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Gear & Equipment Discussions on Racks, Amps, Cabinets, Tube vs. Solid State debates, effects processors, etc.

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Unread 04-23-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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Combo vs Head+Cab?

Hi guys!

I'd need some advice again from the gear section.

Finally I'm getting my money together to go out to buy my first "normal" gear.
I don't really have previous experiences with heads, because at home I only have a little practice noname combo amp. When I was in bands, we always rented the space together with other people, and they were nice enough to let me use their stuff, so I never really took an in-depth look into amps (I know stupid right?)

Soooo big question first!

Could someone enlighten me about the "difference between using" a combo or a head+cab setup?

And please don't start to suggest names, as I'm on a tight budget anyway, and comparing my currency+wages to yours would be unnecessary because it will never be the same
Oh yeah...and I'd still buy something that I like...just the basic direction would be good to figure out.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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It really depends on your needs as far as the size of the amp and how often you plan on moving it.

Can you explain your needs a little bit more?

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Unread 04-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Phew needs...I have all kind of needs.
I have a good paying job, a house would be nice, a car, loving-wife, couple of kids, dog in the backyard, 2 cats...oh wait...

So seriously:
I want to start a band again, or join one I don't care.
The gear would be for practice, and if Krishna is on my side gigs too.

I have a Damien-7 at the moment with EMG Hz, but that will also change, but first I'd like to get my sound right.

As for sound:
I'm using a Zoom G2.1u multi-effect pedal at the moment, but there is always the option, that I sell it, if I'm happy with the sound that I can get out.
I'm playing metal mostly, always been a fan of industrial/cyber rock/metal style (Think of Nine Inch Nails, Fear Factory, Sybreed, Black Comedy). I like to play around with effects also for clean parts.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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Look into a 5150 2x12 combo. It's affordable, sounds great, and is gig ready all in itself. You don't need a half stack to practice or gig, so if you'd rather have an all-in-one combo it's definitely an option.

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Unread 04-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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I would say the issue with combos is that they are very heavy. A head and cab set up will be more portable, as you are cutting the weight into two lighter things. Plus, you're then able to try out different cabs to match your head, e.g. many people use Mesa or Orange cabs with a Peavey head.

It can also mean that you can just bring your head to venues, and use their cabs, which means less weight/space.

A head/cab may be more expensive, but I would say it is worth the extra money. Personally, I think 2x12" cabs are a good compromise between portability and sound.

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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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Well if everything goes well a friend can organize me some private shopping time at one of the bigger music stores here in town. They are only open from Monday-Friday 10-18, and I'm usually working at those hours
They have a nice selection though: Hangszerarzenál, mert hangszer, gitárok, penget
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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Another thing...
If one would go for a head+cab setup....would it be "stupid" to buy the head first, and then later when I have the money the cab?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Well if you buy the head first, you would never hear it without the cab. If you buy the cab first, you won't hear it unless you have a head.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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That's what I thought...dammit...oh well I guess I'll just have to wait until I get into that shop and try everything out.

I hate these prices...why is everything so damn expensive?
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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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How about a combo that has an extension cabinet output? Then if you want another head you could just use the combo as a cab.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:38 PM   #11
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If you're on a budget (IMO) one of the cheaper options would be to:

Find an older Pod XT, which are usually available all day long around $100. Then run it into a cheap solid state poweramp, which are between 200-300 easily or even less, and then a cab of your choice.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 01:20 AM   #12
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Okay my translating skills when it comes to technical terms are lacking a bit.
Could you guys give me an example for a relatively cheap but good solid state poweramp?

I've been thinking about this route too...getting a Line6 FloorPod and getting something for the amplification (?) if I understand the theory correctly no?
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Unread 04-26-2012, 01:24 AM   #13
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Rocktron Velocity, one of the carvin ones, etc..
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Unread 04-26-2012, 01:40 AM   #14
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So if I'm getting this correct, an example would look like:

Guitar ---> Line6 POD X3 or a floorpod ---> Roland Cube 80X
Or am I just messing around now?

I'm sensing why the Floorpod would be better option though, that way I can change between presets, because it is already a "pedal".

(I'm not making much sense now am I?)
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Unread 04-26-2012, 02:13 AM   #15
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You could indeed do what you're saying but there'd be no need for a poweramp because in that situation the POD is just acting as an effects pedal. What the other guys are saying is that if you went and bought a FloorPOD and a 4x12 cab, you'd need a poweramp to go between the two to boost the signal so that the cab would get enough power to work.

See, with a combo amp, the head and speakers are already wired together so it's all plugged in together, whereas with a stack you plug the head in and the head powers the cab via the speaker cable running between them, but if you use a FloorPOD instead, you need something to boost the power because a FloorPOD isn't putting off the, say, 100W that a normal head would.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 02:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidneythief View Post
So if I'm getting this correct, an example would look like:

Guitar ---> Line6 POD X3 or a floorpod ---> Roland Cube 80X
Or am I just messing around now?

I'm sensing why the Floorpod would be better option though, that way I can change between presets, because it is already a "pedal".

(I'm not making much sense now am I?)
You have a few options, you either go:

a) Essentially what you said, a preamp (the pod) into a combo (which is a preamp + power amp + cab put together, so you would have to disable the combo's preamp)

b) Pod (preamp) into a powered monitor like a Mackie. The powered monitor is basically a power amp + cab.

c) Pod (your preamp) + A power amp (like a Rocktron Velocity or Carvin) + A cab OR unpowered monitor.



Option A, which is what you said, would likely sound really bad, you can find some pretty cheap powered monitors though. Good luck!
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Unread 04-26-2012, 02:54 AM   #17
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^ this is the setup im moving towards. Pod HD500 + Powered Monitor.

Keep in mind if you buy/have a PA in your practice space, you can plug a pod right into it and have the same thing. This is also the case with gigs as long as they have a PA there.

Alto makes some cheaper active monitors that apparently sound really good.

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Unread 04-26-2012, 03:09 AM   #18
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Be aware though, powered monitors sound like a mic'd cab whereas a power amp + cab sound more like that in the room type of deal.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 06:56 AM   #19
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Well first thing is first...I really need to try a POD HD/Floor POD Plus out, because if I don't like what I'm hearing then I won't be buying it. And I really need to figure out how to translate powered monitor into my language
Could someone give me manufacturer names? Maybe I'm lucky and can find some online in hungarian
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Unread 04-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #20
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