#1
So I'm new to amps and need a new one and I was wondering what the actual difference between a combo amp and a half stack are volume and tone-wise?

(ex. 5w tube combo vs 5w head & 1x12 cab)
#3
Volume wise, as long as it's the same amp, there will be no difference.

If they're the same size (and obviously the same) speaker, there shouldn't be any noticeable tone difference either.

It's basically just preference in that situation. Some people like combos because it's less trips to take when transporting, some people like head/combo because the individual pieces are lighter to carry, and you can use the head with any other cab, or some other heads with that cab.
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#4
^This. The big difference is convenience, being you can run another speaker from the head, whereas you couldn't with most combos.
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#5
Pretty much nothing tbh. Tone wise if the speaker and the amp itself is the same then there the same. The main difference is mostly look (Stack looks better imo) but combos can be more portable then a stack as well as can do lower volumes better than a head with a 4x12 cause combos are usually 1x12 or 2x12
#6
^^I'm with 95th, they look super cool!!!

Yes if the amp, speaker configuration and speaker are the same there shouldn't be anything noticeably different.

If you're playing live, I think people automatically stereotype you as a more serious player when they see a stack.

Since its good to know for later on, I guess... Different speaker configurations make a huge difference. A 1x12 will not be able to physically move as much air as a 2x12, 4x10, 4x12, etc. This has an effect on tone, volume, and response. Headroom (how high you have to turn the volume up to get natural breakup) is mainly affected by the amp wattage but speaker configuration certainly plays its part (1x12's naturally distort at lower volumes, since there is only 1). IMO you definitely get better bass response out of larger cabs than smaller, and I feel even more clarity all around.
#7
Quote by bpdeem

If you're playing live, I think people automatically stereotype you as a more serious player when they see a stack.


A 1x12 doesn't count as a "stack" though. While that comment is absolutely true, it really only applies to half stacks and full stacks.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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Ibanez RGA42E
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Ibanez RG520
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Line 6 Pod HD500X
#8
Gotta beg to differ here. Most combos are open back whereas their cab counterparts are closed back. This makes a pretty significant difference in tone. Also, with a combo, since the head is actually attached to cab part, there's more wood involved (along with the components inside the head section) which cause different resonance properties.
#9
Quote by Offworld92
A 1x12 doesn't count as a "stack" though. While that comment is absolutely true, it really only applies to half stacks and full stacks.


True! Thanks for the catch!
#10
Quote by Paddledude
(ex. 5w tube combo vs 5w head & 1x12 cab)

Are you looking at the Blackstar amps out of curiosity?


Quote by ThrashMetal014
^This. The big difference is convenience, being you can run another speaker from the head, whereas you couldn't with most combos.

That doesn't make any sense.
#11
Quote by Offworld92
A 1x12 doesn't count as a "stack" though. While that comment is absolutely true, it really only applies to half stacks and full stacks.


Amp on top of cab = stack.

1/8th stack

But still a "stack"
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#12
Quote by Guitarbaddie
Amp on top of cab = stack.

1/8th stack

But still a "stack"


Tiny amp = no ****s given by crowd. It was pretty clear what I meant.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#14
Quote by Guitarbaddie
Quality > Stage Presence


Why are we talking about quality now? That was never part of the discussion. You say that like large amps are inherently lower quality than small amps.

Quality and stage presence are both very important. And anyway, assuming the TS is talking about Blackstar, it's not like there's a huge argument for quality there anyway.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#15
What Will said. It makes a pretty big diff with a Marshall because the combos are open backed. Totally different sound.
I have plugged my JCM900 combo into my 1960 many times, even ran them together to give myself a 6x12. Both have the same speakers. The open backed part of the equation has a looser bass to it. When you've got both running sitting on top of each other it's easy to hear what's what, you just move around.
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#17
Actually, i just noticed this but would the Epiphone Valve Junior run through a cab if I needed something with gig-ready volume? It does have a speaker select in the back with 4, 8, and 16 ohm inputs. If so, what good cabs could it run through?
#18
Quote by i_am_metalhead
Gotta beg to differ here. Most combos are open back whereas their cab counterparts are closed back. This makes a pretty significant difference in tone. Also, with a combo, since the head is actually attached to cab part, there's more wood involved (along with the components inside the head section) which cause different resonance properties.

Agreed. You've also got things like tube rattle.

In this case, a head and cab is probably the best way to go. The ability to just take your head to practice rooms and gigs and plug into the cabs they've got available is extremely handy
#19
Quote by i_am_metalhead
Gotta beg to differ here. Most combos are open back whereas their cab counterparts are closed back. This makes a pretty significant difference in tone. Also, with a combo, since the head is actually attached to cab part, there's more wood involved (along with the components inside the head section) which cause different resonance properties.

+3 to all of this.

some combo versions of a particular amp can sound very different from the head/cab designs of the same exact amp.
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