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Usage of the term 'stack'

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by el murdoque, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    first off, english is not my natural language, i'm german.
    But the term 'stack' is used here as well when it comes to amps.

    I'd like to enquire about when the threshold is crossed and you refer to an amp as a stack.

    My thoughts on this:
    If you look at the word, the term obviously comes from the verb 'to stack' and in the classical sense it was referring to a Marshall head with 2 4x12 cabs, a full stack, while a Marshall head with a single 4x12 was a halfstack.
    So is it as simple as that ? Two cabs on top of each other and a head on top of that is a stack ?
    I'd be inclined to say yes, but i don't feel like it is that easy. There are cabs that are meant to be driven without another cab like the ampeg fridge and i would refer to a 8x10 with a head as a stack as well.
    So if you follow down that line of argument, you could say that a head with a decent cab is a halfstack while a head with two decent cabs is a fullstack - decent means in this case that the head with a single cab would be enough to stand up against a drummer playing rock without breaking a sweat.
    A cab that houses enough speakers to compete with such a full stack is referred to as full stack as well in this case.
    But what about the small cabs that came into fashion in the recent past, such as 2x10 cabs, or even the popular 1x12 cabs?
    With 2 stacked 1x12 or 2x10 cabs and a head on top, you have three boxes stacked on top of each other, but you only get what a halfstack (i.e. a head with a 4x10 cab or a 2x12 cab) delivers. So is a 2x 2x10 plus head a stack as well as a single 8x10 plus head ?
  2. I use a combo amp on top of a cabinet. What would you call THAT?
  3. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    The terms half-stack and full-stack are more related to guitars imho, where a classic marshall 100W fulltube head is referred to as half-stack if it pairs with one 4x12 cabinet and as full-stack if it pairs with 2 4x12 cabinets.
    Fridges (classic ampeg 8x10) were, afaik, intended to be used with two side-a-side in order to handle the 300Watt of an SVT head back in the time. Jimmy has to chime in to correct me if I'm wrong.

    To stack = (german) stapeln/aufeinanderstapeln
    So a full-stack is a (german) ganzer Stapel.

    In my ears, the term is used correctly. I would not couple it to the power/potential of the cabinets. It is just a pile of things
  4. An 8 x 10 cab is called a fridge.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    In the early 60's the term piggyback was used to describe a head placed on a cab. Someone that was well stacked was something else. I don't recall stack being used till Marshall came along. A stack was bigger than a piggyback amp. More than one stack was a wall.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A fullstack is $4.99 at the IHOP...1/2 off for seniors on Monday.

    IME, any two cabinets, irrespective of driver quantity or size, qualifies as a "stack". Two 1 X 10's with a micro-amp on top? Yep, it's a stack.

  7. Yeah, as Zoob said. A stack is any two cabs on top (or even side-by-side) each other. 8x10s, 6x10s, and even massive 2x15s (even the Mesa 15/4x10 monster) are still refered to as a fridge. The amp head is not really required as a 4x10 combo amp sitting on top of a 15" cab is still a stack. However, Ihave increasingly heard the term "mini-stack" being thrown around when speaking of two single 10"s or two single 12"s stacked on top of each other.
  8. mindwell

    mindwell Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Wichita, KS
    Acoustic USA endorser
    If you can hug it from a standing position, it's a "stack."
  9. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    My GK MB212 is an amp.
    My Sunn 300w tube head sitting atop 2 4x10 Avatars is a stack.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I can think of some other things that I hug that are "stacked".

    Just sayin'....

  11. mrmills


    Jun 22, 2009
    Kent, UK
    More than two speaker cabinets one on top of each other and an amplifier, usually placed on top is what I think of when someone says 'Stack'.
  12. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    What if you have a multiple amps on top of a small speaker but are only using one of the amps?

    (I love this pic... although I no longer have Buster)
  13. mrmills


    Jun 22, 2009
    Kent, UK
    You have lower back pain?
  14. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
  15. A disaster waiting to happen...:eek:
  16. :bassist:

    Even if it is 2 2 x 10" cabs and a GB Shuttle it's a stack if they are stacked. A Hiwatt DR501 and a single 4 x 12" is known to most as a "half stack". IHMO...it's just Nomenclature Bass Bro's.
    Peace and Happiness to all, even the 1/2 stackers.
    My brain is a 1/8 stack.:D

    Attached Files:

  17. :ninja:;):p:bag:

    If I get some roadies....

    Attached Files:

  18. vaethshuxun

    vaethshuxun Banned

    Mar 28, 2014
    My Sunn 300w tube head sitting atop 2 4x10 Avatars is a stack.http://[malware url removed]/ce310.jpghttp://[malware url removed]/uk31.jpg
    http://[malware url removed]/h3t.jpghttp://[malware url removed]/d3h.jpg
  19. Crates of beer should be stacked. Guitar cabs nein.
  20. With the micro heads that weigh nothin' and lighter and lighter cabs as well as smaller ones, they're not really stacks anymore. More like piles.

    Back when I was young and flexible I roadied for a metal band who's bass player had an Ampeg SVT and some other beastly cab that was the same size as the SVT with either a single 18" or a pair of them. Also had two SVT heads. Holy cow that thing was a beast....and he insisted on stacking them horizontally, as I recall. No wonder my back is all banged up now. :D