#1
So I've decided its finally time to man up and get a half-stack, as I play to start playing shows in the Spring with my band. But I'm not sure what to get. I have about $500-$600 (christmas gift) to work with and I'll be playing mostly metal music with it.

For cabs, I think already know what I want. I've been looking at a Behringer Ultrastack BG412S. It seems like a good cab and should be able to suit my needs.

On the other hand, I really don't know where to begin as far as heads good. I was told by a salesman at my local music store to check out the Behringer V-AMPIRE and the Line 6 Spider III HD75. They both sounded ok, but I was wondering if there was something better. I want a good distortion for riffs and solos, as well as a crystal clear clean sound as well. That is, if I can find a head like that under $350.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Ok, Wow! Thanks for all the replies, maybe ill reconsider the stack idea. With all this information, maybe I should stick with combo for now and get something else. Now I got another question. If I stick with my combo, would I be able to, and would it be wise, to get an external cab for it or should i just stick with my combo as is.
Last edited by puppetzmaster8 at Dec 10, 2008,
#2
I have a Randall half stack I am thinking of selling.... its great on clean and has OD.
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures.
#3
It'll be hard finding a good stack for $500 - $600. Why not buy a combo? Do you feel that you need a stack?
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#4
Just because you're gigging you don't need a half stack. But if you want one, certainly don't get the Spider III. If you want to go Line 6, make it a Vetta or Spider Valve. But you probably won't get either for your choice. Maybe a Valveking?
#5
Try Bugera...
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#6
Get a Bugera or Peavey 5150 combo
You'll be wasting money on a crappy halfstack, so it'd be better to get a decent tube combo
You don't need a halfstack to play live, my 6505+ with 4x12 rarely goes higher than 3 or 4 live

Also, give your salesman a slap, he's trying to sell you two awful amps that obviously no one else wanted to buy
ohai little sig.
#7
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#8
if you think behringer and line6 spiders sound ok...., i think you should stick with combos
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#9
If you're set on a half stack, then save up some more money and get something like a used 5150 and an Avatar or Mojo cab. How big of shows are you talking about and do you really need a half stack? Not trying to persuade you otherwise, just trying to help you get the most bang for your buck. The amps you listed you're most likely going to get really bored with within a year and then wanting to sell it for 1/4 of the price you paid for it.
#10
A Mojo 4x12 cabinet is out of his budget, let alone a quad of (good) speakers to fill it with.

Quote by puppetzmaster8
So I've decided its finally time to man up and get a half-stack, as I play to start playing shows in the Spring with my band.


So... why do you want a head+cab? "My band is going to start playing shows" is not enough reason as it could mean a bunch of different things. There are legit reasons to buy a half stack, I would like to hear what yours are before trying to steer you away from buying one.


For cabs, I think already know what I want. I've been looking at a Behringer Ultrastack BG412S. It seems like a good cab and should be able to suit my needs.


What does do you mean it "seems like a good cab"? Have you played it? Or does it just "seem" good because it's cheap? Because let me tell you something, I'm 99% sure that the cab is particle board or MDF, poorly built, with terrible speakers and most likely sounds like ****.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 10, 2008,
#11
^ ahh you're right...I completely forgot that when I was in the market for cabs the guy I was thinking of buying a Mojo from was a wholesaler and could get me one for cost...my mistake...an avatar could be an option though.

TS: you ever consider a head + 2x12? I'd rather have that than a really heavy combo any day.
#12
Quote by puppetzmaster8
So I've decided its finally time to man up and get a half-stack, as I play to start playing shows in the Spring with my band. But I'm not sure what to get. I have about $500-$600 (christmas gift) to work with and I'll be playing mostly metal music with it.

For cabs, I think already know what I want. I've been looking at a Behringer Ultrastack BG412S. It seems like a good cab and should be able to suit my needs.

On the other hand, I really don't know where to begin as far as heads good. I was told by a salesman at my local music store to check out the Behringer V-AMPIRE and the Line 6 Spider III HD75. They both sounded ok, but I was wondering if there was something better. I want a good distortion for riffs and solos, as well as a crystal clear clean sound as well. That is, if I can find a head like that under $350.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Real men play combos - because they don't need to compensate for anything.

Both those half stacks are crap, you'd only buy one because you were desperate for an on-stage penis extension. Nobody in the crowd gives a crap about your gear, they just want to hear you play, and they'll prefer it if you sound good.
Actually called Mark!

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#13
Quote by mercedesisbenz
combocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombo
combocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombocombo



+ (the number of times he wrote combo)
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#14
I'd get something like a 5150 head used somewhere and then save up and buy a cab down the line. I think you would be happier with that than your other choices.
#15
Real men play combos - because they don't need to compensate for anything.




Yeah if you were gonna get a SS Line 6 head get the HD147 - lovely I kid you not!!!

But I'd stick with combos too really - you'll probably be mic'ing at the venue anyway or using the PA
#16
Behringer are well known for the garbage they make its why they used a new name when they started making tube amps. And spiders arent much better. Fact is your not going to get any kind of decent head unit for 350$. I just sold a 3 year old 30 watt tube combo for a 100 more than that. I know 2 guys who felt the need to man up and bought budget halfstacks they are still fighting trying to sound even close to decent. Either come up with way more money or lower your sights.
#17
Quote by steven seagull
Real men play combos - because they don't need to compensate for anything.

Both those half stacks are crap, you'd only buy one because you were desperate for an on-stage penis extension. Nobody in the crowd gives a crap about your gear, they just want to hear you play, and they'll prefer it if you sound good.


Listen to the seagull. Real men play combos.

For that price range, any half stack you get will be utter crap. However, get a combo, and you could get a Peavey 5150. THE budget metal amp for players...on a budget.

Half stacks are not any louder than their combo cousins. At least, not loud enough to be able to tell the difference.

So, to quickly put this thread to rest...
If you're going to play metal for gigs, your best bet is to get something like the 5150 combo. It's cheap, it's loud, and it's tube. So the louder you crank it, the better it sounds.
#18
Quote by steven seagull
Real men play combos - because they don't need to compensate for anything.

Both those half stacks are crap, you'd only buy one because you were desperate for an on-stage penis extension. Nobody in the crowd gives a crap about your gear, they just want to hear you play, and they'll prefer it if you sound good.


OR they play heads and 2x12's for convenience and easier speaker shift

But yeah TS, a combo is really the way to go for that price. The bugeras are really good for the price, and seriously loud too. Really too loud for what you might need, but guess that wont be much of a prob for you metal guys; pregain abusers.

If you plan on being mic'ed everytime, and really like the thought of a stack you could look at the new blackstar ht-5 head. Dont be fooled by the 5watts. It is still really loud. Wont give you as much depth in the bass as one of the higher wattage combos people have mentioned. But it sounds really good with a nice cab. A bit noisy, but great for metal and hard rock
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#19
1. don't get a combo, it's dumb, not worth it, if you're in a band get a stack.
2. You'll neeg atleast 1G to even good a good tone, I got a B-52 AT100 for a lil' over 1,000$, and that was bought new. You can get a way better deal over craigslist or something.
3. Don't get a combo, look into used. bottom line
#20
I personally prefer having a cabinet, not because its the manly thing to do. But I think that the extra speakers give a fuller sound. I bought a Peavey Windsor recently and the combo didn't sound nearly as full as the half stack. Matter of opinion really. If you want a half stack, buy one! For the price you mentioned, the options are limited. I would suggest looking on craigslist or local pawn shops. Good luck.
#21
Quote by thenewguy729
1. don't get a combo, it's dumb, not worth it, if you're in a band get a stack.
2. You'll neeg atleast 1G to even good a good tone, I got a B-52 AT100 for a lil' over 1,000$, and that was bought new. You can get a way better deal over craigslist or something.
3. Don't get a combo, look into used. bottom line


1. Don't listen to this guy. He's dumb, not worth it, and has a small penis. That's why he loves his stacks. Combos can get plenty loud, sound just as good as a stack, and cost less.
2. To GET a good tone out of a combo, you'll only need about $600 for a 5150. Crank that sucker and enjoy your awesome metal tone.
3. I do have to admit, I agree with half of this statement. Look into used gear, again I recommend the 5150, but GET THE COMBO


Quote by eyebanez333
I personally prefer having a cabinet, not because its the manly thing to do. But I think that the extra speakers give a fuller sound. I bought a Peavey Windsor recently and the combo didn't sound nearly as full as the half stack. Matter of opinion really. If you want a half stack, buy one! For the price you mentioned, the options are limited. I would suggest looking on craigslist or local pawn shops. Good luck.


Extra speakers give it a fuller sound because the sound is coming from four speakers, not one or two. However, it's not THAT much of a difference.

As for the Windsor combo vs. Stack, the combo isn't even close to the same thing as the stack. I have NO idea why they stuck the Windsor name on that box of...lesser things than the Windsor stack. This is the ONLY situation I would recommend a stack over a combo.
#22
Ok, Wow! Thanks for all the replies, maybe ill reconsider the stack idea. With all this information, maybe I should stick with combo for now and get something else. Now I got another question. If I stick with my combo, would I be able to, and would it be wise, to get an external cab for it or should i just stick with my combo as is.
#23
Extra speakers give it a fuller sound because the sound is coming from four speakers, not one or two. However, it's not THAT much of a difference.

As for the Windsor combo vs. Stack, the combo isn't even close to the same thing as the stack. I have NO idea why they stuck the Windsor name on that box of...lesser things than the Windsor stack. This is the ONLY situation I would recommend a stack over a combo.


I was gonna say...there is a HUGE difference between the sound of the two...then I read your last section.

TS: All in all, I really can't offer anymore advice than to go do what I did...try them out and see what sounds the best to YOU.
#24
Quote by puppetzmaster8
Ok, Wow! Thanks for all the replies, maybe ill reconsider the stack idea. With all this information, maybe I should stick with combo for now and get something else. Now I got another question. If I stick with my combo, would I be able to, and would it be wise, to get an external cab for it or should i just stick with my combo as is.


If you buy a 2x12 combo now, and later on decide you would like an extension cab, you can totally do that. Just make sure the ohms match up and that your amp has an external speaker out, which I would say most do.
#25
If you're playing very large gigs, a halfstack is necessary. I think if you were playing big enough gigs to merit a halfstack you would have a bigger budget

Stay away from Behringer amps. They are extremely unreliable.

I would recommend a used 5150, a B-52, or a Bugera 6262 or 333XL. Try all of these if you can.

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#26
Quote by thenewguy729
1. don't get a combo, it's dumb, not worth it, if you're in a band get a stack.
2. You'll neeg atleast 1G to even good a good tone, I got a B-52 AT100 for a lil' over 1,000$, and that was bought new. You can get a way better deal over craigslist or something.
3. Don't get a combo, look into used. bottom line

you had to pay more than $1000 to get a good tone because you bought a stack.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#27
Quote by thenewguy729
1. don't get a combo, it's dumb, not worth it, if you're in a band get a stack.
2. You'll neeg atleast 1G to even good a good tone, I got a B-52 AT100 for a lil' over 1,000$, and that was bought new. You can get a way better deal over craigslist or something.
3. Don't get a combo, look into used. bottom line



**** dude you got ripped off. I picked up my B52 at-100 for 279 from GC. I also just picked up a B52 ST412 with Vintage 30's in it for another 300. That is under 600 for the whole stack nowhere near the $1000 you paid for your head. I would take it back and smack the son of a bitch that sold it to you.
#28
Quote by stradivari310
If you're playing very large gigs, a halfstack is necessary. I think if you were playing big enough gigs to merit a halfstack you would have a bigger budget

Stay away from Behringer amps. They are extremely unreliable.

I would recommend a used 5150, a B-52, or a Bugera 6262 or 333XL. Try all of these if you can.


Are you saying this on the basis of volume? A 100 watt stack into a 4x12 is not really louder than the same 100 watt in 2x12 combo form with the same speakers. The actual volume is really dependent on the amp and speaker efficiency. You get slightly more perceived volume by moving more air with 4 speakers rather than 2, but it's not enough to warrant buying a halfstack "to be louder." What matters in just about any gig is to be loud enough to be heard over the drummer.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 10, 2008,
#29
Quote by mindstealer
**** dude you got ripped off. I picked up my B52 at-100 for 279 from GC. I also just picked up a B52 ST412 with Vintage 30's in it for another 300. That is under 600 for the whole stack nowhere near the $1000 you paid for your head. I would take it back and smack the son of a bitch that sold it to you.

my guess is that he's referring to the head + 2 cabs.

incidentally, the guy at college with a 100 watt stack thought it was a clever idea to use it in the autumn term showcase, turns out the volume was either too quiet or too loud for the college theatre with a slight twitch of the volume knob so he ended up not getting to use it - moral of the story: if you play small gigs, which most people do unless they are famous, use a 30-50 watt combo.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#30
Quote by steven seagull
Real men play combos - because they don't need to compensate for anything.


I like the tone of my 4x12 a lot better than the tone from my combo amp; and if I'm not a real man because of that than give me a bra and call me a women.
#31
Quote by Unledded
I like the tone of my 4x12 a lot better than the tone from my combo amp; and if I'm not a real man because of that than give me a bra and call me a women.


I'll get right on mailing you that bra, but until then, we can just call you a woman.
#32
Quote by thenewguy729
1. don't get a combo, it's dumb, not worth it, if you're in a band get a stack.

Why? So you can look cool and tough on stage?


2. You'll neeg atleast 1G to even good a good tone, I got a B-52 AT100 for a lil' over 1,000$, and that was bought new. You can get a way better deal over craigslist or something.


Not if you buy a combo. You need at least $1500 to buy a halfstack new that is worth the price.


3. Don't get a combo, look into used. bottom line


Why not? Because you don't look as cool and tough as when you have a stack onstage?

Quote by Blompcube
my guess is that he's referring to the head + 2 cabs.

incidentally, the guy at college with a 100 watt stack thought it was a clever idea to use it in the autumn term showcase, turns out the volume was either too quiet or too loud for the college theatre with a slight twitch of the volume knob so he ended up not getting to use it - moral of the story: if you play small gigs, which most people do unless they are famous, use a 30-50 watt combo.


If that guy bought a B-52 AT-100 full stack, he cannot be calling anyone dumb for buying anything.


I'm not even part of the anti-half stack brigade. I use a Marshall halfstack myself (NOT because "I need the volume to play onstage," that is a BS excuse for having one), and I most certainly disagree that you need a halfstack to play with a band. I used a 50 watt combo for about 6 years and played in bands with it and I used a 15 watt combo for about 2-3 years before that and played small gigs with THAT. my 50 watt 1x12 Marshall solid state combo is actually louder than my halfstack is.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 10, 2008,
#33
Quote by steven seagull


Both those half stacks are crap, you'd only buy one because you were desperate for an on-stage penis extension.


If you are talking specifically about those two stacks, than I agree with you 100%. I agree with you because at that price range a combo will definitely give you a better tone than those stacks; and basically the only reason you would buy one of those half stacks is because you need an on stage penis extension.
But if you were talking about in general, then you are sorely mistaken (in general people don't buy stacks because they need an on stage penis extension).

Quote by Dizeaz2112
This is the ONLY situation I would recommend a stack over a combo.

Can't you see that this statement is just as stupid and ignorant as thenewguy729's statement of combos being useless (except you're saying that stacks are useless instead of combos)?

Look, I'm not trying to say stack>combos or combos>stacks. All I'm trying to say is that NEITHER combos nor stacks are useless; both have their uses. And whether you need a combo or stack largely depends on the situation and your ears. In this particular situation I must agree that a combo is definitely a better choice than a stack.
#34
Generally speaking, the very fact that somebody feels the need to differentiate between the combos and half stacks implies that they see some inherent value in the fact that it's big and in two bits over and above ease of transportation.

If I buy an amp, I do just that - buy an amp. I don't care what it looks like or what the form factor is, I just want to know if it's loud enough and if it'll make noises that I like. If it's a combo then great, if it's a head and cab then equally great, as long as it fits in a car it really doesn't matter one bit.
Actually called Mark!

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#35
+1 to the seagull. Some amps are only available in head form. But TS, 2x12 and Head is the way to go. I only say this because there may be times when you are gigging (this has happened to me) where you can share a decent cab with another band, and it'll save you a whole lot of weight space and time to just take your head and leave your cab. Plus, on the occasions where this is not possible a 2x12 cab will not break your back or bank balance.
...
#36
Quote by steven seagull
Generally speaking, the very fact that somebody feels the need to differentiate between the combos and half stacks implies that they see some inherent value in the fact that it's big and in two bits over and above ease of transportation.


Some people do differentiate between a combo and stack for legitimate reasons (although I must concede that those people are probably in the minority and not in general as I had originally and foolishly thought).

I guess my point is that there are some people (not you, I know you're a smart guy) that completely dismiss combos or stacks, which I find completely absurd.

I find that the general population is just misinformed. It seems that some misinformation keeps on spreading and spreading until it is almost regarded as a "fact." E.g. if you're gigging you need a half stack because it's "a lot louder", or that you need 8-10 glasses of water to be healthy.
#37
I'm not saying stacks are useless. I'm only saying that they are impractical, especially for what the TS will more than likely be using it for. The occasional gig, in which he'll be playing a few songs for a relatively small group of people. You do NOT NEED a stack to play bar gigs, private parties, and community festivals. A combo will do wonders for these situations. If the TS was playing arena shows, Ozzfest, or Gigantour or something, then I'd be all over them getting a stack.

As for the statement I made regarding the Windsor...

The Windsor stack and Windsor combo are essentially two completely different amps with the same name. The stack sounds nice, has a great price, and for that price works wonderfully. The combo...not so much. THIS is why I made that statement.

So, in my opinion, what the TS needs is a good, metal-oriented 2x12 combo. My recommendation would be a used 5150, B-52 AT-212, or to try out one of those Bugeras or whatever that are supposed to be a copy of the 5150. I haven't tried the Bugeras, so I can't really give a solid recommendation on that. Or, you could go with the head + 212 cab thing. Either way will work great. The thing about the head/cab route would be paying for a decent head AND a decent cab.

Just try those, see if they fit what you need. If they don't, keep looking. If they do, then good job.
#38
Quote by steven seagull
Real men play combos - because they don't need to compensate for anything.

Both those half stacks are crap, you'd only buy one because you were desperate for an on-stage penis extension. Nobody in the crowd gives a crap about your gear, they just want to hear you play, and they'll prefer it if you sound good.


Sigged. ^_^
#39
The size of gigs/shows are greatly dependent on what style of music you play. Take my situation for instance. I used to play in a sort of progressive melodic metalcore band. When we played shows it wasn't us sitting on stools in a bar or someone's basement. That style of music usually makes it easy to get booked as an opening band for a much larger band. Also there's a huge music festival once a year in the summer about 15 min from my house and it's relatively easy to get a slot there. If they like you enough, which is pretty simple considering how many slots they have, then you get to play on the second stage (basically the metal stage) and get a chance to play in from of hundreds sometimes in the neighborhood of a thousand or more. Now I'm not saying that the TS is going to be in anything like that, but half stacks are not an unrealistic thing in this genre, in fact they are pretty essential.

On topic: I still think a head + 2x12 is the best option for the TS
#40
If you want higain tasty fendery cleans, and want to push some air and bottom end, try a used AT 100 head...and a light crate 4 12 cab. If you don't dig the overall tone, replace the speakers. You won't regret it!

Or, if you can find a Crate Blue voodoo 50 watter and a 2 12 cab....again, sonic bliss (and I'm a crate hater SS onlt tho!
"Music is my Smack!"