For guitarists who want to add some spice and variety to their guitar playing, it is important to experiment with the various types of amplifiers available in the market today. However, experimenting can be challenging because each amplifier will give you a different sound to work with. There are a couple of popular amps that many guitarists prefer to use. The combo amp and the direct box amp are two of these popular amps. These two amplifiers can be used for a variety of musical styles. Let's take a look at how these two amps work and why some guitarists like them better than others.
The combo amp is basically a high powered version of an electric guitar amplifier. The guitar in a band must stand out among the other performers. Many guitar players will swear by their individual half stack, full stack or combo amps, based upon their own personal taste. All three arrangements have been successfully used to play various forms of music in all sorts of venues. For instance, rock bands use the full stack to create a rather high pitched sound, which is useful for establishing the tone of the music and setting the stage for some killer solos; blues bands use the cabinet as the main driving force behind a rather flat sounding but fast paced rhythm.
One of the advantages of using a combo amp is the use of a "one piece" cabinet. The one piece cabinet makes it easier to control the levels of the amp due to its simple construction. Basically, one piece cabinets are constructed with two separate pieces of wood glued or screwed together, then joined with a dowel. Most often than not, the "bottom" piece is made of basswood while the "top" piece is made of ash or maple. Usually, both pieces of wood are cut to the same precise angle, but are attached to each other with screws.
If you are considering a combination cabinet setup, it is important to take into consideration the operating principle of your particular piece of equipment. Some people prefer to use electric guitar pickups in their amps due to the fact that they can easily change over to them for different effects. In addition, it is more convenient to change over the amps pickups without uninstalling the existing cab. On the other hand, some guitarists prefer to use a solid brass tubing or screw driven wire in their setup. Basically, these people will use the cabinet as an insert for their existing hardware.
When building full stacks, it is important to remember the two-piece design. This is because it is nearly impossible to notice any spacing between the two pieces of wood when holding them together. This leads to the inevitable risk of an extra 'back panel' showing up when the panels are removed. It is highly recommended to use a 'bottom' plate to provide a means of holding everything together. As far as the installation goes, this is where things start to become a bit trickier.
Many guitar players use speaker wire that is wired to simulate the sound of a valve/stompboard combo amp. If you have access to vintage valve amps, you may be able to successfully hide your wiring with various types of covers. However, if you are building a full stack and using non-vintage components, there are other options you can use to conceal the wiring. One such option is the open back style.
An open back style basically consists of a one piece enclosure with no close-fitting cover. The advantages of this type of cabinet setup are that everything is easily accessible and can be moved around without worry of an amp spring causing damage. Also, the one piece enclosure makes for a very sturdy construction. The only real disadvantage of an open back combo amp is that there is no direct connection between the speaker and the amplifier.
There are several popular brands that make high quality solid state combos. A few of the best ones include Planar, Black Ice, and Korg. While shopping for an electric guitar amp, be sure to check out the features each model has as well as how it performs. By shopping around, you should be able to find the best combo amp that works for you.