Head or combo, which is best?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Yoshiii, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. Ufoscorpion

    Ufoscorpion Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    2,661
    Head or a combo ???? Let me go away and think about that one , lol .
     
    scozz likes this.
  2. ken361

    ken361 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,295
    Likes Received:
    4,588
    Location:
    detroit rock city
    Both might be the best of both worlds combo and a closed back cab. Combos distribute more sound better than a directional cab huh maybe?:)
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and SkyMonkey like this.
  3. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,263
    Likes Received:
    4,266
    Location:
    NH
    Fenders and Supros? Combos. Marshalls? C’mon lol...
     
  4. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    2,484
    I like a combo with a matching cab, very versatile. Combos are great for grab and go, and I like to put all the extras in the back of them. When you need a little more just set it on the cab. I also like wheels on the bottom so you can roll it, like Mesa.
     
  5. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    479
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    So, a 4x12 sounds no different than a single 10 or 12...or even a 2x12? It must be the 2 trips to the car that’s the problem.
     
    SkyMonkey likes this.
  6. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Messages:
    5,140
    Likes Received:
    8,220
    Yeah, never had an issue with "walking" myself. For some, it seems to be more difficult than carrying nearly twice the weight at once.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  7. EL 34

    EL 34 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    841
    Location:
    Canada
    Head

    More flexibility with speaker cabs and speakers.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  8. junk

    junk New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    16
    After many years of combo, once I started I wanted different sounds, I then realised that head plus cab would have been a more flexible solution. As it would have allowed me to keep the amp and add a new one (also cheaper budgetwise).
    To free some space I had to sell my combo and buy a head and a combo, since then I added/tested, at will, different heads without the need for extra space. It would have been more "complicated" with a combo.
    For me at no time, the flexibility of transporting the equipment was the driver, it was rather space.
    I could have used the combo as a cab, but I did not like the idea to leave unplugged the amp and the risk to turn it on without a speaker.
     
  9. KidBlast

    KidBlast Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    64
    I was just here a few months back, I went with the head and cab this time (I like 2x12s personally I have a 1996 circa JTM60 combo, It's a nice amp, but it doesn't scream like a JVM501H and a 1936V cab do.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and SkyMonkey like this.
  10. Derrick111

    Derrick111 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2020
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    382
    Car or pickup truck... which is better? Well same answer applies to the OPs question. Both are great, and it depends on your needs. Simple as that. And like the vehicle analogy, there are pros and cons to both, but nothing that make one "better". Just better for "you". Mainly, the head with a closed back cab can be louder (more directional), can sound punchier and more solid (read less loose/flabby at higher volumes). The combo is more portable. Yet some would argue the opposite, because it really depends on the person and situation. So you have to go try both and then decide which sounds best and is physically best for you yourself, as we cannot possibly know this for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  11. kinleyd

    kinleyd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Messages:
    827
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Location:
    Bhutan
    I prefer getting the head + cab option because it is easier to move around as two pieces; I live far from tech support (a whole flight away) and I figure hauling just the head would be easier when it reaches that time; and I like the extra input/output options that heads provide over combos particularly with regard to placing something like the Ox amp in between.
     
  12. Yoshiii

    Yoshiii Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2021
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    28
    Thanks for everyones reply. I forgot about hooking a attenuator to the amp. Maybe head cabinet will be better.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  13. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Messages:
    15,290
    Likes Received:
    30,387
    Location:
    Moreno Valley CA
    Both of my combos sit on top of MG 4-12 cabs.
    Those are the only combos I own.
    Dsl40c’s the rest is all heads and 4-12 MG cabs.
    Thanks
     
    SkyMonkey and fitz288 like this.
  14. GregM

    GregM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2020
    Messages:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    Location:
    Australia
    My Lil dsl5cr has a connection between amp and speaker, and it's an easy mod to do to my vox if I need to.
     
  15. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    2,863
    Location:
    Virginia
    I don’t think there is a right answer to this. Its trial and error based on the amp you’re buying. I usually buy heads with cabs but I’ve been very pleased with the combos i chose. My JCM800 4103, a vintage amp, is a 2x12 combo and is the best sounding JCM800 I ever played. Its magical. I’ve had several JCM800 heads previously over the years. Thats just an example. My advice is try before you buy especially when buying new.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  16. colchar

    colchar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,448
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Location:
    The Great White North

    I have one word for you - Bluesbreaker.
     
    PelliX likes this.
  17. colchar

    colchar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,448
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Location:
    The Great White North
    I was a combo only guy for a long time. Now I have a JVM and a 1960. But I also have a Traynor YCV50 and will be grabbing the 1x12 extension cab for that.

    If I had to choose, I'd probably say that I still prefer combos but there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
     
    Kinkless Tetrode and SkyMonkey like this.
  18. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    4,975
    Likes Received:
    7,458
    Head. Because you can buy as many different kinds of cabinets as you want, and not have to buy another amplifier built into each one of them.
     
    kinleyd likes this.
  19. S.A.T.O.

    S.A.T.O. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    I’ve been gigging regularly since the 90’s. I have a 1997 JCM 2000 DSL half stack that as been with me since 2000. I NEVER use it in the house for practice or recording. I have used that rig at every show I’ve done for 20 years or so and I always thought I’d never use anything else...
    Earlier this year after a lot of clubs in my area closed and went out of business due to Covid we started booking in new places, most of them with tight set up spaces for a 5 piece band.
    The half stack was just not practical at these gigs. I went out and bought a DSL 40 combo, played around with the sound and got it pretty close to the tone I have with the head.
    It was wonderful to not lug the cabinet around, the combo is so light compared and I didn’t notice much of a difference in my tone nor did my regulars that come see us.
    Get both LoL
     
    SkyMonkey, Aahzz and kinleyd like this.
  20. Johan

    Johan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2020
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    51
    1 x 12 or 2 x 10 = combo
    2 x 12, 4 x 10, 4 x 12 = head + cab.

    Just my €0.02
     

Share This Page