I'm getting a new tube amp soon, and I wanted to know which kind of amp is more appropriate: combo or a half stack. My room isn't all that big; it's medium. I heard that tube amps only sound good if u crank up the volume. Is this true? Because if I got a half-stack I don't want to blow everything up.
What's your budget, styles of music, do you gig? play in a band? plan to be in one?
Combo, I don't see the use of a half stack if you can go combo. You only need 30W-50W at most.
Guitar: G&L Tribute S-500
Amp: Fender Blues Deluxe
Pedals: Zvex Box of Rock
half stack has much better projection, better sound range, you'll hear the bass and trebles more clearly as its divided around the speakers

combo isn't a pain to carry around!
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Half stacks are only loud because high wattage, and more than one speaker. A combo of the same watts with the same speakers is just as loud.(it annoys me when people always just say a halfstack is loud because its a half stack)
You never need a halfstack.
EDIT the best sound for any amp is with the volume around 3-4. That keeps it lower in volume but high enough to show the tone and characteristics of the amp. For tube amps it gets the tubes working more.
Last edited by cfhwarhead at Aug 12, 2008,
Depends on the amp, some need to be cranked to get their signature sound, others it isn't quite necessary.

If you have legitimate use for a half stack, then get a half stack. They aren't exactly louder than a 2x12 but sound different tonally. If you are using it in a medium sized room I wouldn't suggest it. If you had a large and relatively empty room, it might be ok, but at high volumes a 4x12 is going to shake the room with higher bass response. I personally would hate to lug a 95 lbs speaker cabinet around.

My favorite setup is a head and an oversized 2x12 cabinet (http://www.mojomusicalsupply.com/item.asp?pid=17383&pg=44972&id=4000135). I have a few issues with tube combos. First, they're heavy, I'd prefer to carry a 60 lbs 2x12 and 35 lbs amplifer separately than one 70-80 lbs combo. Two, the tubes are usually placed right behind the speaker, resulting in the most annoying rattle at high volumes if your amp has a lot of low end.

What kind of amp are you looking at?
I dont have experience with stacks, but 30 watts of tube combo is more than youll ever need for up to medium gigging.

Adressing your other question, tube amps sound THE BEST when cranked but sound just as good or even better than SS at the same volume
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