hello im looking into buying a new amp to replace my old 12watt crate amp that i got in a starter kit. I was looking on guitarcenter.com and i saw an amp head. I know that amp heads connect to cabinets but i have some questions. Can someone explain to me the difference between an amp head and a combo amp? and can an amp head play music out of it or do you need a cabinet?
mexican fender strat
Epi Les Paul Custom
Spider III 75w amp
a digitech rp 80 pedal
A Head needs a cab or cabs for it to work.

A combo is just more convinent for a player. Smaller prolly less heavy.

Combo's usually are less wattage than stacks but sometimes they arent.

Stacks are just heavy, louder, better tone etc.
Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Custom WCR and Dimarzio equipped
Marshall 2266 Vintage Modern
Marshall 1960TV
Dunlop Crybaby From Hell
well combos can be DAMN heavier than the individual parts of a cab

with the head and 2 speakers on some of them plud wood etc
Here is the jist of what you want to know. A combo is an amp with the head and speaker built into one unit. You have the controls and output speakers all in one neat package. An head is just the control unit of the amp that sends the output to the speakers/cab. It the main house for the inards and control of the amp. You need to have a head connected to a load (cab) to play it. Its usually detrimental for a head to be turned on without a load connected. I never tried it so I am not sure what extenet of damages may occur.
PRS Singlecut Trem

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Half stacks aren't always better than combos. Just keep that in mind, bigger isn't always better.