Can You Use a Combo Amp as a Cabinet [Troubleshooting]

A combo amp combines a speaker cabinet and amplifier built into one unit, offering convenience and portability. But many musicians wonder if they can only use a combo amp as a cabinet and still achieve the sound they want.

Can You Use a Combo Amp as a Cabinet

We provide helpful advice and tips on maximizing sound quality with a combo amp setup. What to do with the highest quality gear in a combo amp setup? You get a clear understanding of whether or not a combo amp is a suitable choice for your design.

What is a Combo Amp?

A combo amp is an all-in-one amplifier solution that combines the amp and the speaker into one unit. It’s also famous for home recording and practice. It’s commonly used by guitarists, bassists, and other musicians; who don’t want to haul around a separate amp head & speaker cabinet.

Combo amps come in various wattage sizes and power ranges; you can find one to suit your needs. They usually have multiple channels and onboard effects, making them a great one-stop solution for many gigs.

Connecting a Combo Amp as a Cabinet:

Connecting a combo amp as a cabinet is a great way to get the most out of your amp. This method allows you to use the pre-loaded amp as a cabinet for a different head. It will enable you to have more freedom and control over your sound.

You’ll need a speaker cable and a head cab to connect a combo amp as a cabinet. Start by clicking the speaker cable from the head cab to the combo amp’s speaker output jack. Then plug the other end of the speaker cable into the head cab’s speaker jack. Now you’re ready to go!

Compatibility Issues –

The use of combo amps as cabinets depends on their compatibility with other amplifiers. Some combo amps are designed to be used with specific heads. In comparison, others may not be compatible with certain amplifiers.

Some combo amps may require additional cables or adapters with specific amplifiers. So, you need to ensure you have the right threads or adapters before purchasing. If the combo amp’s wattage should match the head’s wattage, you may experience sound distortion.

Benefits of Using a Combo Amp as a Cabinet –

Benefits of Combo Amp as a Cabinet

One of the most significant benefits of using a combo amp as a cabinet is its portability. If you’re a musician who regularly plays gigs or attends open mic nights, having a lightweight, all-in-one combo amp is much more convenient than lugging around a bulky cabinet.

Another great benefit is that combo amps are usually much cheaper than cabinets. This makes them an excellent option for musicians on a budget who want to get great sound without breaking the bank.

Combo amps offer more flexibility in terms of sound because they combine both speakers and amplifiers in one package. This allows you to experiment with different tones and find the perfect sound for your music.

Recommended Combos for a Cabinet –

When it comes to using a combo amp as a cabinet, many options are available. You can use both the amplifier head and a separate speaker cabinet. If you have a combo amp, you can use the combination. You will want to choose a variety suited to your musical style, genre, and amplifier head for the best sound quality. Here are five recommended combos for a cabinet:

1. Marshall JCM800 Head and Vintage Marshall 412 Cabinet:

This classic combo offers a robust, detailed sound with plenty of bass and cut.

2. Fender Super Reverb Reissue and a Fender Pro Series 410 Cab:

This combination has a great classic rock sound with plenty of clarity and punch.

3. Orange Rockerverb 50 and Orange PPC412 Cab:

A classic complex rock sound with plenty of power and attack.

4. Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier and Mesa/Boogie 4×12 Cab:

A great combo for metal, with plenty of low-end and a tight, focused sound.

5. Vox AC30 and Celestion G12M Greenback:

A classic British sound with plenty of character and sparkle.

How to Set Up & Tips:

Setting up your combo amp as a cabinet is relatively simple.

a) You must select the cabinet you wish to use and ensure it is compatible with your amp.

b) If You want to power your cabinet, use an external power source or connect to the amp’s internal power supply.

c) Once you have done this, you will need to connect your cabinet’s input to your amp’s corresponding output.

d) After, you must finally adjust all the settings on your amp, such as tone and volume, to ensure optimal sound quality.

These steps allow you to set up your combo amp as a cabinet quickly.

How to Connect a Speaker to a Combo Amp –

Connecting a Combo Amp

If you want to turn your combo amp into a cabinet, then connecting a speaker to it is the way to go. Generally speaking, the process is relatively straightforward.

First, ensure that your selected speaker is compatible with your amp. Some combo amps may require an adapter, so check the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Then, attach the speaker cables to your amp’s output jack (i.e. speaker out). Once connected, power on the amp, and you should be ready!

Troubleshooting Issues: Can you use a Combo Amp as a Cabinet –

If you need help troubleshooting issues with your combo amp as a cabinet, here are eight steps to help you out.

Step 1: Ensure that all connections are properly attached, and all cables are connected securely.

Step 2: Check the cabinet’s power switch is on.

Step 3: Check all the controls to ensure they are appropriately positioned.

Step 4: Ensure all wattage and impedance ratings are accurate.

Step 5: Verify your speaker cable is right.

Step 6: Check the speaker outputs.

Step 7: Double-check that the amp and cabinet are appropriately matched.

Step 8: Finally, sure the combo amp and cabinet take turns handling the load.

Your combo amp and cabinet should work together if you follow all these steps.

Final Word:

It is possible to use a combo amp as a cabinet. However, it is not the ideal solution. A few factors to consider when attempting this include impedance, power output, and speaker sizes.

You can ensure that your system is set up correctly and will perform at its best. It is possible to turn a combo amp into a cabinet. However, if you are unsure, advice from an expert is always the best way to ensure you have the proper setup. Now, it’s clear about the question of “Can You Use a Combo Amp as a Cabinet”.


Question 1: Can combo amps be used as cabs?

Answer: Combo amps can be used in a cabinet configuration but would have built-in speakers. You can use an amp in a cabinet configuration for practice.

Question 2: How to make a combo amp cabinet?

Answer: You need a good amp to make a combo amp cabinet. You can use a wide selection of amps to make a combo amp cabinet. You can install a 1⁄4″ stereo jack (angled 1⁄4″ jack), 1⁄4″ stereo jack, 1⁄4″ line level jack, 1⁄4″ line level jack, or 1⁄4″ speaker output jack.

Question 3: Can you use an amp without a cabinet?

Answer: You can use a guitar amp without a speaker cabinet. A 100W amp can be used without a cabinet. But it will likely not work with the bass ports built into the cabinet.

Question 4: Is a combo amp better than a head and cab?

Answer: It depends on the guitarist. Most prefer a combo amp, but people have different preferences. There are two types of combo amps: all-in-one amplifiers and all-in-one speakers. This is similar to a powered speaker cabinet. A head amp is a standalone amp that does not include a speaker.

While an amp+cab combo amplifier has a single speaker cabinet and a separate head amp, a combo amp typically has two different speaker cabinets.

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Perry Garner

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