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Ok, these people who are saying combos are easier are baffling me.
I stwongly disagwee.
Combo's are heavy, at least Mesa ones are. If it's gonna be a 112 or 212, it'll surely weigh more than a head or cab. This means you strain more and are more tired when you are all ready to play at a show. Two easy trips is better than one insane, ****************ty, ballbustingly heavy trip. They're also bulkier, and demand more thought when packing up. They're harder to aim where you want as well.
A head is more portable in my eyes, far more versatile, tubes last longer and are easier to change out because you can reach them easier. I switched from a 212 combo to a 212 cab and a head. I couldn't be happier. My combo had a hard case (which is a must in my eyes, if you're gonna gig it), and I was able to carry it by myself, but it was really hard and usually I had someone get the other end and help me. Sucks having to wait for someone to be done with their **************** before they'll help you set up.
Man, I can't recommend a head and cab setup strongly enough. Especially with Mesa, I mean you probably want some beefy gain, and it's so much easier to get that from a closed back cabinet than a 1/2 back combo. Also, those high gain/high volume situations rattle the hell out of your tubes. Heads are less prone to that as the tubes aren't in the same box with the speakers.
If you get a combo, I can almost promise you that you'll wanna switch to a head/cab down the road. It's frickin spendy to go from a combo to a head. The money you'll make from the combo will only cover part of the head, or maybe the cab with a bit leftover. If you decide you don't like your head or cabinet, then you can sell it for a very similar price that you paid if you bought used (as they're in higher demand, and for a reason), and just get a different one.
I mean, sure, combos work for some, the old Fenders and Voxs are perfect for some bands, especially one guitar, not very hard rock type bands... but me thinks if you're wanting a Mesa, you want gain, and powerful gain, go with a head. Please.
Sometimes you follow your heart. Sometimes your heart cuts a fart. That's the cosmic shame.Charvel So Cals More Guitars Amp PedalsMy Band Site w/ Player
If you decide you don't like your head or cabinet, then you can sell it for a very similar price that you paid if you bought used (as they're in higher demand, and for a reason), and just get a different one.
I agree with most everything you say except the bold part - that, I stwongly disagwee with.
"No one ever goes to heaven deservingly
and no one ever goes to hell unwillingly."
I guess it all depends on whether you have the requirement to mix and match - to have a range of different amps at your disposal. If so, the head/cab arrangement is obviously better, as you can transport three different heads for the same weight as a single combo, and you can mix and match with different cabs.
However, for most small scale performers, the single combo that covers the ground you need is likely to be a bit more practical. There is something a little more beautiful about a combo too, somehow.
If you're looking at the same amp in a head or combo version - I'd chose the head for its versatility. I also have two cabs that I'm very happy with, so that helps the decision. I also have combos, and they server their purpose well. In the future, however, if I get an amp, it'll most likely be a head not a combo. That way, you could use an amp switcher to switch heads using the same cab. Very useful.
Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud
I don't really buy gear like an amp online anymore. And at my local stores, heads just aren't really available. For example, I just got a Mesa Express 5:50 combo. They make a short and a medium head for the 5:25 and the 5:50, but no store nearby sells the heads. Besides, the head+cab is a LOT more expensive than the combo.
Though I do wish I had the head+cab. Easier to move. Better mix/match.
But as long as you can carry the combo in one trip with reasonable ease, there is a certain appeal to the simplicity of it. I'd never want a combo with more than 1 speaker. Extension cabs all the way for that.