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#1
Hey everyone,

I know that this has probably been asked millions of times, but i couldn't really find a thread that answered my question.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a combo or a halfstack?

Generally speaking, how would the price of a combo compare to the same amp, but in a half-stack? What is the difference in sound between the two? Is one louder than another? Is it better to just get a combo that you can plug into a qaud box or extension cabinet???

I'm not really sure what to get - I'll be using it for practice and only small gigs...... I don't know if a stack will be overkill or a combo won't be enough...... I'm looking at a 50W all tube amp - so any suggestions for metal would be awesome. I haven't got a huge budget - Looking at spending about $2000 AUD.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. (I hear too much that stacks are for posers so......... )

Thanks,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#2
Stacks are only for posers if they are a poser when you get one. If you can play well and get a stack your not a poser. I would go with something light... your looking fora 50W? Combo probably...
Gear:

Crappy Samick Guitar
4x12 Cabinet
Guitar Rig 2
Computer
Peavey Bass
Bass Master 200 Watt bass amp
#3
You only need a stack for playing venues. And even then a combo is usually more than enough. So Combo ftw unless you're selling out stadiums.
#4
Usually the head is a little less expensive (100-500 dollars) than the combo version. Buying a half stack and not being good at guitar does not make you a poser. You can buy whatever you want.
RIP SYD
Member #6 of the "SZ over RG Club!" PM ibanez4lifeSZ to join.
#5
a combo would be easier to transport, would sound better becuase the tubes have to saturate more to gain a nice tone from them, a stack is really for pretty large venues I.M.O it wont do anything a combo wont be able to, plus if you need it to be louder just mike it up............good combo's ive heard about are the peavey 6505, xXx......and possibly the 5150 if u can get hold of one, i cant think of any other combo's at the moment....
#6
Quote by BobFromReboot
Usually the head is a little less expensive (100-500 dollars) than the combo version. Buying a half stack and not being good at guitar does not make you a poser. You can buy whatever you want.

The definition of a poser.


Probably derives from a similar usage among punk-rockers
and metalheads, putting down those who "talk the talk but don't walk
the walk".

1: a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not


If you can't even play a note for a song and you get a half stack it's called being a poser
Gear:

Crappy Samick Guitar
4x12 Cabinet
Guitar Rig 2
Computer
Peavey Bass
Bass Master 200 Watt bass amp
#7
well, with a half stack you have to keep it LOUD in order to sound good. you lose lots of distortion with turning it down. combos allow you to keep the volume lower in order to practice. and they're cheaper. cabs can add somewhere beween $150-200 US to the price just for the low end ones.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#8
Has anyone got any suggestions of a good metal combo in the $2000 or under price range? I saw a 5150 2 speaker combo on ebay....... what about that?

The reason I'm asking is coz my mate just got a sweet combo, but I've been looking at a Laney GH50Lwith a 4x12 Laney cab for $1600.........

Thanks for the replies so far guys,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#9
not sure exactly which, but mesa boogie has great combos (heck, they have halfstacks that are great) for under $2000. i'd go with the dual rectifier roadster combo or the tremoverb combo. they're both good.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#10
Quote by tubab0y
not sure exactly which, but mesa boogie has great combos (heck, they have halfstacks that are great) for under $2000. i'd go with the dual rectifier roadster combo or the tremoverb combo. they're both good.



Are they under $2000 AUd or $2000 AUD??? My friend just bought a mesa F-50 combo and it cost him close to 3 grand!!!!

I still dont know...... For the price the Laney half stack seems hard to beat. It has good reviews and people have told me how good it is....... Heck - even Opeth use the higher version (The GH100L) so its gotta be pretty good.......

I saw a 5150 EVH for $1300 on ebay - any good????

Cheers guys,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#12
Quote by danastasi
Are they under $2000 AUd or $2000 AUD??? My friend just bought a mesa F-50 combo and it cost him close to 3 grand!!!!

I still dont know...... For the price the Laney half stack seems hard to beat. It has good reviews and people have told me how good it is....... Heck - even Opeth use the higher version (The GH100L) so its gotta be pretty good.......

I saw a 5150 EVH for $1300 on ebay - any good????

Cheers guys,

Dan


i'm aiming to get that laney half stack, the exact same one, though i saw it for 2200 AU$ online with the cab and free delivery. Unfortunately laney don't make a combo of that and you have to go the model up which is a TT50 to get the combo and the gain on that isn't supposed to be as good and there are a million and one features and knobs, where as the GH is just a simple single channel amp with balls.

That laney is pretty hot **** and the onli diff between the GH100 and GH50 is the ammount of power tubes, they sound the same (probably more saturated on the GH50 which is why i wanna get it).
#13
Quote by erotic_snails
i have just bought a line6 spyder 212 but some people say it is not great. is this true?

Yes.
Quote by Sn^ke
You only need a stack for playing venues. And even then a combo is usually more than enough. So Combo ftw unless you're selling out stadiums.

Stacks were originally developed for bass players for projection. They were adopted by guitar players for the same reason. But with the advent of modern PA equipment, a stack isn't necessary at all. A lot of professional guitarists use combo amps for their stage rigs. People say they move more air. Yes, that's true, but the only time your audience is going to notice that is if it's a small or moderately sized venue. Stacks at this point are really more about the image or the guitarist's own enjoyment.
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Jul 20, 2006,
#14
i guess also the flexibility of stacks, stacks are more straitforward when it comes to selecting your style of speakers and sound. Like you cuold have a bright amplifier with a dark cabinet and it'd sound totally different, the combo version your usually stuck with that combo until you get a speaker extension by which time your wondering why you didn't just get a stack to begin with. that said most combo's speakers are voiced to complement the amplifier that's powering them so usually this isn't a problem.

yep the image that's definately an issue, and also the feel, stand in front of a stack amp, turn it up a bit, feel those feedback harmonics.
#15
Quote by suicidalmoose
yep the image that's definately an issue, and also the feel, stand in front of a stack amp, turn it up a bit, feel those feedback harmonics.

That's what I meant about the guitarist's own enjoyment. If you're pumping your 30 watt combo through a good PA system or using a stack it's going to sound the same to your audience.
Hi, I'm Peter
#16
Quote by suicidalmoose
i'm aiming to get that laney half stack, the exact same one, though i saw it for 2200 AU$ online with the cab and free delivery. Unfortunately laney don't make a combo of that and you have to go the model up which is a TT50 to get the combo and the gain on that isn't supposed to be as good and there are a million and one features and knobs, where as the GH is just a simple single channel amp with balls.

That laney is pretty hot **** and the onli diff between the GH100 and GH50 is the ammount of power tubes, they sound the same (probably more saturated on the GH50 which is why i wanna get it).


Where do you live Moose? I'm in W.A. and I can get the GH50L with a quad for $1600. I was told by someone else on UG that in Melbourne, they are selling the GH100L with a quad for $2000!!!! I would like the GH100L, but its way too much for what I need..... A 50W will do me and sound better for what I'll use it for - (reach saturation at lower volumes)

I would like a half stack, but I dont want everyone to think I'm a poser........ **** that ****....

Cheers,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#17
hey man, well i'm in london for the year but going back to Fremantle in November, i guess i was just going by musiciansfriend.com prices. where u getting yours from? Kosmic or Megamusic>?
#18
Quote by suicidalmoose
hey man, well i'm in london for the year but going back to Fremantle in November, i guess i was just going by musiciansfriend.com prices. where u getting yours from? Kosmic or Megamusic>?


Sweet as man! I'm not that far from Fremantle!!!

I've seen the half stack at Mega Music for $1800, but I'll get them down a bit!!!
With cash and smooth talking! hahahahahaha

You reckon its a good amp? A good way to go for an all tube metal amp thats not too expensive???

Cheers,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#19
yep, but like it depends wat kind of metal u play, if ure one of them ppl who like their metal a bit more modern with a hell of a lot of compression and tightness then it might not be the best, but for a tube amp with a lot of gutsy distortion i haven't found anything cheaper yet. Haven't really been able to krank it at the shops but its pretty fun to play around with, only one channel though but i think the footswitch boosts it or something into gain stage. Only competitor would be engl fireball which is damn hard to find in aus. did mega or kosmic have the engl?
#20
Quote by suicidalmoose
yep, but like it depends wat kind of metal u play, if ure one of them ppl who like their metal a bit more modern with a hell of a lot of compression and tightness then it might not be the best, but for a tube amp with a lot of gutsy distortion i haven't found anything cheaper yet. Haven't really been able to krank it at the shops but its pretty fun to play around with, only one channel though but i think the footswitch boosts it or something into gain stage. Only competitor would be engl fireball which is damn hard to find in aus. did mega or kosmic have the engl?


I'm honestly not too sure...... Mega have a couple of used Engl cabinets, but I haven't seen any Engl heads anywhere...... I was at Kosmic the other day and I dont recall seeing any Engls there either........

I want the amp for all kinds of metal - death, thrash, etc. As long as it has grunty distortion with palm mutes that aren't all loose and crap...... Does it have a dampening switch? Is that what the switch is used for? Like the tightness of the distortion??

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#21
Quote by Dirk Gently
Stacks at this point are really more about the image or the guitarist's own enjoyment.


You hit the nail right on the head there bro. There is NO NEED for a stack of any kind. A good combo is cheaper, more portable (unless you have monsters like the 5150 or Genz Benz El Diablo 100 2 x 12 combos), and will generally push more air than a half stack. And with most GOOD combos, you can connect an external cabinet, should you feel the need to go bigger.

But there is no real 'need' for a stack.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#22
have no idea, didn't get to try it out for long. u could always get an overdrive. definately before you buy it you gotta wave some cash in the staff's faces and have a good go with it for 15 or 20 minutes. if u absolutely love it an have to take it home then buy it but if ure like "its pretty good" but u don't get goosebumps then save ya money. Dunno anything else similar in the price range though, there are engl heads around on aus music websites but then u don't get to try em out.
#23
Quote by danastasi
Where do you live Moose? I'm in W.A. and I can get the GH50L with a quad for $1600. I was told by someone else on UG that in Melbourne, they are selling the GH100L with a quad for $2000!!!! I would like the GH100L, but its way too much for what I need..... A 50W will do me and sound better for what I'll use it for - (reach saturation at lower volumes)

I would like a half stack, but I dont want everyone to think I'm a poser........ **** that ****....

Cheers,

Dan


Woah! Where bitch where! I'm in Perth and I want a GH50L or 100L.
#24
Quote by erotic_snails
i have just bought a line6 spyder 212 but some people say it is not great. is this true?

Do you think it's not great?
#25
Quote by Sn^ke
Woah! Where bitch where! I'm in Perth and I want a GH50L or 100L.


hhahahahahahaahaha,

Easy now Sn^ke! I've seen them for $1800 at Mega Music, but if you payed cash AND you and me both got one at the same time - I reckon they'd give emt o us a bit cheaper. (I thought they were $1700 originally but I was wrong..... ) But even so $1800 is a still a great price for it. I'm positive they'd take some off for cash and if you bought 2 at once!!!

Cheers Guys,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#26
Quote by Sn^ke
Woah! Where bitch where! I'm in Perth and I want a GH50L or 100L.


I was gonna say as well - are they that good??? You sound like you REALLY want one.... No-one has really told me **** about them and I havent been able to try it out yet coz they had no stock when I was there last, but they said they'd be getting more in. They're gonna call me when they come in - u want me to PM you or something??

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#27
a used 6505 combo would pwn the laney for metal.
I R tr00 Member of UG's Gain \/\/hores - don't pm gpderek09 to join unless you are truly worthy
www.purevolume.com/mordecaiaus
Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#28
for scooped mids and new metal thrash maybe. but the laney is good for the darker and more brutal distortion. Opeth use them :P i'll leave it at that.
#29
6505 = dark.
wayy dark than the laney. and opeths tones isn't that heavy at all.
I R tr00 Member of UG's Gain \/\/hores - don't pm gpderek09 to join unless you are truly worthy
www.purevolume.com/mordecaiaus
Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#30
well than the 6505 is interesting to consider as well, it's about 500 - 1000 aus$ more but still, i guess if u buy one amp you buy a good one.

On the other hand the cleans are meant to be quite bad (can't speak cause i havn't tried it clean) so if u do want to enjoy some sparkling cleans the laney might be a bit more suited (however the TT has better cleans than the GH according to laney's website). Adding a bit of chorus is no excuse for having dry cleans in the first place! (i love distortin the crap out of my guitar, but sometimes it's also nice to hear it once in a while and play some music that doesn't require distortion in order to broaden your skill a bit).
#31
Quote by danastasi
I was gonna say as well - are they that good??? You sound like you REALLY want one.... No-one has really told me **** about them and I havent been able to try it out yet coz they had no stock when I was there last, but they said they'd be getting more in. They're gonna call me when they come in - u want me to PM you or something??

Dan


They're an amazing amp for the price (i've been looking at the GH100/50L for a while. If only they made a combo!). And i'm very surprised at a price like that from a store who wants $5,000 for a 3 year old floor stock Warrior.
#32
Quote by suicidalmoose
well than the 6505 is interesting to consider as well, it's about 500 - 1000 aus$ more but still, i guess if u buy one amp you buy a good one.

On the other hand the cleans are meant to be quite bad (can't speak cause i havn't tried it clean) so if u do want to enjoy some sparkling cleans the laney might be a bit more suited (however the TT has better cleans than the GH according to laney's website). Adding a bit of chorus is no excuse for having dry cleans in the first place! (i love distortin the crap out of my guitar, but sometimes it's also nice to hear it once in a while and play some music that doesn't require distortion in order to broaden your skill a bit).


Yeah Moose - I agree with all that mate.......

I've seen the 6505 Peavey head for $1800 from a retailer in Queensland and I suppose it wouldn't cost too much to get it posted over to WA BUT then I've still gotta get a quad to go with it. And I dont want a hunk of ****e behringer quad for like $400...... So unfortunately its getting a bit expensive. I haven't seen any 5150 combos apart from the one on ebay, but the thing is that I haven't got the money right now, but after I've paid a few things I'll have it.

I dont wanna spend a fortune and the Laney seems like a good cheap all tube amp that could possibly deliver what I'm after. I have to try it first though. I actually saw a TT head with a quad for over $3000 and I can't afford that.......

Cheers,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#33
About the combo vs stack thing i think it's an overrated debate. get an amp that suits ure needs, if it's a stack than so be it. the gh series only comes in stacks and if it's your amp than who cares! sure its a bitch to carry aronud but u can always get a 112 cab, so it's like 1 12" speaker. you can keep that 112 at home for practice and the 412 at band practice location so ure only transporting your head.

the stack vs combo debate only becomes noticable when u got 15 year olds wanting to by SS stacks cause they think it looks cool. i wouldn't base my decision on whether a guitar is a combo or a stack i'd buy it based on how it sounds.
#34
Quote by suicidalmoose
About the combo vs stack thing i think it's an overrated debate. get an amp that suits ure needs, if it's a stack than so be it. the gh series only comes in stacks and if it's your amp than who cares! sure its a bitch to carry aronud but u can always get a 112 cab, so it's like 1 12" speaker. you can keep that 112 at home for practice and the 412 at band practice location so ure only transporting your head.

the stack vs combo debate only becomes noticable when u got 15 year olds wanting to by SS stacks cause they think it looks cool. i wouldn't base my decision on whether a guitar is a combo or a stack i'd buy it based on how it sounds.


Yeah - you have some good ideas mate!!

As Sn^ke said in an earlier post - unfortunately the GH series don't come in combo's which is a bit dissapointing actually....... My friend just got a 50W Mesa F-50 and the Laney is the same 50W as his. How would the Half stack sound compared to his combo? Like volume wise and things like that? Would they be roughly as loud as each other???

I will never buy another SS amp or one of those crappy SS amps with a tube preamp!!! What a waste of money......

Thanks Moose,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#35
they'd compare in volume, the only diff would be that the half stack would "push more air" basically means the sound would be more spread out cause it's using 4 speakers to do it's dirty work. especially true if u get an angled cab. but no louder. The loudness also depends on the minor diff's between the mesa f-50 and the laney in terms of amplification, and i havn compared them at loud volumes but if the mesa would be using the same output tubes i'd say the Gh-50 and F-50 would have very similar peak volume.

So yer same loudness, more spread out sound.
#36
i would say, if you're playing metal, there is no way you could not go with a 1/2 stack. it just doesn't seem right. especially since stage-presence is almost, if not just as important as musicianship, a combo just isn't going to cut it. i think 1/2 stacks look even better, some how more aggro than full stacks. even if you hook up to an external cab, the combo just isn't gonna look right.

you may just as well use a Gretch guitar if you're gonna use a combo. just my humble opinion
#37
Quote by sethp
i would say, if you're playing metal, there is no way you could not go with a 1/2 stack. it just doesn't seem right. especially since stage-presence is almost, if not just as important as musicianship, a combo just isn't going to cut it. i think 1/2 stacks look even better, some how more aggro than full stacks. even if you hook up to an external cab, the combo just isn't gonna look right.

you may just as well use a Gretch guitar if you're gonna use a combo. just my humble opinion


hahahahahahaha

Yeah I do agree with that as well...... It does seem important and a combo just wouldnt look right on a metal set.....

I'll just have to go and try it out and see what I like!!

Thanks everyone,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
#38
^ silly, metal does have a lot of appearance, but if you NEED a half stack to feel right than you shouldn't be playing metal.

This has been pointed out in this and some other threads too, the main reason I like half stacks better is A) You can try out a lot of different cabs and get different sounds ect. and B) Most of the nicer amps or at least the amps I think are nice only come in head form, if every amps came in combo form I might like combos more... though I still like the idea of different cab setups
All Hail! The Kala-Kala Chieftain!
#39
you could just buy 5 or 6 used behringer cabs that people don't want anymore (i'm sure there's plenty) for really cheap and place them around you, that'd get u noticed! change the behringer logo to like the logo of ure band or somn :P

I thuoght about this before, back when ppl kept saying "get a tube combo, get a tube combo" a tube combo is about 30 or 40 kgs, whereas a head is about 20 kgs with the cab about 30 - 40 kgs, however if i was jamming at my mates house with the band, i could keep my 30 - 40 kg cab there and just transport my head and like i was sayin before get a 112, and of course then i'd be in bliss cause i wouldn need a ss practice amp (still have my micro cube tho) - that's when i started realisin that ppl were just giving pretty standard advice that one person started giving, and obviously cause there's so many amp threads ppl get a bit repetitive about the advice they give.

we'll be the boys in perth with laney gh50 stacks! we'll own them all!
#40
Quote by suicidalmoose
you could just buy 5 or 6 used behringer cabs that people don't want anymore (i'm sure there's plenty) for really cheap and place them around you, that'd get u noticed! change the behringer logo to like the logo of ure band or somn :P

I thuoght about this before, back when ppl kept saying "get a tube combo, get a tube combo" a tube combo is about 30 or 40 kgs, whereas a head is about 20 kgs with the cab about 30 - 40 kgs, however if i was jamming at my mates house with the band, i could keep my 30 - 40 kg cab there and just transport my head and like i was sayin before get a 112, and of course then i'd be in bliss cause i wouldn need a ss practice amp (still have my micro cube tho) - that's when i started realisin that ppl were just giving pretty standard advice that one person started giving, and obviously cause there's so many amp threads ppl get a bit repetitive about the advice they give.

we'll be the boys in perth with laney gh50 stacks! we'll own them all!



You're a hero to those oppressed guitar players everywhere moose!

Cheers man - you've got some wild ideas, but they're awesome!! I'll put "suicidalmoose" on one of my behringer cabs for you mate!

I agree about the standard advice thing for sure..... According to Ug theres about 4 good amps, 3 good pedals and BC Rich are evil.

We're the boys with the GH50L half-stacks? You got that DAMN RIGHT!

Cheers,

Dan
Gear List;

Laney VH100R with Matching Cab
Ibanez RGT42FM
Schecter C-1+
BC Rich Neck Thru Warlock
ISP Noise Decimator
Ibanez TS9
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