Why aren't kickback styled combos more popular?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sub-Frequency, May 18, 2018.

  1. Sub-Frequency


    Sep 19, 2017
    I've been looking at picking up a Markbass CMD 102p lately. I don't see a lot of them out in the wild though, and I was wondering if there is an inherent flaw in the design. To me they seem like the perfect balance between power and portability, while benefitting from a design that angles the sound up at the player. Played one in the local shop and I like it, but like most gear I'm afraid I won't know if I really like it until I use it in a band situation.

    Before I drop a grand on one of these I just gotta ask the question. Is there something inherently wrong with the design (reduced floor coupling perhaps)?

    Why is it that more players don't use these?
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  2. voided3


    Nov 11, 2008
    I currently don't own a combo (just heads and cabs) but I think the tilt-back style is very practical. The only drawback I can think of is the odd geometry makes them a little awkward to carry, even if the modern variants are relatively lightweight.

    The trend around here seems to be to avoid floor coupling due to random mechanical resonances and what not, which I am inclined to agree with from experience, but I don't think the tilted design would detract or prevent that (maybe attenuate some degree of acoustic coupling with the driver aimed up from the floor, but if it's pointed at your head, you'll hear it clearly, anyway).

    I was even looking at some tilt-back cabinets a while back, but the drawback is then you can't rest your amp head on them without fastening it to the cabinet one way or another. I just use a T-stand stand with my 1x15 cab; it's worth bringing the extra piece of gear for the benefits of hearing myself clearly.
    JRA likes this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I use them now and then. I think it's just a matter of combos not being as popular for on stage work in general.
  4. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    PA monitor wedges are how it’s done.nothing inherently wrong with the approach.

    Tiltback amp cabinets allow you to hear better. I think that their lack of use is just down to mindset.

    Tiltback wedges such as the Ampwedge are available, as are many amp stands.

    The early Ampeg B-15N had a tiltback leg on the back. Some vintage Fender amps have tiltback arms mounted on the side of the amp.

    In the 60’s there were Vox swivel trolley stands. Fender had something similar. Marshall introduced the slant cabinets that aided monitoring.

    Ampeg B-15N tiltback leg. The tip sits on the floor.

    Fender tiltback arms or legs.

    Fender tiltback trolley.

    Vox amp stand elevated the amp and allowed better monitoring.

    Vox tiltback trolley.

    Marshall slant cabinet. The two top speakers are angled back.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    IMO: it's all about where/how you're playing on a particular stage, venue, with/without PA, yada yada. i carry a stand for tilting my cabinet back. i've used wedges and i think they're fine/best for certain applications. and they can be positioned on their ends for coupling when needed.

    if i use that tilt-back stand = i probably have PA support. also: at a tilt, the cab usually faces me --- a real personal monitor. a wedge, for me, would be preferable to fiddling around with a stand+cuboid.

    for years: when using most amp heads = i put it on a certain snare drum stand and it's right at my fingertips, facing me. convenient for adjustments on the fly. but it's another piece of gear to carry and fiddle with, so there's that.

    https://www.talkbass.com/members/beans-on-toast.123838/ : neat memories in those neat pics! :thumbsup:
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I have an older GK 700RB/112 combo that tilts back. I prefer the sound of the amp elevated. On the floor it tends to sound a bit woolly/loose...more so in the kick bass position than when setup vertically. This could be particular to the model.

    My best experience running the amp in kickup position was with amp in front and an extension speaker behind me. This setup is not ideal if you are carrying the room with your amp as separating the speakers results in comb filtering.

    If you like the sound of the CMD 102P, go for it. It's convertible like my GK so you don't have to use it in kickback mode.
  7. The more recent incursion of separate amp stands has produced a very powerful lobby that has paid the way for many a political career of those who feed at the trough of the ant-tiltback persuasion. :cool:
    beans-on-toast likes this.

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