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So, I've wondered for the longest time about what makes someone choose an amp head over a combo version of the same amp. Wouldn't having to carry two separate things (amp head and cab) a pain? Seems like carrying a combo would be easier but quite a few of the gigging musicians I follow use amp heads.

Any input on this? Also, has anyone tried the Victory V40 deluxe? The one based on American style clean amps.
 

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Its nice to have both. In small low wattage amps I like combos, they're light and easy to carry. As they get bigger I find three advantages. Weight is the big one, my Matchless head is 50 pounds, the cab is 30 pounds the 212 combo is 88 pounds. Its pretty hideously awkward to move without a second person. The second advantage is allowing you to use any cab at the venue you go to. The third is the decoupling of the speaker cab from the tubes makes a lot less mechanical rattling etc.
 

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Lots of reasons:
- at high volumes, speaker vibration can and does induce tube microphonics and you can’t do much about it in a combo, but can obviously separate in a head/cab setup
- flexibility: favourite amp matched to favourite cab/speakers on whim
- it is, in fact, often easier to carry due to separation of bulk (cab) and weight (amp)
- better speaker cavity sound design possible as a cab is not as highly constrained as a combo
- anyone ever seen a 4x12 combo? serious question; Supers are 4x10, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 4x12 combo (UPDATE: well there you go, if you think the Twin Reverb is a lightweight, we have this for you: Fender Silverface Quad Reverb)
 

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I play 5-watt tube heads through an 80-watt 12" speaker. Combo amps often scrimp on speaker size and quality, to hit a marketable price point.

My practice combos always have a "speaker out" port.
 
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When using a head with cab, it is nice to mix and match cabs, but be sure to get one with variable ohms. Look for 4, 8 and 16 ohms options.
 

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I used to have a Traynor head and 4x10 cab; going anywhere was a lot of effort.

Now I use a Pro Junior or a Champ; both are combo amps so its one trip from the truck with the amp, guitar and pedal board or even if I have to schlep everything for a few blocks because there is no parking in Toronto anytime ever it's still no big deal to carry that amount of stuff.
 

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I don't gig or move my stuff so multiple heads into the same 2x12 takes up less space
 
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Lots of reasons:
- at high volumes, speaker vibration can and does induce tube microphonics and you can’t do much about it in a combo, but can obviously separate in a head/cab setup
- flexibility: favourite amp matched to favourite cab/speakers on whim
- it is, in fact, often easier to carry due to separation of bulk (cab) and weight (amp)
- better speaker cavity sound design possible as a cab is not as highly constrained as a combo
- anyone ever seen a 4x12 combo? serious question; Supers are 4x10, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 4x12 combo (UPDATE: well there you go, if you think the Twin Reverb is a lightweight, we have this for you: Fender Silverface Quad Reverb)
Don't forget the Super Six Reverb 6x10 combo, and the Bassman 10 4x10 closed back combo that was 3 feet tall.
 

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Being a bass player, bass combos were never loud enough for a band setting only home practice. Head , 115 or 215 cabs have been part of my life for a very very long time in jamming situations...

Head 40+ lbs
Cabs 90 + lbs

Just easier one at a time going up or down stairs...
 

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I have my Fender BXR 300 115 combo at the jam space (80 lbs).
For gigs, I use my Markbass Jeff Berlin 115 combo (39 lbs).
Never tried those.

I learned ( that might have changed in the last 5 years) that for great bass sound, nice large cabs have the best results... Never had success with small compact jobbers...

Plus I found my sound for live situation, will not compromise that just to lose 10-20lbs of moving weight... Hell, if the cab was 200LBS but gave me orgasmic bass sound, I would move it daily without thinking twice about it. ;)
 

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@bw66 and @LexxM3 nailed it, IMO.

I would add a couple of other reasons:
- some amps are only available as heads (like my beloved TA15)
- some jam places supply cabs so I don't have to carry as much gear if you have a head
 
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I've always wondered why heads cost more than the combos.
 
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