As an electric guitar player, you know one factor to be true no matter your technical level: An amplifier is everything in terms of sound.
The amplifier's history stems from the introduction of the electric guitar, which goes back to the pickups developed for jazz playing in the early 20th century. Today, on a modern-day electric or acoustic-electric guitar, the pickup transforms the energy from the strings into an electrical current. The current passes to the amplifier, where it then emerges as a louder, more sustained tone.
On a general level, guitar amps include a preamp, power amp and speaker, all housed in a cabinet. The preamp has circuitry and controls for the amplifier and amplifies the signal from the pickup passing through. The power amp offers another level of amplification, which then generates sufficient voltage to power the speaker. As the final stage, the speaker transforms the signal into sound.
A combo guitar amplifier places all of these aspects into a single cabinet, eliminating the need for separate head and cab components.
About Guitar Combo Amplifiers
The path, as described above, remains the same, except a combo amplifier stores and arranges the head and cab so that both parts directly connect and function with each other. The parts are prewired, and the amp is ready to go with minimal setup required to practice or do a gig.
If you've been debating about which type of guitar amplifier to get, combo amps have an edge in multiple regards:
- Many guitar manufacturers develop combo amplifiers in conjunction with the instrument itself. In turn, the amplifier is already angled toward the instrument's tone, lessening the time needed to experiment with different head and cab combinations.
- They provide a degree of on-stage monitoring, so that the player can hear themselves as they perform. This isn't possible with a head and cab setup.
- Because everything is housed in a single cabinet, combo guitar amplifiers are considerably lighter and easier to transport than separate components.
- Especially for students and musicians on a budget, combo amps cost less than buying everything separately.
- You can choose between an open or closed back to determine where the sound will emerge from the speaker.
- If you're not someone who performs in large venues, a combo amp is perfectly serviceable for live playing.
- You can still connect a head amp to a combo amp through the back panel.
Find Guitar Combo Amps at Alamo Music Center
Give your guitar the sound it needs without the hassle of matching heads and cabs with combo amplifiers, available at Alamo Music Center. Browse models from Fender, Boss, Roland and more brands, and take advantage of multiple financing and layaway options, including 12- to 48-month no-interest financing at times.