Going from half stack to full

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by jazz, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. jazz

    jazz New Member

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    hi,
    I have a mid 60's jtm50 half stack. I'm thinking of purchasing another 4x12 to make a full stack. Both 4x12's are @ 16 ohms. The back of my amp has no impedance selector. Is it possible to use a second cab? Does the second cab make it go from 16 to 2 ohm and blow up my head? Or were they made to accept a second cab without re-wiring the speakers? Is there an easy way for a non tech guy like me to check the output 1&2 on the back of the head, separate and both to find out?
    Thanks guys,
    Jazz
     
  2. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    16÷2=8ohm...
     
  3. jazz

    jazz New Member

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    I guess it's a no go :(
    Does this mean they wired 4x12's back in the day in the factory in 8 ohm for the full stacks? Or maybe there was an impedance selector on the output transformer. I have the after market radiospares - no selector.
     
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  4. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    As the owner and operator of a full stack, I'll just have to tell you the truth as I see it: A half stack actually sounds better than a full stack. A full stack has more of a visual presence and is more suitable for covering a larger venue, but a half stack sounds better.
     
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  5. IanK

    IanK New Member

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    I am also thinking of going from half stack to full stack (I have another thread going about a used 1960AV), and find the above comment very interesting concerning the sound quality of half versus full stack.

    When you say that the half sounds better, I assume that you are talking about the situation where they are stacked. How about having both on ground level, say one on either side of the player. I was guessing that this setup would give a nice sound, with the non angled cab giving nice bass and the angled one giving a more 'lifted' sound from the other side.

    Just a theory for now, I have never tried this before.
     
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  6. Geeze

    Geeze Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible your amp's speaker impedance is hard wired? If so you could have a tech switch it to the correct ohms settling - which would require you to use the same speaker load - or better yet give you the ability to switch as needed?

    I like full stacks personally and yes I suspect it has something to do with compensation issues...

    Two cabs stacked sound different when you're standing in front of them as you hear the top cab which isn't 'coupled' to the floor like a single cab is. Full stacks also have another benefit for the tall players - the !@#$!** knobs are at eye level.

    Russ
     
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  7. Lukas

    Lukas Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to explain why a 1/2 stack sounds better? I have a full stack and play it all the time, JVM210H on top of a 1960A & B and I gotta say it sounds pretty damn good. I had the 1/2 stack about 6 months before buying the straight B cab to add to it. I dont remember plugging it in and thinking the A by itself sounded better. You gotta explain that statement.
     
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  8. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Playing through a 1960A on the floor by itself sounds better to me than playing the full stack. Even comparing the sound of the A and B cabinets, both on the floor, side by side, with identical speakers, they sound different. Angling the top two speakers and the slightly smaller cabinet volume of the A cabinet changes the sound and the dispersion. Having tried every combination I can just tell you that I think that a 1960A half stack has a friendlier and yet more focused sound. Part of it is because you don't have speakers right at ear level which can be really bad for your ears. The polnt of a full stack is to fill a large room with sound. It's fun. But if I were to go into the studio to record something, I'd play a half stack. To me its sound is just more classic and I enjoy playing it more than any other combination. I can't give a detailed technical explationion. (Something in the frequency response and time alignment...insert more technobabble here until you're happy and your victim is baffled.)
     
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  9. Lukas

    Lukas Well-Known Member

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    So in a half stack you prefer the sound of the A Cab over the B? Like if you were to just have 1? I might downsize to a half stack and am determining which to part with. I might have to connect them separately and play just the A for an hour and then the B for an hour to decide.
     
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  10. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    That's the best way to decide. Try for yourself, form your own opinion, act on it. We all have our own unique point of view and preferences.
     
  11. jazz

    jazz New Member

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    Thanks all. Very informative. Unfortunately or fortunately I waited too long and the cab is now sold. I'm pleased to hear that half stack sound is preferred. I love the sound of my half stack and not having it at ear level will certainly save the old ears.
    Buying the second cab was purely amp vanity. Thanks for the great advise.
    Jazz
     
  12. Lukas

    Lukas Well-Known Member

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    Mine was also. I dont need a full stack who we kidding.... most people don’t. I was just at a point in my life where I had not many bills, no kids or wife and always dreamed of such a rig and just did it. Now years later I think to myself I’ll never use that thing to it’s full potential or even come close. The once a month maybe I get to really open it up I wonder if it’s even worth it, but then when I do play it loud I know why I still have the full stack lol.
     
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  13. IanK

    IanK New Member

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    I am very glad to see that I am not the only one struggling with the 'half stack versus full stack' conundrum, and I really like this phrase 'amp vanity' (-:

    I still think that I am going to go for it though ....
     
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  14. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    Full stack club, here. Depends on head, cab, grillcloth, and speaker matchup. Wheels or not. YMMV

    Rock on.
     
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  15. MemphisMarshallMan

    MemphisMarshallMan Active Member

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    I always figured there is a time and place for everything.

    When we play rock clubs I sometimes use a full stack, but 80% of the time I just use a half stack.
    Weddings and smaller shows I take a dsl40c combo.

    The club we played last night has such a small stage we can't use amps onstage, so we use speaker emulator boxes and run directly into the mixing board and feed the sound back through the monitor system.

    My preference is for full stacks, but most of the time it isn't really needed or practical.
     
  16. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    In the interests of full disclosure, I must tell you that I have two full stacks and I'm going to need more as my Marshall collection grows. It's a "It looks right" thing. Amp vanity is a good phrase for it, I like it.

    One stack is rebuilt, recovered, regrilled, purple 1960A and B cabinets that are my showpieces for when I work a guitar show. They're also available for rental
    so long as the gig is close enough that I deliver and remove the cabinets (and amp) myself, so they don't get damaged.

    The other stack is a pair of very inexpensive but properly built Hartke 4x12s that are ALMOST 1960 construction specs, but they contain my Greenbacks,
    and thus the speakers are worth more than the cabinets.

    Those Hartke GH412A and B cabinets are a great cabinet that's only cosmetically slightly different from Marshall cabinets, built nearly identically, and can be had for a hundred bucks with a little luck. Cheap thrills.
     
  17. Exotic

    Exotic Active Member

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    i have a full stack and a half stack so there ,and most u guys aren't mentioning what type speakers u have loaded in those cabs ! 13 (Custom).JPG IMG_1963 (Custom).JPG
    is a jtm50 solid state?
    full stack
    2 jbl d120f
    1celestion evh
    1celestion greenback reissue X pattern
    4 celestion avt speakers
    half stack
    2 celestion g12t-75
    2celestion marshall vintage X pattern
    now name what the guitars are?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  18. Ufoscorpion

    Ufoscorpion Well-Known Member

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    Here’s a tip and good way to use a jettenuator . It not only attenuates but if you match your amp speaker output to one of its inputs 4, 8 , or 16 ohms the out on the jetenuator covers any load over 4 ohms automatically ( don’t ask me how that shit works ) .
     
  19. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    The half stack sounds different because the power is divided to les speakers . Compared to full stack more speakers
     

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