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Thread: I dont understand full stacks

  1. #1
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    Default I dont understand full stacks

    just for purposes of discussion...full stacks dont make sense to me because:

    1) I value my hearing
    2) they dont balance very well and if the stage is wooden and shifting it is a bad combination resulting in the amp head hitting the floor
    3) they are big and bulky and cant fit in cars

    Am I missing something???

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker mediumpimpin's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Dude View Post


    Am I missing something???
    A pair of testicles?


    Seriously tho, you're right. While completely badass, stacks aren't exactly practical. They're actually pretty rare these days. I can't remember going to any shows recently where they had more than 2 half stacks per side.
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    Braindeadologist GoldenVulture's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Am I missing something???
    The reason for having one.

    There's certain sounds you get from them that you won't get any other way.

    Also they're usually capable of being loud.Some very loud.


    1. Use earplugs
    2. What sort of stages are you playing on ?
    3. Get a van/station wagon.Alternatively join a band with a van.

    I used to be able to fit a double stack into a Mazda 323.[Hatchback]



  4. #4
    PinkElephantologist
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Nothing exceeds like excess! ;

    [IMG] [/IMG]

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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    ^ those are some cool pics; I like model Ts. I used to have a full stack. I always wondered when it was gonna fall over etc...

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    SDUGF Riffologist Supremö B2D's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    If I'm going to use two 4x12's (which has only happened once) I actually like to put them side-by-side.

    The full stack: Completely badass, rarely practical for most players. Heck, even a half stack is a toughie to justify at times. I do miss my Legacy 4x12 though.

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    Super Simonologist JOLLY's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks



    They rock!! I wish I had a straight cab for the 5150 too.

  8. #8
    Fuzzy. Guitars the guy who invented fire's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Stacks, and even half stacks are pretty much nothingbut overkill these days...in the 60's PA systems were a joke at best so you HAD to have 2 or 3 or even more full stacks just to make sure the guitar and bass could be heard however today PA systems are MUCH better so you can gig with MUCH smaller combo amps. I still have one bigger head (50 watts) and one 4x12 cab for those just in case moments but the truth is I rarely use it all!

    If you HAVE to have the closed back cab thing going on a 2x12 is plenty but guitar players are hung up on an image and part of that image invloves walls of cabs and heads so a lot of us still try to make it work.

    Truth is that 95% of the issues most guitar players run into in clubs and such is simply being too loud...I can't tell you how many times I've been told to turn down at a gig however I have only been told to turn up once!!!

    The other great thing about no big cabs and such is set up time, and moving all the gear...a couple of smallish combos is a LOT easier to move that even one half stack.
    If you just read a post by The Guy Who Invented Fire please understand that opinions change, mind sets change and as players our ears mature...not to mention our needs grow and change. With that in mind, today I may or may not agree with the post you just read!

  9. #9
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire View Post
    Stacks, and even half stacks are pretty much nothingbut overkill these days...in the 60's PA systems were a joke at best so you HAD to have 2 or 3 or even more full stacks just to make sure the guitar and bass could be heard however today PA systems are MUCH better so you can gig with MUCH smaller combo amps. I still have one bigger head (50 watts) and one 4x12 cab for those just in case moments but the truth is I rarely use it all!

    If you HAVE to have the closed back cab thing going on a 2x12 is plenty but guitar players are hung up on an image and part of that image invloves walls of cabs and heads so a lot of us still try to make it work.

    Truth is that 95% of the issues most guitar players run into in clubs and such is simply being too loud...I can't tell you how many times I've been told to turn down at a gig however I have only been told to turn up once!!!

    The other great thing about no big cabs and such is set up time, and moving all the gear...a couple of smallish combos is a LOT easier to move that even one half stack.
    I agree 100%.

    Still - I remember reading an interview or something with a famous guitarist who was plugged into and playing through a full Marshall stack and the interviewer asked him "Why do you play through such a big amp????"

    The guy said: "Cuz it sounds...like....THIS": and he hit a big old power chord "KRANNNGGGGGG!!!"

    Truthfully, I think using a full stack has more to do with looking "bad ass" than for musical reasons.

    It is a blast to plug into a full Marshall stack, crank it up to patent applied for and wail though. Makes you feel like you have a penis so big you have to tuck it into your sock.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Animal's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    My Marshall 1960 quad is quite ominous but ultimately useless. I'm not in a band but I'm holding onto hold on to it just in case a stadium gig pops up next weekend.

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    Mojo's Minions metlking's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Hames Jetfield View Post
    My Marshall 1960 quad is quite ominous but ultimately useless. I'm not in a band but I'm holding onto hold on to it just in case a stadium gig pops up next weekend.

    Yep....got four of em' myself....they haven't all been used together in a decade or more. But, why get rid of em'? They're paid for! I use one, sometimes two these days. It's no different than my drummers double length double kicks (yes, thats four kick drums incorporated into one kit!) Rock N' Roll is all about overkill.......
    Only you can decide what "good" sounds like!
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    BadHairDayologist Empty Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Micing a combo amp to the PA is not very heavy metal.

    My question is, why aren't more people making 6x12 and 4x15 cabs?
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  13. #13
    Tommyologist
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    my large rig i love to death but it is overkill for any playing i do! my 5150 rig that consists of 2 heads, a custom switching unit, among other toys is pretty massive for any club work i've ever done... in fact we had the cops quite a few times shut us down, and soundmen hated that rig as it was too loud!

    my main gigging rig these days is a c30 combo on a tilt back stand pointed at my head... a few common pedals and i "get'r done"... i'm in the market to get another small amp like my c30 just for changing things up a bit...

    I still wish to have a wall of 4x12's oneday... that would be cool! I remember hearing that Townshends 6 Hiwatt cabs on stage with The Who in the 70's and early 80's were not all working at some gigs... the top row was not always on, just the bottom... to try and save his hearing i guess...

    a local ACDC tribute act hauls a mess of Marshall 4x12's to gigs!!! at the back of the stage they must have 8 at least or more... but the sound they use is a Marshall into a speaker simulater direct to the PA.... all their on stage guitar sound is heard thru the monitors!!

  14. #14
    Fuzzy. Guitars the guy who invented fire's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    Micing a combo amp to the PA is not very heavy metal.

    My question is, why aren't more people making 6x12 and 4x15 cabs?
    What you really mean is that micing a combo through a PA doesn't look very heavy metal...micing a small amp has a load of advantages over simply blasting with a big amp/cab. It's easier to get a better sound since you don't have to run the amp to it's limits just to be heard you can get better spread...what I mean is that if you black a 100 watt head through a 4x12 the folks in the direct line of that cab will likely be able to hear nothing except the guitar while folks in the back or off to the sides will likely hear far less guitar that you'd like plus it won't sound that good, etc...

    Like I said i've played loads of places and been told to turn down and I've gigged wiht amps as large as 100 watt Marshalls and HiWatts and as small as 5E3 Deluxes however like I said above I've only been asked to turn up once.

    As to the 6x12 and 4x15 cabs...not many people make them because they know that even a 4x12 is over kill is most settings so why push the issue even farther...
    If you just read a post by The Guy Who Invented Fire please understand that opinions change, mind sets change and as players our ears mature...not to mention our needs grow and change. With that in mind, today I may or may not agree with the post you just read!

  15. #15
    Mojo's Minions metlking's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    I want a 9x12:

    0 0 0
    0 0 0
    0 0 0

    Only you can decide what "good" sounds like!
    "I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if it's the right one, and it will whip the guy with twenty quick notes." ~Les Paul

  16. #16
    Mojo's Minions 3'scompany's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    I think full stacks are overkill. However, I think anything smaller than a 4x12 for my application is compromising.

    For those claiming that the PA can do the work, I wish I was playing in the clubs that you are playing at when I was playing in bands over the last 9 or so years. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've played a venue that had a PA that was up to snuff, and surprisingly enough, it wasn't that uncommon to have a sound man who would not dedicate a channel to my rig.

    And in those venues that actually had a good PA, no effort was put into getting a good mix in the monitors. The sound man only cared about what the audience heard, the headlining band and getting in-ear monitor mixes right. If you weren't touring with in-ear monitors, you were basically left to your own devices. And a 2x12 pointed at my ankles wouldn't have done me any good, in respect to being able to hear myself, unless I played with my ears at knee level.

    For these reasons, and the fact that I've never heard a 2x12 that sounds as good as a 4x12, I think that a 4x12 is a pretty good choice for musicians on the road who don't have huge roadie crews and massive tour budgets. If you're just playing bars, a 2x12 will probably suffice. But for me, I couldn't imagine not having a 4x12. But, getting back to the topic at hand, I find full stacks completely impractical. I toured with two half stacks and that was torture enough.

    And as Happy Dude mentioned, the balance thing is a real concern. I've played on a lot of shoddy stages. I wouldn't dare risk placing a $1.5k-$2k head six feet off the ground so it could get bumped into or rocked off it's perch only to fall to its death.
    Last edited by 3'scompany; 09-14-2008 at 12:28 PM.
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  17. #17
    Looking for Real Life drew_half_empty's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    i dunno i think they're completely badass

    I plan on owning a full stack in the near future, actually

    but again, i've never been able to mic my amp, not even at the bars i've played

    so there you go
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker thespricket's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    I play a 112, and my arms are killing me today from lugging it around a building me and my buddies were jamming. I have a kart for it, but i forgot it lol. And you'd be supprised how much more sound you can get just from positioning the amp differently, or raising it up off the ground.
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    Modsterbator trevorus's Avatar
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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    I use a Vox AC30 212, which I installed Fender tilt back legs on. There are not many times I am told to turn down, because I have it to one side of me, and it's pointed right at my head. It works out quite well.

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    Default Re: I dont understand full stacks

    For the most part, they really aren't practical. I've heard of guitarists who've used full-stacks who even wound up using the top cab as a "dummy". Not even producing sound. One reason could be because that top cab is going to have speakers aimed directly into vocal mics. Another could be because it would drive the guitarist nuts to have it blaring in his ears for an hour. (monitors....monitors!)

    My suggestion would actually be (should you have the room onstage) place the cabinets side-by-side instead to get a better spread. That would be quite practical.
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