Category Archives: guitar amp head reviews

Best Amp Head

Questions and Answers

What are amp heads??

Can you get amps without them??

Posted by mitchattitude
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Amp Heads are the amp themselves. You can get a speaker cabinet, a amplifier or a combo. If you get a cabinet, you will need some sort of amplifier to translate the sound from the guitar pickups to the speaker cabinet. If you get a combo, that contains both a speaker and an amplifier. So, no, you can't get an amp without an amp head.

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Questions and Answers

Amp heads?

What does ohm mean and what is it? Plus if an amp head is 4 ohm could i plug it into a p.a. System without ruining anything?

Posted by Guitarplayer_t
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The ohm is the electric resistance between two points of an electrical conductor. After this, it gets into talking about electricity and current travel, and I think your eyes may glaze over in total boredom while reading it, as it becomes much more than most people (even musicians) are willing to read about.

In your situation, the only thing you need to know is what ohmage the speaker cabinet needs to be to plug into the amp without overloading the amp's output or the speaker cabinet's input.

Ask a knowledgeable salesperson at a guitar store about this…don't leave it up to your friends knowing about it (unless they actually know what they're talking about).
If you use the wrong equipment, it can do damage to it after working improperly for a long period of time. This is why equipment malfunctions.

You cannot plug an amp head straight into a P.A. I don't recommend that at all, unless you want to buy more equipment after it blows up (it just pops and smoke comes out, it's not like a bomb going off) and stops working altogether.

The most common way to get the amplifier sound through the P.A. Is by miking the speaker cabinet that the amp head sits on top of.

Often, the cabinet is miked with a Shure SM57 microphone on a small microphone stand that is close to the floor. Those are the most popular guitar cabinet mikes and are available at every music store worth walking into. The SM57 is used worldwide on most live guitar rigs.

Running the amp direct through the direct out will usually sound too "fuzzy" and not realistic, so, I don't recommend that , either.

Getting a good miked sound is a combination of amp volume ("these go to eleven…") and mic placement on the speaker.

Questions and Answers

Amp Heads and Cabinets?????????

I play guitar and I've always had a small amp except when I play onstage and the equipment was there. I want to get a new amp but whats an amp head and cabinet? Can an amp head go on top of any amp? I want a marshall and if you could give me a link to a good marshall under 400 bucks Id really apprecitate it.

Posted by Will
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An amp head is basically an amp, however it isn't meant to be played by itself; it goes together with a cabinet. A cabinet is pretty much a speaker and acts to take the "load" off the head so you can hear your guitar. As far as any amp head going on any cabinet, yes most amp heads are compatible with most cabinets.

If you could provide a little bit more information on what you want to to do with your amp I could recommend some better choices. Do you want a Marshall for on-stage? At home? Small gigs? Also, there's two set-ups when buying an amp; a combo amp and the head-and cabinet. Combo amps are the big fat ones that you normally see people playing with.

Anyways, here's some recommendations in your price range:

Combo Marshall amp – Http://www.guitarcenter.com/Marshall-MG4…

Marshall Head – Http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/produ… (This will need a cabinet to go with)

If your willing to spend a few more dollars, this would a overall decent amp for gigs and shows: Http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/produ…

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Electric Guitar Amps

Questions and Answers

What is are some good electric guitar brands. What are good amps.?

Preferably the guitar should be under $50

Posted by Courtney
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Hello there,

First off, I suggest to everyone that there first guitar should be a used guitar. You can get a better quality guitar for the same money you will spend on an inexpensive new lower quality guitar. The same goes for the amp. You can get a really good amp for the price of a new small practice amp.

In general there are two major lines of guitars common in rock. The Les Paul and the Stratocaster. There are many variations on the Les Paul. Some have a slightly different body shape. But they all have the 24 3/4 inch Gibson scale length neck and 2 humbucking pickups. Most have a fixed bridge. The other line is the Strat clones and there are even more variations of Strat than the Les Paul. Those have the Fender 25 1/2 inch scale neck and a double cut away body. Most have a tremolo bridge. Pickup arrangements vary greatly.

Les Paul style guitars. The best are Gibson and then Epiphone (by Gibson) are less expensive. There are various others. Strat style. Of course there is the Fender and the Squier (by Fender), a less expensive line. Yamaha, Peavey, Washburn and Ibanez also make Strat style guitars in the beginner price range. My advice is if you like the Les Paul, look for a good used Epiphone Les Paul. Preferably the Standard or Studio, and not the Special. If you like the Strat, look for a used Fender made in Mexico, or a Squier Standard. The Squier Bullet and Affinity are too cheaply made for my tastes. Also the older Peaveys were made in the USA and are very good. If you can find an 80s vintage Squier, those are great. They were made in Japan and Korea. Those 80s Squiers are so much better than the ones being made in China and Indonesia currently. Ibanez makes some great guitars, but I am not a fan of their lower end guitars. The RG series is very good, but costs a little more.

Amps are important. Plan of making this a significant part of your budget. Most beginners underestimate the importance of the amp and speakers in their sound. A great guitar played through a lousy amp or lousy speakers sounds lousy. A mediocre guitar played through a good amp and good speakers sounds decent. I suggest you stay away from the starter packages. The small practice amps, no matter what brand, have lousy speakers that make you sound thin and tinny. Look for a good deal of a used 1×12 from Peavey, Crate, Vox, Fender, Marshall or Line 6. I have never seen a bad speaker in a 1×12 combo from any of those brands. Also they are all commonly available. A combo amp means the speaker and the amplifier are in the same cabinet. 1×12 means there is one 12 inch speaker. You may see a used 2×12 in your price range. I see them sell used sometimes cheaper than new practice amps. They are so much better. No matter whether you are playing in a band or just playing in your room for your own enjoyment, you want to sound good. You will sound better on a good amp.

Also, get an electronic tuner. They make life so much easier.

Later,

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Questions and Answers

Are all electric guitars compatible with all amps?

I kneed to know because my mom is getting me an electric guitar for my birthday. The guitar doen't come with an amp and my mom thinks that the guitar will only work with a specific amp. I know there is a difference with bass and acoustic amps, so don't answer saying that. Please help!
Edit, need not kneed
Oh, and it's a First Act guitar, and I don't have it yet.
But I need an affordable amp, $40 is about maximum.

Posted by VML
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Any guitar will work with any guitar amp, to a certain extent.

Bass guitars will not work with guitar amps – they'll blow em. Guitars can plug into bass amps and will not damage them under any circumstances. The only reason why you may not want to get a bass amp is that bass amps aren't designed to provide the proper voicing or gain for a normal guitar's frequencies… Not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but in general a guitar will sound better through a guitar amp than a bass amp.

The only times I can think of a guitar not working with a guitar amp is if the guitar has an output that isn't compatible with the input of a guitar amp… Most guitar amps won't like a full-spectrum signal, line level signal, or … Well, anyways, things that you probably won't need to worry about any time soon. You'd know about it if you had the guitar.

I will say that 40$ won't get you much of an amp. There are a few battery-powered amps you might be able to get for that much. I won't say that Line 6 is underrated – it's incredibly overrated and if you had any kind of an ear you'd agree – but it is moderately affordable and can do a lot of different things for a decent price.

Saul.

Questions and Answers

What electric guitar/amp should i buy?

I'm planing to buy an electric guitar buy I have no idea on what brand I should get. I want to play songs by bands like : The Fall of Troy, Saosin etc.

What guitar do you recommend? And also what amp or effects should I get? I'm not looking for something super expensive because i just play for fun and i dont really play in gigs. But im not looking for something that's really cheap either.
By the way. I already have an acoustic and i know how to play it. And i can already play some of the songs i want on my friends electric (stratocaster). So im playing to buy my own :)

Posted by Carlo T
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Be careful while buying a electric guitar.

First,you are a beginner,no one will teach you electric guitar.You should learn acoustic first.If you are so desperate about electric guitar,then ask your teacher.He will so NO obviously because you cant start off with electric guitar.

And the amplifier,if you want to play songs you will be needing an amplifier with distortion feature.With out distortion you wont get a sound of the guitar which rocks.Just buy an amp,which has distortion.it is best but it is costly though.

So,its not really easy to play songs as a beginner.it takes 2 months depending on your penetration into the music.

All the best.

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Guitar Amp Head Kit

Questions and Answers

Which full valve guitar amplifier should i buy?

I am looking for a full valve guitar amp for around £300.
It needs to be loud enough to play with a quietish drum kit.
Currently i have looked at an epiphone valve senior in both and combo and cab and head form. I have also looked at some smaller amps such as the vox ac4 but am a bit worried about its small size. Any advice would be greatly welcome. Many thanks in advance.

Posted by James D
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Well I have the Valve Jr. And the AC4. The AC4 is a good sounding amp, but even though it is only 1 watt less, the Valve Jr. Is much louder. The AC4 is a great practice amp but not enough to jam with a drummer unless he is pretty quiet and you really crank the amp. Never heard one of the new Valve Sr. Models but with all of the goodies they added it should sound really good. I had my Jr. Modified but it still doesn't have all the cool stuff the Senior has. I think you would really like the Epiphone and at 20 watts you will be more than loud enough. My 5 watt Jr. Will get very loud. All I own are low watt class A valve amps, it's the only way to fly!! The Marshall Class 5 might be worth looking at also.

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Questions and Answers

Best tube amp head for blues under $2000?

I have a sick american made Bolt cab with v30's and everything, but im not crazy about the head (bth100). Im probably going to save up for 2-3 amp heads to go with my cab. I am a very versatile player, but dont want to suffer the lack of tone through a modeling amp. Im thinking 1 head for blues-rock and one for metal or one for blues one for rock and one for metal. I know what i want if i get one for metal, but i dont know what to go with for a blues clean/warm overdrive tone. I am always open for combo suggestions, but would prefer a head. I also want a good warm clean and overdrive in the amp. I dont like using distortion pedals because i have never played through one that i like, and i seem to like distortion in-amp better. All-in-all,
-amp head
-blues tone
-overdrive in amp
-preferably new, but if its exactly what i watn ill go used.

Posted by bob
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I would look for an old Boogie MKIIC+ Simul-Class, or a blackface pre-CBS Fender Super Reverb. Larry Carlton used these amps for his signature tone early in his career. Either of these will probably consume your entire budget, but I don't think you'll feel any sort of buyer's remorse!
Here's a MK IIC+ head and cabinet with the EVM 12" speaker. The EVM 12 is *the* speaker to pair with this head. I would buy this in a heartbeat if I were looking for one:

Http://www.ebay.com/itm/MESA-BOOGIE-MK-I…

Something to know about Boogie MKIIs: the original USA-made GE Sylvania 6L6 power tubes that the circuit was designed around stopped being manufactured decades ago. The original, unmodified Boogie MKII amps draw a very high plate current that will burn up most 6L6s in around 30 seconds. Boogie did make a modification kit available to reduce the plate current so the amp could be used with other 6L6s. IDK whether that changes the tone or not, but you should know whether you are getting the modded version or the original version. NOS tubes for this amp go for a pretty penny (like $250 a pair) but they can be had. The Philips ECM 6L6 will also work in an unmodded MKII+ without blowing up. The Philips tube has just a tiny bit less warmth than the GE Sylvania; probably noticeable only to a tone freak who has spent a lot of hours playing an unmodded MKIIC+ with the Sylvania-made tubes installed. All considered, a GREAT amp, esp if your ears are capable of discerning the tonal difference between a fully functional MKIIC+ and something that only comes close.

Heres a couple Super Reverbs too:

Http://www.ebay.com/itm/1964-VINTAGE-Pre…

Http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1966-Fen…

Note that some schlong is selling kits for making a silverface amp into a blackface one… So make sure you do your homework before buying any of these amps: know what the characteristics of the real McCoy are, in particular what it should play and sound like. A good way to do this would be to go to local music stores that carry vintage gear and ask nicely and respectfully to allow you to play their expensive vintage gear. Explain that you are in the market and would consider buying from them but need to educate yourself before committing the cash. If you do find the right amp at a local store, I'd jump at it in favor of an online dealer, because you have somewhere to go with the amp if there's a problem. Not that you can expect much warranty on an item that is 30 years old, but a good shop will be interested in your repeat business beyond the sale and will probably give you some sort of approval period or short warranty period, and help you out if you encounter a problem.

I also like the tweed Fender Bassman reissues and the tweed Blues DeVille reissues. A lot less pricey than the previous pair, can be bought new, and sound really REALLY good. The DeVille has a warm, musical clean tone that would please any jazzer and it's also capable of a sweet, singing, saturated Santana-like distortion. If I were going to pick just one amp of all of these, the DeVille 4×10 with 6L6s is the most bang for the buck. You can pick them up new for under a grand or used around $500. This one has a new set of tubes (worth $100) so I think his price is on the money:

Http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fender-Blues-Rei…

The Boogie actually began life as a hot-rodded Bassman FYI.

Questions and Answers

General guitar question?

Ok, this is a rather long, multi-part question, so I'll be as brief as possible.

1) I have two SG's and a Hondo made Strat that has a 3/4 size body with a full size neck and one humbucker. I really like the strat, as it was my first real guitar, but it will NOT stay in tune, the little nut holding the input jack fell off when my brother borrowed it and he forgot to tell me till he gave it back. The strings all sound really… Flat and nasal sounding. I think this is because of the cheapo bridge or tuners, but I'm not sure. The electronics do not work at all. Is it worth $100 + to have it fixed and have a new trem put in it?

2) Regarding the SG's, the electronics in my Epiphone are also shot, even though I can find nothing wrong with the wiring. Would it be worth it to have a tech put this Http://store.guitarfetish.com/colespaupe…
in it? And would changing the pickups make a noticable difference in the tone? And would this neck fit on an Epiphone G-310 SG?http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/necks/lp_conversionneck.aspx

3) I have a Line 6 Spider 3 30 watt with a broken gain knob. The knob just broke right off, leaving the little rod thing in the amp. How would I go about fixing this? Also, my amp sounds kind of "nasaly". Could I do something in the EQ like cut the mids to make it sound diffferent? I run a Boss DS-1 through the clean channel, so maybe I could do something on the stompbox?

If anyone has an answer to any one of these problems, I appreciate your advice greatly. Thanks in advance.

Posted by Ian E
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Hi Ian…
Number One…The won't stay in tune might be because the neck is full sized and the body is 3/4 scale. That would change the intonation radically I'd think. One way to tell is to measure from the nut to the 12th fret and from the 12th fret to the bridge saddles. If they are not the exact same measurement. BOOM!, no proper intonation.
The little nut for the jack is no problem. Just go to radio shack or something and buy a phone jack. And use the nuts to replace the ones on the Hondo or replace the whole jack. It could the nasal sound is your amp like you mentioned. The MIdrange is what give the sound presence.
Higher midrange give the guitar sound more body. I usually set my spider 3 to about 6-7 on the midrange. For the strat you want full bass, high treble 8-10 and midrange 6-8. Higher midrange makes it too much "there" and less makes it sound far away and thin.

As for Electronics…What the heck are you doing to your guitars, dude? LOL I've never had a problem with electronics in 35 years of playing electric guitar. Now…you don't say what the problem electrically that you have.is. If you have volume or tone controls dropping out when turning them or are scratchy sounding then the upgrade kit might be worth doing to the epiphone.

With the Hondo…..Jeez…probably not worth the effort….It would probably be cheaper to get a Squier HSS strat to replace it. SCheck the neck scale first if it's equal then you could fix it….
Since you have sound, you must mean your volume and tone knobs don't work…. The bridge is not the tone problem. Replace your volume and tone control pots or just get a new wired pickguard with pickups:
Http://store.guitarfetish.com/hueqhssgut…

and a new set of machine heads
Http://www.guitarcenter.com/Schaller-Loc…

or if they fit:
Http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Vinta…

I like these style..one idiot gave a review on the product saying he had a hard time putting string on these. It is easy as pie to change strings and you don't have all the long string ends sticking out from the pegs. You just need to trim the string a bit before you put em on. So you don't have a lot of excessive winds on the pegs. But I had them in my 78 Strat and I LOVED how easy it was to change strings.

Oh…and changing the pickups on the SG won't make that much difference…It already has humbuckers…you might get a little more gain and sustain with a higher grade humbucker, maybe some Alnico V 's would sound a TAD better. Better to play with the amp settings, most guitars sound is from the amp not the guitar. Guitars DO have their own tonal qualities, more from the woods and construction though. An Amp can make a big difference.

As for the neck…I believe the Warmoth necks are designed to go on Fender guitars. To convert the scale of the fender from 22 frets to 24 frets. And if the LP necks are for a Gibson/epiphone….I think LP necks are a little thicker and wider than an SG neck. Plus did you check the prices for one?!!! It'll cost you $400 to get a cheap one…..

EDIT..forgot about the knob…
If the post is still sticking out, all you need ins areplacement knob. You can get one at Radio Shack or wherever. Just buy a knob similar in size and they mount with a set screw that tightens on the flat part of the knob or just slides over the slots on the round post.
That should not be a big deal.

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Guitar Amp Heads for Sale

Questions and Answers

How can I break my amp head and have waranty replace it?

Well I bought this amp head at guitar center used and I don't like it at all. It's a marshall mg100hfx andi want to know if I can damage it anyway so that they may replace it for me. I know it sounds rotten of me but if you had this amp head you would understand. I have the fixit warranty and I tried returning it but they gave me this "all sales are final" bs on used items. I would sell it on eBay but noone likes these amps that much to purchase them on eBay. Can anyone give me advice without trying to insult me?

Posted by Luis Perez
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That's a tough one man. If you damaged the amp they would probably just have it repaired since it is used. So then you would be stuck with the same amp but probably have to do without it for a few weeks. GC is a horrible place to do business. I love to window shop there but I will never, ever buy another guitar from that place. If you would have gone to a local shop they would have most likely either gave you a refund or at least gave you store credit to get a different amp. This is exactly what you get when dealing with GC…sorry. I'd try trading it at a locally owned shop and see what they will offer you. The 2 stores I deal with will give me close to what I paid for something when I trade up on something else.

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Questions and Answers

Spending too much on first guitar and amp?

Okay, so I would love to learn to play the guitar, but one problem: since I'm 16 and my parents would not like me to get a job so I can focus on school, I have a pretty tight budget. I have about $600 that I have from Christmas till now, from saving allowance, Christmas money, and cashing the money from the piggy bank that I've been filling for quite some time now.

Equipment I plan to get:
Fender FM 25 DSP Frontman Combo Amp $129.99
Squier Affinity Series Telecaster Special $179.99
& additional accessories (tuner, cable, string cleaner, capo, etc).

I have calculated this (I like to plan things out before doing anything) to be around $388 from GuitarCenter, not including tax. Is this an unreasonable amount to spend? Yes, I would like to learn more than anything, but I am hesitant to spend so much. I might get a job this summer or for senior year, but at this point, I do not know for sure, and I want to make sure I have enough for college. What do you think? I'm already set that I want to start with electric. I'm afraid acoustic will discourage me, and the genres I am interested in are strictly electric. Thanks for reading my block of text.

Posted by Girl
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I would say you are buying a lot of crap, and I know, because I have bought a lot of crap in my life.

I would buy – I have bought, the VOX DA5. Yes, it's only 5 watts, but it is loud enough for practice or playing with others. And, I think if it is on sale it is a bit cheaper. You might want to splurge and get the 15 watt model. Whereas the Fender FM is crap, the VOX is actually a decent amp that can maintain it's value.

If you want lots of effects, you might try the Peavey Vyper, at 15 watts. It is a great way to learn about all the effects, kind of sucks, better than fender, not as good as the VOX.

The guitar – that's a tough one. I am more partial to the Dean cheap guitars, like the Vendetta XM. However, you can go to Guitar center and play them and see what you like. If you like the sound of the telecaster, then get it. The Telecaster has a particular sound so it is sort of limited. But $179 seems way too much for a squire. They often go on sale, and they are not particularly good guitars. One could get any cheap guitar in that price range, like and Ibanez, which are more of a favorite of the metal heads. One thing to think about is if you are going to learn lead guitar, then the telecasters and strats have single coils, which means they will be very noisy. As to the tuner, some amps have built in tuners. You don't need a capo or string cleaner, but you will need a strap. Check out the bin at the front of the store for cheap straps.

Questions and Answers

What is a good guitar amp head for about 400$?

I've been playing guitar for about 6 years on a mini practice amp(line 6 spider iii 15 watt) and i wanted to upgrade but i can't spend buckets of money on it. Can you name a few good heads in that price range and put a small reviews about them?

Thanks.

Posted by Doggy
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Personally, i would look on ebay. You will get a GREAT deal on second-hand stuff that will meet your budget. Don't think that because the prices are low, there is something wrong with the product. Most sellers need the cash for school or for whatever reason and want to lower the price to make a quick sale.

Check on ebay. Do yourself a favour. I bought tons of stuff and not once, did I get a bump deal.

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Solid State Guitar Amp Head

Questions and Answers

Can I use a solid state head on what would normally be a tube amp cabinet? *bass guitar*?

I'm about to buy a Sunn 2×15 cabinet, which would normally use a tube head. I own a Gallien Krueger 700RB head already, and was wondering if they would be compatible. The Sunn amp is 300 watts and 8 ohms, while the GK head is a 480 Watt bi-amp head. Info on the compatibility between the two would be great! Thanks.

Posted by Grant
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The cabinet doesn't care. As long as the impedance is correct and the power rating is adequate, then it doesn't matter if the amp is tube or solid state.

Greetings from Austin, Tx
Ken.

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Questions and Answers

What are some great, budget tube and solid state guitar amp heads?

I'm planning on buying a amp head and cabinet in the near future and I want to spend somewhere between the 600 to 700 dollar range total. I've been told tube amps are better than solid state but I heard that you need to replace the tubes every so often and that's a big investment. I also heard hybrid amps are a viable option, but how do you know which one's are hybrids? I'm looking for something that's gig-worthy.

I'm so lost when it comes to amplifiers! Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

-Connor.

Posted by Connorclr
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Everyone has their opinions about solid state and tube, I personally only buy tube amps but to each his own. The Blackstar HT-40 would probably be one of my fist choices, but the VOX AC15 is a good choice and there are a few Fender tube amps in that price range also. I think you would really like the Blackstar, great amp.

Http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/produ…

Questions and Answers

Can i use a tube amp head with a solid state regular guitar amp?

I was wondering if i were to buy a tube amp head could i plug it into a regular guitar amp like one with its own knobs and stuff (i think its called combo? I dont know all the technical stuff) instead of buying a cabinet?

Posted by Sid Vicious
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Only if the combo has a 'speaker in' socket. Some do some dont. My Fender combo has a cable that can be unplugged to 'free up' the 'speaker in' socket for this purpose. Have a look at youre combo to see if u have one. Make sure you match the impedance the new head will probably have a switch for 4 or 8 ohms.

You could modify an amp without this socket fairly easily.

If there is something u dont like about your combo then beware, as the speaker itself affects your tone more than people think.

GL

Tom.

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