Ok, heres the dope,
I've been playing guitar for three years and just made it into a band as a rythmn guitarist. I have everything I need to play live, except the volume IE a big enough amplifier. The biggest thing I have is a 15 watt tube fender super champ. Question 1-Can I buy just a cabinet and hook the superchamp up to the 4x12, or do I HAVE to buy a cabinet and a head? If I do have to buy a cabinet and a head, whats the biggest bang for my buck? I can spend around 600. Should I go new? or get something of better quality used. What are my options? Any and all help is appreciated here!
I doubt you you could power a 4x12 with a 15 watt combo. What is your budget for new gear?

EDIT: Sorry, did not see you mention the price!
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Last edited by Crazed Shredder at Sep 9, 2010,
600 what? What country are you in.

Cabinets will not make you any louder, they will just disperse your sound better/over a larger area.

You should never go new, unless there is something you very specifically want and you cannot find it used.

You have many options with a budget that big, but 90% of them can be the completely wrong options for you if we don't know what styles/genres you play.
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Well, they could always just mic your fender. But if you want a cab, you'd be better off buying a head for it. Peavey windsors have the volume, but I'm not too crazy about the tone. The head runs 399$. Peavey valvekings aren't bad they run about 549$. Just depends on how you like the sound. Remember, volume ALWAYS comes second. It won't matter if your tone sucks. Tone always comes first.
15 watts tube can keep up pretty well, especially if your gigs are going to be mic's then the size of the amp is virtually of no matter. I think the biggest mistake poeple make is "Gig=Half or full stack". That really isn't the case though. You should really see if your current amp can hold up at your band's first jam session, especially if you like your tone. If it doesn't quite get there, then maybe a 2x12 is what you need. Some will argue that its not going to be technically louder...whatever, more speakers means more sound. Like I said though, try to jam with them with just your amp, you may have to crank the master volume though.

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I doubt you you could power a 4x12 with a 15 watt combo. What is your budget for new gear?

What, are you nuts, of course you can, speakers are passive, I could hook a 1 watt amp up to a 8x12 and you'll still hear something.

The idea is the more speakers you have the more air you push, so a 15 tube watt amp sounds louder through a 4x12 rather than a 1x12, cause it's 3 more speakers pushing air. So yes, you could hook up your super champ to a 4x12 and it will sound louder and clearer, but only slightly.

I know a guy from the Cheney band that used a 15 watt super champ for a large venue, even though he had it miced to the PA, I was with them while they were setting up, that little amp cut through the entire mix rather well on it's own.
i can't make a confortable recommenation until i know more about:

what guitar you plan on playing (SC or HB),
what genre you are playing,
what tone you like or want to sound like,
what your gigs will be like in size (if you could go through the PA or not),
Quote by Crazed Shredder
I doubt you you could power a 4x12 with a 15 watt combo. What is your budget for new gear?

EDIT: Sorry, did not see you mention the price!

The 1 Watt Zvex amp can drive a 412, this will have absolutely no problem. That being said, $600 isn't all that much for a half stack but it will buy you a good 212 or 112 combo that will be PLENTY loud. Someone mentioned the Windsor for $400. It's a decent amp, I picked mine up with a cab when MF was blowing them out for $400 and that price for a brand new all tube stack is pretty much unbeatable but I've since traded it.
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Ok here is the physics. Only about 2% of your watts are converted into sound in a guitar speaker. In fact in a small combo the figure is likely to be only 1% or less. The best guitar speakers will convert just over 4% of the watts into sound which will make them much louder. Adding extra speaker area will improve the mechanical situation and will increase the volume. Speaker makers can also increase efficiency with bigger magnets and shorter voice coils for example.

Speaker loudness or efficiency is usually given as the number of decibels the speaker will give at 1metre. Your computer speakers probably give 85dB, your combo (guess) 94dB and the best 4x12 102dB all for 1W of power. You need to achieve average stage levels of 100dB average. 15W will add about 12dB on top of a 1W amp so your maximum level is probably about 106db through the combo and will rise to 114 dB through a good 4x12.

You need to produce about 110dB peak output to achieve a 100dB average with a fair bit of distortion. Cleans will need much higher peaks (say 120dB) This is where your valve/tube amp scores; the distortion is nice so you can push it closer to its maximum and it is effectively louder.

So the answer is that your 15W are only just enough but you need a good loud cab. 30-50W would let you use a smaller cab or let you use more cleans. If you like the sound of your combo then I would get a good cab to go with it. You can then get a head when you can afford it. In the meantime the best advice is to put your guitar sound through the PA to back up your combo.

This article will tell you all you need to know http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/gear_maintenance/making_it_loud.html