Combo guitar amplifiers are able to merge all of the components of an amplification chain. These amps are a type of stack amplifier designed to be portable. There are many sizes, configurations and output levels to choose from, and everyone can use them, no matter if it’s the begging of their career or has many years of experience.
The first amplifiers had a single volume control, one or two output jacks, field coil speakers and thin wooden cabinets. It’s interesting to mention that they didn’t have tone controls or a switch for turning the amp on and off. Combo guitar amplifiers have not changed much over the years and have always been similar to the portable PA systems.
The first combo guitar amplifiers were used with bass guitars and electric pianos. Both of these instruments require a full-range speaker system because they produce a wide frequency range. In order to reproduce low frequencies, it’s essential to have the appropriate woofer and subwoofer speaker, with the right size and type of the bass cabinet. It’s important to have in mind that open-back cabinets work well with electric guitar amplifiers but they don’t have a good bass reproduction.
Combo guitar amplifiers have many benefits. They might have a limited number of built-in speakers, but they are able to attach additional ones in order to have better sound coverage when playing in larger performance settings.
There are three types of combo guitar amplifiers: tube combo amplifiers, solid-state combo amplifiers and modelling combo amplifiers.
The tube combo amps have been used for a long time. These kinds of amplifiers have many styles to choose from and they have a peculiar sound. They require regular maintenance and replacements, so they tend to be more expensive in the long run.
Solid-State Combo amps are more cost-effective, they don’t need regular maintenance and they have a cleaner sound at higher volumes.
Modelling combo amps combine tube, solid-state and hybrid combo amplifiers with digital processors. This combination can match the sounds of a variety of amplifiers and effects and are able to design custom sounds based on algorithms.