Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Differences between a combo and Head/Cab.

  1. #1

    Differences between a combo and Head/Cab.

    At the risk of sounding stupid I am going to ask anyway.

    What are the advantages of getting a separate head and cab over a combo?

    As I am in the process of saving up to get one or the other, namely the Boogie Express 5:25+. The head is £1299, but the combo is £1399 with a 12" speaker. Meaning I get a cab for £100 more, to me that is great value and I wouldn't think Boogie make bad speakers, I believe they are Celesion speakers built to Boogie spec.

    The advantages that I can see are, more flexibility, especially for gigs if the venue has a cab or take to a friend's.
    Weight, you can split it up so it is lighter to carry.
    You can combine it with a cab of your choice down the line.

    Would that be pretty much it?

    Second question, is there any amp in the PRS line up that does a similar job to what the Boogie does, offering 2 or 3 different wattage in the same head unit.

  2. #2
    I'm pretty sure that the Archon has 50 and 100 watts, not sure about others.

    Here's why I've gone from combos to separate heads and cabs for quite a while, in addition to the reasons you've mentioned:

    - When recording, I can keep the head in the control room, and put the cab in a recording booth (or just another room). This lets me hear how things will sound on the studio monitors, and even if I use headphones, I'm not hearing a combination of the mic'd sound and the blast from the speakers.

    - I can use alternate cabs to tailor the sound to different rooms and different needs. It's nice to have more than one cab. A luxury perhaps, but a useful one if you have several.

    - Down the road if you decide you need a different head, you can still use the same cab. Or two heads can use one cab. Etc.

    - Less microphonic noise from tubes if you put the head on a separate stand instead of on top of the cab (most tubes are microphonic to some degree, which is why when you tap on even a good tube lightly with the tip of a pencil you hear the tap through the speaker). No tube rattle either. Helps for recording.

    Disadvantages to a head and cab:

    - Combos can be awesome.

    - Some players think that the microphonics inherent in a combo give it a special sauce.

    For me, the advantages to separates outweigh the disadvantages. I like the flexibility most of all.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-20-2014 at 10:25 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    I'll chime in with my opinion....and it's just that... a personal opinion...

    Although it's almost always a cost advantage to get a combo amp, I strongly prefer head / cab. There are plenty of good combo amps out there (and the Express is one of them...I have the first version of it without the graphic eq controls...) but the added flexibility that a head / cab gives you is worth the price differential to me. Besides, you can swap heads if you decide that you want another voice in the future. Additionally, sooner or later... I end up getting tube rattle out of most combos. No big deal in a band environment, but it can be annoying when you're playing alone, and it's a real pain if you want to record.

    With regards to PRS amps with power output selections, some of the bigger amps have half-power settings, but I'm not aware of an under 30W amp that does. For what it's worth, I have the 5:50, and always leave it on the 50W setting as I find that it sounds better than the 25W setting even at low volumes. The Express also has the 5W Class A setting. It's sort of fun to play with, but Class A tone leaves me wanting...but that is just me. You may love it.

    EDIT: Les beat me to the punch!

  4. #4
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    It's a lot of fun to mix and match! That's the main reason that I keep going back to head and cab setups.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

  5. #5
    Combo = torture chamber for tubes

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I had a first gen express I had to return it the amp was possessed it would just feed back at any volume,Iam sure the newer ones are a lot better.I also agree with Les and Aritotle for me head and cabinet I keep my head separate from cabinet when Iam out playing less chance for vibration and micro phonics.I keep it right next to me for quick tone changes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Another advantage to head + cab is that you it is easier to cary then a combo. Also, most combos dont have an option to be closed back because the amp would over heat. In the case of using an ISO box for recording it is also better. A combo in an ISO box will overheat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Downers Grove Il.
    With a head and a cabinet you can safely reply to all those ads looking for a guitarist with "pro" gear.

  9. #9
    Happy Egads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Boulder, CO
    I have and use both. I agree with everything said above, and abide by it. That said, it's nice to grab a guitar one cable, and an amp, and be ready to rock.

    I've started building cabs (very slowly, since it comes after the family, day job, a couple bands, and crappy weather), and I love the flexibility of swapping cabs/heads (and speakers!). I think a lot of guitarists completely underestimate the tonal import of the speaker.

  10. #10
    Thanks guys, then head and cab combo it is.

  11. #11
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    deep in the raspberry...
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
    Thanks guys, then head and cab combo it is.
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    Ħsɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  12. #12
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Indy, IN
    Why not have both? My old Boogie combo has been an on-again/off-again love affair. Convenience vs. size/weight (it's tough to fit a PRS cab in an old Porsche's passenger seat). So I bought a head shell and have moved the amp between head and combo many times. The cost, used was about $100 for the shell and has been wonderful. Just a suggestion, because you're right; $100 (or pounds Sterling) is a cheap price for a matching cab.

    The PRS 25th Anniversary amp is the closest thing to having multiple power settings beyond half power. It has a multi-detention attenuator that works pretty well. It's not the same as a 1/4 power switch but it gives similar results.
    Last edited by Boogie; 03-22-2014 at 08:45 PM.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    Head and cab combination, as opposed to head and cab. lol

    Sorry, i can see how that is confusing!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Texas_minor_blues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    742 Evergreen Terrace
    I agree with a few people in the thread, I like to mix and match. Some cabs have a nicer bass response but that can be good and bad depending on what you are playing. Ironically though at the moment I am using both. I have a 20w 2 channel H combo and a Bogner 20th Shiva head and single 12 bogner cab
    Whale Blue 2008 McCarty w./ IRW neck / DGT IRW neck incoming
    Black Slate 513 w./ IRW neck
    PRS 2 Channel H + Bogner 20th Shiva
    EBMM BFR Petrucci 7 string (IRW neck)
    EBMM Mystic Dream 6 string (IRW neck )

  15. #15
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    It's a lot of fun to mix and match! That's the main reason that I keep going back to head and cab setups.

    I like a 2x12 vertical cab.

    Last edited by 11top; 03-22-2014 at 11:46 PM.
    Sh*tter's full

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts