Which Is Better – Cheap Amp + Nice Cab or Nice Amp + Cheap Cab?

Furious Glenn Fricker is once again undeterred in his quest to answer the tough questions of audio. In today’s scientific endeavor, he wants to know – is it better to dump your money into a nice cab, or a nice head? Also, does “nice” or “cheap” matter at all? Let your ears decide!


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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.

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  • Interesting results. I did actually like the cleans out the Behringer cab better! Which could have been thanks to the Revv having better cleans than the Windsor but man what a mix up.

    I think I would have been more interested in seeing how a really great cab would have worked out matched up with an amp that was even less quality than the Windsor. The Windsor is “cheap” but more so because of its lack of demand on the used market. Peavey MSRP prices for high-wattage tube heads are certainly inexpensive compared to something like the REVV, but the Windsor probably sold originally for somewhere around or between what a new Valveking or 6505 does so we’re still talking about an amp that (at least originally) was outside of the budget of certain guitarists. I would have liked to see how something solid state would have fared, for instance; something real awful like an old Crate or Marshall MG.

    • I’ve got a total crap Kustom solid state 100w amp and matched 4X12 cab.
      200 bucks for the whole rig on CL. Practice amp to be sure. But I can still get it sounding good by just working with it and letting the amp be what it is. Just by rolling back the gain channel as I turn up the actual volume. I hear players that have dialed in a tone that sounds killer to them at low volume playing alone simply turn up that setting when playing with a band. Of course it sounds like ass. Then that gets put through a PA live and a 3-4k rig becomes the world’s loudest Peavey Bandit.
      Players that actually use LESS gain with louder volume end up sounding heavier and the amp tone packs more punch.
      The amazing bedroom tone is only good for low volume applications. You have to totally reconfigure everything as you turn up and add other players (drums bass keys etc)

  • I like the cheap amp and expensive cab way better than the expensive amp and the cheap cab

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