it into my living room and have a silent practice.
    3) Most new heads can be run without a speaker load. As such, I can take just the head to a gig (or church service) where I'm using in-ear monitors. I can literally use the head as a fancy DI. (Mesa TT800 in my case)
    4) In most cases, a separate head comes with more features than a combo head section.
    5) Most new heads fit in a gig bag pocket or small over-the-shoulder carry bag. That removes easy transport from the list of advantages of a combo.
  9. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Sounds better, weighs far less than any of the four gigging combos I've owned in my life:
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    StereoPlayer likes this.
  10. allanmac00

    allanmac00 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    This my exact setup and I love it. I do wish I had a basic Ampeg rig for more vintage vibes, but in terms of pure practicality this is tough to beat.

    john m and BlueTalon like this.
  11. wazzel


    Dec 27, 2007
    Cypress, TX
    That is what I have been using for the past 13 years. A shuttle 6.0-12T to be specific. I just switched to a head and cab option Berg Forte HP and NXT112.
    agedhorse and Max Bogosity like this.
  12. Rob1957


    Dec 3, 2020
    I use both. I use a an early Markbass CMD 121P combo and if I need more power I pair it with an Avatar SN112 Neo. Light weight and gets loud
  13. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    The last amp I bought I opted to get a Rmble 500 combo plus an extension speaker instead of a head and speaker for a couple reasons:
    First it was cheaper that way and second, if I play a small gig I can just grab the combo and go.
    Weight is negligible.... I can't tell a noticeable difference between the cab and combo.
    My Peavey Headliner 1000 and two 410s I'm glad are separate. Not terrible weight as far as one cab goes, but if that head was added, it would be less desirable to move.
    My Hartke 350 combo is rediculously heavey for the power it puts out. Decent enough amp.
  14. Jjacks651


    Feb 7, 2014
    IMHO the best combo out there is the MarkBass CMD 102P. 2x10's, 250 watts or if adding another 210 cab 500 watts and about 45 pounds. I don't have one (wish I did). I have the Hartke KB15 combo which is adequate for smaller gigs that don't have loud guitars. My preferred rig is my MarkBass Tube 800 with either my New York Ninja 122, New York 151 or both.
  15. ArtechnikA

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

    Feb 24, 2013
    Not me.
    I play mix-n-match between 3 heads and 4 cabs all the time depending on venue.
    I've never had a cab failure (yes, I know it happens...) but I've had heads fail a couple of times and I'm glad of a spare.
    Way easier to swap in a spare head than carry a backup combo...
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  16. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    Simple answer, no.
  17. James Demeter has re-imagined the flip-top for modern use. Now, if someone would update the Redhead/Super Redhead with Neo 12's and lightweight construction, the power is already lightened. I also wish for a single 12 with a bespoke 12 as a stack. I always wanted a bass Bluesbreaker or Twin Reverb.

    The other way to do this is powered cabinets like we see in sound reinforcement, run from any of the preamp pedals. Bag End adds quite a bit of steam to most of their cabinets with only a 7# weight gain.
    M0ses likes this.
  18. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Can it be both?

  19. GTx2


    Jun 12, 2017
    I use a GK MB210ii combo and add a CX115 extension cab when needed to realize all 500w. It's 350w (I believe) with just the MB210ii combo alone. If I need more than the combo + extension FOH can just take a line out or throw a mic on there.......

    I used to run a Mesa Big Block 750 and an Orange OBC410, and before that a Mesa MPulse 600 and a Powerhouse 1000 cab......HEAVY.......and I prefer light.
  20. TuneIn


    Feb 15, 2010
    Totally an individual assessment for each player. at no point in my history of being alive have all bass players ever, moved to using the same type of amp, with exception to the early days when there were no choices. IME, combos are best for small gigs, when the bass is not as only heard, not felt, and let's face it this comes with age. Easier, lighter load in = better. If ya can, let the house do the work, use IEM's.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 25, 2021

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