I'm a regularly performing guitarist in a cover band (weddings, casinos, etc.). We do everything from 1950's rock to current tunes. I currently have a Z-Wreck (head and 2x12 cabinet). My pedal board is pretty straight forward. A compressor, chorus, couple of overdrives, couple of delays and a wah.
I knew it was too much amp for me when I got it, but I bought it off a friend for a sweet deal (under $2K including road cases).
But the "too much" is becoming apparent. I use a brake lite, but even with that, I can't dial it up to it's sweet spot. After a bunch of research, I think I've decided that the M12 is the way to go. (No I'm not selling the wreck, lol) So my questions are these:
1) Would you recommend a 1x12 combo or buying a head and using my 2x12 cabinet? 2) If you recommend the 1x12, what speaker preference do you have?
Part of me likes the convenience of a combo. But part of me thinks I'm silly for not using the cabinet I already have.
I would go with the M12 head. Yes the combo is convenient, but the head has versatility. You can then always buy a 1x12 convertible cabinet in the future if you desire. You would then perhaps have an in between setup with the Z-Wreck and a 1x12. I also have the 2 x 10 convertible cabinet and it's one of my favorites. That's just my $.02 from a guy who has both combo and heads albeit different Z's.
Z-Plus Maz-Jr 2x10 (sacrificed for Z-Plus) Therapy Antidote (great amp traded for Therapy to save my hearing; sorely missed) Rte. 66 (gone, but not forgotten) Carmen Ghia
Post by Mark (Basement Enthusiast) on Jul 31, 2017 8:36:33 GMT -7
I have a 1x12 combo myself, with a Scumback M75PVC 20-watter (not only my favorite speaker for the M12, but one of the most amazing "greenback" style speakers ever). I love the fact that it is NOT "loud," and the combo is small-ish, convenient, and very lightweight (the M12 chassis/circuit/transformers are all pretty light for a Z).
That said, however, I did buy the amp as a head (I later converted it to a combo) and in your situation I think I'd recommend the head for the ability to change cabinets to suit your gigging needs.
Own or have owned: M12, Carmen Ghia, Rx JS, MAZ 18 Jr NR, Monza, Z-28, Route 66, Therapy, DB4, Remedy, Prescription, EZG-50, SRZ-65 LE, & Delta 88 Z-Drive | Brake Lite SA & Air Brake
Post by jhen86 (jordan) on Aug 8, 2017 21:37:11 GMT -7
I am newer to the forum but had some thoughts to add.
Great feedback from the others btw. I would just emphasize that this really is more of a personal preference thing I think. So I'd say you got to make the call of whether you value convenience or flexibility in the long run? Combo = super convenient. I just picked up the M12 head myself. I have a nice 2x12 cab (Blue/G12H30) and love having the flexibility to swap an amp or cab and experiment. Not to mention, I can mic either one depending on the style and if I am doing lead or rhythm. It is a hassle hauling around the bigger cab though at times. I love both those speakers with my M12. I know many guys have liked the Greenback with their M12 but I've never been able to mesh with that speaker. WGS has lots of Celestion inspired stuff that is affordable. If you like your 2x12 cab and are willing to lug it around to get the tone you love, the head is a great and less expensive route.
Only other technical consideration would be the EF86 rattling in a combo. Never had one myself, but I've read that combo rattling can contribute to microphonic issues with the already finicky ef86 tube. So head would be theoretically "safer".
If I had it to do again, and I would love to own a 12 again, I would go head/cab. It opens the door to other options like running two heads through an ABY pedal, but the ef86 in the pre is a notoriously fragile tube, and I had considerable trouble keeping them from rattling - a head is the only route I'd go.
A head version is probably the best way to go for speaker options. I have a 112 combo and since I scored a small stash of nos amperex bugle boy ef86's, I haven't had any issues with ef86's in the combo. I also have a connector to add a cab (8 ohm cab + internal combo speaker=4 ohm) this is far from portable but it sounds huge to me as I don't play 1/2 or full stacks!
I assume you are running the blue/gold in your 212. If your goal is to get lower powered Z-wreck sounds, I'd suggest a blue w/ the M12. Perhaps a 112 M12 combo w/ a blue for your grab and go (and home practice) and then also get the 1/2 power switch on your wreck for flexibility on the bigger gigs where you'll be using your 212.
Z-Lux combo Maz18 head 112 convertible w/ Celestion Gold Brake Lite SA Brake Lite (in Swart AST combo) These days mostly one of two Teles and a Gretsch 6120DSW
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