Amps... Stack? Combo? Big? Small?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by RevMike, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a few amps laying around. Mostly smallish, 1x12 or 2x10 combos. Lately I've been very fond of a Blues Jr, that I got last year. Sometimes, I look at it, and go...."Dang...that little thing? Its too small." But then when I play it out, it always seems to have plenty of swat (and then some) for anything I ever need. Its also much easier on the ol' back. Sometimes, I also kind of chuckle when I see guys using a Marshall half-stack in a bar. I can't help thinking its like driving a Ferrarri in rush hour traffic.

    Whats your take on amp size? Do think a little combo is the best way to go? Or do you feel like you need a Marshall half stack? Or a big heavy Twin..or what?
     
  2. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

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    Getting older...I need transportable stuff. So, about 5 years ago, I built some DIY amp heads...5F2A...5E3...18watt...and use them with either a 1x12 open back cabinet or a 2x12 closed back cabinet depending on my needs.

    Got lots more options than a combo.
     
  3. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like the small size, but having a couple of larger amps go through my hands lately (buying, selling, trading).....they just blew the small amps away, at any volume. You will find quite a few post on here where people will take small amps, and plug them into something like a Marshall and....it is a whole new world. I just had a Marshall 1960a go through my hands and found out why they usualy sell in the 500-600 dollar range. Just fabulous sounding. I have a bandmaster, listed here on this side with 2 -12 in it. Just great sounding, never heard a small amp that could compete.
     
  4. bendecaster

    bendecaster Friend of Leo's

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    I think it is a relative thing. If your rig is cutting it and sounds great, it's a good thing. Personally, I don't want to lug a beast in and out of venues if I don't need to. A good sound-mixing guy should be able to make sure you are in the mix and are out front during solos. If you are in a smaller venue without a sound man, dynamics and being aware of what is going on with your other band members should be enough.
     
  5. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Always been a combo guy myself,

    although I know many on here are opposed to them for various reasons. Since we mic everything, it's easier for me to tilt it back to use as a monitor, rather than a head/cab.

    I've done mostly 1 X 12s and 2 X 12s, from Ampegs to Marshalls, etc.; one of my faves was when I used Pro Jrs., but they started to sound "boxy" to me, though the weight was fabulous.

    The Ampeg was a 2 X 12, 100-watt BEAST, and sounded fantastic, but at 98 pounds just too darned heavy. The Marshall was 2 X 12 also, and had that great Marshall crunch and three channels, but the cleans, not so much. Still heavy at 68 lbs.

    Lately, I use a tweed HRDlx (with a Vintage 30) for my "crunchy" band and a Blackstar HT Club 40 (stock, so far) for my funk band. I know that sounds backwards, but it actually works out kind of nicely. Both weigh in around 45 pounds

    I also just picked up a Vibro Champ XD for my classroom on blowout from Best Buy for $150; I keep it and an Oscar Schmidt goldtop LP around for my students to mess with ... great relationship builder ...

    Oh, besides combos, I'm also a tube fan, in case you couldn't tell ...

    Peace.
     
  6. jimbach

    jimbach Tele-Holic

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    A 1x12", 20-40 watts is what I want. I'm too old to carry around anything else anymore.
     
  7. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    Small. Light. Sound good. Mic or line into PA if room too big.

    Own Fender 57 Deluxe, ZT Lunchbox and Roland Cube60.
     
  8. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    It just all depends on how good the soundman is at the given venue.

    Lately I've been fond of using higher power amps, but not on stage. I'll mic the amp up in a vacant room or closet off stage and have it piped into the monitors. That seems to cure the high-end "bite" of a guitar amp, piercing above all the other instruments in the mix, but I can still get a lot of the bottem-end of the amp through the walls and such.

    I've found that over the past decade, soundmen have become wise to us guitar players. They know that we'd rather have our amp cranked up loud and sitting right there on stage, but they also know that we've figured out how to still get good tone when volume is a concern. So I see soundmen all the time still complaining about 18-watt amps being too loud. I think they're just spoiled now. I even have soundmen ask why I'm still using an amp, when amp modeling does a much better job in a live situation. I usually respond, "So I don't have to depend on you in order to hear myself."
     
  9. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I forgot to mention, in addition to my Blues Jr, I have a Roland JC77, and a Roland BC30. The Rolands are great amps. I also have a Vibro Champ XD, which while very cool, I don't really use anymore. Its currently on Craigs with a few geetars, that I'm not using anymore.
     
  10. NewOldStock

    NewOldStock Tele-Holic

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    Never owned anything other than a combo.

    Even my 18W Dr Z and 15W Vox AC15 seem like more than I need right now. 95% of the time I play my lightweight solid-state Vox 15R Pathfinder instead. Great sounding, especially through our Yamaha PA or my SWR bass amps(for real!), and just $119. If I could only have 1 amp it would probably be this one. It's more like an oversize direct-in box to me, but still just 18lbs.
     
  11. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Combo, gotta be 40 watts . At some gigs there ain't no PA, and some drummers can really be friggin LOUD
     
  12. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Most of my amps are combos, 1 x 12" and a 2 x 10". I have a few heads and two 2 x 12" cabs. Most of the time I gig with my Mesa Studio .22+ or Vox AC-15. Still I'm on a hunt for a cheap 4 x 12" cab. I think I just want it for looks. I haven't owned one in years and it only had two speakers in it.
     
  13. jglenn

    jglenn Tele-Afflicted

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    I just got a sweet Avatar 1x12 cabinet.Used it for five outdoor gigs last month,with my Peavey c30.Put a Wharehouse Veteran 30 in the c30,at the same time.Use the c30 alone for smaller gigs,and with the Avatar for bigger gigs.Has been a great set up for me,the 1x12 cab is super light weight,and really cleans up some of the fuzzyness of the c30 OD channel.I should have bought this set up years ago,just awesome.
     
  14. Flatfoot

    Flatfoot Tele-Meister

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    +1
     
  15. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

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    I have both covered at the moment. It depends on the size of the room.

    My Vox Pathfinder 15R gets the nod most often only because I am playing in smaller rooms these days. The Dr.Z Z-28 head and 2x10 cab (22 watts) is there when I need a little more, for a larger room. I have never owned a 4x12 and don't see the need for anything that big. A Gibson 2x12 combo is the heaviest I ever owned at 75 lbs and it was traded in for the Dr.Z. Sure love the light weight Vox though now that I'm in my fifties!
     
  16. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

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    Two 1X12" combos, one either side of the stage. Easy to carry around, creates a lovely full sound and guarantees a spare if anything goes wrong.
     
  17. FPG_75

    FPG_75 TDPRI Member

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    I really have not played out that much over the past couple of years, but when the opportunity has come up the idea of lugging my marshall half stack around has sent me reaching for a combo. Sometimes I do think its overkill for me to have around but when I get a chance to plug in and open it up a bit I smile and remember why I still have it. That being said if I was gigging on a regular basis I would stick with the combos.
     
  18. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    With the advent of decent Club P.A. Systems and Qualified People to run them a Fender Champ is worthy of the gig.
    We all really need to Thank Neil Young - if it weren't for Neil Young's insistence on using his Tweed Deluxe on Arena Gigs we might still be in The Dark Ages with Full Stacks.

    Anyways nowadays it's a matter of what makes one comfortable on a given day.

    Last - the thing that never fails to astound me >:eek:< is the weight difference between a Reissue 1959 Bassman and my Weber 5E7 310 Combo.
    The 5E7 is like moving a Silverface Deluxe Reverb. :cool:
     
  19. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    Some good answers here so far, and of course lots of opinions, so I'll add mine.

    You need an amp to fit the situation. If you are not using a mic or line out to PA, then you're going to need something that will do the job. I personally feel at least 35+ watts if tube powered, and 50 watts if SS. You can always turn down, but if you're dimed out and still not loud enough you are left hanging.

    I have two combo amps I use. Main is Vox VT50. It has a power knob on the back, which is really nice. My backup is an old 50 watt Bandit. It's SUPER loud for 50 watts (I just rebuilt it and it's something else!).

    I personally feel multiple speakers sound "fuller"...not necessarily louder, but give a fuller sound. I wish my amps were at least twin speakers, but that would add weight, something I can no longer deal with.

    Another thing I've found is to get that amp off the floor. I use one of these... http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/musicians-gear-deluxe-amp-stand/451065000001000

    Problem is on smaller stage, amp on floor, guitarist can't hear himself....it's aimed at his ankles, no wonder...:lol:

    Good luck!
     
  20. Travst

    Travst Tele-Holic

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    I'm not out that often these days, but I favor small combos. The '67 Ampeg Reverberocket II gets the nod these days. I have a V30 in it and it's pretty light. I also like the Pathfinder 15.
     
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