#1
This may seem like a really newbie thing to say, but I am really not experienced with stage set ups, speakers, PA and things like that, but I've always wondered - why do people use amp head and cab combinations instead of just amps with it all built in? Also, how would using the 2 separate devices work with using a PA for a live gig? Would the cabinet go into the PA through a DI box or something? I really don't understand I wanna know cus I'm getting into electric guitar (having been playing acoustic for years) and it would help a lot.

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, any explanations would be greatly appreciated.
#2
Guitar amps/cabs are instruments themselves. They provide as much coloration to your sound and tone as the guitar does - in other words, an amp and its cab provide a lot of influence on your tone. As such, there's really no such thing as an all-in-one solution. Bose does make one, but we won't go there. It's customary to amp your guitar and then use a microphone to feed that sound into a mixer. The mixer then feeds the PA amps and speakers.

The same thing can be done with an amped acoustic guitar. Mic the cabinet and send it to a mixer and PA.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Jun 20, 2010,
#3
I'm pretty sure they usually just mic the cabinet during gigs instead of using a DI box. When I helped set up a gig last summer the only thing they used a DI for was the electro-acoustic, everything else was mic'd into the soundboard.

Also I'm pretty sure people use stacks instead of combos just because they're louder and can cut through the mix better than a combo can most of the time.
#5
live everythings mic'd. well now, people are starting to use cab simulators and just run the heads straight into a PA, but thats a different story.

...

heads and cabs are used for a few reasons.

1. practicality - its easier to fix if like a tube goes wrong, you dont have to take the whole amp off stage and fix it or simply swap it with the backup head saving time


2. "cool factor" everyone loves the look of a big full stack 4x12 onstage

cant remember the rest
Quote by rgrockr
You can buy whatever guitar you want, you don't have to be at a certain skill level to buy one. This is real life, not some guitar-playing RPG where you have to unlock new guitars.
#6
Yeah, the DI box is useful for sending the signal from an electro-acoustic directly into the mixer. I guess you could do the same thing with the electric guitar if all you wanted was a super clean sound.
#7
Quote by Torn_Asunder
why do people use amp head and cab combinations instead of just amps with it all built in?

A cab's speakers and general construction have a huge impact on the tone you get, so if the amp and cab can be purchased seperately, you can pick a combination that suits your needs best.

Plus, large combos (amp + built in speaker) are a pain in the ass to lug around. A small 1x12" may weigh as little as 20kg, but a 2x12" is usually around 30kg and also fairly big already. Then there's crazy heavy combos like an Engl Sovereign that weigh over 40kg. Nobody likes to carry stuff that heavy. It's easier to haul a 20kg head and 20kg cab seperately than a 40kg combo.

Now imagine the fun you'd have carrying a 4x12" combo... a 50kg cab with a 20kg amp combined. That's 70kg of AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!.


Quote by Torn_Asunder
Also, how would using the 2 separate devices work with using a PA for a live gig? Would the cabinet go into the PA through a DI box or something?

You can use a DI Box, some amps even have a DI-Out or Line-Out for use with a PA. However, most people prefer to put a mic in front of the cab instead, because it usually sounds better.
You can even go completely without a cab when using a loadbox together with a DI box, but it's nicer to have the amp roaring behind you.
#9
Quote by TheQuailman
A cab's speakers and general construction have a huge impact on the tone you get, so if the amp and cab can be purchased seperately, you can pick a combination that suits your needs best.

Plus, large combos (amp + built in speaker) are a pain in the ass to lug around. A small 1x12" may weigh as little as 20kg, but a 2x12" is usually around 30kg and also fairly big already. Then there's crazy heavy combos like an Engl Sovereign that weigh over 40kg. Nobody likes to carry stuff that heavy. It's easier to haul a 20kg head and 20kg cab seperately than a 40kg combo.

Now imagine the fun you'd have carrying a 4x12" combo... a 50kg cab with a 20kg amp combined. That's 70kg of AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!.



You can use a DI Box, some amps even have a DI-Out or Line-Out for use with a PA. However, most people prefer to put a mic in front of the cab instead, because it usually sounds better.
You can even go completely without a cab when using a loadbox together with a DI box, but it's nicer to have the amp roaring behind you.


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