Simple question are we moving back to combo amps?

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

  1. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I can put my 350W head in my gig bag with my bass, and hand carry a cab on the train - for me, that's better than having a combo. I'd rather have the extra weight on my back than in my hand.
    Passinwind likes this.
  2. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    For me, a combo is the ideal gigging solution. One unit to carry, no speaker cables and less weight. But that’s just my own personal preference. Other players have other requirements, which may call for a different solution. One size does not fit all.
  3. I also have both and although I might use a combo for rehearsal or a small gig, my preference is for head and cabinet versatility. The head fits in my kit bag so it’s no problem to carry. I use a 4 x 10 cab with wheels mostly but it’s not too heavy either. I’m not young but I don’t mind carrying it when I have to.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  4. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I have 3 amps and 3 cabs. That makes 18 combinations. IMO with this flexibility a combo is a backward step.
    lomo and Bassiclees like this.
  5. More thanks to those who have add their opinions. I understand everyone's point of few quite well
    having come from a only 2 Ampeg SVT 8*10 *2 on stage player to a combo amp back in the early 2000 was a transition I would have have said never no way. But I did when I went from others moving my stuff to me having to walk up a flight of stairs in a bunch of venues and back to my apt at the time. I dropped 70 ft on to a rock back in 2010 and absolute wreck my back I even went ampless when no one but Geddy was doing it nearly quit playing live. Move on to head and cabinet later with chronic back pain 24/7 but pushed found solution to my injury and now I am nearly 100%. I use IEM, but always loved having a bass amp on stage, but it is only now for myself not for ruining the hearing of any one in ear shot. I pump Di out to our 8000 watt Pa system, so I can use nearly anything that has a Di out and rock FOH, but I do love the sound of a 15" btw I have roughly 14 amps at home including my SVT good amount of them are old school and heavy to move. Performing now mostly in restaurants and sports bars a simple carry in one and get it done seems to be my best solution for the bulk of the performances, the Festival gigs I surely will be bringing out the heads and cabinets :)
  6. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Personally I have moved back to combos, smaller and lighter.

    That’s just me though, we play in rooms with good FOH, silent stage and sometimes IEM so I don’t use my big amps any longer unless it’s a fill in gig.

    With IEM I just use a preamp so even the combo stays home. I’m all for getting the job done effectively with the least effort.
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The Walkabout is the amp, the Walkabout Scout is the combo. Sometimes this gets confused and mixed up in discussions and even marketing though.
    RodRy and Bassiclees like this.
  8. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    It is, if flexibility is your main concern. But it may not be.
    RodRy likes this.
  9. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    The oldest game. I have been caught and still miss the bass after decades, our truck was also broken into once and we lost guitar amps and drums (all recovered) but I never leave gear in someone else's hands and boy do they keep asking. How many times have I heard, "safe here". Never ever leave anything you own somewhere.
    DJ Bebop and JimmyM like this.
  10. Fender Rumble 800 combo is fun. I like it better with the extension cab- nonetheless it's powerful, light and has more tweaking than I'll ever need.
  11. wazzel


    Dec 27, 2007
    Cypress, TX
    My combo is 33 lbs, my head plus cab is 35 lbs. The dimensional differences is negligible. I got a bag for the head so number of trips stays the same.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  12. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Another reason why I'm playing separates right now is that amps and speakers evolved at different times. For instance the earliest "neo" speakers predate the latest generation of Class-D heads (icePower FTW). Finding something affordable, that has both lightweight speaker and amp design (and a zillion other desirables) may be a fairly recent development. I built my lightweight speaker while still hauling a conventional amp around.
    Jim C and DJ Bebop like this.
  13. iagtrplyr

    iagtrplyr Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    Maybe this has been mentioned, but why not enjoy the spice of life and own both, combo and separates, if you can afford it? As the voluntary Grand Pooba of the Combo Club, it'd be heresy if I didn't own a gaggle of combos, and I love them all, well most, very much. Yet, I also have a couple of separates rigs that fill the bill when needed and offer the versatility that many of you mentioned. I don't think one has to be better than another; it's all personal preference.

    Now if I was asked to keep one example of either, it'd probably be a combo like my Fender Stage 800. Powerful, comparable in weight to others in this genre, decent modeling capability, and enough I/Os to keep most happy. Folks, it's the 21 Century. Time to stop the bickering between separates and an all-in-one rig. Pick your fave and enjoy!

    PS: and if you're a combo-lovin' bass player in search of those who think likewise, stop by our spacious facilities at the Combo Club sometime. Post a pic of your beloved and I'll hand you out a personal membership number for no extra charge. :thumbsup:
    swink, SoulReflection, JakobT and 3 others like this.
  14. Morrighan

    Morrighan La Contessa Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    First combo, first love.

    and, TBH, first hate. Peavey is its name, and it absolutely never, ever let me down. Not once, ever. All the more reason to hate it. But it's mine, and in that, as much a part of me as my bass.

    Here in the future I still love my combo amp. It's definitely not a Peavey
    and never let me down. I've a modular rig, too, but it's the PJB whut goes first. If/When I need a great deal more loud than this combo deals, it'll be two PJB C8s and either an emergency visit to the audiologist or to the psychiatrist, not sure which, because that is a whole lot of loud.

    No letdown in lockdown, where all my needs are met with an Ampeg BA-108v2 combo practice amp — for practice — and the PJB's DI -> DAW when it's time to record what I practice. Whole lot of loud not required. :thumbsup:
  15. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I don't play many acoustic / folky gigs and most combos can't give me what I want.
    A GB 2x12 (at about 45 lbs) and any decent head is my preference.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  16. RodRy


    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I have one combo at my practice space, and one in my rehearsal space. I only have to carry my bass. And I could just leave one bass at each location and only carry the pocket.
    swink, iagtrplyr and SoulReflection like this.
  17. RodRy


    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Shame, really.
    swink and iagtrplyr like this.
  18. RodRy


    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Just chiming in here, I have pretty much all my sound reinforcement needs covered.

    For tiny acoustic gigs, a 75 W Phil Jones Double Four with battery pack.
    For small "coffee shop" gigs, I take my 150 W GK MB150E112
    For larger gigs with moderate drummers, I bring my GK and my Hartke Transporter 410 and run it soloed or with the GK's 12".
    When the call is to rock out, my Hartke 7000 head going into the Transporter can hang with any un-mic'd drummer I've played with.
    And if the call is insanity-level stage volume, or a no-bass-in-the-PA gig, I bring my head, 410 and Carvin single 18" cab and move some air.

    So are we going toward combos? Several of us have been using them for decades. Mix and match combos with separates and you have all the flexibility you need.

    Vive la difference!
    swink, aus_bass and iagtrplyr like this.
  19. SoulReflection


    Nov 18, 2017
    Title asks this, yet again! Some are, some aren't but all have reasons of their own and that is their right. It's our right to choose what we want to carry and what sound is good enough. We don't have to continue to argue this, just make up your own mind and be happy ;).
    swink and iagtrplyr like this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Of course you can. You can buy as much @&[email protected] as you want. But this way I have a full rig (both cabs) for louder gigs, and have to buy (and schlep) as little as possible.
    RodRy likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Jun 22, 2021

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